Saturday, July 14, 2012 7:17 AM
July 13, 2012
(Whitehorse, YK) The Canadian Women`s National Team kicked off its ISF XIII Women's World Championship schedule with a 6-0 win over Chinese Taipei. Jenna Caira (Toronto, ON) fired a three-hitter at Taipei, using her masterful changeup to keep opposing hitters off balance throughout the game, while Melanie Matthews (Surrey, BC) sparked the offence with a pair of homeruns as Canada pounded out 12 hits.
In the top of the first inning, Canada's first two hitters were retired and the team was then able to load the bases on two walks and a fielder's choice, but the red and white could not score. The following inning, Jenny Gilbert (Saskatoon, SK) and Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) each singled, but Canada was not able to bring them in either. Team Canada threatened once again in the third with the two first batters reaching base. Sheena Lawrick (Calgary, AB) then drove a pitch off the centerfield fence, but miscommunication at third base led to the lead runner being thrown out at the plate and the two next batters were also retired, keeping the game scoreless.
Meanwhile, Caira made quick work of the Taipei hitters, sitting them down in order through the first three innings. In the bottom of the fourth, the leadoff batter ripped a ball down the third base line that rolled all the way to the corner for a triple. However, Caira struck out the next batter followed by a failed bunt with two strikes, and induced a ground ball right back to her to leave the runner on third.
Canada finally opened the scoring in the top of the fifth inning when Matthews launched a leadoff homerun to centerfield. Jenn Yee (North Delta, BC) and Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) followed that up with singles, but were left stranded on base. The red and white then added some insurance the following inning when Matthews smashed her second homerun of the game, a two-run shot to deep right-center field to increase the lead to 3-0.
In the top of the seventh, Lawrick led off with a single and Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON) reached on a fielder's choice, with both runners safe on the play. After Caitlin Lever (Buffalo, NY) dropped a perfect drag bunt to load the bases, Gilbert hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score the fourth Canadian run. A walk then loaded the bases again, and Hayward hit a ground ball to second base with the fielder trying to tag the runner heading to second. The runner made a smart play by stopping, and the throw to first was not in time to get Hayward and two runs ended up scoring on the aggressive base running to give Canada a commanding 6-0 lead. Caira allowed a leadoff single, but struck out the next batter, forced a fielder's choice and then struck out the following hitter to end the game.
Caira earned the complete game shutout win, allowing only three hits and firing nine strikeouts. Matthews connected with a pair of homeruns and three runs batted in, while Lye collected three hits. Lawrick and Gilbert each added two hits, while Yee, Lever and Hayward all contributed with one.
Box score and play by play: Canada 6 vs. Chinese Taipei 0
Canada (1-0) will return to action on Saturday night when they take on Mexico (0-1) at 7:00pm PDT at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse.
In other action on Day 1, New Zealand defeated Mexico 7-3, Puerto Rico doubled the Czech Republic 4-2, the United States shut out Venezuela 7-0, Argentina beat South Africa 8-3, Japan got by Australia by a score of 3-1, Italy blanked Great Britain 4-0, and China edged the Netherlands 3-2 in eight innings.
How to Follow Team Canada
Softball Canada Website: http://www.softball.ca
2012 Team Canada Media Guide: http://www.softballcanada.info/2012TeamCanadaMediaGuide.pdf
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