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PH SHOCKS CANADA

Cheska Altomonte hit a two-run homer in the second inning to power the Philippine Blu Girls to a stunning 6-2 victory over Canada yesterday Manila time and start their campaign on a bright note in the Canada International Softball Championship in Surrey, British Columbia.

Altomonte homered off Canadian starter Sara Groenewegen with two outs in the top of the second inning, setting the tone for an impressive showing by the Philippine squad against the host nation which is ranked No. 3 in the world.

The round-tripper is the third straight for the Blu Girls catcher, dating back to the just-concluded World Cup of
Softball where he hit two in back-to-back games against Mexico to secure the country’s seventh place finish.

Garie Blando made it 4-1 for the Blu Girls in the third when she advanced to second that scored Kaitlyn Suitos and Gabrielle Maurice.

The Canadians pulled within 4-2 on an RBI single by Victoria Hayward, but the Blu Girls tacked on two more runs in the top half of the fourth to seal the deal.

Dani Gilmore singled to score Skylynne Ellazar from third. Gilmore advanced to second on a Suitos single before scampering home on a Hailey Decker single.

National University pitcher Mia Macapagal gave up hits and walked four in 5 1/3 innings but forced Canada to leave five runners on base.

Sierra Lange retired the last five batters after relieving Macapagal with one out in the sixth inning.

“I’m so elated with this win by the Blu Girls over powerhouse Canada and I hope they will sustain their form as they slug it out with the other top teams in the world,” said AsaPhil president Jean Henri Lhuillier.

“The Blu Girls have proven that their wins versus world No. 4 Australia and world number 10 Mexico were not a fluke.

I’ve never doubted that softball is the team sport that we can be at par with the world’s best. This is a big boost to our bid to qualifying in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” added Lhuillier.

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