CANADIAN OPEN FASTPITCH
July 2 2012
Actually, three tournaments.
The International Championship, which begins Wednesday, features Team USA, Team Canada, Team Japan. Team Venezuela, Team New Zealand and Team Puerto Rico. All but Japan are competing in the World Cup in Oklahoma City, which ends tonight, and also includes Brazil. On arrival here, Spy was told Canadians were disappointed in, their performance in Oklahoma City, and will bring former All American Danielle Lawrie, who carried Washington to an NCAA World Series championship. Most of these teams, including the USA, will travel to Whitehorse in the Yukon for the ISF world championship.
The Elite Division which began play June 30, includes China Liaoing, Team Great Britain, Indonesia-Jakarta, Team Mexico, Team Peru, California A’s, St Louis Extreme Elite, Team British Columbia, and host White Rock Renegades. We watched China-Liaoning defeat St Louis Extreme this afternoon, 6-3, n intermittent rain. Didn’t recognize a single St Louis player. This evening, we will watch Great Britain play the California A’s, which is organized and funded by businesswoman Kathy Miller, who collaborates with major college coaches to build her rosters, and includes a number of American college players, some well known , like Blaire Luna of Texas, Kylee Lahners of Washington, Erin Wesley-Jones of Long Beach. And emerging players like Kelsey Arnold, Mattie Fowler, Courtney Gano, etc., all recommended by their coaches. Some D1coaches asked Spy to watch the team whileinCanada. (see below).
Finally, there is a Futures and Showcase Gold Division,which features US teams like the Worth Firecrackers, and youth teams from Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Canada.
California A’s vs Team Great Britain
P Blaire Luna vs Stacie Townsend
1st. Luna hit a batter but struck out two. Ashley Carter reached on an error to open the A’s 1st (bottom) but was out stealing. Ashley Carter grounded to the pitcher. Mandy Ogle grounded to short.
2nd. Great Britain down in order, 1K. A’s: Melissa Davin flied to left. Courtney Gano singled to center. Kylee Lahners fanned. Vickie Galasso walked. Morgan Melloh singled to right, rbi,Gano scoring. Jena Rubio, runners at the corners, flied to right.
3rd: Britain dow2n in order, Luna has 4 Ks. A’s: Carter recorded a single to left. Arnold struck out. Ogle hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing Carter at 2nd. Davin struck out>
4th: Britain had its first hit off Luna but Cooper was stranded. A’s: Gano fanned, the fourth whiff for British pitcher Townsend. Lahners flied to right. Galasso sparked excitement with a well-hit double to the wall in left center. Melloh looked at a third strike.
5th: Britain in order, two more Ks for Luna (7th). Rubio fanned. Carter grounded to pitcher. Arnold popped.
6th: Luna gave up 2 walks, but nailed another strike, Ogle walked, but was forced at 2nd. Gano reached on an error at 2nd. Lahners singled to center, rbi. Galasso singled in a run. Melloh walked, loading the bases. Lahners scored on a passed ball. Carter fanned, A’s 4-0.
7th: Luna gave up a walk and a second single, but struck out three.
For the game, Luna had 12 Ks. The team played a credible game. For a team which is reassembled every year, with players from all across the country, for one week of competition, it was a very well played game, especially against a national team with a lineup of international veterans. Worth watching.