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Softball Canada – Chiba, Japan – The Canadian Women’s National Team finished third place in Group B after defeating Botswana 22-0 in three inning at the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship. All nine Canadian starters registered hits and drove in runs, while Karissa Hovinga (Edmonton, Alta.) held Botswana to one hit and struck out eight in three innings.
Team Canada struck for 15 runs in the bottom of the first inning. Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, B.C.) and Joey Lye (Toronto, Ont.) started the inning with walks before scoring on a three-run homerun by Erika Polidori (Brantford, Ont.). After two more walks, Nicole Schroeder (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Kelsey Jenkins (Delta, B.C.) both hit run-scoring singles before Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, Ont.) double to center to score two more runs and give Canada a 7-0 lead. After a single by Franklin, Lye laced a two-run double to left and scored on another double to left by Polidori. Holly Speers (Surrey, B.C.) followed with Canada’s third consecutive double to push Polidori to the plate, with Jenny Gilbert (Saskatoon, Sask.) blasting a two-run shot to left-center field. Canada loaded the bases on singles by Schroeder and Emma Entzminger (Victoria, B.C.) and a walk before Wideman singled home a run and Franklin brought another one in to score on a sacrifice fly.
In the second inning, Canada loaded the bases with one out on a walk, an error and a single by Schroeder. Jenkins drove in a run with a single, with a second one coming in to score on an error by the left fielder on the play. An error by the second baseman on the very next play scored another run for Canada, with Wideman then producing an RBI single. Franklin tripled inside the right field line to score two more runs and crossed the plate on a single by Lye to make the score 22-0. Hovinga struck out the side in the top of the third to end the game on the run rule.
Box Score: Canada 22 vs. Botswana 0
Hovinga allowed a single in the first and a walk in the second, striking out eight batters in the three-inning shutout win. Polidori led Canada at the plate by going 3-for-3 with a homerun, a double and four runs batted in, while Wideman also went 3-for-3 with a double and four RBIs and Schroeder was 3-for-3 with three runs and a run batted in. Gilbert had a two-run homerun, Franklin had two hits including a triple and drove in three runs, Lye added a double and a single to drive in three runs and Jenkins produced two runs with a pair of singles. Speers doubled and drove in one while Entzminger singled and produced a run.
Canada improved its record to 5-2 and is locked in to third place in Group B after China (4-3) lost 7-0 to Italy (4-3) to miss out on a playoff spot. Japan (6-0) and Australia (5-1) were set to square off in a battle for first place in Group B on Wednesday night, but the game was moved to Thursday due to a typhoon in the area. Team Canada (5-2) will play its first playoff game at 12:30pm JST on Friday (11:30pm EDT on Thursday) against the fourth-place team in Group A. That team has yet to be determined, with Chinese Taipei currently holding the spot with a 3-4 record but both the Netherlands (2-4) and the Philippines (2-4) have one game left to be played.
Rain postponed a good amount of games on Wednesday, with the only other completed games seeing the United States lock up first place in Group A with an 8-1 win over Puerto Rico, Mexico earned third place in Group B with a 4-3 win over Chinese Taipei and Italy knocked out China with a 7-0 win to take fourth place in Pool B.


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Gilles LeBlanc
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