Japan unbeatable at Softball City, win 4th straight Canadian Open title
It's four in a row for Japan, and likely its most dominant performance at the Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship.
Team Japan capped a 10-0 (won-lost) run at Softball City with a 7-0 victory over Team U.S.A. in Monday night's championship game, a contest called after five innings on the mercy rule.
U.S.A. finished as the second place team, going 9-3 overall. Team Canada, which upset the United States 10-6 in their first playoff game Saturday night, lost to the Americans 9-2 in Monday's semifinal game and settled for a bronze medal after posting a 6-4 record.
In the championship game, Japan took an early lead on a two-out, two-run single from Yukiyo Mine in the top of the first inning.
Japanese pitcher Sayuri Yamane kept Team U.S.A. off the scored board, allowing just four hits and a walk in four and two-thirds innings pitcher, with five strikeouts.
Japan put the game away in the fifth inning, scoring five times on five hits and one error. Back-to-back two-run singles upped the difference to seven runs, and a two-out single from Haylie McCleney was all the U.S.A. could manage in their last at-bat.
Outscoring the opposition 73-11 in the 10 games, Japan was the class of the tournament in 2014. Last season, they needed extra innings to defeat Australia 2-0 in the championship game.
The closest Japan came to losing was in a 4-2 victory over Canada in a round robin game last Thursday. Five of their 10 victories were by shutout, and only once did they surrender more than two runs, when they defeated Canada 8-4 in the playoff round Sunday night.
That loss sent Team Canada to Monday's semifinal game, where they were eliminated by Team U.S.A. in a five-inning game.
Two runs in the second inning and six more in the third game the U.S.A. a quick 8-0 lead. Canada cut the difference to six runs with a pair in the top of the fifth, but they conceded a score in the bottom half of the inning and the game ended.
- The Delta Heat '97 took second place in the Futures (U19) Gold tournament, falling 12-2 to the undefeated Beverly Bandits of Illinois in Sunday's championship game.
In the Futures Select championship game, the Washington Acers topped the Washington Nitro 7-2.