Joined: 28 Nov 2003
Location: Southern California
|Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2004 11:40 pm Post subject: ISF World Championships - January 29-Feb 8
|Softball: Canada beat Australia 3-2
Canada nudged their campaign back on track at the world men's softball championship in Christchurch with a 3-2 win over Australia today.
Canada, seeded second in pool A, were upset on day two by Samoa, and now need to win every game to be assured of a top-two qualifying spot.
Four teams will go through from each pool but the top two will have two lives in the play-off.
Australia were also hoping to bounce back from their five innings' loss to New Zealand, and coach Bob Harrow will be disappointed again after his team blew two chances to take the game in their last two turns at bat.
Canada jumped out to an early lead through a home run by Jody Eidt in the top of the first inning off young Australian star Andrew Kirkpatrick. Sean O'Brien repeated the feat in the top of the second to make it 2-0.
Australia came back in the bottom of the third when Joel Southam made base on an infield error and was batted in by Michael Tanner, who hit safely up the middle.
But the Canadians restored the two-run buffer in the top of the fourth inning when Kevin Schellenberg, running for O'Brien who had again hit safely, came home on a wild pitch.
With Canada ahead 3-1, the Australian Steelers had a chance to tie the game up in the sixth inning when Nick Underhill replaced Gerald Muizelaar on the mound and made a shaky start. He walked the first batter he faced, Tanner, and then put Justin Golds on when he was hit by a pitch.
But Underhill settled down to retire the side with no damage done and two runners stranded.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Australians again looked set to make a late charge when pitcher Kirkpatrick led off with a safe infield hit and was joined on base by Zenon Winters, who hit a single to left field. Both runners advanced when the fielder over-ran the ball.
Southam was the next batter and he hit straight back to the pitcher, allowing the Canadians to tag Kirkpatrick coming home.
David Newsome allowed Winters to score to make it 3-2, but Tanner hit back to the pitcher and was taken out at first to end the game.
Australia now have two losses and a win while Canada have two wins and a loss.
Kirkpatrick faced 30 batters for six hits and 10 strikeouts while for Canada Muizelaar faced 18 batters for two hits and six strikeouts, while Nick Underhill faced 10 batters for two hits and two strikeouts.