Team Canada Blanks Czech Republic at USA Softball International Cup
Softball Canada – Irvine, Calif. – The Canadian Women’s National Softball Team finished its preliminary round schedule with an 10-0 win over the Czech Republic in four innings, improving its record to 4-2. Team Canada sent ten batters to the plate in the second inning to score seven runs on the strength of five extra base hits to take the commanding lead and never looked back.
Jenny Gilbert (Saskatoon, Sask.) led off the top of the second with a double and advanced to third on an error by the centerfielder before scoring on a two-run homerun to left by Holly Speers (Surrey, B.C.). Janet Leung (Mississauga, Ont.) then dropped a one-out single over the second baseman followed by a fielder’s choice to put two runners on base before Kelsey Jenkins (Delta, B.C.) smashed a two-run double to center. Victoria Hayward (Toronto, Ont.) followed that up by beating out a bunt single and advanced to second when no one was covering the base to put runners on second and third. Jenn Salling (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) stepped up to the plate and drove both runners in to score by lifting a deep fly ball into the right field corner before scoring on a sacrifice fly to give Canada the 7-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Jenkins drew a leadoff walk and moved up to second on a single by Hayward but was retired at third on a fielder’s choice on a ground ball to the pitcher. Gilbert stroked a two-run double over the centerfielder and went on to score on a wild pitch later in the inning to increase Canada’s lead to 10-0. The Czech Republic got a pair of singles to begin the bottom of the fourth, but the next batter grounded into a double play from the pitcher to the third baseman and over to first followed by a strikeout to end the game.
Box Score: Canada 10 vs. Czech Republic 0
Karissa Hovinga (Edmonton, Alta.) and Sara Plourde (Baker Lake, N.-B.) split the pitching duties for Canada by each throwing two innings. Hovinga allowed one hit and struck out one to earn the win, with Plourde giving up three hits and striking out three batters. Speers connected with the two-run homerun and walked with Gilbert stroking two doubles and driving in two runs. Salling hit a two-run triple and Jenkins added a two-run double, with Hayward providing a double and a single and scoring twice. Leung picked up two hits including a triple.
Team Canada (4-2) will have a day off on Saturday before playing a placement round game on Sunday. They are locked in the third position in Pool B and will play in the fifth-place game at 1:30pm PDT on Sunday against an opponent that will be determined after the preliminary round concludes on Saturday.
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