Canada Wins Silver Medal at General Tire World Cup of Softball IX
Published by Gilles LeBlanc
Published on July 13, 2014
(Irvine, California) The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team earned the silver medal at the General Tire World Cup of Softball IX, dropping the Championship game to the United States by a score of 5-2. Canada loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning but could not score, and the Americans responded with a three-run inning to take control of the game. The red and white battled back by loading the bases again and scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth and put some pressure on in the bottom of the seventh, but that was as close as they would get.
Canadian starting pitcher Jenna Caira (Toronto, ON) held the United States hitless through two innings with a couple of strikeouts, but American pitcher Sara Nevins was also able to retire the Canadian bats in order with the game scoreless through two innings of play. In the top of the third, the United States got a leadoff walk, and after a fielder’s choice, Kelsey Stewart stole second base, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch to open the scoring, giving the United States a 1-0 lead.
After Canada went down in the bottom of the third, Raven Chavanne led off the top of the fourth with a single up the middle for the first hit of the game. Chavanne stole second base and advanced to third to third on a groundout, but Caira took a ground ball off her leg that shortstop Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) fielded quickly and fired to first for the third out on a fantastic play. In the bottom of the frame, Lye popped a ball in a tough area in the infield for Canada’s first hit to start the inning, and Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) slapped a single to shortstop to put two runners on base. The runners were then sacrificed to second and third by Jen Yee (North Delta, BC) followed by an intentional walk issued to Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON) to load the bases with one out. However, Nevins was able to get two big strikeouts to keep Canada off the scoreboard.
The United States got back-to-back singles to start the top of the fifth. After a strikeout on a ball in the dirt moved the runners up to second and third, the following batter slapped a ground ball to shortstop for the second out but allowing a run to score, followed by a double inside the line in left field to add another run. After a pitching change, Chavanne singled up the middle to score the runner from second, increasing USA’s lead to 4-0. Canada could not get anything going in the bottom of the fifth, going down on a groundout, pop out and strikeout.
After Sara Plourde (Fredericton, NB) shut down the United States in the top of the sixth, Lye led off with a bunt single, Hayward singled up the middle and Yee walked as Canada threatened again with the bases loaded and no outs. Rafter was hit by a pitch to score a run, forcing a pitching change for the United States. Megan Gurski (Dalmeny, SK) then hit a soft liner over the pitcher for an infield single to push another un in to score, but the next batter hit a line drive back to the pitcher who picked off the runner at third for a quick double play. Megan Timpf (Port Dover, ON) was hit by a pitch to load the bases again, but the next batter grounded out, as Canada cut the lead to 4-2 heading into the seventh.
In the top of the seventh inning, the United States added an insurance run as Haylie McClenie hit a one-out single, advanced to second on a ground out and scored on a single off the pitcher by Chavanne, increasing the lead to 5-2. In the bottom of the inning, Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, BC) reached on an error but was erased on a fielder’s choice. A walk by Hayward put runners on first and second, but another fielder’s choice put runners on the corners. Representing the tying run at the plate, Rafter hit a fly ball to left field to end the game, as the United States won the Gold medal
Box Score: United States 5 vs. Canada 2
Caira allowed four runs on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts – with most of the damage coming in the fifth – in four innings and a third for Canada, while Plourde pitched two innings and two thirds of relief, allowing one run on four hits and one strikeout. The top of the lineup did all the damage offensively for the red and white, as Lye and Hayward each had a pair of hits and Gurski contributed with a single to account for Canada’s five hits. The game can be seen at 9:00pm PDT (midnight EDT) on TSN2.
Both teams will travel to Surrey, BC to compete in the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship, which will begin on Tuesday and will run from July 15-21. The ISF Women’s World Championship will take place next month (August 15-24) in Haarlem, Netherlands.
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