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Softball Canada – (Surrey, BC) The Canadian Women’s National Team moved on at the WBSC Women’s World Softball Championship with a tight 4-3 win over China. Lauren Bay Regula (Trail, BC) and Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, BC) provided solid pitching while Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) delivered a clutch bases-loaded triple to lead Team Canada to victory, eliminating China from the event in the process.
Regula retired China in order in the top of the first inning, while Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON) got Canada in the hit column with a single on a line drive over the shortstop but was left on base when the next batter grounded out. China was able to open the scoring in the top of the second when Ying Lu took a low pitch deep to right field for a leadoff homerun.
Canada got things going offensively with two outs in the bottom of the second. Carey-Leigh Thomas (Ohsweken, ON) and Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, ON) each connected with singles before Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, BC) chopped a ball to second base and forced a quick throw that pulled the first baseman off the bag to load the bases. Hayward then stepped up and drove a 2-0 pitch to the right field corner to clear the bases with a three-run triple. Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) followed with a squeeze bunt and just beat the throw to first to allow Hayward to score from third, giving Canada a 4-1 lead.
China managed to get one run back in the top of the third with a two-out rally of their own. Jing Zhao hit a single, stole second and advanced to third when the throw from the catcher went into centerfield before scoring on a single through the left side of the infield to cut the lead to 4-2. China then kept chipping away at the lead by scoring another run in the top half of the fourth. A leadoff double brought Groenewegen in to relieve Regula, but a single put runners on the corners before the following batter dropped a two-strike safety squeeze to score the runner from third and cut the lead to 4-3.
Wideman singled with one out in the bottom of the fourth but was erased at second on a shallow line drive that dropped just in front of the centerfielder. Groenewegen struck out the side in the top of the fifth, and got two more strikeouts in the sixth to retire China quickly. Jen Yee (North Delta, BC) hit a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth but a ground out and a line drive got China out of the inning. Groenewegen fielded a ground ball back to her and struck out two in the top of the seventh to seal the one-run win.
Box Score: Canada 4 vs. China 3
Regula allowed three runs – two earned – on five hits and two strikeouts in three innings of work, while Groenewegen registered the four inning save allowing only one hit and striking out eight. Hayward had the key three-run triple for Canada at the plate, with Wideman contributing a pair of singles and other hits going to Lye, Rafter, Yee and Thomas.
With the win, Canada moves on to face to losing team from the game between Japan and Mexico scheduled for 5:00pm PDT. That game will take place at 12:30pm PDT on Saturday. Earlier on Friday, the Netherlands defeated New Zealand 8-2 to advance to face the losing team of the game between the United States and Venezuela which will take place tonight at 7:30pm PDT.



For more information, please contact:

Gilles LeBlanc
Manager – Marketing and Communications
Softball Canada
Cell: (613) 797-7171