Team Canada Opens WBSC Women’s World Softball Championship with Win over Great Britain
Softball Canada – (Surrey, BC) Team Canada opened the WBSC Women’s World Softball Championship with a hard-fought 3-0 win over Great Britain on Friday night. Jenn Salling (Port Coquitlam, BC) hit a homerun and drove in two runs, while the Canadian pitching tandem of Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, BC) and Lauren Bay Regula (Trail, BC) held the British bats in check.
After both teams went down in order in the first inning, Canada was able to get on the board first in the bottom of the second when Salling led off by smashing a deep fly ball to center that hit the centerfielder’s glove and landed on the other side of the fence for a solo homerun. The following inning, Carey-Leigh Thomas (Ohsweken, ON) led off with a soft line drive to center for a single followed by a bunt single by Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, BC), with the runners being sacrificed over to second and third. A bunt single by Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) loaded the bases, but a strikeout and a fly out left all three runners stranded for Canada.
Great Britain broke up Groenewegen’s no-hitter with two-out single in the top of the fourth but Groenewegen struck out the next batter. The next inning, Great Britain had its best chance to score as Regula came in to pitch and allowed back-to-back two-out singles to put runners on the corners, but the runner on first was caught stealing on a throw to second by Canadian catcher Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON). In the bottom of the frame, Franklin hit a one-out infield single to shortstop and stole second before Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) hit a soft liner into left field to score Franklin. Lye and Jen Yee (North Delta, BC) both singled to load the bases before Salling lifted a fly ball to left for a sacrifice fly and gave Canada a 3-0 lead. Regula took over from there, retiring Great Britain in order in each of the sixth and seventh innings to end the game.
Box Score: Canada 3 vs. Great Britain 0
Groenewegen allowed only one hit and struck out six in four innings to earn the win, while Regula gave up two hits and struck out four in three innings of relief. Salling had a homerun and drove in two runs, while Lye, Thomas and Franklin all singled twice. Hayward and Yee each chipped in with singles as well.
In other scores on a busy first day of competition, Brazil blanked Austria 11-0, Puerto Rico pounded India 25-0, Italy shut out Peru 5-0, Venezuela beat France 7-0, Uganda defeated Ireland 12-8, Switzerland edged Serbia 13-10, the Philippines shaded the Czech Republic 1-0, Cuba beat Greece 8-1, the United States powered past Israel 15-0, Mexico upset Australia 2-0, Chinese Taipei blanked Ecuador 11-0 and New Zealand blasted Kenya 28-0.
Team Canada (1-0) will play its next game against Ireland (0-1) at 7:30pm PDT on Saturday.
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