Team Canada opens fastpitch tourney with win over California

South Surrey's Sara Groenewegen pitches three innings of relief to earn the victory over the California A's in first game of Canadian Open

Team Canada opened the women’s international division tournament in fine fashion Tuesday night at Softball City, defeating the California A’s 5-1.

Saskatoon native Jenny Gilbert drove in three of the host country’s runs, while South Surrey native Sara Groenewegen – in her first month with the senior national team – was credited with the win after pitching three innings of scoreless relief.

Marina Demore – who, like Groenewegen, is a former White Rock Renegade – started in the pitcher’s circle for Canada, allowing one run in four innings.

Canada opened the scoring in the firs inning when Caitlin Lever hit a triple and came around to score on a single from Gilbert, and the game stayed 1-0 until the fourth, when the A’s tied it after a series of singles and sacrifices.

In the sixth, however, Canada scored the four runs to restore the lead and walk away with the victory.

Canada played its second game of the Canadian Open against Australia Tuesday night after press deadline. Today (Thursday), the Canadians take on the defending Canadian Open champions from Japan. Game time is 6:30 p.m. at Softball City’s diamond 1.

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