Canada Suffers First Loss to Japan at Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship
Published by Gilles LeBlanc
Published on July 18, 2014
In the top of the first inning, Canadian pitcher Sara Plourde (Fredericton, NB) struck out the two first Japanese batters, but Nozomi Nagasaki and Rei Nishiyama hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners before Plourde notched her third strikeout of the inning to leave them stranded. In the bottom of the inning, Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) hit a one-out single followed by a walk by Jen Yee (North Delta, BC), but a pair of groundouts got Japan out of the inning.
Japan got a leadoff walk and a single to start the second inning, and the runners advanced to second and third on a groundout on the right side of the infield. However, the runner on third was caught in a rundown after being picked off at third, and the next batter grounded out. Canada went down in order in the bottom of the frame and both teams did the same in the third before Japan opened the scoring in the top of the fourth. Misato Kawano hit a one-out single, followed by an error on a sacrifice bunt to put two runners on base. Back-to-back singles scored Kawano and Yuka Ichiguchi to give Japan a 2-0 lead, but Japan was not able to score any more runs in the inning despite later loading the bases.
Japanese pitcher Sayuri Yamane held Canada off the bases again in the fourth, and Japan added its third run on a single by Kawano to increase its led. In the bottom half of the fifth, Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, NY) managed a two-out single but the next batter grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning. However, Canada was able to get to Yamane in the bottom of the sixth. Yee got things started with a two-out single and scored on a double by Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON), who went on to score on a single by Megan Gurski (Dalmeny, SK) to cut Japan’s lead to 3-2 heading into the seventh.
Japan added an insurance run as the first batter was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and to third on an error on the same play, and later scored on a groundout to second base. In the bottom of the seventh, Canada got a two-out single by Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, BC), but the next batter hit a ground ball off the first baseman’s glove that went right to the second baseman, who was able to get the runner out on a throw back to first.
Box Score: Japan 4 vs. Canada 2
Plourde pitched three solid innings for Canada, allowing only three hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Brooke Seneshen (Winnipeg, MB) took the loss, allowing three runs – two earned – on five hits striking out one in an inning of work. Jenna Caira (Toronto, ON) allowed one hit and three walks with a strikeout in two innings of relief, while Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, BC) finished the game allowing one unearned run in an inning pitched. Canada produced six hits in the game, including a double by Rafter and singles by Hayward, Yee, Gurski, Lever and Franklin.
Other scores of the Women’s International Division at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship on Thursday were:
- Japan 7 vs. Bloomington Lady Hearts 0 (5 innings)
- United States 4 vs. NJCAA All-Stars 3
- United States 7 vs. Mexico 0 (5 innings)
- Mexico 10 vs. Spain (Basque Country) 0 (3 innings)
- White Rock Renegades 7 vs. Spain (Basque Country) 1
Team Canada (3-1) will play a doubleheader on Friday when they take on the Bloomington Lady Hearts (2-3) at 1:00pm PDT followed by the United States (4-1) at 6:30pm PDT. For live scoring and webstreams, visit the event’s website.
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