WBSC Women's Baseball World Cup: Japan wins gold, Canada silver
GIJANG, Korea- A five run third inning put Team Canada in a deep hole, while Japanese starter Ayami Sato turned in a dominant performance on the mound as Japan earned their fifth consecutive WBSC Women’s Baseball World Cup gold medal with a 10-0 win.
“They’re five-time world champions for a reason and are a really tough team to play against,” said Canadian Manager André Lachance. “You need to play a flawless game to beat them and unfortunately that didn’t happen for us today.”
Box Score – Japan 10 Canada 0
The silver medal matches Canada’s best ever result at a Women’s Baseball World Cup after falling to Japan in the championship contest back in 2008.
“I’m so unbelievably proud of our team and the way in which we competed all week,” said Lachance. “I think we made a statement this week that we’re one of the top teams in the world. We have a lot to be proud of.”
The medal is Canada’s fifth all-time at the Women’s Baseball World Cup matching the silver in 2008, while adding to bronze medals that were won in 2004, 2006 and 2012.
“Our goal is to win one of these things one day and we’ll continue working toward that goal moving forward,” said Lachance. “To be the best in the world you need to beat the best so we’ll come back in two years and give it another run.”
The five run third, that chased Canadian starter Autumn Mills (London, ON) from the game, saw Japan use three hits, including a two run double, and two walks, while Canada committed two errors on defence.
“Walks and errors normally haunt you and against Japan they’re a team that will burn you if you make those type of mistakes,” said Lachance.
Japanese starter Ayami Sato, who fanned 11 Canadian batters on the first day of the tournament, was equally impressive as she gave up just two hits and a walk, while striking out five in a complete game effort.
Japan opened the scoring in the second on a two-out RBI single to left that scored a runner from third. The inning started with a lead off single to centre followed by a sacrifice bunt put the runner in scoring position before she stole third with two out.
Combating Japan’s running game was also an issue that Canada faced as they stole seven bases.
“They’re really efficient in all facets of the game and that includes base running,” explained Lachance. “Not only do they possess good team speed, but they know how to run the bases and put pressure on (the defence).”
Despite the loss, Lachance is optimistic about the future of the program with a nice blend of experience and youth still in the mix.
“Our Women’s National Team program took great strides here this week,” he said. “We have a good core of veteran players and the experience our younger players received here will be invaluable going forward.