MAKUHARI, Japan — Larissa Franklin belted two home runs as Canada opened the playoffs with an 8-1 win over the Netherlands on Friday at the women's world softball championship.
With the win, Canada improved to 6-2 and eliminated the Netherlands in the process.
The game ended after five innings because of the run rule.
Franklin, of Maple Ridge, B.C., finished with seven RBIs for the game. Starter Danielle Lawrie of Langley, B.C., went the distance for Canada on the mound, allowing just one hit, while striking out seven.
Canada moves on to play Puerto Rico in the next playoff game.
Meanwhile, Monica Abbott had 18 strikeouts and the United States defeated Australia 3-1 on Friday.
The U.S. will next face Beijing gold medallist Japan in the tournament, which also doubles as a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Japan beat Puerto Rico 7-0.
Under the tournament's Page system format, Japan and the U.S. could still meet in the final.
The winner of the tournament will be awarded an Olympic spot. If Japan wins, the second-place finisher will be granted the Olympic spot because Japan has an automatic berth as host.
Softball and baseball were dropped from the Olympic program after the 2008 Beijing Games but have been restored for 2020.
— with files from The Associated Press