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Softball Canada – (Surrey, B.C.) The Canadian Women’s National Team split a pair of games at the Canada Cup on Friday, dropping a 7-5 decision to Australia before rebounding with a 9-2 win over Canada Elite. In the first game, Australia built a 7-1 lead after two innings with Canada’s comeback bid coming up short, while Team Canada put the second game out of reach with five runs in the bottom of the six against Canada Elite.
 
The red and white opened the scoring in the top of the first against Australia, as Kelsey Jenkins (Delta, B.C.) led off with a single, moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt and later scored on a single by Victoria Hayward (Toronto, Ont.). However, Australia responded right away by scoring four runs in their own half of the first, getting three RBI singles with a fourth run scoring on an error. The Aussies added three runs to their lead the following inning on a three-run blast by Stacey Porter to build an early 7-1 lead. Jenkins got things started again with a single in the third and later scored on a single by Holly Speers (Surrey, B.C.), followed by singles by Hayward and Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, Ont.) to load the bases, but the next batter struck out to end the inning.
 
Team Canada closed the gap in the fourth, with Carey-Leigh Vyse (Ohsweken, Ont.) drawing a leadoff walk followed by singles by Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, B.C.) and Joey Lye (Toronto, Ont.) to load the bases with one out. After a strikeout for the second out, Speers smashed a base-clearing double to reduce Australia’s lead to 7-5. In the sixth, Canada got a leadoff single by Jenkins and she was sacrificed to second and moved up to third on a wild pitch, but a strikeout left her stranded. The following inning, Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, Ont.) hit a one-out single with Sarah Chow (Victoria, B.C.) pinch running for her, and she moved up to second on a wild pitch but Australia was able to end the game with a pair of strikeouts.
 
Box Score: Canada 5 vs. Australia 7
 
Speers led Canada offensively by going two-for-two with a double and four runs batted in, with Jenkins getting on base with three singles. Hayward contributed a pair of singles and drove in a run with other hits going to Lye, Wideman, Rafter, Vyse and Franklin. Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, B.C.) was tagged for seven runs on six hits in an inning and a third before giving way to Jenna Caira (Toronto, Ont.), who held Australia scoreless on five hits and striking out four in four innings of relief. Sara Plourde (Baker Lake, N.B.) pitched two thirds of an inning without allowing a hit.
 
In the game against Canada Elite, Team Canada opened the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the first when Jenkins reached on an error and was sacrificed to second before Speers hit a two-run homerun. Canada Elite cut the lead in half in the second, as Victoria Rumph (Mount Forest, Ont.) led off with a double, moved up to third on a passed ball and scored on a groundout by Taylor Lundrigan (Abbotsford, B.C.). The following inning, the Elite team tied the game as Janet Leung (Mississauga, Ont.) led off with a single and advanced to second safely on an error by the third baseman as Aspen Searle (Branford, Ont.) reached on the fielder’s choice. Logan White (Brantford, Ont.) singled to center but Leung was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second, with Searle then crossing the plate on a single by Emma Entzminger (Victoria, B.C.) to knot the game at 2-2.
 
Team Canada regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the third, with Erika Polidori (Brantford, Ont.) hitting a two-out triple and scoring on a single by Speers. The following inning, Canada got a leadoff single by Wideman who was sacrificed over to second and moved to third on a groundout before scoring on a triple by Jenkins to give Team Canada a 4-2 lead. Polidori and Speers each singled in the fifth but were unable to add to Canada’s lead.
 
Rumph hit a one-out single for Canada Elite in the top of the seventh and moved up to second on a passed ball, but she was left stranded after a pair of strikeouts. Team Canada put the game away in the bottom of the frame, with Franklin hitting a two-out single and scoring on a double by Jenkins who crossed the plate on a single by Lye. Polidori singled in a run before scoring on a homerun by Speers to end the game on the run rule.
 
Box Score: Canada 9 vs. Canada Elite 2
 
Speers was perfect again at the plate, going four-for-four with two homeruns and five runs batted in, with Jenkins adding a triple and a double to drive in two runs. Polidori contributed three hits including an RBI triple, with Lye, Wideman and Franklin each chipping in with a single in Canada’s 14 hit attack. Plourde picked up the win for Canada, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and struck out five over five innings, with Caira the game out with a hit and two strikeouts.
 
For the Elite team, Rumph had a double and a single, Entzminger provided an RBI single with White and Leung each hitting a single to round out their five hits. Kenzie Friesen (Saskatoon, Sask.) took the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits in two innings and two thirds. Jocelyn Cater (Delta, B.C.) pitched three innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while Ariane Capogreco (Terrebonne, Que.) allowed two runs on two hits.
 
Earlier in the day, Canada Elite dropped an 11-2 decision to Japan.
 
In Championship round playoff action, Team Canada will face the Philippines at 1:00pm PDT Saturday while Canada Elite will take on Venezuela at 3:30pm PDT.
 
In the Placement round robin, the Canadian Junior Women’s National Team defeated U21 Team BC 8-1 in five innings as Kara Bilodeau (Cumming, Ga.) fired a two-hitter. Rebecca Jones (Toronto, Ont.) and Abbey Fortin (Surrey, B.C.) each had two hits including a homerun to pace the offence. The Junior team will face the Calahoo Erins at 3:30pm PDT in playoff action on Saturday.

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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