The RP Blu Girls opened their XVII WBSC Women’s Softball World Cup Group C campaign with a 5-0 defeat against world no. 5 Canada at the Campo Comunale da Softball in Castrions di Strada, Italy, on Sunday midnight (Manila time).
Philippine starting pitcher Glory Alonzo was able to come out unscathed in the first two innings, leaving three runners stranded on base.
However, Emma Entzminger and Kelsey Harshman singled back-to-back to open the third inning, prompting Blu Girls head coach Ana Santiago to replace Alonzo with seasoned pitcher Ann Antolihao.
But she could not get out of that funk as Janet Leung hammered a three-run home run to deep left field, giving Canada a 3-0 advantage in the bottom of the third frame.
With no one on base, Entzminger then brought Antolihao deep in the next stanza, extending Canada’s lead to 4-0.
The Philippines had the best chance to score in the top of the sixth inning with just one out and runners on first and third. But Elsie Dela Torre flied out to shallow right-center field before Canada caught Nicole Hammoude at first for the double play.
MJ Maguad managed to get two hits in three at-bats, while Sky Ellazar, Alaiza Talisik, and Dela Torre each got a hit.
Canada’s starting pitcher, Sara Groenewegen, struck out seven Filipina batters, while relief pitcher Dawn Bodrug, who earned the win, fanned three sluggers.
The Blu Girls will look to bounce back later today at 11 p.m. (Manila time) against familiar foe and world no. 2 Japan.
This is the first edition of the World Cup that features a two-stage format.
The group stage will be composed of 18 countries split into three groups. Only the top two teams – the champion and the winner of the repechage – from each pool will qualify for the final stage.
Defending champions United States, Australia, Puerto Rico, and the Netherlands have already booked their place in the final phase to be held in July next year after emerging from groups A and B.