Irvine, California – The Canadian Junior Women’s National Team got off to a hot start at the 2019 WBSC U-19 Women’s Softball World Cup with a pair of shut out wins in their first day of competition. They took game one 1-0 over the Netherlands, and topped Chinese Taipei 7-0 in game two.
It wasn’t an easy start to the game for Canada as the Netherlands led off the top of the first inning with a walk from Yindi Beekvedlt, but Canadian pitcher Samantha Ryan (Monroe, N.Y.) got two big back-to-back strikeouts to strand the runner at third without any damage done.
Team Canada broke through with the first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Lauren Benson (Surrey, B.C.) led off the inning with a single through the right side of the infield, and was sacrificed to second by Alexis Lucyshynn (Calgary, Alta.), and thanks to heads up base running, she took third on a wild pitch. With Nicole Rivait (Oakville, Ont.) at the plate, Benson made another smart play and was able to scramble home on another wild pitch to give Canada the 1-0 lead.
The Netherlands threatened to tie the game in the fifth when Marjin Crouwel hammered a double off the center field wall, but Ryan once again pitched herself out of trouble and was able to strand the runner at third without giving up the tying run.
Canada got an insurance run in their half of the fifth. Benson walked to open the inning, and was replaced by Megan Duclos (Saint-Eustache, Que.) as a pinch-runner. Duclos stole second and was then singled home by Lucyshynn to make it 2-0 lead, which would stand up as the final tally.
Ryan went the distance in the circle for Canada, and was outstanding in the opening match. She threw a two-hit shutout and only allowed three walks while striking out seven Dutch batters.
Box Score: Canada 2 vs. Netherlands 0
The bats came alive for Canada in the second game of the day, starting with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning thanks to a two-run shot from Rebecca Jones (Toronto, Ont.) to deep left field after a lead-off single from Kendra Falby (Tampa, Fla.).
A pair of two-out RBI doubles plated another two runs for Team Canada in the top of the second inning. First up was Rivait with a rocket off the center field wall to score Mia Valcke (St. Marys, Ont.) from second. Falby was the next batter up, and she smashed her double down the third base line to score Rivait to make it 4-0 Canada.
Kianna Jones (Surrey, B.C.) added to the Canadian lead in the third, with an RBI single through the right side, an error by Chinese Taipei allowed the sixth run of the game to score for Canada in the sixth and Canada rounded out the scoring in the seventh with a two-out single from Valcke to make it 7-0.
The shutout in game two was a combined effort in the circle for Canada. Lucyshynn got the start, and went four innings while giving up only two hits, a walk and striking out four. Madelyn Hickingbottom (Glen Williams, Ont.) came in to start the fifth, and closed out the game, allowing a single hit and two strikeouts.
Box Score: Canada 7 vs. Chinese Taipei 0
Canada will look to make it three in a row on Monday when they take on New Zealand at 8:30pm EDT.