CANADIAN OPEN FASTPITCH SUNDAY
USA Will Face Japan for Title
After USA Softball filed the following story, Japan defeated Canada 3-1, to advance to the much-predicted championship game Monday night. Canada and Australia will compete for Bronze.
Spy is still in Vancouver but won’t attend the finale. Spy collapsed in the hotel lobby Saturday night and was rushed by ambulance to Peace Arch hospital. Spy is suffering complications from being hit by a foul ball at Boulder – dizziness, inability to walk, and other motor control functions – complicated by diabetes. Spy expects to fly back to Virginia on Tuesday, the remainder of the summer schedule in doubt. One doctor, examining two knife wounds and surgery scars, volunteered to write Spy’s medical history.
USA Softball beats Australia 2-0 to earn a spot in the Canadian Open Championship
SURREY, B .C. – The USA Softball Women’s National team defeated the Australian National team by a final of 2-0 on Sunday to earn a berth in the finals of the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced today. Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa) got her fifth win of the year for Team USA as she went 3.1 innings, striking out three and giving up three hits. Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif.) earned the save in a relief effort as she pitched 3.2 innings, striking out three and surrendering no hits.
“We had some clutch pitching tonight in some pretty tough situations,” said USA Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “I thought that Chelsea got us off on the right start and Keilani did a great job coming in relief. Our defense was pretty solid and we had some timely hitting.”
USA earned the number one overall seed in the playoff portion of the Canadian Open by starting the week 6-0 in pool play. Australia finished pool play 3-3 to earn the fourth overall seed in the playoffs and a first-round matchup with USA.
For just the second time in the tournament, USA batted first as the visiting team and they took advantage of the opportunity to score first as Rhea Taylor (Buford, Ga.) got her fourth hit of the tournament, a single to left field. In the next at-bat an RBI single for Stacy May-Johnson (Reno, Nevada) scored Taylor giving USA a one-run advantage to start the game. The 1-0 score held for the next four innings as both teams struggled to put any additional runs on the board.
In the top of the fifth Ashley Holcombe (Fayetteville, Ga.) reached base for the second time in the game, this on a single down the right field line. Christi Orgeron (New Orleans, La.) entered to run for Holcombe and a sacrifice bunt from Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) in the next at-bat advanced her to second. Ricketts then entered the batter’s box to pinch hit and came up with a single of her own moving Orgeron around to third base. With a runner in scoring position May-Johnson picked up her second run-scoring single of the game to give USA the 2-0 lead.
“I just wanted to be aggressive early in the count,” said May-Johnson. “I felt like the umpire had a pretty big zone and I didn’t want to leave anything up to question. I saw good pitches early on and just attacked them.”
Having entered the game in the middle of the fourth inning, Ricketts retired 11 straight Australian batters on defensive side and didn’t allow a single base runner. Team USA went on the win the game by a final of 2-0.
The USA National team will now face the winner of Japan and Canada on Monday, July 9 at 7:30 PM (PT) in the championships game of the 2012 Canadian Open Fastpitch International. Australia will play the loser of the Japan and Canada game for third place in the tournament. Visit www.USAsoftball.com for live stats and updates from all of Team USA’s games.