Team Canada Splits Two Playoff Games at Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship
Published by Gilles LeBlanc
Published on July 21, 2013
(Surrey, BC) A day after playing Venezuela and United States in the preliminary round, the Canadian Senior Women’s National Team played the two same teams on the first day of playoff action, defeating Venezuela 9-4 before losing 7-4 to the United States. The red and white put up a five run inning in the bottom of the sixth to break a 4-4 tie against Venezuela, while the United States scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to break another 4-4 tie in the nightcap.
In the first game, Venezuela went down in order in the top of the first and Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) started the bottom of the inning with a single. She was sacrificed over to second and Jenn Yee (North Delta, BC) walked to put two runners on base, but the two next hitters popped out to first base to end the threat. Venezuela got on the board with a run in the top of the second on a single by Denisse Fuenmayor, but after Canada went down in order in the bottom of the second and Venezuela did the same in the top of the third, the red and white took over the lead by scoring three runs. Canada loaded the bases on a walk by Vicky Rumph (Mount Forest, ON), a double by Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) and an intentional walk to Yee before Jenny Gilbert (Saskatoon, SK) hit a single to score Rumph from third. Sara Hopwood (Surrey, BC) then walked to bring in another run and after a fielder’s choice retired Yee at the plate, Gilbert scored on a wild pitch to give Canada a 3-1 lead.
Canadian pitcher Sara Plourde (Fredericton, NB) sat the Venezuelans down in order in both the fourth and the fifth inning before Canada added another run to its lead in the bottom of the fifth. Yee smashed a one-out double and was replaced by Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, BC) on the bases. Franklin advanced to third on a single by Gilbert and then scored on another single by Hopwood.
Venezuela put the first two runners on base to begin the sixth inning on an error and a walk, which brought Jenna Caira (Toronto, ON) into the game in relief of Plourde. After a fielder’s choice for the first out of the inning, the next batter walked to load the bases, but Caira struck out the next batter for the second out. However, Geraldine Puertas stepped up and hit a base clearing double as Venezuela tied the game at 4-4.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Canadian bats went to work to restore the lead. Erika Polidori (Brantford, ON) drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rumph. Joey Lye tripled to score Polidori, followed by another RBI triple by Hayward. Yee singled to push Hayward in to score, and Gilbert hit the third triple of the inning to score Yee. Hopwood then hit a single to bring in Gilbert, giving Canada a commanding 9-4 lead heading into the seventh. Caira gave up a one-out double in the top of the seventh, but got the next two batters to ground out to end the game
Box score and play-by-play: Canada 9 vs. Venezuela 4
Plourde allowed two runs on two hits with six strikeouts in five innings, while Caira also gave up two runs on two hits with one strikeout, earning the win in two innings of relief. The Canadian bats stayed hot by producing 12 hits, including three each by Gilbert and Lye. Hopwood contributed two singles and three runs batted in, with Hayward adding a triple and a double and Yee registering a double and a single.
Against the United States, Canada got on the board first on a two-out solo homerun by Jenn Yee in the top of the first. Caira started the game in the pitcher’s circle for Canada, and after allowing a one-out single in the bottom of the first, induced a ground ball to second base for a double play. Both teams went down in order in the second, and the United States put two runners on base in the bottom of the third on an error and a hit by pitch but could not push any across the plate to score.
Canada also put two runners on base in the top of the fourth on a pair of singles by Yee and Hopwood, with the runners advancing to second and third on a wild pitch, but a pop out on the infield left the runners stranded. In the bottom of the frame, Lauren Gibson tied the game with a solo homerun for the United States, and Taylor Thom hit a two-run double later in the inning to give Team USA a 3-1 lead. Team Canada responded immediately in the top of the fifth, as Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, ON) was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Polidori walked to put two runners on base. Hayward then smacked a two-run double to tie the game, and scored on a single by Yee as Canada took a 4-3 lead. However, the United States tied the game on a solo homerun by Michelle Moultrie in the bottom of the inning.
The red and white went down in order in the top of the sixth, and the United States scored three runs to take a 7-4 lead. Thom hit an RBI single and later scored on a wild pitch, and Raven Chavanne hit a run-scoring single to complete the scoring. Canada got a one-out single by Polidori in the seventh, but the next two batters struck out to end the game.
Box score and play-by-play: Canada 4 vs. United States 7
Caira pitched the first four innings of the game, allowing four runs on five hits with three strikeouts, while Plourde took the loss in two inning of relief, yielding three runs on four hits with four strikeouts. Yee led the way offensively for Canada with a homerun, two singles and two runs batted in, while Hayward had a two-run double. Hopwood and Polidori registered Canada’s other hits.
In other scored on the first day of playoff action, Japan defeated the California A’s 7-0 in five innings and Australia 7-0 in six innings. Playoff matchups on Sunday will see Canada taking on the California A’s at 11:00am PDT and Venezuela playing Australia at 1:30pm PDT. The winners of those two games will face off at 8:30pm PDT to determine who will advance to the medal round on Monday. Japan and the United States will play each other at 6:30pm PDT, with the winner advancing to the Gold medal game and the loser playing in the Bronze medal game.
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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