Canada opens Women’s Worlds beating Chinese Taipei
* Stéphanie Savoie (Québec, Que.) got Canada rolling from a 2-0 deficit with a double to right as Canada opened the IBAF World’s Cup with a 12-2 win over Chinese Taipei.Photo: Jacques Lanciault ….
By Adam Morissette
EDMONTON _ Team Canada could not have envisioned a better start to the fifth IBAF Women’s World Cup than what took place at TELUS Field Friday night as they earned a 12-2 mercy-rule win over Chinese Taipei.
Canada was dominant in all facets of the game as they sent the hometown crowd of 1,500 home happy.
“Defensively we were outstanding and on offence we had 16 hits which made a big difference in the outcome of the game,” said Canadian manager André Lachance.
Taipei actually led 2-0 after the top of the first after an RBI triple and run scoring single off Canadian starter Kate Psota (Burlington, Ont.).
“Its baseball, it happens,” said Psota of getting behind early. “I tried to relax, throw strikes and my defence did a great job behind me.”
After two quick outs in the bottom half of the first Stéphanie Savoie (Québec, Que.) belted a double to right field which provided her club with a spark. Psota then singled and Amanda Asay (Prince George, BC) walked which set the table for Meagan Cornelssen (Grande Prairie, Alta.) who doubled to left-field which cleared the bases.
In the bottom of the second, Canada struck again for two runs as Savoie and Psota picked up RBI singles after Jenna Flannigan (Cornwall, Ont.) doubled and Nicole Luchanksi (Edmonton, Alta.) singled.
“I think we started out a bit nervous which is normal,” explained Lachance. “Once we started hitting it became contagious and everyone contributed.”
As happy as Lachance was about his team’s offensive outburst, he was even more thrilled with the way his team played defence and shut Taipei down once Canada took the lead.
“We turned a couple double-plays, made all the plays we needed to and came up big when Taipei had the bases loaded in the fifth when the score was still somewhat close,” he said.
Psota’s game ended after the fourth with her only giving up the two runs in the first and scattering seven hits, while fanning one batter.
“I was happy with my outing and I can’t say enough about my defence,” said Psota. “As pitcher it’s so important to have confidence in your defence and I feel so confident with them behind me.”
Luchanksi continued to be a table setter as she smoked a one-out double to right-centre in the fourth and Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga, Ont.) followed with a single to left to score her from second base.
The hits kept on coming as Savoie picked up her third hit of the game to put runners on the corners and Amanda Asay singled to score Stephenson from third.
Vanessa Riopel (Repentigny, Que.) took over for Psota on the mound to start the fifth and got out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam when Stephenson snared a liner at third base to end the inning.
Canada exploded for five runs in the fifth which ended the contest via the mercy rule as Bradi Wall (Swift Current, Sask.) and Flannigan doubled, while Psota singled Stephenson in from third base with the game winning run.
Several Canadian players had tremendous offensive days at the plate as Luchanksi, Savoie and Psota had three hits each.
“It’s so important to get off to a good start like we did tonight in a tournament like this,” added Lachance. “With the build-up to the first game I think the pressure level will go down and we can begin preparing ourselves for the rest of the tournament.”
Notes: Canada will face Venezuela tomorrow at 10 pm ET at TELUS Field in Edmonton … All tournament scores, standing, stats and rosters can be found at www.ibaf.org … You can follow Baseball Canada on Twitter (www.twitter.com/baseballcanada) for up-to-date news and information.