Canada tops West in tournament opener
The USA West team, from Butte, Mt., found the scoreboard first, but it was the Canadian team, out of Windsor, Ontario, with a late rally and a two-run homer that gave them their first win of the tournament, as they pulled a narrow 4-3 victory under the lights on Sunday.
A second-inning error from Canada opened up for the West’s Bobbie Osterman to reach home and put her team up 1-0. Stephanie Church’s single in the fourth allowed Maria Diakantoniou to score for Canada, tying the game 1-1.
The team from Canada padded the lead in the third as doubles from Shelby Koschuck and Diakantoniou scored the go-ahead run, but the West rallied back. Passed balls and a couple of wild pitches allowed special pinch runner Kelsey Krueger and Justyce Cannole to score for the West and edge a 3-2 lead in the fifth.
Then Canada brought the heavy bats, as Kosckuck’s two-run homer in the sixth brought in Nadia Green and Kosckuck herself. Clouds rolled in late in the evening, bringing some moisture for both sides to contend with. A lightning delay put the game on a standstill in the seventh inning, but after the girls returned to the field, Canada was able to hold off the West and pick up a win in their first game of the tournament.
Church locked up the win for Canada, pitching four strikeouts and allowing one hit over the duration of the game. West pitcher Jessie Robertson did all she could, supplying 11 strikeouts from the mound, despite falling short.
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