Sports

Canadian Open: Japan doubles Canada in semis, will play in Monday's final

Team Canada
Team Canada's Victoria Hayward swings at a pitch during the Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship at Softball City. Hayward had three singles Sunday night in an 8-4 loss to Japan.
— image credit: BOAZ JOSEPH / THE LEADER

Team Canada will need to win twice on the final day of play at the Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship to to become Women's champions.

Three-time defending champion Japan doubled Canada 8-4 Sunday night at Softball City to advance to the championship game tonight (Monday) at 7:30 p.m. Canada will play the United States of America in a semifinal contest at 5 p.m., the winner moving on to play Japan later in the evening.

Canada opened the scoring Sunday night with three runs in the bottom of the second, and Japan responded with five in the top of the fourth. Canada got one back in the fifth, but Japan added three runs over the final five innings to pull away.

Canada outhit Japan 11-10, with Victoria Hayward and Carey-Leigh Thomas collecting three hits each. But errors proved costly, as three Canadian miscues led to a trio of unearned runs by Japan.

Canada, after going 5-2 (won-lost) in the playoff to place third behind Japan (7-0) and the U.S.A. (6-1), began the playoff with a 10-6 upset of the U.S.A. Saturday evening.

Canada used two big innings to defeat the Americans for the first time in four meetings this month. The U.S.A. defeated Canada twice at the World Cup of Softball in Irvine, California during the week prior to the Canadian Open, then doubled Canada 8-4 Friday night at Softball City.

Team Canada had three hits, including a two-run single from Joey Lye, in the top of the first inning Saturday to take a 4-0 lead.

Team U.S.A. chipped away and took a 5-4 lead after four innings, scoring once in the second inning, three times in the third and once more in the fourth.

Canada then exploded for six runs in the fifth inning to go up 10-5. Erika Polidori scored on a wild pitch to tie the score 5-5, then Megan Timpf hit a two-run single. North Delta's Jen Yee then stepped up to the plate and sent a pitch over the fence for a three-run home run and a 10-5 cushion for Canada.

The U.S.A. got one back in the bottom of the fifth, but Jen Caira retired the final six American batters – three by strikeout – to end the game.

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