Perfect day for Gélinas leads Canada over Cuba

By: Adam Morissette

Canadian Baseball Network

SANTO DOMINGO, DR – All Daphnée Gélinas didn’t do is score four times!  Otherwise, the Repentigny, QC right fielder had four at bats, four hits, and drove in four runs as Canada exploded for seven runs in the first inning and cruised to a 12-2 five-inning mercy rule win over Cuba in the opening game of the inaugural U20 Women’s Baseball International Cup at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal.  Her uniform number is even 22, and we know what 2 + 2 makes!

After starting pitcher Heather Healey surrendered a pair of runs courtesy of a wild pitch and a passed ball in the top of the first, Mia Valcke led off the bottom of the inning by drawing a base on balls, Gélinas lined a single to right field, and Pascale Jalbert ripped a double over the left fielder’s head to tie the game.  Isabella Denis then scorched a line drive down the left field line to plate Jalbert, and the rout was on. 

Cuba made their first of two pitching changes within the inning at that point, and after Jade Ledochowski was retired, Emma Carr’s two-strike base hit to right scored Denis.  After Carr swiped second, Marie-France Castillo was hit by a pitch, and Maria Roy lined a single to left centre to make the score 5-2. 

Élyane Guévremont walked to load the bases, and Valcke reached on a fielder’s choice when the Cuban shortstop threw to home for a force out.  Gélinas grounded a two-run single up the middle to complete the scoring, but for good measure, Jalbert singled before Denis flew out to end the bat-around inning.

Healey settled in and battled through a couple of jams in the second and third, allowing a total of four hits while striking out three, and southpaw Ann-Sophie Lavallée pitched a couple of scoreless innings, allowing one soft single while striking out a pair.

Gélinas’ single to centre field drove in Canada’s eighth run after Roy and Valcke were walked in the third inning.

Defensively, outfielders Carr and Gélinas each made a tough fly ball catch look easy in the third inning,  while Denis came up with a diving stab at shortstopwith runners on first and second to save a run, and 2B Guévremont dove to her right to snag a grounder to end the Cuban rally in the first.

In the fifth, Valcke led off by being walked, stole second, and scored on Gélinas’ single to centre field.  Jalbert completed her perfect three-for-three day with an opposite field single, and Denis belted a deep fly to left that resulted in a long single to load the bases.  Pinch-hitter Tess Forman stroked a two-run single to make the score 11-2, and Carr sliced a single down the left field line for the walk-off mercy rule win.

‘It was a great game for us both offensively and defensively,” said Manager André Lachance. “We could feel some nervousness at the start of the game but our offence got going early giving us a chance to refocus defensively.

“We are looking forward to step on the field again tomorrow to play against the host team.”

UP NEXT: Canada is slated to play the host squad from the Dominican Republic at 3pm EST on Thursday in its second of three round-robin games…White Rock, BC native Claire Eccles will start on the mound before the squad squares-off against Mexico on Friday at 10am EST… Follow all of the action on Twitter by following @Team_C_Updates.

 

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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.