Aussie Spirit go down to Canada in a game favouring the hitters
7 July 2012
A five run 4th innings from Canada proved the difference in the game today between the Aussie Spirit and Canada. Despite the Aussie Spirit team mounting pressure on the Canadian defense and taking the lead early in the game, the Aussie Spirit were unable to make most of their opportunities and went down 5-3.
It was a hitters game today, with a combined total of 21 hits in the game, but it was the Canadians that got the lions share of those, picking up 13 hits for their 5 runs. It was the Aussie Spirit that started the game well with great team hitting in the top of the 1st innings and an RBI single to Clare Warwick scoring Stacey Porter to give the Aussie Spirit the lead. Vanessa Stokes started the game on the mound for the Aussie Spirit and Vice Captain, Jodie Bowering made her first appearance behind the plate, with Stacey Porter at 1st base and Chelsea Forkin coming into 3rd base.
Despite back to back singles by the Canadians in the 1st innings, Aussie Spirit were able to stop the threat with some solid defense. Again in the bottom on the 2nd innings, Canada picked up another single but to no avail as Stokes pitching combined with the Australian defense gave Canada no chance to advance the runner.
Porter picks up a walk in the top of the 3rd and Leigh Godfrey hits a single. An attempted double play by the Canadians to get out of the innings didn’t come off and Porter scored for the second time in the game giving the Aussie Spirit a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the 3rd innings.
In the bottom of the 3rd innings, a lead off single by the Canadian hitter, then another single by Melanie Matthews put runners on the corners for Canada will none out. Great pitching by Stokes strikes out the next hitter. Head Coach, Kere Johanson, replaces Vanessa Stokes and brings on Kaia Parnaby. She walks the first hitter to load up the bases. A great catch by Melinda Weaver in leftfield, diving forward, ended the innings and threat by the Canadians.
In the 4th innings, another single by an Aussie Spirit lead off hitter, Brenda de Blaes gave the Aussie Spirit another chance, but the Canadians shut them down. Moving to the bottom of the 4th innings is when Canada did the damage. Another two Canadian runners got on base, then a single loaded up the bases with no one out. Melanie Matthews singled to centrefield scoring two runs to tie the game. Johanson asked Stokes to return to the mound pitch, however after giving up a walk, Canadian hitter, Jen Yee doubled to score another two runs. Another single with two out scored the fifth run for the Canadians.
The Aussie Spirit moved to the 5th innings and after a Leigh Godfrey single over second base, Forkin singled to right field and scored Godfrey to make it 5-3. Johanson brought on Justine Smethurst onto pitch and despite a one out single, Smethurst shut the hitters down in the 5th innings to keep the Aussie Spirit in touch with the Canadians.
In the top of the 6th innings, De Blaes grounded out to third base, Weaver singled to centrefield. Belinda White pinch hit for Jodie Bowering and flied out to leftfield. single to Long-Droppert putting two runners on base with two down and Stacey Porter up to bat who flied out to shortstop to end the innings.
Down to their final three outs in the top of the 7th innings, Godfrey flied to centrefield for the first out. Warwick singles to centrefield, Forkin struck out and Jodie Stevenson grounded out to 2nd base to end the game and give the Canadian team the victory.
The Aussie Spirit picked up eight hits for the game, lead by two each for Warwick and Melinda Weaver. Forkin had two RBI’s for the game and Warwick one.
The Aussie Spirit takes on Venezuela and New Zealand tomorrow in their final round games of the championship.
To view the play by play of the Canadian game click here.
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Photo courtesy DonkinGook Photography