Canada Opens 2018 WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship with Two Run Rule Wins

Canada Opens 2018 WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship with Two Run Rule Wins

3 August 2018 Gilles LeBlanc

2018 WBSC Womens

Chiba, Japan – The Canadian Women’s National Team started the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship with a pair of 7-0 run rule victories over Great Britain and Venezuela on Friday. Danielle Lawrie (Langley, B.C.) shut down Great Britain in the first game and got offensive support from the entire lineup, while Jenna Caira (Toronto, Ont.) fired a one-hitter against Venezuela and also got early run support, highlighted by a three-run homerun by Janet Leung (Mississauga, Ont.).
 
Team Canada did not waste any time jumping out to an early lead against Great Britain. Victoria Hayward (Toronto, Ont.) led off the bottom of the first with a double, followed by a walk to Erika Polidori (Brantford, Ont.) and a sacrifice bunt by Jenn Salling (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) before Kelsey Jenkins (Delta, B.C.) hit a sacrifice fly to center and Holly Speers (Surrey, B.C.) singled to right to give Canada a 2-0 lead. The following inning, Leung was hit by a pitch to start the inning, stole second and scored on an error by the catcher on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, B.C.). Another error by the catcher on the following play allowed Franklin to score. Hayward singled to put runners on first and second and they were moved ahead on a sacrifice bunt by Polidori before Salling hit a sacrifice fly to center to increase Canada’s lead to 5-0.
 
Lawrie got the start in the pitcher’s circle for Canada. She allowed a one-out single in the first, but that runner did not advance any further and sat Great Britain down in order in the second. Great Britain drew a leadoff walk in the top half of the third and later got a two-out single to put two runners on base, but Lawrie induced a ground ball back to her to keep them off the scoreboard. Team Canada added another run in the bottom of the third when Jenny Gilbert (Saskatoon, Sask.), Leung and Franklin all singled to load the bases with Gilbert crossing the plate on a fielder’s choice.
 
After a quick fourth inning, Great Britain got another leadoff walk in the top of the fifth, but that runner was doubled off at first after a caught fly ball behind shortstop. A single and a walk put two runners on base but a fielder’s choice to second ended the inning for Great Britain. In the bottom of the frame, Speers got a leadoff walk, was sacrificed to second, advanced to third on a single by Leung and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Franklin to end the game on the run rule.
 
Box Score: Canada 7 vs. Great Britain 0
 
Lawrie earned the win in the pitcher’s circle, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out four in four innings. Karissa Hovinga (Edmonton, Alta.) pitched the fifth inning, allowing a hit and a walk. At the plate, Hayward had a double and a single with Leung adding a pair of singles. Speers, Gilbert and Franklin each singled with Salling, Jenkins and Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, Ont.) each driving in a run.
 
Against Venezuela, Canada got on the board quickly once again with four runs in the top of the first. Hayward led off with a walk and advanced to third on single to right by Salling before Speers reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Hayward. Salling and Speers moved up to second and third on a ground out before Leung stepped up and delivered a three-run homerun to right-center field to give Canada a quick 4-0 lead. Venezuela threatened to score with a single and a walk in the bottom of the second, but Caira notched a big strikeout and forced a pop out to short center to leave to runners stranded on base.
 
Team Canada added a run to its lead in the top of the third when Speers led off with a single, advanced to third on an error and scored on a single to left by Gilbert. Venezuela was retired in order in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings, with Canada going on to add two runs in the top of the sixth. Rafter got a leadoff walk with Emma Entzminger (Victoria, B.C.) coming in to pinch run. After Entzminger advanced to second on a wild pitch, Franklin reached on an error and both runners were sacrificed ahead by Hayward. Polidori then drilled a two-run single to center to increase Canada’s lead to 7-0 and put the run rule in effect. Caira got a strikeout and a pair of ground outs in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
 
Box Score: Canada 7 vs. Venezuela 0
 
Caira fired a one-hitter for Canada, walking only one and striking out six batters in six innings. Leung had the big three-run shot, with Speers getting a double and a run-scoring single. Polidori had a pair of singles and drove in two while Gilbert and Salling each contributed singles.
 
Team Canada (2-0) will return to action on Saturday against Italy (0-1) at 3:30pm JST (2:30am EDT). Live scoring is available through the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship website, with live streaming available at FloSoftball.com (paid subscription required).
 
In other Group B action, Japan blanked Italy 9-0 in the opening game on Thursday night, Australia defeated Venezuela 7-1, China shut out Australia 1-0 and Japan powered past Botswana 20-0. Chinese Taipei currently leads Group A after a 21-0 win over South Africa and a 7-4 victory over New Zealand, the United States opened their tournament with a 5-2 win over Mexico, Puerto Rico edged the Netherlands 6-5 and the Philippines blanked South Africa 10-0.