Irvine, Calif. – The Canadian Junior Women’s National Softball Team will play for the bronze medal at the 2019 WBSC U-19 Women’s World Cup after defeating Puerto Rico 5-4 in its final Super Round game on Friday. The bronze medal game between Canada and Australia will be played at 11:00am PDT (2:00pm EDT) on Saturday.
Team Canada got on the board early against Puerto Rico, with leadoff batter Kendra Falby (Tampa, Fla.) hitting an infield single, stealing second and moving up to third on a bunt single by Megan Duclos (St-Eustache, Que.) before scoring on an illegal pitch. Later in the inning, Rebecca Jones (Toronto, Ont.) scored on a wild pitch as Canada took a 2-0 lead. The red and white doubled that lead in the top of the third when Jones walked and Mia Valcke (St. Marys, Ont.) reached on a fielder’s choice with both scoring on a single up the middle by Cameryn Maykut (Winnipeg, Man.).
Meanwhile, Canadian pitcher Katie Korstrom (Abbotsford, B.C.) held Puerto Rico hitless through two innings, but allowed a pair of singles in the bottom of the third before Puerto Rico got on the board by taking advantage of an error to score their first run. The following inning, Puerto Rico got a pair of doubles two score a run and added another on a double steal to cut Canada’s lead to 4-3. They went on to tie the game in the bottom half of the sixth, but Canada came right back with a run in the top of the seventh when Falby led off with a single, advanced to second on an error and to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a single by pinch hitter Grace Messmer (Surrey, B.C.). Maddie Hickingbottom (Glen Williams, Ont.) picked up the win in relief of Korstrom after entering the game in the fourth inning.
Box Score: Canada 5 vs. Puerto Rico 4
Korstrom pitched three innings and a third for Canada, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk with one strikeout. Hickingbottom gave up one run on three hits and struck out four batters over the final three innings and two thirds. Offensively, Falby was a spark plug at the top of the lineup once again with three hits, a stolen base and two runs scored. Valcke contributed a double and a single, with Maykut adding a two-run single and Messmer driving in one run with a single. Duclos and Mackenzie Egan (Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que.) each chipped in with a single for Canada.
On Saturday, Canada will face Australia in the bronze medal game at 11:00am PDT (2:00pm EDT), while the United States will take on Japan in the gold medal game at 2:00pm PDT (5:00pm EDT).