Canada moves to 2-0 with win over Venezuela
* Canada scored a 14-2 win against Venezula at the fifth annual women’s World Cup to move to 2-0 ….
By Adam Morrissette
EDMONTON — The Canadian women have brought their bats with them for the second consecutive game they achieved double digits in hits and earned another mercy-rule win, this time by a 14-2 score over Venezuela.
The win puts Canada at 2-0 to start the fifth IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup.
“With the way the tournament draw is set-up it was very important for us to start 2-0,” said Canadian manager André Lachance. “Usually we’re a team that has to manufacture runs, so all of the hits we are getting are a welcome surprise.”
Canada jumped out to an early lead when they scored four times in the top of the first. Meagan Cornelssen (Grande-Prairie, AB) walked with the bases loaded which plated Canada’s first run, Bradi Wall (Swift Current, Sask.) had an RBI groundout and Jennifer Gilroy (Mississauga, Ont.) and Beck Hartley (White Rock, BC) each contributed RBI singles.
Canadian starter Autumn Mills (London, Ont.) sat in the dugout for a while as her team piled on the runs in the top of the first and Venezuela got to her in the bottom of the first with two runs on three hits.
Mills settled in from there and provided her team with a gutty four innings of work on the mound keeping Venezuela off the scoreboard.
“She battled for us out there,” said Lachance. “The performance that she gave allowed us to save some pitchers for later in the tournament, so it was exactly what we needed.”
Hartley picked up her second hit of the game when she belted a double over the left fielder’s head scoring Gilroy from second base to put Canada up 5-2 in the top of the third.
In the bottom of the inning Mills gave-up a lead-off double, but retired the rest of the side to keep Venezuela from creeping back into the game.
Veteran Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga, Ont.) got her team going with a one-out double in the fourth and came around to score when Stéphanie Savoie (Québec, Que.) scorched a double of her own to right field.
After the game Lachance commented on how much Stephenson means to the team on all sides of the ball plus providing team leadership.
“Ashley is a big part of this team,” he said. “She lives in the moment, is very vocal and has a positive impact on other members of the team.”
Stephenson and Savoie combined for five hits, six runs and three RBI, while Bradi Wall and Becky Hartley had three RBIs each.
Canada would add two more runs in the fourth before putting the game out of reach in the fifth with a six-run outburst which ultimately set-up the possibility of a mercy-rule win.
The six-run fifth was highlighted by back-to-back doubles from Jenna Flannigan (Cornwall, Ont.) and Nicole Luchanksi (Edmonton, Alta.), while Savoie tripled to right field to score Stephenson.
Amanda Asay (Prince George, BC) came on for the fifth allowing one hit, while getting two ground outs and line-out to end the game.
“I was pleased with Amanda’s performance,” added Lachance. “This is the first time she has pitched for us in a World Cup and it allowed the coaching staff to see what other options we may have to use as the tournament goes on.”
Canada will face Australia Sunday, 11-8 losers to the US earlier Saturday to put their record at 1-1.
“Australia can hit and it’s not over until the final out against them,” explained Lachance. “We’re expecting a high scoring game, but hopefully with the arms we put out tomorrow it will help contain their offence.”
Notes: Sunday’s game will begin at 5 pm ET at TELUS Field in Edmonton … LIVE tournament scoring of all games, standings, stats and rosters can be found at www.ibaf.org … Make sure to follow Baseball Canada on Twitter (www.twitter.com/baseballcanada) for up-to-date news and information.