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National team undefeated through three games at Canada Cup

Team Canada women’s fastpitch team plays Wednesday, Thursday evenings at Softball City
Laura Benson throws to first during a Team Canada press event/practice Monday at Softball City, in advance of the team’s first Canada Cup game. (Nick Greenizan photo)

Team Canada is a perfect 3-0 through the first two day of competition at the Canada Cup in South Surrey.

On Monday evening, the national team – which features a bevy of new players – opened the tournament with a 6-1 victory over the Australian national development team, and on Tuesday, the Canadians added two more Ws to the ledger – first, an 8-1 win over the Calahoo Erins, an Alberta-based club team, and then 10-1 over the Philippines later in the evening.

Tonight (Wednesday), Canada will hit the field against Netherlands, and on Thursday they’ll play Mexico.

Despite a much younger, less experienced roster this summer – Canada’s starting pitcher against the Aussies Monday was 16-year-old Victoria high-schooler Ruby Anderson – the team’s pitching and offence have been in tip-top shape.

On Monday, Canada scored two runs in the first inning after starting the game with four straight singles – from Larissa Franklin, Kelsey Harshman, Erika Polidori and Alysen Febrey. Then, in the second inning, Natalie Wideman lined a leadoff double to left field, and later scored a few batters later when Febrey drew a bases-loaded walk.

Later in the game, Harshman hit a two-run home run, while Surrey’s Kianna Jones also scored on a groundout from Wideman.

In the pitchers circle, Anderson picked up the win after allowing just one run and three hits in three innings of work, while striking out three. Morgan Rackel pitched the final two innings, striking out a a pair.

On Tuesday, the Canadians’ offence was again in top gear, led by Jones, who hit a three-run home run in the third to open the scoring. In the fourth, former White Rock Renegade Madelyn McKinnon drew a walk, and was replaced on the base paths by pinch runner Emma Dorval – another former Renegade. Dorval advanced on a wild pitch and later scored on a single from Harshman.

Starting pitcher Jorde Chartrand earned the win, striking out seven batter in five innings while allowing just three hits and a single run.

Against Philippines, Surrey’s Grace Messmer led the team with three hits – including a double – and two RBI, while Febrey hit a double, a single and had four RBI. Meanwhile Emma Entzminger had two singles, and Polidori, Lauren Benson, Wideman and Kelsey Lalor each had one hit each.

Sam Ryan got the win in the pitchers circle, allowing one run on five hits while striking out three in three-and-two-thirds innings.

The Women’s Division final is set for Sunday, 6 p.m. at Softball City.

Futures and Showcase Divisions

In the Futures Select (U19) tournament, which began last weekend and wrapped up earlier this week, the Surrey Storm ‘03 claimed the championship, beating the Ridge Meadows Rage ‘03 11-4 in the final game Monday night at Softball City.

The Storm defeated the Delta Invaders in their semifinal matchup to advance to the gold medal game, while Ridge Meadows defeated the Cloverdale Fury in the other semifinal tilt.

In the Showcase Select tournament (U16), the Richmond Islanders ‘05 emerged victorious, defeating Central Saanich 10-3 in the championship game Monday.

Both the Futures and Showcase Gold divisions continue this week, with champions to be decided on the weekend. So far, in the Futures Gold bracket, two teams are undefeated – the Fraser Valley Fusion ‘04 (3-0) and Team BC (2-0). Team BC – which is made up of players that will head to the Canada Games later this summer – is coached by longtime Renegades coach Mark Dunlop.

The Surrey Storm ‘04 and White Rock Renegades ‘04 are both still looking for their first wins of the tournament.

In the Showcase Gold tournament, the White Rock Renegades ‘05 and the Surrey Storm ‘05 both sit with 2-0 win-loss record so far, while the Renegades ‘06 are 1-1.

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