(Surrey, BC) – The Canadian Women’s National Team won the bronze medal at the WBSC Women’s World Softball Championship following an 11-1 loss to Japan in four innings. Team Canada used all of its available pitchers but could not contain the Japanese offence, and got some hits but didn’t pull through when needed. Despite the loss, the bronze medal is an incredible result for the Women’s National Team, with Canada last winning bronze in 2010 in Venezuela and two straight fourth place finishes in 2012 and 2014. Canada’s top finish at the event was a silver medal won by the Doc`s Blues in 1978.
Carey-Leigh Thomas, from the Six Nations community of Ohsweken, ON, was the 3rd baseman for Team Canada and seventh in the batting order.
In the top of the first, Victoria Hayward (Toronto, ON) led off with a line drive single to left-center and was sacrificed to second but a fly out to left and a strikeout left her on base. In the bottom of the inning, Japan opened the scoring after a leadoff walk and a two-run homerun to right. A single and a double scored a third run and brought on a pitching change for Canada as Sara Plourde (Baker Lake, NB) came on in relief of Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, BC). Plourde got a fly out to end the inning with the score 3-0 for Japan.
Jen Yee (North Delta, BC) and Megan Gurski (Dalmeny, SK) both singled to start the second inning and advanced to second and third on a ground out to the pitcher. A wild pitch allowed Yee to score from third to get Canada on the board, and Natalie Wideman (Mississauga, ON) drew a walk to put runners on the corners. After a strikeout for the second out, Hayward also walked to load the bases but the next batter went down on a fly out to left. In the bottom of the second, Japan went back to work by scoring three runs on three singles, a walk and an error to take a 6-1 lead.
Yee smacked a double to the right field corner with two outs in the third but the next batter grounded out to shortstop to leave her in scoring position. Japan did not let up, as they added three runs to their lead with a two-run homerun and a solo shot to build up a big 9-1 lead after three innings of play. Wideman fouled off several pitches to earn a one-out walk and was sacrificed to second but a ground out to second left her on base as well. In the bottom of the inning, Japan got a leadoff homerun, and after a hit by pitch and a walk put two runners, the following batter got a walk-off hit to center to score the eleventh run and end the game on the run rule.
Box Score: Japan 11 vs. Canada 1
Groenewegen, Plourde, Lauren Bay Regula (Trail, BC) and Kyla Benz (Surrey, BC) all saw time in the pitcher’s circle, while Yee led Canada at the plate with a double and a single. Hayward and Gurski also singled for Canada.
The United States defeated Japan 7-3 to earn the Gold medal.