Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, BC) allowed only four hits and fired 14 strikeouts to lead Canada to the win in the pitcher’s circle, while the Canadian offence struck for two runs in the first inning and added two insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth.
In the top of the first inning, Great Britain put a runner on base with a two-out walk, but Groenewegen struck out the next batter. In the bottom of the frame, leadoff batter and Ancaster Bishop Tonnos graduate Aspen Searle lined a pitch past the third baseman for a single and quickly scored on double to left-center field gap by Chelsea Jenner (Abbotsford, BC).
Later in the inning, Miranda Castiglione (Brampton) singled through the right side of the infield to score Jenner from second and give Canada an early 2-0 lead. After Groenewegen retired Great Britain in order in the second, Canada quickly loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a single. However, the next two batters hit ground balls on the infield for force outs at home plate, and a third ground ball to second base was misplayed by the second baseman, allowing a run to score.
Great Britain loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the third, but Groenewegen notched her third strikeout of the inning to end the threat. Canada went down in order in the bottom of the inning, and the fourth inning went by quickly with Groenewegen striking out three more and Canada was retired in order once again.
Great Britain notched a single to start the fifth inning, but the runner was left stranded at first after a pair of fly outs and a strikeout.
Jordan Beck (Vancouver) drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the inning and Castiglione reached on an error before both runners advanced on a ground out. After a fly out to second base, Emma Entzminger (Victoria, BC) delivered a two-out, two-run single in to short right-center field to increase the lead to 5-0. Groenewegen finished strong by retiring the last six batters in order to end the game.
Searle led Team Canada offensively with three hits, while Jenner added a double and a single. Castiglione and Entzminger rounded out Canada’s seven hits.
Team Canada improved to 2-0 as their earlier scheduled game against Venezuela was not played due to their withdrawal from the event. The red and white will next play Czech Republic (0-2) followed by Korea (1-0).
In other action on the first day of competition, USA defeated Great Britain 10-0 in four innings, Puerto Rico blanked the Czech Republic 8-0 in five innings before being edged 2-1 by New Zealand in eight innings, Mexico powered past Singapore 15-0 in three innings, Brazil beat Botswana 11-1 in five innings, Australia blanked the Netherlands 7-0 in six innings, Japan got by China by a 1-0 score and Korea shut down the Czech Republic 5-0.