After taking home a bronze medal in softball, Canada pleaded with the International Olympic Committee to extend its Olympic participation through 2024.
S. Brookshire Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
The Canadian softball team had just earned their first Olympic bronze medal, a career high point, and now they had to face the harsh truth that they wouldn’t get another shot at an Olympic medal until at least 2028.
The International Olympic Committee skipped softball in 2012 and 2016, but reinstated it for this year.
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After Canada’s 3-2 victory over Mexico on Tuesday, head coach Mark Smith lamented the elimination of women’s softball in 2008.
When you consider how close every game was this week, even those involving Italy (who went winless) you can see that true parity was on exhibit (outs). I’ll use women’s hockey as an example: in other sports, the winner is already known before the event even begins.
Brett Lawrie’s sister, Danielle, pitched 2 and a third innings of shutout relief, allowing only one hit, as Canada triumphed. Canadians pleaded with the International Olympic Committee to reconsider their softball ban for the upcoming Paris Games.
“When you look at equity, there are obviously not as many female competitors at each Olympic Games as there are men’s,” said Smith, Canada’s coach since 2009. It seems ridiculous to me that it was ever removed.
It has more than proven why it should be admitted. Without the presence of COVID, I think you’d have had sold-out stadiums to witness this game. And I don’t see any reason why women’s softball shouldn’t be reinstated as a core Olympic sport and brought back to the Olympic programme.
The competition had 16 games, and this was the seventh to be decided by exactly one run. Two others had four-run advantages.
Canada’s Kelsey Harshman, who broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth with a sacrifice fly, said, “I believe we’ve really done a tremendous job developing the sport throughout the world and having it become more competitive.”
In the Fifth Inning,
With runners on the corners, Lawrie (1-1) retired Victoria Vidales on a groundout. Lawrie is a veteran of Canada’s 2008 Olympic squad and the 2009 and 2010 USA collegiate player of the year at the University of Washington. Lawrie threw four strikes, ending the game by striking out Brittany Cervantes.
Emma Entzminger put Canada up with a two-run single in the second inning off Danielle O’Toole (0-2), but Mexico came back with RBI singles from Cervantes in the third inning off starter Sara Groenewegen and from Suzy Brookshire in the fifth inning off Jenna Caira.
“There are so many beautiful women who were here this week, and there are so many other amazing women who aren’t here this week that play this sport,” Caira added.
I’m hoping that the International Olympic Committee will take into account how many people are watching and how many women athletes adore our sport because of what we were able to show them.
9th batter in a lineup On the first pitch of the fifth inning, Janet Leung reached on a fielder’s choice to shortstop, and Victoria Hayward followed suit by advancing to first on a bunt single.
Leung was able to make it home safely after Larissa Franklin made a sacrifice bunt and Harshman flied to left, cutting off her throw.
U.S. (5-0) and Japan (4-0) both had better records than Canada’s 4-2 showing (4-1). Later on Tuesday, the U.S. and Japan, the defending champions, were scheduled to compete for the gold medal.
Canada, who had threatened in the third when Hayward was thrown out at the plate by O’Toole on Harshman’s comebacker, were led by Jenn Salling, who went 8 for 14 with six walks and five RBIs.
“Today, you witnessed character and culture rise to the occasion and get the job done,” Smith added. We found a possible clue. The lead was abandoned by us. We were in position to maybe get the winning run. At the plate, they made a fantastic play. Many squads would have given up at that point.
Canada’s chef de mission, Marnie McBean, a three-time Olympic gold medalist in rowing from the 1990s, was the only fan in the practically deserted stadium when the final out was recorded.
‘That was the best game I’ve been a part of,’ Cervantes proclaimed. “We’ve made our name out there.”
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As the last outs were Recorded, O’Toole’s face became red with Emotion.
“I’m just considering other possibilities,” she explained. I’d like to pitch one more inning if possible. When Entzminger hit that popup in the ninth inning, I thought, “I don’t want it to be my last out here at the Olympics.”