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Softball Canada – (Surrey, B.C.) The Canadian Women’s National Team dropped a tight 4-1 ball game to Japan in its first game of the Championship Round Robin at the Canada Cup. Japan broke a 1-1 tie by scoring three runs in the top of the third and held on for the victory.
 
Japan got on the board in the top of the first inning on a run-scoring double by Yu Yamamoto with two outs. Erika Polidori (Brantford, Ont.) notched a two-out single in the bottom of the frame, but was caught stealing for the third out. Japan went down in order in the top half of the second, while Canada tied the game when Victoria Hayward (Toronto, Ont.) hit a one-out double and scored on a single by Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, Ont.). However, Japan responded with three runs in the top of the third inning on an RBI single from Mana Atsumi and a two-run single by Yamamoto. Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, B.C.) led off the bottom of the inning with a single, but the next three batters went down on a pair of strikeouts and a pop out.
 
In the top of the fourth, Japan managed to load the bases with two outs on a double and two walks, but Karissa Hovinga (Edmonton, Alta.) was able to get Canada out of the inning by inducing a pop out to the shortstop. Yamamoto hit a one-out single the following inning but a pair of fly outs ended the inning, while Canada was retired in order in both the fourth and fifth innings. Kelsey Jenkins (Delta, B.C.) led off the bottom of the sixth with a single but was doubled off at first on a bunt that was popped up to the pitcher. Canada then got a leadoff walk by Holly Speers (Surrey, B.C.) to start the bottom of the seventh, but a pair of ground outs and a fly out ended the game.
 
Box Score: Canada 1 vs. Japan 4
 
Canada produced five hits in the game with a double by Hayward and singles by Polidori, Jenkins, Rafter and Franklin. Sara Plourde (Baker Lake, N.B.) started the game in the pitcher’s circle and allowed four runs on seven hits and three strikeouts in three innings and two thirds. Hovinga was excellent in relief, holding Japan to only one hit and striking out three in three innings and a third. Team Canada will play two games on Friday, squaring off with Australia at 1:00pm PDT followed by Canada Elite at 6:00pm PDT.
 
Earlier in the day, Canada Elite defeated Australia 4-3 in eight innings after the game went scoreless after seven innings of play. Jocelyn Cater (Delta, B.C.) earned the eight-inning win in the pitcher’s circle allowing only five hits, while Erika Leonard (Cincinnati, Ohio) hit a three-run homerun in the top of the eighth with Canada holding off Australia for the win. Canada Elite will play Japan at 10:30am PDT followed by Team Canada at 6:00pm PDT.
 
In the Placement Round Robin, the Junior Women’s National Team earned an 11-4 win over the Quebec Rebelles, led by Cassie Matlock (Edmonton, Alta.) who had three hits including a triple and drove in five runs, with Grace Messmer (Surrey, B.C.) adding a two-run homerun and Zoe Hicks (Boissevain, Man) hitting two doubles. The Canadian Junior Women’s National Team will take on U21 Team BC at 3:00pm PDT.

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For more information, please contact:

Gilles LeBlanc
Manager – Marketing & Communications
Softball Canada
p: (613) 523-3386 ext. 3105 | m: (613) 795-1996
w: www.softball.ca | e: gleblanc@softball.ca