Canadian Women’s Softball Team Drops Third Game at Japan Cup
Softball Canada – Takasaki City, Japan – The Canadian Women’s National Softball Team dropped its third straight game at the Japan Cup as Australia scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to steal a 4-2 win. Team Canada held Australia scoreless through five innings and scored single runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings to take a 2-0 lead before the Australian bats got going in the sixth.
For the third consecutive game, Canada put runners on base in the top of the first inning but was unable to open the scoring, as Erika Polidori (Brantford, Ont.) and Holly Speers (Surrey, B.C.) connected with back-to-back two-out singles but the next batter grounded out. Australia got a pair of walks in the bottom of the frame but Canadian starting pitcher Kenzie Friesen (Saskatoon, Sask.) was able to get out of the inning with a double play to third. Kelsey Jenkins (Delta, B.C.) hit a one-out double to left for Canada in the third and was sacrificed to third, but a fly out to left her stranded. In the bottom of the inning, Australia loaded the bases with a single Leigh Godfrey and a pair of walks, but a pitching change to bring in Brianna Aguilar-Beaucage (Fort McMurray, Alta.) paid off as she notched a big strikeout to leave three runners on base.
In the top of the fourth, Speers drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third when a sacrifice bunt attempt was thrown away by the catcher, placing runners on the corners. After a bunt attempt was popped up, another error allowed Speers to come in to score and give Canada a 1-0 lead. After Australia was retired in order, Team Canada added an insurance run when Victoria Hayward (Toronto, Ont.) singled and stole second before scoring on a double to left by Speers.
Australia did all of its offensive damage in the sixth, as Stacey Porter led off with a single, advanced to third on an error and scored on a single Sam Poole. Rachel Lack hit a two-run single later in the inning, with Godfrey driving in another run with a single as Australia took the 4-2 lead. Canada was sit down in order in the top of the seventh to end the game.
Box Score: Australia 4 vs. Canada 2
Speers led Canada at the plate by going two-for-two with a double, a walk and a run batted in. Jenkins added a double with Hayward and Polidori each chipping in with singles. Friesen started the game in the pitcher’s circle for Canada and allowed two hits and four walks with one strikeout over two innings and two third of work. Aguilar-Beaucage pitched two innings and a third of relief, allowing one run on one hit and struck out two. Sara Plourde (Baker Lake, N.B.) took the loss, allowing three unearned runs on three hits and a walk in one inning.
The loss pushed Canada’s record to 0-3 and they will wrap up the Japan Cup with the bronze medal game against Australia at 2:30pm JST (1:30am EDT) on Sunday.
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