CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia assistant coach Kaleigh Rafter and Team Canada open play at the Women’s Softball World Championship in Japan on Thursday.  
Canada opens pool play with a doubleheader on Thursday night on the east coast. Rafter and Team Canada face Great Britain Friday, Aug. 3, at 12:30 p.m. JST (11:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 2) before taking on Venezuela in a game set for 6 p.m. JST (5:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, Aug. 3).
Round robin play continues through August 8 before the top four teams from the two pools advance to the championship round. The championship game takes place on August 12 with the winner earning a berth in the 2020 Olympics.
The WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship will feature a total of 16 teams divided in two groups. Canada – No. 3 in the WBSC World Rankings – will compete in Group B along with No. 2 Japan, No. 4 Australia, No. 9 Italy, No. 12 China, No. 14 Great Britain, No. 17 Venezuela and No. 33 Botswana.
Live scoring will be available through the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championship website.