• PH Blu Girls hold off Taiwanese, top Pool B

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    The Philippine Blu Girls completed their domination of opening round games in the Canada Cup International Softball Championship, thwarting No. 9 Chinese Taipei, 11-7, to top Pool B in Surrey, British Columbia Wednesday.

    The Blu Girls broke away from a tied game at 7 with four runs in the seventh frame courtesy of Kaitlyn Suitos, Gabrielle Maurice, Kailee Cuico and Garie Blando as the Phl beat Chinese-Taipei for the first time in the last 10 years.

    The victory came on the heels of their shock 6-2 upset over No. 3 Canada in the opener of the annual event Tuesday.

    It was actually the 17th-ranked Pinay softbelles’ fourth straight triumph, counting their back-to-back triumphs over world No. 10 Mexico at the end of the World Cup of Softball XII last week where they finished seventh. They also upended No. 4 Australia in the world tilt.

    “The Blu Girls are on a roll, proving that the Philippines can truly excel in softball. Our victory over powerhouse teams Canada, Australia, Chinese Taipei and Mexico show how our national team has greatly improved and is better equipped for the challenges of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” said Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines president Jean Henri Lhuillier, who’s throwing his full support in the Blu Girls’ bid for the next Olympics.

    Against the Taiwanese, the Blu Girls actually led at 7-1 after a five-run, six-hit outing at the top of the fifth. But they yielded five runs off five hits in the bottom of the same frame and the game-tying run in the sixth.

    But they unleashed a strong finishing kick to foil their fancied rivals.

    Gabrielle Maurice and Kailee Cuico gave Phl a 9-7 cushion with back-to-back RBI doubles then Garie Blando belted a two-run homer to pull away after the top seventh.

    Jessica Lange and the Blu Girls defense then retired the Taiwanese side in the bottom play to notch their second straight win.

    In other games, Mexico outclassed NJCAA 2-0, Australia routed Calahoo Erins 5-2, Venezuela blasted Canada Junior 13-2, and Japan blanked Quebec Rebelles 13-0.

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