Tuesday, July 10, 2012 7:53 AM
July 9, 2012
(Surrey, BC) A week after losing to Canada in the Bronze medal game of the US World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, the Aussies returned the favour by defeating Canada by a score of 7-0 in six innings to win the Bronze medal at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship. Both teams will now make their way to Whitehorse where they will play in the same pool of the ISF XIII Women's World Championship, which is set to begin on Friday.
Australia was able to put some pressure in the top of the first inning. The second Aussie batter drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on a single. However, Canadian pitcher Madison Schreyer (Winnipeg, MB) struck out the next batter and induced a fly ball to left field to end the threat. Team Canada also got off to a good start, as leadoff batter Melanie Matthews (Surrey, BC) hit the first pitch she saw into centerfield for a single, but was out at second on a fielder's choice to third base. The two next batters were retired to end the inning.
Schreyer retired the Aussies in order in the second and third innings, but ran into some trouble in the top of the fourth as Australia opened the scoring with five runs. After the leadoff batter reached on an error on a sinking line drive to right field, the next hitter dropped a sacrifice bunt that was picked up and thrown quickly to first, but the ball was in the runner's path and was knocked loose on a minor collision at the bag. A walk loaded the bases, and the following batter singled up the middle to score two runs. After a groundout moved the runners to second and third, the next batter hit a triple to the right field wall to push the lead to 4-0. Jocelyn Cater (Delta, BC) came out in relief of Schreyer, and forced a slow ground ball to second for an infield hit, allowing the runner to score from third.
Meanwhile, Canada was able to get a runner on base in the second and third innings, but was not able to move them around to score. In the bottom of the fourth, Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON) drew a two-out walk, Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, NY) singled through the left side and Carey-Leigh Thomas (Ohsweken, ON) also forced a walk to load the bases, chasing Aussie starter Justine Smethurst from the game. The pitching change paid off, as the next batter flew out to centerfield to end the threat.
Australia added to their lead in the fifth. After a leadoff walk, Cater was able to retire the two next batters, but then threw a wild pitch that allowed the runner to move up to second followed by an RBI single to increase the lead to 6-0. The following inning, Australia loaded the bases with one out before Karissa Hovinga (Edmonton, AB) was called on to relieve Cater in the pitcher's circle. A sacrifice fly scored Australia's seventh run before Hovinga struck out the next batter to end the inning.
Needing at least a run to extend the game, Sheena Lawrick (Calgary, AB) earned a leadoff walk and was replaced on the bases by Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, BC). Rafter then singled up the middle, and the next batter grounded out to the right side to move the runners up to second and third. However, the next batter struck out followed by a ground out to end the game on the run-ahead rule.
Schreyer took the loss, allowing five runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks with one strikeout in three innings and two thirds. Cater pitched an inning and two thirds, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with a strikeout, while Hovinga pitched two thirds of an inning with a strikeout. Caitlin Lever had two hits for Canada, with Matthews, Lye and Rafter each adding one.
Box score and play by play: Canada 0 vs. Australia 7
Team Canada will open its ISF XIII Women's World Championship schedule on Friday when they will face New Zealand at 7:30pm PDT.
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