WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup: Canada hangs on to defeat Australia
Baseball Canada – GIJANG, Korea- After building a five run lead and holding Australia hitless through five innings, Team Canada survived a late-game surge to come away with a 5-3 win in Super Round action at the WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup.
The win evens Canada’s record at 1-1 with Super Round games remaining against Venezuela (Sept. 8), host Korea (Sept. 9) and Chinese Taipei (Sept. 10).
“Credit to our group for sticking together tonight and overcoming some late adversity,” said Canadian Manager André Lachance. “Pitching, defence and timely hitting, we got contributions from a lot of players tonight.”
None were perhaps bigger than starter Autumn Mills (London, ON) who held Australia hitless until allowing a one out single in the sixth. Mills worked out of trouble leaving the bases loaded in the fourth and struck out six in six innings of work before Heidi Northcott (Rocky Mountain House, AB) nailed down the save with a 1-2-3 seventh.
“I felt great through five,” said Mills. “I think I tightened up a bit sitting on the bench in the top of the sixth, but I was able to battle through.”
After Canada scored three in the sixth to go up by five, Mills walked and hit a batter to start the bottom of the inning before a one out single ended the no hit bid and loaded the bases. A walk brought in one run before a ball got by first baseman Kate Psota (Burlington, ON) on a double play attempt that saw two runs score. Mills was able to get a force out at second base to leave the bases loaded.
“We had confidence that Autumn could finish the inning,” said Lachance. “She had a high pitch count but we didn’t want to bring someone in from the bullpen in that situation.”
Canada opened the scoring in the top of the second and it was Jennifer Gilroy (Burlington, ON) who came up with a clutch, two out single up the middle that plated Jenna Flannigan (Cornwall, ON) from second base. Flannigan had singled with one out off Australian starter Brittany Hepburn and stole second base to move into scoring position.
Mills didn’t face any trouble into the fourth but did an admirable job to get out of a tough situation unharmed. After a throwing error by shortstop Niki Boyd (Surrey, BC), two balk calls and a walk put runners on the corners with nobody out. Mills then went to work registering a strikeout and camping under an infield pop-up for two out before hitting a batter to load the bases. A weak grounder to second that went for a force out ended the threat as the Aussies left the bases full.
When opportunity knocked again in the fifth, Canada took advantage. This time it was Kelsey Lalor (Red Deer, AB) who singled through the right side to bring home Niki Boyd from second base to put Canada in front by two.
Canada then went on to add three runs in the sixth as Kate Psota drilled a single down the right field line on an 0-2 pitch to plate two before Nicole Luchanski (Edmonton, AB) singled to shortstop that brought in Jenn Gilroy from third base.
“Other than a few spots we played our most complete game of the tournament tonight,” said Canadian Manager André Lachance. “With a quick turnaround against Venezuela tomorrow, it will be important to keep the momentum going.”
UP NEXT: Team Canada will continue Super Round action tomorrow against Venezuela with the first pitch set for 2pm KT/1am ET…You can watch the game live on the WBSC’s YouTube channel.
Follow Team Canada:
Media/PR, Baseball Canada