Canadian Women’s Softball Team Eliminated from Canada Cup
Softball Canada – (Surrey, B.C.) The Canadian Women’s National Team was eliminated from the Canada Cup International Softball Championship following a 6-3 loss to the Philippines on Saturday. The Philippines jumped on Canada early by scoring five runs in the first two innings, while the Canadian offence only got going late in the game and ultimately fell short.
In the top of the first inning, the Philippines got a leadoff walk and a single before Kailee Cuico hit a three-run homerun to give them a quick 3-0 lead. Canada got two baserunners in the bottom of the frame on a walk and a hit by pitch but a pair of fly outs and a fielder’s choice left two runners on base. In the second, Canada retired the first two Filipina batters but the next two singled before both scoring on a double as the Philippines increased their early lead to 5-0. After both teams were retired in order in the third, Canada got into the hit column in the bottom half of the fourth when Holly Speers (Surrey, B.C.) and Victoria Hayward (Toronto, Ont.) each hit one-out singles. However, a fly out to center and a pop out to shortstop kept them off the scoreboard.
The Philippines added to its lead in the top of the fifth, getting a pair of singles to start the inning and scoring one on another single after Canada had turned a double play. Team Canada got a one-out single by Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, B.C.) in the bottom of the inning but was unable to move her any further. The red and white got on the board in the bottom of the sixth, as Erika Polidori (Brantford, Ont.) led off with a single and scored on a double by Speers. A walk by Carey-Leigh Vyse (Ohsweken, Ont.) and a single by Sarah Chow (Victoria, B.C.) loaded the bases with one out, with Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, Ont.) driving in a run with a sacrifice fly to right field to reduce the lead to 6-2 but the next batter flew out to left.
In the top of the seventh, the Philippines got a leadoff single but Canadian reliever Jenna Caira (Toronto, Ont.) came in and struck out the next three batters to hold the score where it was. In the bottom of the frame, Kelsey Jenkins (Delta, B.C.) led off with a double followed by a single by Joey Lye (Toronto, Ont.) with Speers drawing a walk to once again load the bases with one out. A fielder’s choice scored Canada’s third run, but the next batter popped out to the catcher to end the game.
Box Score: Canada 3 vs. Philippines 6
Speers led Canada at the plate with a double, a single, a walk and a run batted in, while Jenkins chipped in with a double and scored a run. Team Canada got singles from Lye, Polidori, Hayward, Chow and Franklin as they were outhit by the Philippines 9-8. Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, B.C.) was saddled with the loss, allowing five runs on four hits and two walks while striking out three in an inning and two thirds. Karissa Hovinga (Edmonton, Alta.) gave up a run on four hits with four strikeouts in four innings and a third of relief, while Caira struck out three in an inning of work.
The loss eliminated Canada from the tournament, with the Philippines advancing to face Puerto Rico.
Meanwhile, the Canada Elite team was also eliminated from the tournament following an 8-5 loss to Venezuela. The Elite team built an early 4-0 lead but saw Venezuela claw back to tie the game in the fifth. After Canada regained a one-run lead in the bottom of the fifth, Venezuela tied the game with an RBI double in the top of the seventh and followed that up with a three-run homerun.
In the Placement round playoff, the Canadian Junior Women’s National Team kept rolling with a 2-0 win over the Calahoo Erins. Kara Bilodeau (Fort McMurray, Alta.) fired a two-hitter, while Emma Adams (Rockwood, Ont.) drove in the winning run with a single in the top of the second with Grace Messmer (Surrey, B.C.) adding an insurance marker in the fifth. Team Canada will face Chinese Taipei at 10:30am PDT on Sunday in the 1 vs. 2 playoff game, with the winning team advancing to the Placement round final at 6:00pm PDT. The losing team will take on the winner of a game between U21 Team BC and the NJCAA National Team at 3:30pm PDT for another opportunity to reach the Gold medal game.
In other Canada Cup news, a pair of Team Canada athletes were named to the tournament All-Star team, as Canadian Junior Women’s National Team catcher Maria Palmegiani (Surrey, B.C.) and Women’s National Team first baseman Holly Speers (Surrey, B.C.) earned those honours.
The Women’s National Team will now set its sights on the IX Women’s Softball Pan American Championship which will take place August 4-13 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. For their part, the Junior Women’s National Team will play in the WBSC Junior Women’s World Softball Championship scheduled from July 24-30 in Clearwater, Florida.
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