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Team Canada opens with win at Canadian Open

Canadian women's fastpitch team defeats New Zealand 11-1 Wednesday at Softball City in South Surrey.
Canada's Carrie Leigh Thomas is safe at second base

Team Canada opened its run at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship with a victory Wednesday evening at Softball City, beating New Zealand 11-1.

The game was a quick one, too, lasting just three innings before the mercy-rule was invoked.

Canada, which arrived in South Surrey Tuesday after a third-place finish at the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma, scored one run in the first innings, two more in the second, and then exploded for eight in the third frame.

First baseman Sheena Lawrick was Canada's leader at the plate, going 2-for-3 with one run scored, while shortshop Joey Lye drove in two runs. Team Canada's other eight runs were all plated on errors, as New Zealand made five fielding miscues in the three-inning contest.

Pitcher Karissa Hovinga got the ball for Canada in the opener, striking out four batters and allowing three hits – all singles.

Canada will likely face tougher competition tonight (Thursday) when the team hits the field at Softball City against Japan, last year's Canadian Open champions. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m.

In other Women's International division action, Team USA edged Venezuela 5-4 in a game that took nine innings to decide; Japan beat New Zealand 7-0 and Australia beat Puerto Rico 13-0 in a four-inning game.

In Women's Elite division action Wednesday, the California A's kept its unbeaten streak intact, beating the host White Rock Renegades Sr. team 7-1; Team BC beat Mexico 5-1; Mexico defeated Great Britian 4-2; China-Liaoning kept a stranglehold on second place in the division with a 15-1 win over Peru and St. Louis Extreme Elite shutout Indonesia-Jakarta 11-0.