Canada squeezes Kiwis in fastpitch tourney

After earning a Bronze medal at the US World Cup of Softball VII on Monday in Oklahoma City, the Canadian Women’s National Team was back in action Wednesday (July 4) and easily dispatched New Zealand, 11-1, at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship in Surrey, B.C.

The red and white took advantage of five New Zealand errors and won their opening game in three innings on the run-ahead rule.

Team Canada opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, Jenn Yee (North Delta, B.C.) was hit by a pitch and scored all the way from first on a throwing error. The following inning, Canada added two more runs on a single by Joey Lye (Toronto), scoring Heather Ebert (Rosthern, SK) and Victoria Hayward (Toronto).

After New Zealand scored a run in the top of the third, Canada exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the frame, taking advantage of four errors. Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph) started things off with a leadoff double, and advanced to third on a single by Sheena Lawrick (Calgary). Kelsey Haberl (Burnaby, B.C.) then singled to load the bases, and Carey-Leigh Thomas (Ohsweken) hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score Rafter. Lawrick scored on an error, and Hayward singled which allowed Haberl to cross the plate on an error by the third baseman on the play. Ebert then scored on an error by the left fielder, and Lye walked to load the bases. A passed ball allowed Hayward to score from third, and Yee singled to score Jenny Gilbert (Saskatoon) and Lye. After yet another error, Lawrick delivered a single to score Yee from third, giving Canada an 11-1 run rule win in three innings.

In the pitcher’s circle, Karissa Hovinga (Edmonton) earned the win, allowing one run on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts in three innings pitched. Lawrick led Canada with a pair of hits, while Lye, Yee, Rafter, Haberl and Hayward each had one.

Other scores on day one of the tournament saw Japan defeated New Zealand 7-0 and the United States edged Venezuela 5-4. Australia also blanked Puerto Rico 13-0. Canada (1-0) was scheduled to play Japan on Thursday night.