USA thumps Canada in semi-final
* Nicole Luchanski (Edmonton, Alta.) was on of Canada’s hitting heros throughout round-robin play ….
By Adam Morrissette
EDMONTON _ The Team Canada that fans in Edmonton had grown accustomed to watching over the past week at the fifth IBAF Women’s World Cup was nowhere to be found as the United States handed Canada a lopsided 17-4 semi-final loss.
Canada will now play Australia in bronze medal game, while the US will meet Japan for gold.
“Obviously it’s disappointing to play like we did with so much on the line,” said Canadian manager André Lachance. “We did not have an answer for their offense and give credit to their pitcher who threw a tremendous game.”
US starter Stacy Piagno didn’t allow a hit until the fourth when Nicole Luchanski (Edmonton, Alta.) managed an infield single and had a two-hit shutout going into the sixth before the Canadians scored four runs after being down 17-0.
The game only lasted six innings as the 10-run mercy-rule was invoked.
In the second, the US opened the scoring off Canadian starter Autumn Mills (Burlington, Ont.) who gave up two singles and after a failed pickoff attempt advanced the runners, a sacrifice-fly brought in the first run of the game.
The floodgates opened in the third inning when the US scored seven runs to go up 8-0.
Mills was replaced by Jessica Bérubé (Québec, Que.) who gave up a triple with the bases loaded on the first pitch she threw and on the play a Canadian error allowed the batter to score the fourth run.
“It seemed as though everything we threw at them they hit,” explained Lachance. “Give credit to them, they hit the ball hard and were able to keep their momentum going.”
Offensively Canada only managed five hits with three coming in the bottom of the sixth.
Amanda Asay (Prince George, BC) took over on the mound in the sixth and the US piled on with eight runs coming on six hits and two Canadian errors.
Team USA’s Malaika Underwood had two doubles and two RBIs in the inning.
Canada gave the hometown crowd of 3,100 something to cheer about in the sixth when they struck for four runs after being down 17-0.
Stéphanie Savoie (Québec, Que.) had a scoring fly ball and Kate Psota (Burlington, Ont.) knocked in a run with an RBI single.
Canada will now take on Australia with a bronze medal on the line at Telus Field. Canada defeated Australia earlier in the tournament by a 5-4 score so the game promises to be close.
“I told the girls after the game that they had two choices,” continued Lachance. “They can be upset and carry it with them for a while or they can do their best to forget about this loss and come out tomorrow and win a bronze medal.”
Canada won bronze medals at the 2004 and 2006 IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup and won silver at the 2008 event.
Notes: Tomorrow’s game against Australia will begin at 3 pm ET and the game can be heard live on-line … 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.