South Surrey Thunder ‘99s Jessica Podskalany (sliding) makes it safely to second base despite the efforts of North Shore Stars’ Maggie Lawson during action Saturday at the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship.

Canadian Open begins with Select Division action

Surrey teams were near the top of the heap during the first few days of the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championships.

Surrey teams were near the top of the heap during the first few days of the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championships.

The event – which hit local diamonds Friday – opened with the Showcase (U16) and Futures (U19) Selects tournaments, both of which wrapped up Monday night.

In the Futures event, the Langley Rebels took the top spot, defeating the California Lightning 9-2 in the final, while the South Delta Invaders claimed first place in the Showcase Select tournament, shutting out the Washington Tigers in the title game.

And though there were no Surrey squads in either final game, local teams did fare well in the first Canadian Open tournament.

In the Showcase division, the South Surrey-White Rock Thunder ’99s earned a first-round bye after rolling through the four-game round-robin with a perfect record in Pool B – outscoring their competition 31-4 along the way. In the second round of playoffs, they were edged by the Langley Xtreme 6-5.

Meanwhile, the Cloverdale Fury ’99s went 2-2 in the same round-robin division, before being edged 3-2 by the North Shore Stars in the first round of playoffs Sunday afternoon.

In Pool A, the Fleetwood Force also automatically advanced into the second round – they, too, were 4-0 in round-robin play – but they were eliminated Sunday by the Washington Tigers, losing 8-0.

In the Futures Select event, two Surrey Storm squads – the ’97 Select and ’98 Select teams – both advanced as far as the second round of playoffs. The ’97s fell 7-3 to the Oregon Wildcats Monday morning, while the ’98s lost in Round 2 to the Langley Rebels 10-5.

The South Surrey-White Rock Thunder ’98 team lost in the first round of playoffs, 9-4 to the Fleetwood Force.

The Futures Gold tournament also began on the weekend, with two White Rock Renegades teams combining for three wins.

On Saturday, the Renegades ’97 shutout the Brampton Blazers 3-0, and Sunday, the White Rock Renegades ’99 defeated Washington Cascade Crush 4-2 before beating the Red Deer Rage 9-1.

The Showcase Gold teams hit the field Monday for their first games, and both divisions will see round-robin contests played throughout the week. Playoffs are set to begin Friday, with the championship games in both age groups set for Sunday afternoon.

National teams from across the globe also began filing into Softball City earlier this week, as the Open’s women’s international division prepared to begin play Tuesday.

Canada takes on the NJCAA All-Stars Tuesday afternoon while national squads from Japan, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Dominican Republic were also in action.

Canada returns to the field today (Wednesday) at 3 p.m., when they face Mexico at Softball City’s Diamond 1.

Canada plays at least one game each day until Saturday, when playoff rounds begin. The championship is set for Monday night at 7:30 p.m. at Softball City.

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