Canada/USA Women's Series: Willan makes history as Canada sweeps doubleheader

 Madison Willan (Edmonton, Alta.) made history on Wednesday when she became the first player in Women’s National Team history to hit an out of the park home run. Photo Credit: Baseball Canada

Madison Willan (Edmonton, Alta.) made history on Wednesday when she became the first player in Women’s National Team history to hit an out of the park home run. Photo Credit: Baseball Canada

August 9, 2017

By Adam Morissette

Baseball Canada

WASHINGTON, DC – Edmonton’s Madison Willan made history on Wednesday becoming the first player in Women’s National Team program history to hit an out of the park homer after she belted a three-run shot at the Washington Nationals Youth Academy on day one of the summer development program.

The Women’s National Team program has 31 athletes split into two teams this week in the U.S. capital to play an exhibition series against USA Baseball’s Women’s National Team Development Program.

Canada Leaf 5 USA Stripes 4

Willan, playing for “Canada Leaf”, homered at a crucial time against USA’s Stripes squad to break a 2-2 tie and put Canada up by three. With two down and runners on second and third, Willan came in to pinch hit and slammed a pitch over the left field wall.

Canada then held off a USA comeback with Stacy Fournier (Langley, B.C.) earning the save in a 5-4 win.

Down 1-0 in the third, Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga, Ont.) ripped an RBI single to tie the score before Daphnée Gelinas’ (Québec City, Que.) singled home Amanda Asay (Prince George, B.C.) to give Canada the lead in the fourth. Asay paced Canada’s offence with a 3-for-4 day at the plate and scored two runs.

Canadian starter Tess Forman (Ottawa, Ont.) went three innings and allowed a run on two hits and two walks while striking out two. Noémie Lapointe (Laval, Que.) recorded the win after three innings of relief.

Canada Maple 13 USA Stars 7

Down by six runs in the top of the fifth, Canada Maple scored nine runs to take the lead and eventually hung on for a 13-7 win over USA Stars. Emma March (Vancouver, B.C.) got things going with a triple to score Emma Carr ((Toronto, Ont.) and later scored on a single to left off the bat of Allison Schroder (Fruitvale, B.C.). Pascal Jalbert (St-Honoré, Que.) added an RBI single before Canada benefitted from a pair of bases loaded walks and a throwing error that plated two runs.

With the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, Canada added to their lead when Jenn Gilroy (Mississauga, Ont.) reached on an error before Emma Carr drove in two with a single to right field. Kaitlyn Ross (Redcliff, Alta.) singled, stole second and moved to third on an error before scoring a wild pitch in the seventh, while reliever Stephanie Ellis (Brantford, Ont.) held the U.S. to one run over two innings of work to preserve the win.

Canada Maple starter Heather Healey (Paradise, Nfld.) worked three innings and gave up three runs before giving way to Britney Langlais (Garson, Man.) who was credited with the win.

Up Next: The series resumes Thursday at the Washington Nationals Youth Academy with a nine-inning contest slated for 6 p.m ET. Follow live here: http://sidearmstats.com/usabaseball/national_team/

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.