Spirit off to a flying start at Canada Cup

The Aussie Spirit players and coaches line up before their first game of the Canada Cup.

Spirit off to a flying start at Canada Cup

The Aussie Spirit began their Canada Cup campaign in style, beating Venezuela 3-1 in a hard-fought contest in Surrey, British Columbia.

Ace pitcher Kaia Parnaby rebounded from a leg injury sustained in the final game of last week’s World Cup in Oklahoma to lead her team to victory.

Parnaby pitched six innings, allowing only one run on seven hits and no walks, with six strikeouts. Ellen Roberts finished the job with a scoreless seventh inning to earn the save.

The Australians took the early lead with a solo home run by Stacey Porter in the bottom of the first inning.

They scored two more runs in the fourth inning, again led by Porter who walked, went to second on a passed ball and scored on Clare Warwick’s double. A walk to Jessica Torpey and a single by Georgia Blair loaded the bases for Erin Thras, whose sacrifice fly scored Warwick and gave the Spirit a 3-0 lead.

But some strong relief pitching by Venezuela’s Alondra Perez kept the Australians off the scoreboard after that. And Venezuela edged closer in the sixth inning with an RBI by Geraldine Puertas.