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

Canada Cup

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Hospital’s Chief of Staff asks residents for help containing COVID-19

Invermere & District Hospital Chief of Staff says COVID-19 cases here, caution and care needed

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

Burning restrictions to lower risk for COVID-19

Province issues burning restrictions to help everyone breathe easier

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read