Triple Crown Colorado catcher Mia Davidson loses her balance and falls after scooping up a ball and quickly throwing to first base, as Team Canada shortstop Janet Leung tries to outrun the throw during a Canada Cup round-robin game Friday afternoon. (Nick Greenizan photo)

Canadian national softball team wins second straight Canada Cup

Team Canada defeats Texas-based Scrapyard International in gold-medal game Sunday in Surrey

For the second summer in a row, the Canadian women’s national softball team has struck gold in Surrey.

On Sunday evening at Softball City in South Surrey, Canada – with Semiahmoo Peninsula pitcher and former White Rock Renegade Sara Groenewegen in the pitcher’s circle – defeated Texas-based U.S. club team Scrapyard International 8-4 in the championship game of the Canada Cup International Fastpitch Championship.

The victory marked the second year that Canada has defeated a U.S. club squad for the tournament title; in 2018, they shut out Triple Crown Colorado 3-0 to win the Canada Cup for the first time in more than 20 years. Prior to last year’s win, the national program – and de facto home team at the week-long international fastpitch showdown – had not won the event since 1996.

• READ ALSO: Pro prep helps Team Canada during busy softball summer

This year’s win was no easy feat, despite the fact that Canada cruised through the round-robin portion of the tournament with a series of mostly lopsided results. Canada opened its tournament July 9 with an 8-0 win over Great Britain’s U22 team, and followed up with victories over Alberta’s Calahoo Erins (10-0), New Zealand Major Sox (12-0) and Chinese Taipei (4-2).

On Friday, Canada wrapped up pool play with an 11-4 win over Triple Crown, and later in the day, defeated Puerto Rico 12-1 in the first game of the playoff round.

But that’s when things got a little more difficult.

Facing Scrapyard in a semifinal tilt Saturday night, Canada’s offence was stymied by pitcher Kylee Hanson, who held the high-powered Canadian team – considered by many to be the best team the country has ever produced – to just three hits in a 2-0 Scrapyard win.

The result bumped Scrapyard directly into Sunday’s gold-medal game, and meant Canada would have to win another do-or-die game Sunday afternoon against Chinese Taipei in order to claw back into the final of the double-elimination tournament.

That game, too, was a close one, with Canada edging Chinese Taipei 2-1 in extra innings.

At the start of the eighth inning, with Canadian infielder Janet Leung on second base – per international tie-breaker rules, team start extra innings with a runner on second – Joey Lye executed a sacrifice bunt to move Leung to third base, and one batter later, she scored when Kaleigh Rafter grounded out to first base.

In the bottom of the eighth, Taipei was not able to advance their second-base runner beyond third base, and Canada escaped with the win.

In Sunday’s final, Canada – who jumped out to an early 6-0 lead – was led by Groenewegen, who struck out five batters, scattered nine hits and allowed four runs in seven innings of work en route to earning the win.

It was a fitting end of the tournament for the former Renegade, who didn’t get to enjoy last year’s championship victory after being hospitalized with a serious illness near the end of the tournament.

Groenewegen acknowledged Sunday night that she felt confident early this year’s final.

“It’s a good day when you can have your pitches working in all four quadrants,” said Groenewegen, who was named the tournament’s top pitcher. “I had some good plays behind me, and it’s more comfortable when you have an early lead like we did.”

At the plate, Canada was led by tournament MVP Jennifer Gilbert, who had two hits and one run-batted-in. Lye also had three hits in the victory.

In nine games this week, Gilbert had 16 hits – including three doubles, a triple and one home run – and 11 RBI.

Next up for the Canadian squad is a return to the National Pro Fastpitch league, where Team Canada plays out of Illinois as the Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois, and from there, they’ll head to the Pan American Games, which are set for Lima, Peru from July 26-August 11.

The Canadians will be back in Surrey late next month, when they’ll be one of a dozen teams vying for two 2020 Olympic berths at the Softball City-hosted 2019 Americas Olympic Qualifier.



sports@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Gilbertson ready to step down from organizing Barriere’s Walk For Alzheimer’s

By Margaret Houben Liz Gilbertson has been chairing the Barriere and Area… Continue reading

Don’t fall for scammer who says, “Your Windows license is expiring”

They explain you need to upgrade your operating system if you want your computer to keep working

Province seeks input into trails strategy

The Province and its partners have announced they are currently leading a… Continue reading

Soccer Academy every Friday at the Barriere Ridge

U4 to U13 youngsters excited about Lead Wolf Selects Soccer Academy

VIDEO: Mass coronavirus quarantines seen in China won’t happen in Canada, authorities say

‘If a case comes here, and it is probably … it will still be business as normal’

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

B.C.’s oldest practising lawyer celebrates 100th birthday, shares advice

Firefighters bring Constance Isherwood a cake with 100 birthday candles

Vernon woman suing McDonald’s for spilled coffee

Woman seeking nearly $10K, says employee failed to put lid on properly

Diners’ health tax not catching on in B.C., restaurant group says

Small businesses look for options to cover employer health tax

B.C. comic wins judgment after club owner slaps cellphone out of his hands

Incident happened last summer when Garrett Clark was performing in Abbotsford

UPDATED: Mayors call for ‘calmness’ as highway rockslide cuts Tofino, Ucluelet off from supplies

Ministry of transportation expects to open road for “essential travel only” from noon-8 p.m. Friday.

Most Read