Team Canada is cruising through the early stages of the Canada Cup.
The Canadian women’s national team – which arrived in town earlier this week and began play Tuesday night at Softball City – is undefeated through its first three games of the annual international fastpitch tournament, winning all three with ease.
On Tuesday night, the Canadian squad defeated Great Britain’s U22 team – a team that includes White Rock Renegade alum Megan Parno – by an 8-0 score, and on Wednesday, improved to 3-0 with two more victories: a 10-0 blanking of Alberta’s Calahoo Erins in the afternoon, followed by an 12-0 win over the New Zealand Major Sox in the evening.
Today (Thursday), Canada is back on the field at 6 p.m. to battle Chinese Taipei. On Friday, they play an afternoon tilt against Triple Crown Colorado, with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.
In Tuesday’s opener, Canada was led by pitcher Morgan Rachel, who struck out eight Great Britain batters over five innings to earn the shutout win.
Canada scored its eight runs on just eight hits, with six of those runs coming in a big third inning that blew the game wide open. Erika Polidori, who had a home run; Renegades alum Larissa Franklin, Janet Leung and Jennifer Gilbert all drove in runs in the frame.
National team veteran Natalie Wideman also went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead Canada in hits.
Wednesday afternoon against Calahoo, an Alberta-based women’s club team, Canada was led in the pitcher’s circle by Jenna Caira, who lasted the full seven innings while allowing just two hits and striking out eight. Offensively, Canada racked up 15 hits – a third of them off the bat of Jennifer Gilbert, who went 5-for-5 on the day with four singles, a double and two runs-batted-in.
In Wednesday’s night cap, Canada dispatched their New Zealand foes in just four innings before the game was called on account of the mercy rule. Leung led the way at the dish for the host country, with three hits and five RBI, while Kelsey Jenkins also had three runs-batted-in.
Semiahmoo Peninsula native – and former Renegades pitcher – Sara Groenewegen got the start for Canada, striking out three over the course of the four-inning game without allowing a single hit.
After Canada’s final round-robin game Friday against Triple Crown, the women’s international division – along with the Futures Gold and Showcase Gold youth tournaments – move into playoff rounds, beginning Saturday morning.
The women’s division championship game is scheduled for Sunday evening at 6 p.m.