The Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship runs from Friday

Canadian Open: Canada, USA begin Women’s International play on Tuesday

Team Canada comes into this year's Canadian Open Fastpitch Championship ranked 4th in the world, behind USA, Japan, and Australia.

Softball City graduates this week, as the Canadian Open Fastpitch International Championship hosts its first Women’s International games of 2013 – beginning on Tuesday – and Softball City continues to be the hottest place in the softball universe.

The Open’s first pitch was thrown on Friday, but senior women’s games have so far contained only club teams and the Showcase and Futures divisions are well underway at Softball City, Cloverdale Athletic Park, and Sunnyside Park.

On Tuesday, the best players in the world once again take over Surrey’s top diamonds. Team Japan and Team Venezuela get it started at 3:30 p.m., and Team Canada makes its 2013 debut against the California A’s at 6:30 p.m.

The A’s are the only club team playing in the International division, after going 11-0 and dominating the Women’s Elite division in 2012.

Team Canada, meanwhile, enters this year’s Canadian Open ranked fourth in the world, behind Japan, the USA, and Australia. The team’s most proven veteran is Port Dover’s Megan Timph, who comes into this year’s tournament without past stalwarts like Jenn Yee and Kaleigh Rafter.

The A’s were the only team from the International division to play an exhibition game this weekend, going 4-0 against the Quebec Rebelles, Team BC, and the Northwest Lady Sharks.

The hometown White Rock Renegades are 1-1 through the weekend. They lost 7-2 to Team BC on Saturday, but defeated Northwest on Sunday, 3-2. The Rebelles are the only 2-0 team in the Elite division, and have outscored their opponents 13-5.

(*See the full Women’s International schedule here.)

Canada plays Australia at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Japan at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, and Venezuela (1 p.m.) and the United States (6:30 p.m.) on Friday.

The Women’s International tournament concludes on Monday, July 22, with the gold and bronze medal finals. Playoffs start next Saturday, and all six International teams make it through.

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