Team Canada begins Canadian Open with win over California A’s
Published by Gilles LeBlanc
Published on July 17, 2013
(Surrey, BC) The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team opened their Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship schedule with a 5-1 win over the California A’s. Jenny Gilbert (Saskatoon, SK) drove in three runs and Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, BC) picked up her first win with the Senior team in front of her hometown crowd with three innings of scoreless relief to lead Canada to the win.
The red and white opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, as Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, NY) hit a one-out triple and scored on a single by Gilbert. The California A’s got two singles in the top of the second to put two runners on base, but were unable to score. In the bottom of the frame, Canada also put two runners on with a walk and a single by Meagan Baird (Ajax, ON), but the two next batters flew out to end the inning. Team Canada kept the pressure on in the bottom of the third as Lever led off with a single but was immediately erased on a double play. Gilbert and Sara Hopwood (Surrey, BC) each followed with singles, but the next batter popped out to keep the score at 1-0 for Canada.
The California A’s were able to tie the game with a run in the top of the fourth when Courtney Gano hit a leadoff single, was sacrificed to second, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a single by Ashley Carter. Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, ON) led off the bottom of the frame with a single and was sacrificed to second before a walk put a pair of runners on base, but Canada was unable to push either of them in to score.
Team Canada was finally able to break through in the bottom of the sixth inning by taking advantage of a few costly mistakes. Vicky Rumph (Mount Forest, ON) drew a one-out walk and was replaced on the bases by Brittany Hicks (Dundas, ON), followed by a single by Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) to put runners at first and second. Lever then laid down a bunt that was thrown away by the third baseman, allowing Hicks to score and putting runners on second and third. Heather Ebert (Rosthern, SK) then hit a ground ball that was misplayed by the shortstop, allowing Hayward to score and increase the lead to 3-1. Gilbert stepped up and delivered a two-run single to round out the scoring for Team Canada. The California A’s got a two-out single in the top of the seventh, but Groenewegen got the last batter to ground out to third base to end the game.
Box score and play-by-play: Canada 5 vs. California A’s 1
Marina Demore (Richmond, BC) started the game in the pitcher’s circle for Canada, allowing one run and scattering six hits in four innings of work. Groenewegen pitched three scoreless innings of relief, allowing only two hits. At the plate, Gilbert had three singles and three runs batted in, while Lever added a triple and a single and two runs scored. Hayward, Ebert, Hopwood, Wideman and Baird each chipped in with singles.
In other action on the first day of competition at the Canadian Open, Venezuela shocked Japan by hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to take an 8-6 win, but later lost 8-2 to Australia in their second game of the day. The United States opened their tournament with a 4-1 win over the California A’s.
Canada (1-0) will play its next game against Australia (1-0) at 7:00pm PDT tonight.
Live Pointstreak scoring is available for all tournament games, and live webstreaming is also available for the Women’s International division of the tournament at a cost of $4.99 for individual games or $19.99 for the tournament package. Visit the official tournament website at www.canadiaopenfastpitch.com for live scoring and webstream information.
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