Softball Canada opened its quest to win an Olympic medal with a 4-0 shutout win against Mexico this afternoon at Fukushima Azuma Stadium.
Canada sent eight hitters to the box in the first inning, getting back-to-back RBI singles from veterans Kaleigh Rafter and Jenn Salling to give Canada an early 2-0 lead.
Salling added a solo home run in the third inning and Kelsey Harshman had an RBI single that brought in Victoria Hayward in the fourth.
Winning pitcher Sara Groenewegen threw the first four innings, with Jenna Caira coming in the game in the fifth and Danielle Lawrie tossing the final two innings of the two-hit shutout.
Canada’s first five hitters collected all of the team’s nine hits, with multi-hits performances by Salling, Hayward, Larissa Franklin, and Rafter. The only two hits from Mexico came off the bats of Suzannah Brookshire and Tatyana Forbes.
Dallas Escobedo took the loss for Mexico in the country’s Olympic softball debit. The right-handed pitcher tossed four innings allowing seven hits and all four runs.