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)

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

This month Christy Blom’s Springtime show is on display at Art 10 Gallery. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo painter welcomes spring with watercolour exhibition

Christy Blom presents month-long ‘Springtime’ show at Art 10 Gallery

Lucas Philp, senior fish culturist at Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery, packs up pipes and hoses used to transfer trout from the transport truck into lakes, shortly after releasing about 500 rainbow trout into Colliery Dam No. 3 lake Wednesday. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
There are fresh fish to catch in Nanaimo’s lakes

Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery released thousands of catchable-size rainbow trout this week

Protesters march on Nanaimo’s Commercial Street last September, calling for greater protection of B.C.’s old-growth forests. (News Bulletin file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: More old growth needs protecting

Public support for protecting old-growth forests is evident, says letter writer

The shadow cast of the Satyr Players production of ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’: Linda Dohmeier as Dr. Scott, Olivia Erickson as Columbia, Brandon Caul as Rocky, Christopher Carter as Brad, Charlie Prince as Eddie, Branden Martell as Riff Raff, Jenna Morgan as Magenta, Megan Rhode as Janet and Adrien Kennedy as Dr. Frank-N-Furter (clockwise from left). (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
VIU student actors go online for 25th-annual ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’

Satyr Players theatre company to broadcast pre-recorded shadow production

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s board is forwarding a motion on illegal dumping to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities’ upcoming annual general meeting. (Kane Blake photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo motion seeks to ask province for help to combat illegal dumping

RDN resolution to be forwarded to Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Beef to the plow driver who completely soaked me in dirty slush at the bus stop at Fifth and Hillcrest. I could tell you were driving quite fast so I tried to back up as far as the snowbank would allow but you did not slow down. I am 68 and had to pick up a prescription and had no choice but to continue on soaking wet.
Beefs & Bouquets, March 3

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon speaks in the B.C. legislature, describing work underway to make a small business and tourism aid package less restrictive, Dec. 10, 2020. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends deadline for tourism, small business COVID-19 grants

Business owners expect months more of lost revenues

Steven Kothlow and Bryce Raffle, who split their time between Nanaimo and New Westminster, have released their first children’s book, ‘The Littlest Dinosaur.’ (Photo courtesy BHB Photography)
Nanaimo-raised writer releases children’s book about a lonely dinosaur

Steven Kothlow and partner Bryce Raffle make children’s book debut with ‘The Littlest Dinosaur’

A rendering of the new Nanaimo Correctional Centre. (IBI Group Architects image)
Designs come in for Nanaimo’s new jail

City’s design advisory panel supports height variance at Nanaimo Correctional Centre

Protestors against old growth logging gather in front of the courthouse in Victoria on Thursday morning. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Protesters gather at Victoria courthouse to oppose Port Renfrew logging

Logging company seeks injunction to remove blockades near its Port Renfrew operation

Construction takes place on Bamfield Main in early February 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY CTV NEWS)
Ongoing Bamfield roadwork unrelated to planned $30M fix

Construction by Mosaic unrelated to $30M upgrade ordered in wake of fatal bus crash

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Most Read