Team Canada won the women’s division of the Canada Cup Sunday night at Softball City. (Lance Peverley photo)

Canada beats Triple Crown for Canada Cup softball title

National team’s championship is first at B.C. tournament since 1996

Last Tuesday, a few hours before his team was slated to begin play at the Canada Cup, Canadian national team head coach Mark Smith told a small group of media members that his squad had a very simple goal for the week ahead.

“Win the tournament.”

Mission accomplished.

On Sunday night in Surrey, Team Canada claimed top spot in the tournament’s women’s division with a 3-0 victory over Triple Crown, a talented Colorado-based club team that had gotten the better of the Canadians twice earlier in the tournament – both by 4-3 scores.

It had been more than 20 years since the Canadian national team stood atop the Canada Cup podium – the team last won the event in 1996.

twitter.com

In recent years, the tournament – and it’s Canadian Open counterpart, which ran in its place from 2010 until 2015 – had been dominated by national teams like Japan. This year, however, softball powers such Japan, the U.S. and Australia chose to stay home and prepare for world championships, which are a set for Chiba, Japan in early August.

• SEE ALSO: Former White Rock Renegades aim to lead Team Canada

Against Triple Crown Sunday, Team Canada – the de facto host team of the women’s division, especially considering the number of local players on the roster – was powered offensively by Kelsey Jenkins, Surrey’s Holly Speers and Maple Ridge’s Larissa Franklin, each of whom had doubles in the win.

Karissa Hovinga got the start in the pitcher’s circle for Canada, and allowed just five runs over seven innings, while striking out two.

Canada advanced to the championship game after a 7-2 victory Saturday night against the New Zealand White Sox.

In that game, pitchers Jenna Caira and Danielle Lawrie-Locke split duties in the circle, striking out a combined nine batters. Speers led the offence with a home run, and finished the week with a tournament-best five.

The lack of traditional Canada Cup participants in the women’s division did little to diminish Team Canada’s run at the title Sunday. In fact, Smith said earlier in the week that his players have started realize that they are a powerhouse team themselves, and are a team to be feared, just as Japan and the USA have traditionally been.

“The mindset for us is that we’re among the elite in the world and we need to adopt that mindset a little more often,” he said.

“Certainly the level of intensity and level of enthusiasm we’ve seen out of this group is a little bit different than in the past.”

The national team is now off to Japan for training in advance of the Women’s World Softball Championship. The first-place finisher in that event will be awarded direct entry into the Tokyo 2020 Olympics without having to pass through qualifiers.

The tournament featured 91 teams across five divisions. In the two youth divisions that also wrapped up Sunday, the White Rock Renegades ‘99 won the Futures Gold (U18) crown with a 4-3 win over Chinese Taipei, while the Showcase Gold (U16) title was won by Japan’s national youth team, which defeated White Rock Renegades ‘02 by a 5-1 score.

“The calibre of play has been excellent, the fans have been great, the sponsors stepped up and the volunteers have gone above and beyond, to make this a wonderful experience for everyone who has been involved,” said Canada Cup chair Greg Timm.

Timm also announced on the weekend that Canada Cup organizers would be bidding for the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s Americas qualifier tournament, which is scheduled for 2019 and, like the world championships this summer, will send top teams to the 2020 Olympics.

Should the bid be successful, the tournament would be staged at Softball City in South Surrey, Timm said. In 2016, Canada Cup organizers hosted the 2016 Women’s World Softball Championships. Team USA won that tournament, beating Japan in the final. Canada placed third.

www.peacearchnews.com

Just Posted

Rio Tinto donates $50K for Shames Mountain chairlift upgrades

The money was used to purchase the chairlift’s bull wheel replacement last summer

Broken axle caused New Hazelton train derailment: TSB

It could happen again without a different way to inspect trains

Cullen remains uncertain about political future

Says he’ll make decision in early March

Spring fishery closures mulled for south coast

Fewer fish are returning to rivers and more conservation needed, say feds

Terrace resident’s bill banning single-use plastics introduced in Ottawa

MP Nathan Cullen’s presented Ben Korving’s private member’s bill Wednesday

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said the sailings were originally cut in 2014

Most Read