MATSUYAMA, Japan – The Women’s National Team’s quest for their first World Championship fell just short as Canada would fall to Japan by a score of 11-3 in the Gold Medal Game at the III IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup.
Despite the loss, Canada’s silver medal finish means that this is the team’s highest placement since the tournament’s inception in 2004. Canada earned bronze medals at the two previous Women’s World Cups in 2004 and 2006.
“I’m really proud of our team. We showed a lot of character to get where we are and I can’t ask for a better performance out of the girls,” says Manager André Lachance.
The Canadians got on the board first in the second inning when Karine Gagné (Granby, QC) singled up the middle to score Marie-Josée Tremblay (St-Honoré, QC) from third and give Canada a 1-0 lead.
Canada added to its lead in the third inning when they would load the bases with one out for Tremblay, who hit into a fielder’s choice to drive in Amanda Asay (Prince George, BC) and put the Canadians ahead 2-0.
Japan would bounce back however in the bottom of the fourth when they would plate four runs off of Canadian pitcher Kate Psota (Burlington, ON), who came in relief of starter Martine Nadeau (Québec City, QC), to take a 4-2 lead.
The Canadians responded in the top of the fifth inning when Geneviève Beauchamp (Sherbrooke, QC), who reached on a double, would score on a RBI single from Tremblay to cut the lead to one.
But then the wheels would fall off for Canada in the bottom of the fifth as they would run out of fresh arms on the mound and Japan would capitalize to score seven runs and put the game out of reach.
Canada would pound out 12 hits to Japan’s 11, however a pair of costly errors and leaving 12 runners on-base was the story on this day for the Canadians. But there is a silver lining.
“We’ve moved one step closer to our main goal here,” says Lachance. “Hopefully in 2010, we will accomplish what we’ve set out for since the beginning and that’s to bring home a gold medal.”