Canadian women split games in Japan

Canada's Beijing-bound women's softball team went 1-1 this weekend at the Tri-Nations Tournament in Japan, blanking the Netherlands 5-0 and dropping a 4-0 decision to Japan. .

Canada’s Beijing-bound women’s softball team went 1-1 this weekend at the Tri-Nations Tournament in Japan, blanking the Netherlands 5-0 and dropping a 4-0 decision to Japan.  

The tournament marked Canada’s final international competition before the Olympic Games. The team leaves for Beijing Aug. 5.  

The Canucks opened the tournament Friday against the Netherlands, who will field a women’s softball team at the Olympics for the first time since 1996.  

Canada got on the board early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first, an effort spurred by a two-run home run by Erin McLean of Whitby, Ont. B.C. native Jennifer Salling added a solo homer in the fifth inning.  

Pitcher Lauren Bay of Trail, B.C., threw a no-hitter over five innings, striking out seven. Saskatoon’s Dione Meier pitched the final two innings, allowing one hit and striking out one batter.  

Japan also held the Dutch squad off the board with a 4-0 victory on Saturday.  

Against Canada, Japan got off to a quick start, hitting three consecutive singles and scoring one run in the first. Satoko Mabuchi and Rie Sato hit back-to-back home runs for Japan in the third inning, sealing the victory early.  

Newmarket, Ont., pitcher Robin Mackin allowed four runs in five innings. Meier came in for relief in the last two innings and held Japan off the board.  

Japanese pitcher Yukiko Ueno held Canada to only two hits.