by Robert H. Kelly
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK. (July 14, 2005) Using six of their eight 2004 Olympians on their roster, Canada scored two unearned runs in the first and third innings to hold off the United States to take a 2-1 decision in the first game of the 2005 World Cup of Softball at the Don E. Porter Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City. The win marked only Canada’s third victory over the USA in the history of international play.
Walking into the stadium one had to wonder if the players, coaches, and fans had something on their minds other that the tournament.
Just a scant one week from learning that Beijing would be the last Olympic Games in which softball would be contested; the players took to the field and tried to give the fans what they came out for, a softball game.
Both Canada and the USA, playing before a crowd of 2, 014, seemed at times, to be playing with less enthusiasm than normal. Nonetheless, both squads gave the fans a match that produced three runs off ten hits, along with five errors.
The fans didn’t seem to mind, as they understood that much was on their minds other that the game. But in the words of show business, “The show must go on.”
Canada struck first early in the first inning, off a single up the middle by Sheena Lawrick, which enabled Kristy Odamura to score from second.
The USA answered back off a Jessica Mendoza single through the right side, allowing Caitlin Lowe to take the score to 1-1 at the bottom of the first.
Canada came back in the third, with Kristy Odamura singling to third base off an Alicia Hollowell pitch. Odamura advanced to second base off a throwing error, which lead to her second score off a Lawrick single to center field.
The USA had one hit in the fifth of a fielding error by Canada third baseman Megan MacKenzie. That ended the American’s offense for the game.
Canada didn’t seriously threaten the USA after that and the score remained the same thought the seventh inning.
Canada finished the game with two runs off five hits with two errors. The United States tallied one run off five hits, along with three errors.