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.