Canadians Steal One from Americans in World Cup Pool Play


OKLAHOMA CITY  Team USA has looked unstoppable recently, waltzing through last month’s ISF World Championship in Caracas, Venezuela, and soundly defeating both Canada and Japan in pool play at this month’s World Cup.

Then yesterday the American squad proved it was human, falling to the Canadians in a pool play rematch 5-2. The Americans still clinched the #1 seed in the World Cup tournament after Japan shutout Canada 4-0 in the night cap.

What contributed to the downfall of the Red, White & Blue? First, the game was delayed more than three hours due to rain. Second, the US put its most inexperienced pitcher on the mound in Eileen Canney.

Don’t get me wrong. Canney is an excellent pitcher—in fact, she was named Pitcher of the Year by The Softball Channel in 2008 and received an Honorable Mention for the same award last year. But she has seen far less playing time than any of her three superstar teammates in Jennie Finch, Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott—and she did not share the trenches with them at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Canney allowed five earned runs in the third inning, putting Team USA behind for the first time all tournament. She was replaced by veteran Jennie Finch in the third.

Finch put a stop to the hemorrhaging with no further runs scored against the US all game but—to the credit of the Canadian defense—it was a deficit Team USA couldn’t overcome.

The World Cup finals take place today with Team USA, now 4-1, going up against either Japan or USA Futures, the Americans’ second squad composed of players who did not make Team USA. Read more.