Canada Finishes Fourth at WBSC Junior Women’s World Softball Championship
Softball Canada – (Clearwater, Fla.) The Canadian Junior Women’s National Team finished fourth at the WBSC Junior Women’s World Softball Championship after defeating Chinese Taipei 8-1 and dropping a 6-5 decision to Puerto Rico. Kara Bilodeau (Cumming, Ga.) pitched the six-inning win in the first game with Abbey Fortin (Langley, B.C.) providing the offence with a homerun and a triple, while Canada fought back in their game against Puerto Rico but left 13 batters stranded on base in the narrow loss.
Chinese Taipei scored the first run of the first game in the top of the second, but Canada responded by putting up four runs in the bottom of the frame. Maria Palmegiani (Surrey, B.C.) drew a leadoff walk and Becki Monaghan (Spruce Grove, Alta.) hit a two-run homerun to right-center field, followed by a single by Amanda Janes (Brampton, Ont.) and a run-scoring triple by Fortin. Allyse Volpe (Toronto, Ont.) later hit an RBI double as Canada took a 4-1 lead. The following inning, Palmegiani got things going again with a leadoff single followed by a single by Zoey Hicks (Boissevain, Man.) and a fielder’s choice before a hit by pitch loaded the bases. Fortin singled in a run, with Emma Adams (Rockwood, Ont.) hitting a sacrifice fly and Volpe hit an RBI single to increase the lead to 7-1. Both teams were held off the scoreboard in the fourth and fifth innings before Canada wrapped the game up on a solo homerun by Fortin to end the game on the run-ahead rule.
Box Score: Canada 8 vs. Chinese Taipei 1
Fortin led the way offensively going three-for-three with a homerun, a triple and three runs batted in, with Monaghan adding a two-run blast. Volpe had two hits including a double and drove in two, while Palmegiani, Hicks and Janes each contributed a hit. Bilodeau allowed one run on four hits and struck out four batters in six innings.
Canada opened the scoring with two runs in the top of the first against Puerto Rico, when Rebecca Jones (Toronto, Ont.) hit a one-out single and scored on a triple to right-center field by Grace Messmer (Surrey, B.C.), who crossed the plate on a single by Palmegiani. However, Puerto Rico tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a two-run homerun, and tacked on four more in the second after Canada had stranded the bases loaded in the top of the inning. Canada loaded the bases once again in the top of the fourth with two walks and a single by Messmer before Palmegiani hit a two-run single up the middle to cut the lead to 6-4. Adams hit a run-scoring single in the fifth to bring Canada within one, and the red and white seemed poised to score again in the sixth by loading the bases with no outs. However, the next batter lined out to third with the runner on third being called out on a double play, followed by a walk to load the bases again but the next batter grounded out to keep Canada from scoring. Team Canada got a runner on base on an error in the seventh but was unable to score as Puerto Rico held on for the win.
Box Score: Canada 5 vs. Puerto Rico 6
Palmegiani had two hits and drove in three runs for Canada, while Messmer also contributed a pair of hits including a triple and drove in one. Volpe, Jones, Monaghan, Fortin, Janes, Adams and Alexis Huggart (Treherne, Man.) all singled as Canada produced 11 hits. Brianna Aguilar-Beaucage (Fort McMurray, Alta.) suffered the loss, allowing six runs (two earned) on five hits in an inning and two thirds. Bilodeau held Puerto Rico to four hits and struck out six in four innings and a third of relief.
The loss eliminated Canada from tournament, while Puerto Rico moves on to face Japan in the Bronze medal game at 9:30am EDT. The winner of that game will advance to the Gold medal game against the United States at 11:30am EDT.
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