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USA Softball Finishes with 2-2 Record at Canadian Open Fast Pitch Tournament

 SURREY, B.C. – USA Softball took on Canada Softball in a four-game series at the Canadian Open Fast Pitch Tournament in Surrey, British Colombia, where the teams split the games. The team that represented the USA consisted of members of the USA Futures National Team and five athletes from USA National Team and will now head to White Horse, Yukon where they will play two more games against Canada before heading to Oklahoma City, Okla., for the KFC World Cup of Softball presented by Six Flags. 

Canada 4, USA 3 (9) 
The USA Softball program suffered its first loss of the 2010 season with a 4-3, nine-inning loss, to Canada. Canada’s Danielle Lawrie, the 2009 and 2010 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, earned the win while Blaire Luna (Austin, Texas) took the loss for the Red, White and Blue. 

Canada struck first in the bottom of the first when Jen Yee, a Top 3 Finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, homered. The USA evened the score when Alissa Haber (Newark, Calif.) led off with a double, scoring off a Megan Langenfeld (Bakersfield, Calif.) single. 

The 1-1 tie would hold until the eighth when it turned into a two all score. In the top of the eighth, Jenae Leles (Sacramento, Calif.) was placed on second according to the International Tie Breaker Rule. She would go on to score when catcher Shawna Wright (Lancaster, Calif.) reached on a fielder’s choice. The score again would be tied in the next inning when Yee again scored the run for Canada. Yee was placed on second and tied up the game when Erin Cumpstone grounded out to shortstop. 

Langenfeld, also a Top 3 Finalist for the Collegiate Player of the Year, scored a run in the top of the ninth for the USA to again take a lead after she was placed on second. A groundout by Leles plated Langenfeld for the 3-2 lead. A sac fly by Yee and a single by Jennifer Salling gave Canada two runs scored and a 4-2 victory. 

Lawrie pitched the full nine innings while Jordan Taylor (Valenica, Calif. ) made the start, working four innings before Luna came in. 

Canada 5, USA 0 
Jenna Caira and Ashley Lanz combined on a four-hit shutout to lead Canada over the USA for the second straight day. 

Jennifer Salling provided all the firepower Team Canada needed by hitting two home runs, one leading off the second inning to give Canada a 1 – 0 lead and by closing out the scoring by hitting a second lead off-home run in the seventh to stretch the lead to 5 – 0. Melanie Mathews and Kaleigh Rafter also collected two hits each for Team Canada. 

Team USA could not find a timely hit as they stranded a runner in the first, three in the second, and two in the third. Angela Tincher (Eagle Rock, Va.) started in the circle for the USA and took the loss. 

USA 12, Canada 5 
Team USA found their ability to get timely hits as they opened the scoring in Game Three of their exhibition series against Team Canada by scoring six runs in the top of the first inning. 

Chelsea Bramlett (Cordova, Tenn.) and Brittany Lastrapes (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) got back-to-back singles to set the table for USA Softball. Alissa Haber (Newark, Calif.) hit a long fly ball to right center that allowed Bramlett to tag and take third base. Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda, Calif.) followed with a three run-home run to take the early lead. Cochran’s blast was followed with a shot by Megan Langenfeld (Bakersfield, Calif.). Ashley Charters (Beaverton, Ore.) singled to keep the rally alive and Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) followed with a long home run to left to close out the scoring in the first. 

Team Canada bounced right back by scoring four runs in the bottom half of the first off starter Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif.). Canada’s first four batters singled to score their first run and Taylor walked Jennifer Salling to force in Canada’s second run. Taylor then retired Kaleigh Rafter on a force out at home and enticed Jillian Russell to pop up to first. Erin Cumpstone singled through shortstop to plate runs three and four for Canada in the bottom of the first. 

Team USA failed to score in the top of the second. Canada pulled to within one run in the bottom half of the second. Taylor allowed a lead-off single to Melanie Matthews who was sacrificed to second. After a wild pitch moved Matthews to third and Jennifer Yee walked Taylor was replaced in the circle by Angela Tincher (Eagle Rock, Va.). Tincher coaxed an infield groundout that scored Matthews and then retired Jennifer Salling on a fly ball to centerfield. 

Team USA found their hitting stroke again in the top of the third scoring four times. Molly Johnson (Tucson, Ariz.) doubled to lead off the inning and after Ashley Hansen (Chandler, Ariz.) lined out to third, Bramlett collected the second of her three hits on the night to score Johnson. Bramlett scored when Tina Andreana threw wildly to first on Lastrapes ground ball allowing Lastrapes to reach third on the overthrow. Lauren Schutzler (Monterey, Calif.) singled to score Lastrapes. Cochran singled sending Schutzler to third. Schutzler ultimately scored on a wild pitch pushing the score to 10 – 5 in favor of Team USA. 

The score remained the same until the top of the 5th when Team USA scored twice to extend the lead to 12 – 5. 

Angela Tincher (Eagle Rock, Calif.) held Team Canada scoreless in the bottom half of the fifth ending the game on the run ahead rule. Tincher was outstanding in relief retiring 10 in a row before issuing a walk to Jennifer Sailing with two outs in the 5th. Tincher then struck out Kaleigh Rafter looking to end the game. 

Tincher recorded the win for Team USA allowing no hits and struck out four in 3 and 2/3 innings of work. Cochran collected three hits and five RBI for Team USA in the victory. 

USA 3, Canada 1 
Angela Tincher (Eagle Rock, Va.) continued her strong performance in the circle by scattering seven hits en route to a 3 – 1 complete game victory over Team Canada in the final exhibition game. Tincher held Team Canada scoreless through the first five innings before allowing a single tally in the sixth. Tincher walked two and struck out eight to pick up her second win in two days. 

Team USA scored twice in the bottom of the first as Brittany Lastrapes (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) reached first on a dropped third strike and scored on Kaitin Cochran’s (Yorba Linda, Calif.) double to left center. Megan Langenfeld (Bakersfield, Calif.) followed with a single through the right side to plate Cochran, to give Team USA an early lead. Team USA picked up their third run in the bottom of the fourth. Singles by Jenae Leles (Sacramento, Calif.), Ashley Hansen (Chandler, Ariz.) , and Lauren Schutzler (Monterey, Calif.) loaded the bases with one out. Molly Johnson (Tucson, Ariz.) was inserted as a pinch runner for Leles and scored on Chelsea Bramlett’s (Cordova, Tenn.) ground out to shortstop Jennifer Salliing. 

Team Canada and Team USA travel to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory today and will play games on Tuesday and Wednesday evening at the site of the 2012 ISF Women’s World Championships. (Results of these games will be posted on www.usasoftball.com.) After, both teams will head to Oklahoma City where the USA Women’s National Team, the USA Women’s Futures National Team, Canada and Japan will play at the 2010 KFC World Cup of Softball presented by Six Flags. 

It’s also not too late to get your tickets for the World Cup, which features the top three finishers of the 2010 ISF Women’s World Championship: Gold Medalist USA, Silver Medalist Japan and Bronze Medalist Canada. Also making their inaugural appearance in the World Cup will be the USA Softball Futures Team. Get your tickets today at www.softballoutlet.com. 

ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3.com will also be airing the World Cup live from Oklahoma City. For a television schedule, visit www.usasoftball.com. 

- Courtesy USA Softball