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Team USA topples Triple Crown for top spot at Canada Cup

Women’s division championship decided Sunday night in South Surrey
Members of the Canadian national women’s softball team stand in front of their dugout during Melanie Matthews’ hall-of-fame induction ceremony Thursday prior to a Canada Cup game between Canada and Mexico. (Nick Greenizan photo)

An all-American championship final capped off this year’s Canada Cup softball tournament.

On Sunday night, the women’s international division gold-medal game was held at Softball City, with Team USA defeating Triple Crown Colorado, an American club team, by a 5-1 score.

The game was the third between the two clubs during the tournament, with Triple Crown winning the first two. The Netherlands placed third.

Team Canada, which this year featured a number of new faces along with seven Olympic-team returnees, rolled through the round-robin portion of the tournament undefeated – they beat the Netherlands 11-3 Wednesday and Mexico 8-1 Thursday – but ran into the United States on Friday night in playoff-round action, losing 9-2.

Canada was the two-time defending champion at the tournament, winning in both 2018 and ’19. The event was cancelled in both 2020 and ’21 due to the pandemic.

In the Futures Gold (U19) division, Team BC – which is coached by longtime White Rock Renegades coach Mark Dunlop – earned top spot, with a 6-0 win over Pacific Elite U19 in the championship game Sunday afternoon. Team BC is made up of players from club teams across the province who later this summer will compete at the Canada Summer Games.

In the Showcase Gold (U16) division, the Fraser Valley Fusion ’05s captured the title, beating Cloverdale Fury ’06 in the championship tilt. Fraser Valley defeated the Surrey Storm ’06 and the White Rock Renegades ’06 earlier in the day Sunday, en route to the championship game, while the Fury punched its ticket to the final a day earlier, on Saturday, with a win over Storm ’06.

The Canada Cup – which began with youth-division games on June 17 – also included a pair of special celebrations later in the week. On Thursday, former Team Canada star Melanie Matthews was inducted into the World Baseball Softball Confederation Hall of Fame, and a day later, members of Canada’s bronze-medal winning team from last summer’s Tokyo Olympics were honoured.

In total across all divisions, 240 games were played, with organizers calling it “one of the strongest tournaments in more than a decade.”

“We are incredibly proud to have hosted a tournament which saw such a strong level of play – from the Women’s International Division to our Futures and Showcase Divisions, we saw extraordinary athleticism on the field of play and true sportsmanship between nations,” said Greg Timm, the longtime tournament chair.

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