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.