Canada Falls to USA Blue at USA Softball International Cup
Softball Canada – Irvine, Calif. – The Canadian Women’s National Softball Team suffered its second loss of the USA Softball International Cup by a score of 6-1 to USA Blue on Thursday. Team Canada put up a strong effort against the Americans, who jumped out to an early lead and held on for the win in a game that was aired on ESPN.
Kelsey Jenkins (Delta, B.C.) drew a leadoff walk to start the game for Canada and was sacrificed to second before advancing to third on a ground ball but was left stranded when the next batter grounded out to third. In the bottom of the inning, USA Blue got a pair of singles before Amanda Chidester hit a two-run single to give them a 2-0 lead. Holly Speers (Surrey, B.C.) drilled a one-out single in the second but a pair of strikeouts ended the inning.
After the United States went down in order in the bottom of the second, Team Canada got a pair of two-out singles by Victoria Hayward (Toronto, Ont.) and Jenn Salling (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) but was unable to cash them in as the next batter popped out to shortstop. USA Blue padded its lead in the bottom of the frame with a pair of run-scoring singles to increase its lead to 4-0.
Speers connected with a solo blast to center with one out in the top of the fourth to put Canada on the scoreboard, but the American pitchers retired the next 11 Canadian batters in order with their offence striking for two more runs on a pair of singles in the bottom of the sixth on route to the 6-1 win.
Box Score: USA Blue 6 vs. Canada 1
Jenna Caira (Toronto, Ont.) took the loss in the pitcher’s circle by allowing four runs on six hits, striking out one batter over two innings and two thirds. Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, B.C.) relieved Caira to get the final out of the third inning and gave up two runs – one earned – on four hits and retired four batters on strikes. Speers led Canada at the plate with a homerun and a single, with Hayward and Salling chipping in with singles to account for Canada’s four hits.
Team Canada (3-2) will complete its preliminary round schedule against the Czech Republic (2-2) at 11:00am PDT on Friday morning.
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