Canada Drops First Game of WBSC Women’s World Softball Championship against Venezuela
Softball Canada – (Surrey, BC) The Canadian Women’s National Team dropped its first game of the WBSC Women’s World Softball Championship by a score of 6-1 against Venezuela. The Venezuelans jumped out to an early lead while Canada was unable to capitalize on its chances, including a leaving the bases loaded with none out in the sixth after nearly taking the lead on a grand slam that went just foul.
After having a day off on Sunday, Venezuela jumped out to a quick lead after a one-out single and a two-run homerun by Yuruby Alicart in the top of the first inning. The following inning, Venezuela added a run to its lead with a solo homerun by Milagros Lozada that just cleared the centerfield fence with the wind blowing straight out. In the bottom of the second, Jenn Salling (Port Coquitlam, BC) led off with a walk, was sacrificed to second and moved up to third on a ground ball to first, but was left stranded when the next batter struck out.
Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, ON) led off the bottom of the third with a single up the middle, and after a pair of fielder’s choices, Canada loaded the bases on singles by Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) and Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON). Salling drew a bases loaded walk to force a run to the plate, but the next batter grounded out to second as Canada trailed 3-1. Venezuela got that run right back after a leadoff double, a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third and after a pitching change for Canada, the next batter hit a shallow fly ball to right that Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) made a great play to reach but was unable to hang on to the ball, allowing the runner to score from third.
Both teams went down in order in the fifth, and Canada had a glorious opportunity to get back in the game in the bottom half of the sixth. They managed to load the bases on singles by Rafter and Salling, and a fielder’s choice by Jen Yee (North Delta, BC) who hit a line drive off the pitcher’s glove that the second baseman tried to flip to second but the shortstop was unable to hang on to. Erika Polidori (Brantford, ON) then drove a ball deep to left field that hooked just foul in front of the foul pole, missing a go-ahead grand slam by a matter of inches. She went on to strike out on the next pitch, followed by pop up on the infield and a ground out to second as Venezuela escaped the inning without any damage.
In the top of the seventh, Venezuela loaded the bases with two outs on two walks and a hit by pitch before getting a clutch two-run single to take a commanding 6-1 lead. Canada got a one-out single by Hayward but could not move her any further.
Box Score: Venezuela 6 vs. Canada 1
Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, BC) started the game in the pitcher’s circle for Canada, allowing four runs on four hits and a walk, striking out seven in three inning and a third. Lauren Bay Regula (Trail, BC) came on in relief in the fourth, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks over three innings and two thirds. Rafter had a pair of singles at the plate, with Salling registering a single, walking twice and producing the lone run. Hayward, Lye and Wideman each contributed a single in the loss.
In other Championship Round Robin scores on Monday, Puerto Rico blanked Italy 4-0, New Zealand shut out Great Britain 6-0, Japan defeated Chinese Taipei 6-1, Australia beat the Philippines 11-1, and Brazil outscored Cuba 5-1. In the Placement Round Robin, Israel earned its first win of the tournament by beating Switzerland 11-8, Austria edged Greece 5-4, Ecuador doubled Uganda 4-2 and France defeated India 9-2.
Team Canada will have a day off on Tuesday before squaring off with Puerto Rico at 7:30pm PDT on Wednesday.
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