Japan third-baseman Rei Nishiyama tags out New Zealand's Kingsley Avery at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championships at Softball City on July 4. With a win Thursday against Canada

Japan improves to 3-0 at Canadian Open with win over Canada

Canada has 1-1 win-loss record heading into games against Venezuela and Australia Friday at Softball City in South Surrey.

Team Canada’s record at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship is now even at 1-1 after a 3-2 loss to defending champion Japan Thursday night at Softball City.

Canada now sits fourth in the seven-team Women’s International division after two days of play. They return to the field for two games today (Friday), first playing Venezuela at 1 p.m., following by a 6:30 p.m. tilt against Australia.

Against Japan Thursday, the host country fell behind 1-0 in the first inning when Japan leadoff hitter Misato Kawano led off the game with a double and later scored. Canada rallied back to tie the game in the second when Kaliegh Rafter, who singled to begin the inning, scored on a Heather Ebert single two batters later. Sheena Lawrick also doubled in the inning.

Canada took a 2-1 lead in the third frame, when shortstop Joey Lye hit a triple and then crossed the plate on a Rafter sacrifice fly.

The lead held up for four innings, but Japan tied the contest and then took the lead by scoring two runs in the seventh inning.

In the bottom half of the inning, Canada managed to get the potential tying run on base – Lye walked with one out, but the next batter, second baseman Jennifer Yee, hit into a a double-play to end the game.

Surrey North Delta Leader

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