The Canadian Women’s National Softball Team are taking home the silver medal at the 2019 Pan American Games after falling 3-1 to the United States in the Gold medal game on Saturday afternoon.
The game was a tense affair, with the two teams trading runs in the second and fourth before the Americans rallied in the sixth for the two runs they would need for the win.
The combined efforts of Sara Groenewegen (Surrey, B.C.), Jenna Caira (Toronto, Ont.) and Danielle Lawrie (Langley, B.C.) held the Americans to one run over the first five innings until they took advantage of a few miscues to score two runs in the sixth. Despite a valiant effort in the top of the seventh, Canada was unable to come back.
The United States broke through with the first run of the game on a home run from Michelle Moultrie in the bottom of the second with Canada responding with a home run of their own two innings later off the bat of Holly Speers (Surrey, B.C.).
Despite getting runners on base in the bottom of the fourth and fifth, the United States were unable to take the lead, with Caira pitching around traffic on the bases to keep the game tied.
In the sixth, three straight singles gave the Americans a 2-1 lead, and an unlucky bounce off the pitcher and a bounced throw to first allowed another run to score in the frame.
Team Canada pushed hard to find the tying run in the seventh, with a leadoff single from Jennifer Salling (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) and a two out single by Larissa Franklin (Maple Ridge, B.C.), but Monica Abbott was able to shut the door and stop the Canadian rally to secure the victory for the Americans.
The Americans had defeated Puerto Rico 3-1 earlier in the day to advance to the Gold medal game, with the Puerto Ricans earning the bronze medal.
The Canadian team will now return home for a few days before gathering in British Columbia for the WBSC Americas Softball Qualifier that will take place from August 25 to September 1 in Surrey, B.C. Two teams from that event will punch their tickets to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.