Canada Drops Two Games at Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship

July 20, 2013

Surrey, BC

(Surrey, BC) The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team dropped a pair of games at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship yesterday, losing 7-6 to Venezuela and 8-5 to the United States. Team Canada came back from a pair of deficits to take the lead in the top of the seventh against Venezuela, but allowed two runs in the bottom of the inning, while they fell behind 5-0 to the United States and were unable to come all the way back.

In the first game against Venezuela, Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) led off the top of the first with a single but was caught stealing, and Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, NY) later hit a two-out single but the next batter grounded out. Venezuela opened the scoring in the bottom of the frame on a single by Jineth Pimentel to score Maria Soto, and Pimentel later scored on a groundout to give Venezuela an early 2-0 lead.

After both teams were retired in order in the second, Canada came back to tie the game in the top of the third. Brittany Hicks (Dundas, ON) reached on an error and scored on a triple by Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON), who went on to score on a single by Lever. However, Venezuela came roaring back with three in the bottom of the inning on a bases loaded double by Geraldine Puertas to clear the bases and give Venezuela the 5-2 lead. Canada got singles by Sara Hopwood (Surrey, BC) and Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, ON) in the top of the fourth, but a pair of fielder’s choice left two runners stranded.

Both teams went down quickly in the fifth, and Canada chipped away at the lead by scoring a run in the top half of the sixth. Jenny Gilbert (Saskatoon, SK) led off the inning with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch and after a walk to Jenn Yee (North Delta, BC), scored on a single by Wideman to cut the lead to 5-3. Canada then loaded the bases with a single by Erika Polidori (Brantford, ON) with only one out, but the next two batters were retired on a pop out and a ground out to leave the bases loaded.

Down by two runs heading into the seventh inning, Hayward got things started for Team Canada with a leadoff single and was sacrificed to second by Lever. After a pair of walks loaded the bases, Yee hit a three-run double to give Canada 6-5 lead. However, Yuruby Alicart tied the game on a solo homerun with one out in the bottom of the seventh and Venezuela quickly loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a single. Milagros Lozada then hit a walk-off single to end the game.

Box score and play-by-play: Canada 6 vs. Venezuela 7

Jenna Caira (Toronto, ON) started the game in the pitcher’s circle for Canada, yielding five runs on three hits with two strikeouts in three innings of work. Sara Plourde (Fredericton, NB) took over for Caira to start the fourth, and allowed two runs on five hits in three innings and a third of relief. Canada outhit Venezuela 11-8, with Hayward, Wideman and Lever each connecting for two hits and a run batted in, while Yee delivered a three-run double. Other hits went to Lye, Gilbert, Hopwood and Polidori.

Against the United States, Canada went down in order in the top of the first inning before USA opened the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the frame, highlighted by a two-run single by Nicole Hudson. Canada got a pair of one-out singles by Hopwood and Lever the following inning, but a fly out and a strikeout ended any chance to score. Team USA padded its lead with two more runs in the bottom of the third on a run-scoring single by Valerie Arioto and an RBI double by Hudson to give USA the 5-0 lead.

However, Canada responded by scoring a pair of runs to start the fourth inning to trim the lead to 5-2. Yee hit a leadoff single and Gilbert walked, with both runners advancing on a ground out. Lever hit a single to score Yee from third, and Gilbert went on to score on a wild pitch later in the inning. The Americans got one of those runs right back on an RBI single by Amanda Chidester in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the fifth, Vicky Rumph (Mount Forest, ON) led off with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, BC). Franklin was sacrificed to second and scored on by Hayward. Gilbert later hit a two-out single to put two runners on base, but the next batter grounded out. Team USA had an answer once again as Lindsey Ziegenhirt launched a solo homerun to put the Americans up 7-3 after five innings of play.

Canada came back with two runs in the top of the sixth. Wideman reached on an error and moved up to third on a double by Polidori, and both runners scored on a single by Rumph to cut the lead to 7-5. Lauren Gibson hit a solo homerun in the bottom of the sixth for the United States, and Canada put two runners on base with singles by Hopwood and Lever in the top of the seventh, but could not get any closer.

Box score and play-by-play: Canada 5 vs. United States 8

Canadian pitcher Marina Demore (Richmond, BC) started the game and allowed five runs on five hits with two strikeouts in two innings and a third, and Jocelyn Cater (Delta, BC) pitched an inning and two thirds of relief, allowing one run on one hit with a strike out. Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, BC) pitched the last two innings, allowing two runs on two hits with a strikeout. Despite the loss, Canada outhit the United States 12-8, led by Lever who was three-for-four with a run batted in. Hopwood and Rumph each registered two hits, while Lye, Hayward, Yee, Gilbert and Polidori each added a hit.

The two losses dropped Canada tournament record to 2-3 while Venezuela improved to 2-3 and the United States finished the preliminary round unbeaten at 5-0. In other score on Friday, Australia (3-2) defeated the California A’s (2-3) by a score of 4-1 and Japan (1-4) 3-1. Canada finished fourth in the preliminary round, and will take on Venezuela at 3:30pm PDT with the winner advancing to play the United States at 8:30pm PDT. The other playoff games on Saturday will see the California A’s taking on Japan at 1:00pm PDT, with the winner of that game taken on Australia at 6:30pm PDT.

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