Japan pitcher Yamato Fujita pitched eight innings en route to a win in the finals of the Canadian Open's Women's International Division Monday. Below

Japan pitcher Yamato Fujita pitched eight innings en route to a win in the finals of the Canadian Open's Women's International Division Monday. Below

Japan holds off U.S. to take Canadian Open title

Japan defeated the USA 9-6 Monday night at Softball City in South Surrey

Team Japan has done it again – this time in extra innings.

For the second year in a row, the Japanese women’s fastpitch squad left Softball City as Women’s International Division champions after defeating Team USA 9-6 Monday night in the title game of the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship.

This year’s rematch of the 2011 final – which Japan won 7-0 after scoring six runs in the game’s first three frames – was in stark contrast to last year’s contest, as neither team managed to plate a run for the first four innings.

Japan broke the scoreless draw in the top of the fifth inning with a four-run outburst, which was keyed by four base hits – including a double by Eri Yamada that scored two runs – a U.S. fielding error, and a walk and a wild pitch from American pitcher Keilani Ricketts.

The four-run cushion didn’t last long, however, as the U.S. team responded an inning later with four runs of its own.

After Stacey May-Johnson led off the inning with a single, she came across to score one batter later on a Kaitlin Cochran triple.

First baseman Valerie Arioto – who led the women’s tournament in home runs and RBI – then reached base when she was hit by a pitch, and both her and Cochran scored three batters later when Lauren Gibson took Japan pitcher Yamato Fujita deep for a three-run home run.

With neither team scoring in the seventh inning, the title tilt headed to extra innings, and both teams’ bats got hot again.

Japan scored five runs – all unearned – in the top of the eighth after three hits and a pair of U.S. errors, and the States responded in the bottom half of the inning, but it was not enough to force a ninth inning.

With May-Johnson on second base to start the inning – as per international tie-breaker rules – Samantha Fisher crushed a home run to make it 9-6. The States added another hit, and Japan made a fielding error, after the long ball, but it was not enough to bridge the three-run gap.

Relief pitcher Chelsea Thomas, who pitched the final inning and two-thirds for the U.S., was tagged with the loss, while Fujita pitched the full eight innings for Japan, striking out three.

In the bronze-medal contest earlier Monday, Canada – which was beset by defensive troubles on the weekend – lost 7-0 to Australia.

Again, Canada struggled in the field, making three errors, while managing just five hits against Aussie pitchers Justine Smethurst and Aimee Murch.

Madison Schreyer was stuck with the loss for Canada, pitching three-and-two-thirds innings, allowing three hits and five runs, but just one of the runs was earned.

Jocelyn Cater and Karissa Hovinga also saw time in the pitcher’s circle for the home team.

Caitlin Lever – playing her first game of the tourney after joining the national team from her pro squad, the Carolina Diamonds – led the Canadian offence with a pair of hits.

Canada finished the tournament with a 4-4 record and now prepares for world championships, which begin Friday in Whitehorse.

Just Posted

Fleetwood Park Secondary School’s 2021 commencement ceremonies were held over the course of two days, June 10 and 11. Grads went through a small, distanced ceremony in groups of four, with up to four members of the grad’s household. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s 2021 grads find creative ways to celebrate in another year of COVID-19

This year’s Grade 12 students were unable to have any large-scale events

Friends of Bear Creek Park held a ‘yellow-ribbon event’ on Saturday (June 12, 2021), with protesters at 84th Avenue and King George Boulevard and 84th Avenue and 140th Street. People were asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard “to celebrate and to show support for our trees in Bear Creek Park.” (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Protesters hold ‘yellow-ribbon’ event at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park

People asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard to ‘show support for our trees’

All nine White Rock Renegades softball teams are set to take part in the Canadian Pride and Power Tournament, scheduled for July 1-4. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock Renegades set to host multi-team Pride and Power softball tournament

‘There’s going to be a lot of excitement in the park,’ said Greg Timm

The Lower Mainland Green Team and students from Earl Marriott Secondary remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park. (Contributed photo)
Green Team returns to White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park to monitor previous work

Environmental volunteers, South Surrey students remove invasive species

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Most Read