Canada fifth at women’s world softball championship

The Canadian national team could not improve on its result from 2007, finishing fifth at the 2011 ISF IX Junior Women’s World Championships after losing a tough 2-1 decision to Chinese Taipei. The setback eliminated Canada with a 6-3 record.

Canada outhit Taipei 6-4 and had at least one runner on base in each of the seven innings but could only manage a first inning run. Taipei managed to put two hits back-to-back and scored both their runs in the bottom of the third inning.

Canada’s lone run came when Jennifer Gilbert (Saskatoon) led the game off with a single up the middle and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Victoria Hayward (Toronto). Erika Polidori (Brantford) walked and Jaycee Affeldt (Maple Ridge, BC) followed with a soft line drive down the left field line to score Gilbert. With two runners on, Carey-Leigh Thomas (Ohsweken) stepped up and drilled a line drive right at the Taipei left fielder for the second out. Natalie Wideman (Mississauga) ended the inning with a ground ball to second base.

Madison Schreyer (Winnipeg) started for Canada and gave up a first inning walk but got the next two outs to end the inning. In the top of the second, Kristy Noble (Uxbridge, ON) drew a one-out walk but was thrown out trying to steal second. Taipei hit a one-out triple that landed on the right field line, but Schreyer got the next two batters to ground out to end the threat.

In the third, Canada got a two-out single from Polidori but could not move her any further. In the bottom of the inning, Taipei scored its two runs. They led off with a ground ball single off Schreyer and scored their first run on a double to left center field. After a sacrifice moved the runner to third, Jaycee Affeldt came in the pitch for Canada. Unfortunately, the next play would end up being Canada’s downfall. Taipei tried a squeeze and missed the bunt, and Natalie Wideman fired the ball to Carey-Leigh Thomas who got the Taipei runner in a rundown. The runner tried to dive back to third in which Thomas looked like she had made the tag before the runner had gotten back to the bag but the umpire called the runner safe on a very close play. The next batter hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score the runner from third and Taipei took a 2-1 lead.

In the fourth, Canada got a leadoff single from Thomas who was moved to second by a Wideman bunt, but Shannon Davidson (Whitby, ON grounded out to second and Noble lined out to center field to end the threat. Affeldt sent Taipei down in order in the fourth.

Canada loaded the bases in the fifth. With one out, Gilbert was hit by a pitch, Hayward singled to left center field and Polidori popped up to second before Affeldt flew out to right field on a full count pitch but the 20-second clock had expired and a ball was called to put Affeldt on first and load the bases. Thomas came up to bat and flew out to right field to end the threat.

Canada got a runner on with two outs in the seventh as Polidori’s hard hit ground ball could not be handled by the Taipei third baseman and she was safe at first. Affeldt came up and ended the game with fly ball to right field.