Team Canada Improves to 5-1 at ISF Women’s World Softball Championship

August 21, 2014

Haarlem, Netherlands

Team Canada Improves to 5-1 at ISF Women’s
World Softball Championship

(Haarlem, Netherlands) The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team improved its record to 5-1 at the ISF XIV Women’s World Softball Championship with an 11-0 win in five innings against Russia. Canadian pitchers Karissa Hovinga (Edmonton, AB) and Sara Plourde (Fredericton, NB) limited Russia to four hits and combined to strike out eight batters, while Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON), Megan Timpf (Port Dover, ON) and Jenny Gilbert (Saskatoon, SK) each drove in two runs in the win.
Canada did not waste any time getting on the scoreboard, as Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) laid down a great drag bunt single that was thrown away at first, allowing her to race all the way around to third and immediately scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Gilbert. In the bottom of the first, Russia got a leadoff hit and the runner was sacrificed over to second, but Hovinga struck out the following batter and induced a ground ball to third to end the inning. After Canada went down in order in the top half of the second, Russia was able to threaten. Elena Povarova led off with a single and was sacrificed to second, later followed by a single to center that Povarova attempted to score on but stopped and retreated back to third, allowing Olesia Fedina to advance to second. However, Hovinga got a big strikeout to leave two runners in scoring position.
In the top of the third, Canada was able to add an insurance run to its lead. Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, ON) led off by lining a single over shortstop and was sacrificed over to second before Gilbert hit a double to the right-center field gap to push her in to score. Hovinga retired Russia in order on three groundouts in the bottom of the inning, and Canada added two more runs in the fourth. Rafter led off with a single and scored on a triple to right field by Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, NY). Carey-Leigh Thomas (Ohsweken, ON) followed with a single to left to score Lever, increasing the lead to 4-0.
Russia went down in order in the bottom half of the fourth before Canada exploded for seven runs the following inning. Timpf led off with a single and immediately scored on a towering homerun by Rafter over the left-center field fence. After a groundout, Thomas and Sara Hopwood (Richmond, BC) hit back-to-back singles followed by a walk by Wideman to load the bases. Erika Polidori (Brantford, ON) drew a walk to bring a run home, followed by a ground ball on the infield by Lye that the second baseman hesitated on and the throw to home was late as the run scored. Pinch hitter Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) singled to centerfield to push another run in to score, followed by another single by Timpf to score both Lye and Polidori, increasing Canada’s lead to 11-0. Plourde came on in relief of Hovinga to start the bottom of the fifth and two runners reached base on a single and an error, but Plourde struck out the next two batters to end the game.
Box Score: Canada 11 vs. Russia 0
Hovinga allowed three hits and struck out five in four innings of work, while Plourde allowed one hit and struck out three batters in one inning of relief. Rafter had a homerun, a single and two runs batted in for Canada, Gilbert had a double and drove in two runs and Timpf added a pair of singles and two runs batted in. Thomas chipped in with two singles and Lever added a triple, with Lye, Hayward, Hopwood, Wideman and Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, BC) each adding a single.
In other games on Wednesday at the ISF Women’s World Championship, China shut out New Zealand 7-0, Chinese Taipei edged Italy 1-0 in eight innings, Czech Republic defeated Puerto Rico 3-1, Australia blanked Botswana 17-0 in four innings, the United States shut out the Dominican Republic 10-0 in four innings, Japan blasted Cuba 9-0 and the Netherlands defeated Great Britain 9-3.
Team Canada (5-1) will be back in action tomorrow when they take on Cuba (3-3) at 6:30am EDT. Live scoring will be available on the event website at, with webstreaming available for purchase through

The event can also be followed on Facebook (World Championship Softball 2014) and Twitter (@WCSoftball2014).
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Gilles LeBlanc
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