Japan Hands Canada its First Loss at Canadian Open

July 19, 2013

Surrey, BC

(Surrey, BC) The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team suffered its first loss of the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship last night with an 8-3 loss to Japan. Japan – the reigning world champions who won the Gold medal at last week’s World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City – got off to a slow start at the Canadian Open with three losses, but came back from a 3-0 deficit to score five run in the third and scored in the fifth and the sixth to earn their first win.

Team Canada jumped on Japan early with a pair of singles by Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) and Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) to start the game, but the next three batters were retired to leave two runners stranded on base. However, Canada would open the scoring the following inning as they loaded the bases with two outs on a walk by Vicky Rumph (Mount Forest, ON) and singles by Erika Polidori (Brantford, ON) and Lye before Hayward tripled to right-center field to clear the bases and give Canada a 3-0 lead.

The red and white put two more runners on base with singles by Sara Hopwood (Surrey, BC) and Kelsey Haberl (Burnaby, BC), but Canada hit into two ground outs to end the top of the third inning. In the bottom of the frame, Yuka Ichiguchi led off with a single for Japan and immediately scored on a double by Misato Kawano, who scored on a wild pitch. Yukiyo Mine later hit a two-run double before Japan added another run on a ground out to give Japan a 5-3 lead. Canada put two runners on base again with a pair of walks in the top of the fourth, but was unable to move the runners any further.

In the top of the fifth, Hopwood hit a leadoff single followed by a hit by pitch to Haberl, but Japan was once again able to get out of the inning without allowing a run. Natsuko Ono hit an RBI single in the bottom of the inning to increase the lead to 6-3. Team Canada then got two more runners on base on an error and a single by Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, NY), but a fly out and a ground out ended the threat. In the bottom of the frame, Kawano led off with a triple and later scored on a wild pitch and Misa Okubo hit a run-scoring single to round out the scoring for Japan. Canada put two more runners on base in the top of the seventh on an error and a single by Polidori, but could not get any closer as Japan won the game.

Box score and play-by-play: Canada 3 vs. Japan 8

In the pitcher’s circle, Sara Plourde (Fredericton, NB) took the loss for Canada, yielding five runs on four hits with one strikeout in two innings. Jocelyn Cater (Delta, BC) allowed three runs on four hits with two strikeouts in three innings of relief, while Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, BC) allowed one hit in one inning of work. Lye, Hayward, Hopwood and Polidori all registered two hits for Canada, with Lever and Haberl each chipping in with one. Team Canada left 13 runners on base as they were unable to get the big hits when they needed them.

With the loss, Canada dropped their record to 2-1, while Japan earned their first win and is now 1-3. Earlier in the day, the California A’s (2-2) defeated Japan 8-1 in six innings and USA (4-0) edged Australia (1-2) 5-4 in eight innings. The Americans later defeated Venezuela (1-3) 8-1 in five innings.

Canada will complete its preliminary round schedule with two games on Friday, taking on Venezuela at 1:00pm EDT followed by USA at 6:30pm PDT. The playoff round will begin on Saturday.

Live Pointstreak scoring is available for all tournament games, and live webstreaming is also available for the Women’s International division of the tournament at a cost of $4.99 for individual games or $19.99 for the tournament package. Visit the official tournament website at www.canadiaopenfastpitch.com for live scoring and webstream information.

For more information, please contact:

Gilles LeBlanc
Manager - Marketing and Communications
Softball Canada
(613) 523-3386 ext. 3105


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