Team Australia and Team Canada will meet in Monday's bronze medal game.

Canada knocked out of Canadian Open by Japan

For the second year in a row, Japan and the USA will battle for first place at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship.

Team Canada was bounced from contention at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championships Sunday night at Softball City, after a 3-1 loss to defending champion Japan.

The loss capped an up-and-down weekend for the fan favourite Canadians, who were blasted 14-2 by Team USA on Saturday afternoon but rebounded Sunday afternoon to wallop Puerto Rico by a 7-1 margin, before facing Japan that night.

The US squad beat Australia in the other semifinal Sunday, setting up a USA-Japan rematch in the Women’s International division championship game Monday night. Canada played Australia for third-place on Monday afternoon.

Both games were played after press deadlines.

Against Japan Sunday, it was fielding miscues that did the Canadian squad in. In the bottom of the first inning, Japan took a 1-0 lead when Misato Kawano led off with a single, then advanced all the way to third base after an error by Canadian pitcher Karissa Hovinga, who made two errors in the game. One batter later, Kawano scored on a throwing error by shortstop Joey Lye.

Canada briefly tied the game in the top of the fifth inning when Megan Timpf – playing all weekend with her wrist wrapped in medical tape – was hit by a pitch and then came around to score, but the tie game didn’t last.

In the home half of the inning, Japan plated a pair of runs on two singles and a sacrifice, to retake the lead, 3-1.

Hovinga, who had pitched more innings for Canada than any other pitcher, got the start Saturday against Team USA, too, pitching three innings, giving up six hits and five earned runs before being relieved by Madison Schreyer and then, for one-third of an inning, former White Rock Renegade Marina Demore.

All three struggled against a powerful US offence, which was led by first baseman Valerie Ariato, who had a three-run home run and five RBI in the game. Ariato leads the Women’s International tourney with five home runs, 16 RBI and a .625 batting average in just seven contests.

The US built a 5-0 lead by the third inning, but Canada chipped away with a few runs of their own to keep it close until the sixth, when the States pounded the home team for seven hits and eight runs to put the game out of reach.

“This is one you’ve just got to put behind you pretty quick and move on to tomorrow,” said Team Canada left-fielder Melanie Matthews of the loss.

Though the weekend defeats – especially Saturday’s – were tough to take, Matthews, one of the team’s veterans, said her team was taking a long view of the situation, focusing instead on preparing for the world championships, which are slated for Whitehorse from July 13-22.

“We’re just gearing up for world championships, that’s what all this is for, so we’re just trying to take the positives out of everything – even a game like this – and move on,” said Matthews, who joined the national team just prior to the World Cup of Softball earlier this month in Oklahoma, taking a brief hiatus from her job at PriceWaterHouseCoopers in Vancouver.

“We had some good at bats against (US starting pitcher Keilani) Ricketts, and she’s their ace, in our opinion. She throws so hard from the left-hand side, so getting some (experience) against her, can’t hurt.”

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey boy living with congenital heart disease to speak at local Tedx event

Mason Vander Ploeg will be speaking on saving the oceans

LETTER: I’m sorry, Surrey, for smelling like cigarettes all those years

If I could go back and tell my 13-year-old self to put down that cigarette, I would, reader says

‘A bag full of garbage every 15 metres’: Surrey industrial area filled with trash

Local workers looking to recruit business, raise funds to help dispose of litter

Survey suggests 83 per cent of Surreyites ‘favour a referendum’ on policing transition

Survey was conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights on behalf of the National Police Federation

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Landlord ordered to pay $11K after harassing B.C. mom to move days after giving birth

Germaine Valdez was pressured to move just a few days after giving birth by C-section to her child

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

VIDEO: Giants winning streak now stands at 11

Team erased a 5-2 deficit by scoring every five minutes

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

Most Read