GB Women lose to Canada in World opener

Fri 3 Aug 2018

Friday 3 August -- The GB Women’s Team did not have the opening game they were looking for at the 2018 WBSC Women’s World Championship in Japan, going down 7-0 to Canada in five innings at the Zett.A. Ballpark in Ichihara City.

Canada scored in four of the five innings played, and while GB had baserunners in four of their five at-bats, they weren’t able to put serious pressure on Canadian starter Danielle Lawrie, who pitched 4+ innings and took the win, or on reliever Karissa Hovinga, who came in with a runner on first for GB and no one out in the top of the fifth inning and completed the frame.

Georgina Corrick pitched the full game for GB, and had a nervous start, falling behind most of the Canadian hitters in the early innings.  Overall, she gave up seven hits, six of them singles, hit a batter and walked two.

Early runs

Second base player Nerissa Myers singled to shortstop for GB with one out in the top of the first inning, but remained there as Lauren Evans struck out and Amy Moore hit a deep fly ball to Victoria Hayward in right field.

Canada then scored two quick runs in the bottom of the first.  Victoria Hayward led off by slicing a double to left field, Erika Polidori walked, and both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Jen Salling.  Hayward then scored on a sacrifice fly to centre field by Kelsey Jenkins, and a single by Holly Speers scored Polidori.

Three more Canadian runs in the bottom of the second inning effectively took the game out of GB’s reach at 5-0, and two of the runs scored on GB’s only two errors of the game.

Canada added one more run in the third inning on consecutive singles by Jennifer Gilbert, Janet Leung and Larissa Franklin. 

The seventh run that ended the game came in the bottom of the fifth inning when Holly Speers led off with a walk, was bunted to second by Jennifer Gilbert, went to third on a single by Janet Leung and scored on Larissa Franklin’s sacrifice fly to left field.

GB had only three singles, two by Nerissa Myers and one by Kendyl Scott, and Hayley D’Avilar drew walks from Danielle Lawrie in both of her at-bats.  There were only four GB strikeouts, and balls were generally put in play, but not many were hard-hit.

GB’s best chance to score came in the top of the fifth inning, when there were walks to Hayley D’Avilar and Nerissa Myers and Kendyl Scott’s single.  But after Hayley walked to open the inning and Canada changed pitchers, Canadian shortstop Janet Leung made a diving catch of a soft line drive by Tori Charters headed to centre field and threw back to first to double up Hayley.


Looking ahead

Things won’t get any easier for the GB Women, as they will play China on Saturday 4 August at 12.30 pm local time at the NASPA Stadium (4.30 am Saturday in the UK) and then Japan on Sunday at 7.00 pm (11.00 am in the UK) at the Zett.A. Ballpark.

On Monday, GB will face Italy, then Botswana and Australia on Tuesday and Venezuela on Wednesday.

The goal is still to find four wins from the six remaining games to reach the Championship playoffs.

Scores

On Thursday evening 2 August, the host team Japan kicked off the World Championship with a game against Italy, which the Japanese won 9-0 in six innings.  A three-run home run by Saki Yamazaki in the bottom of the sixth inning brought up the mercy rule scoreline.  In the bottom of the first inning, Japanese lead-off hitter Eri Yamada had homered on the first pitch she saw from Italian veteran Greta Cecchetti.  Italy failed to get a hit off Japanese starter Yukiko Ueno, who pitched the first four innings, and reliever Yamato Fujita, who pitched the last two.

Here are the scores from the tournament so far from Thursday evening and the first full day of play on Friday:

Japan 9, Italy 0 (6 inns)
Chinese Taipei 21, South Africa 0 (4 inns)
Australia 7, Venezuela 1
USA 5, Mexico 2
Canada 7, GB 0 (5 inns)
Puerto Rico 6, Netherlands 5
Philippines 10, South Africa 0 (4 inns)
China 1, Australia 0
Japan 20, Botswana 0
Chinese Taipei 7, New Zealand 4
Canada 7, Venezuela 0


Photos by Simon Mortimer

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