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Japan defeats Canada to take control of Group B at ISF XIII Women’s World Championship
COURTESY Team Canada reporting
(Whitehorse, YK) The Canadian Women`s National Team faced its toughest competition to date at the ISF XIII Women’s World Championship as they took on Japan in a game between the only two remaining undefeated teams in Group B. The Japanese built a 5-0 lead and Yukiko Ueno pitched the complete game 6-2 win as they improved their first-place record to 3-0. Canada dropped to 2-1, joining Australia and New Zealand in a three-way tie for second place.
Canada was able to get on Ueno early as Melanie Matthews (Surrey, BC) lined the first pitch of the game into centerfield for a single. She was sacrificed to second, but Ueno forced a groundout and struck out the next batter to get out of the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Canadian starting pitcher Jenna Caira (Toronto, ON) allowed a one-out walk, but catcher Kaleigh Rafter (Guelph, ON) was able to throw out the runner on a stolen base attempt. Japan would open the scoring in the bottom of the second. After the leadoff hitter singled, the following batter also singled to centerfield and the lead runner advanced to third. On the throw to third, the hitter tried to advance to second and the throw sailed over the fielder’s head, allowing the first run to score.
In the top of the third, Matthews notched her second hit of the game with a sharp two-out line drive to right field, but a groundout ended the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Japan built on their lead. The first two batters reached base and were sacrificed to second and third. The following hitter hit an RBI single, and after a fly out for the second out, back-to-back singles scored two more runs to increase the lead to 4-0. Canada was retired in order in both the fourth and fifth, and Japan added their fifth run in the bottom of the fifth after a hit by pitch and a pair of singles.
Team Canada was then able to get to Ueno in the top of the sixth. Matthews singled for the third time of the game with one out and Joey Lye (Toronto, ON) walked. Jenn Yee (North Delta, BC) and Sheena Lawrick (Calgary, AB) then both hit RBI singles up the middle to trim the lead to 5-2. Japan would get one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single to right field by Yukito Mine. Canada went down in order in the seventh as Japan earned the win.
Caira pitched two and two third innings for Canada, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts. Jocelyn Cater (Delta, BC) pitched two innings and a third of relief, allowing one run on four hits with two strikeouts, while Karissa Hovinga (Edmonton, AB) pitched the sixth inning, allowing a run on two hits and a walk with one strikeout. Matthews connected for three of Canada’s five hits, while Yee and Lawrick each added an RBI single.
Canada (2-1) will now face Great Britain (1-2) at 7:00pm PDT on Monday at the Pepsi Softball Centre.
Other results on day three were the Netherlands (2-1) beating the Czech Republic (0-3) 9-2 in six innings; Australia (2-1) jumping all over Mexico (0-3) 10-2 in five innings; New Zealand (2-1) shutting out Great Britain (1-2) 3-0; the United States (3-0) pounding Puerto Rico (1-2) 13-0 in four innings; Chinese Taipei (1-2) defeating Italy (1-2) 9-2 in six innings; China (3-0) blanking South Africa (0-3) 4-0; and Venezuela (2-1) powering past Argentina (1-2) 17-6 in five innings.
Japan, USA Sit Atop Their Sections After Day 3
July 15, 2012 (Whitehorse, Yukon) – Japan and Canada put their undefeated records on the line, as they faced off in the final game of Day 3 at the Women’s World Fastpitch Championship.
Japan jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the 3rd and held off Canada by a final score of 6-2, thanks to some fine pitching from Ueno Yukiko. Mike Yukito and Sakamoto Haruna each drove in two runs for Japan, who improved to 3-0 at the tournament.
Melanie Matthews went 3 for 3 at the plate for Canada, with Jennifer Yee and Sheena Lawrick picking up the RBIs.
Offence ruled the rest of Day 3, as fans saw two grand slams and three games with runs in the double digits. USA looked every bit the defending champions, as they run-ruled Puerto Rico 13-0 to remain undefeated. The Americans have yet to allow a run in the first three games.
Nathalie Timmermans claimed the first grand slam of the tournament, blasting one out of the park in the 4th inning of Netherlands’ 9-2 win over the Czech Republic. Not to be out-done, Natalia Jimenez went deep with the bases loaded in the 4th inning of Argentina’s 17-6 loss to Venezuela.
China maintained their spotless record after a 4-0 victory over South Africa, and Chinese Taipei rebounded from a 0-2 start as they downed Italy 9-2 – thanks in part to a rare inside-the-park home run by Chinese Taipei’s Lai Meng Ting.
For full scores and stats from all eight games on Day 3, visit the official website: www.worldfastpitch2012.com
Check out the official Flickr site for pictures of all the action: http://www.flickr.com/photos/2012-world-fastpitch-championship