Luchanksi knocks in run, Canada plays Venezuela, winner goes for gold

Canada had plenty of fan support and nine hits but only one run in a 3-1 loss to Team USA Friday. 

Canada had plenty of fan support and nine hits but only one run in a 3-1 loss to Team USA Friday. 

Canada forced to play semi after loss to United States
 
By Adam Morissette
Baseball Canada

AJAX, Ont. - A three-run third inning for Team USA proved to be the difference as they hung on to defeat Canada 3-1 to finish in top spot after round robin competition at the Pan American Games Baseball Competition.

The win gives the United States (4-0) a spot in Sunday’s gold medal game, while Canada (3-1) will have to play Venezuela (2-2) tomorrow to determine the other finalist. The loser of tomorrow’s game will be awarded the bronze medal.

“It’s definitely a tough loss to take,” said Canadian Manager André Lachance. “We’ll have to erase this loss from our memories real quick and focus on Venezuela.”

Team USA got things going in the top of the fourth as they loaded the bases before a single up-the-middle with two out scored two and a third run came in on the play on a throwing error. Canadian starting pitcher Jessica Bérubé (Québec City, Que.) had allowed back-to-back singles with one out before a two out walk loaded the bases.

Bérubé was strong through three scoreless innings to start the game as she struck out five batters and allowed one hit before the United States opened the scoring in the fourth. Bérubé took the loss, but had a solid outing overall as she lasted five and one-third innings and allowed five hits and two walks, while fanning seven. She was charged with two earned runs.

“Jessica was fresh and ready (tonight) and did a good job for us,” said Lachance.  “I was proud of her it was a great performance.”

“I had a good fastball (today) and pitched a lot of strikes,” added Bérubé. “I’m happy with my performance, but the team lost and that’s all that matters.”

Claire Eccles (Surrey, BC) took over for Bérubé with one out and a runner on first and promptly picked off the runner before even throwing a pitch. She went 1 2/3 innings and walked two batters.

Canada had a glorious opportunity to get back into the game after they loaded the bases in the fifth with nobody out, but a ground ball back to the pitcher that went for a double play followed by a strikeout got the United States out of the inning with no damage done.

Down three runs and with their backs against the wall in the bottom of the seventh, Canada finally broke through as Nicole Luchanksi (Edmonton, Alta.) lined a double to centre that scored Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga, Ont.) from second base and put runners on second and third with nobody out. That would be all that Canada would get, however as Team USA’s Sarah Hudek retired the next three batters to end the game and earn the save.

“We have a resilient team here with many players having been through these types of situations before,” explained Lachance. “I’m confident in our group and know that we’ll come out strong against Venezuela tomorrow.

“Anything beyond tomorrow’s game, we’ll worry about after.”

UP NEXT: The Canada vs Venezuela is set for tomorrow night (7pm ET) at President’s Choice Ajax Pan Am Ball Park … The only way to follow this game is through Baseball Canada’s Twitter account (@baseballcanada) 


AJX - 24 Jul 19:30
United States 3, Canada 1 

Score
Team         123 456 7       R H E LOB

United States 000 300 0    --  3 5 0 5
Canada       000 000 1    --  1 9 1  9

Statistics
Canada
Name    Position    AB    R    H    RBI    BB    SO    PO    A    E

LUCHANSKI Nicole, 2B 4    -    2    1    -    -    2    -    -    
WALL Bradi, SS 4    -    -    -    -    -    2    -    -
SAVOIE Stéphanie, C 4    -    1    -    -    2    7    1    -    
ASAY Amanda, DH     4    -    1    -    -    -    -    -    -
LALOR Kelsey, LF 2    -    1    -    1    -    2    -    -    
FLANNIGAN Jenna, RF 3    -    1    -    -    -    1    -    -
GILROY Jennifer, 1B 3    -    -    -    -    1    4    -    1    
STEPHENSON Ashley, 3B 3    1    2    -    -    1    -    2    -    
BOYD Veronika, CF     2    -    1    -    -    -    3    1    -
PSOTA Katherine, PH-    -    -    -    1    -    -    -    -
MATTEUCCI Daniella, PR -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
BÉRUBÉ Jessica, P     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
ECCLES Claire, P     -    -    -    -    -    -    -    1    -
Totals        29    1    9    1    2    4    21    5    1

United States
Name    Position    AB    R    H    RBI    BB    SO    PO    A    E
GORTAREZ Jade, SS 3    -    -    -    1    2    1    1    -
UNDERWOOD Malaika, 1B 4    -    2    -    -    -    8    -    -
HOLMES Tamara, DH    3    1    1    -    -    1    -    -    -
WHITMORE Kelsie, P-RF -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    -
HUDEK Sarah, RF-P     2    1    1    -    1    -    1    -    -
COBB Samantha, LF 3    -    -    -    -    2    1    -    -    
MARSTON Jenna, 2B 2    1    -    -    1    -    1    1    -    
SNYDER Michelle, 3B 3    -    1    2    -    -    2    2    -    
GOMEZ Brittany, CF    3    -    -    -    -    1    2    -    -    
KIMBRELL Anna, C    2    -    -    -    1    1    5    1    -    
SEMENTELLI Marti    -    -    -    -    -    -    -    1    -
Totals        25    3    5    2    4    7    21    6    -

Pitching Statistics
Canada 
Name    W/L/S    IP    Hits (H)    R    ER    BB    SO    HR    WP    BK

BÉRUBÉ Jessica L(0,1,0)    5.1    5    3    2    2    7    -    1    -    
ECCLES Claire 1.2    -    -    -    2    -    -    -    -
Totals        7.0    5    3    2    4    7    -    1    -

Name    W/L/S    IP    Hits (H)    R    ER    BB    SO    HR    WP    BK    
SEMENTELLI Marti W(1,0,0)    6.0    7    -    -    1    3    -    -    -
WHITMORE Kelsie -    2    1    1    1    -    -    -    -    
HUDEK Sarah S(1,0,1)    1.0    -    -    -    -    1    -    -    -

Comment

Adam Morissette

Adam Morissette was born and raised in Ottawa, Ont. where sports were always a big part of his life whether it be baseball, hockey or football, including playing two seasons as centre for coach Pat Sheahan with the Queen's University Golden Gaels in Kingston -- Canada's first capital. Morissette has always have been passionate about baseball and has fond memories of attending Montreal Expos games with his father, Mike, and listening to his recollection of watching baseball in Montreal at Jarry Park and stories about Gary Carter, Rusty Staub and Steve Rodgers. Morissette could often be found in a near empty Lynx Stadium watching Joe Siddall, Bert Heffernan, Curtis Pride and Jamie Carroll soaking in a beautiful summer night at the ballpark. He was a member of the provincial championship Orleans Red Sox Little League teams also played with the Ottawa White Sox for the late Lyle Anderson and Todd Burke in OBA Midget and American Legion play and the Capital City Crushers (NCBL), primarily as a catcher. Has also spent time coaching Little League in Orleans and South Ottawa. He wanted to turn his passion into a career and enrolled in Sport Business Management at Algonquin College in Ottawa in 2007. After working for the Ottawa 67's OHL team as the Ticket Coordinator, Morissette jumped at the opportunity to become the Media and Public Relations Coordinator with Baseball Canada in 2010. He loves watching and reading about pro, college or amateur baseball and is a long-time subscriber to Baseball America. Morissette is thrilled about the idea of writing about baseball and is interested in covering any story that his car -- and time -- will allow him to cover.