Charters, USA Edge Lawrie, Canada To Claim Canada Cup
July 13, 2009
Lawrie and Canada were on the verge of pulling the big upset, leading 2-1 in the seventh inning before USA rallied for two runs off relief pitcher Jenna Caira, including a walk-off single by Jennie Finch to end the game.
With Canada just two outs away from beating the U.S. on their home soil, a sac fly by Kaitlin Cochran and a single by Finch gave the Red, White and Blue a 3-2 decision. Cat Osterman earned the win for the U.S., allowing no earned runs with 14 strikeouts.
Salling had both hits for Canada, a single in the first inning and she also doubled later off Osterman.
Charters, meanwhile, had a single off her former teammate Lawrie, a day after hitting a two-run triple off Lawrie in USA's 3-0 semifinal win over Canada. The USA loaded the bases in the third inning after singles by Charters, Natasha Watley and Caitlin Lowe, but Lawrie got a double-play to end the inning and escape the jam.
Canada tried to mount their own rally in the fourth when Salling hit a leadoff double to right field but Osterman was able to escape as well.
Charters then helped USA jump on the board first when Andrea Duran tripled and the three-time All-American Charters brought her home with an RBI groundout.
Canada came right back, however, with two runs in the top of the sixth off no hits and one USA error. With one out on the board, Salling walked and would move to second on a Jen Yee fielder's choice. First baseman Jennie Finch threw to Watley to get Salling out at second but overthrew sending the ball into the outfield. Yee advanced to third on the play while Salling tied the game up at 1-1. Yee, who faced Salling, Lawrie and Charters in the NCAA Super Regionals this year with Georgia Tech, then scored the go ahead run when Osterman went for the out at home but Yee slid under the tag to give Canada a 2-1 lead.
Lawrie left the game with one out left in the sixth and was replaced by Caira, who would face the top of the USA lineup in the seventh. Charters started the rally by reaching on an error, Watley followed with a single and after a fielder's choice, Canada committed another of their five errors in the game to load the bases. Cochran then tied the score with a sac fly and Finch plated the winning run.
With the Canada Cup in the record books, both teams will now look to the KFC World Cup of Softball presented by Six Flags, July 16-20, in Oklahoma City. Complete coverage of the World Cup can be found at http://www.usasoftball.com/. Be sure to check out the ESPN schedule as all USA games will be televised LIVE on ESPN.