Local players a hit with Team Canada

Maple Ridge’s Larrissa Franklin and Jaycee Affeldt are representing Canada at the ISF World Junior Championships

Larrisa Franklin

Larrisa Franklin

Maple Ridge’s Larrissa Franklin and Jaycee Affeldt are representing Canada at the International Softball Federation’s World Junior Championships in Cape Town, South Africa, this month, helping the national U-20 team to 5-1 record so far at the tournament.

The competition is held every four years and Canada has never won a medal since it began in 1981.

Team Canada was ranked No. 4 in the world entering the tournament, its only loss coming to the No. 1-ranked United States.

Canada knocked off New Zealand by a score of 7-1 on Sunday, with both centre-fielder Franklin and pitcher Affeldt helping Team Canada take a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning.

After a New Zealand pitching change, Franklin was walked to lead off the inning, and was thrown out at second after teammate Jennifer Gilbert laid down a bunt. Gilbert eventually scored to give Canada the 2-1 lead while Affeldt drew a walk and was replaced by Tessa Loewen to pinch run.

Franklin finished the game with a single.

On Tuesday, Affeldt came in to pitch relief against China, closing out the game in the fifth inning after Canada scored nine runs to mercy the Chinese team 12-3.

Team Canada is set to face the Czech Republic today [Wednesday] before playoffs get under way this Thursday.

The tournament culminates in the championship final this Saturday.

Both Affeldt and Franklin helped Team Canada to a silver medal at the Scotiabank Canadian Open Fastpitch Futures Gold.

Affeldt currently attends Troy University in Alabama, where she plays for the NCAA Division I Trojans.

When not playing for the national squad, Franklin plays for the White Rock Renegades 91.

• For more information about the ISF 2011 World Junior Championships, visit jwwc2011.co.za.