MATSUYAMA, Japan – For the second day in a row, the Women’s National Team came from behind late and this time it earned them a trip to the Gold Medal Game as Canada defeated Australia 7-6 at the III IBAF Women’s Baseball World Cup.
The previous night, Canada executed two successful squeeze plays in the top of the seventh inning to come back and win against the United States, also by a score of 7-6.
“We are playing like bandits! We keep stealing games from our opponents in the late innings or our last at-bats!” stated Team Canada Manager André Lachance.
Tonight’s 7-6 win over Australia was very gratifying for the coaching staff as they’ve seen the Aussie’s play the role of spoiler before.
“Australia beat us in 2006 in Taiwan and almost knocked us out of medal contention,” says Eric LaForest. “Australia certainly affected our chances of winning a gold medal in 2006; we again showed mental toughness tonight to come from behind late to get this win!”
Canada gave up three runs in the top of the first inning but responded with one run in the bottom of the first and again in the second to cut the lead to one. Then the Canadian women posted three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 5-3. Australia rallied in the top of the fifth inning with another three-run frame to regain the lead 6-5.
Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Nicole Luchanski (Edmonton, AB) singled to right and scored the tying run on a follow up triple by Autumn Mills (London, ON). With Mills standing at third, Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga, ON) singled to left field with two out and cashed the go-ahead run.
Kate Psota (Burlington, ON) shut the door the rest of the way and got the win for Canada, putting them one win away from their first world championship.
Canada plays Japan for the gold medal on Friday, August 29 at 6:30 pm local time (Friday, 5:30 am EST) at Botchan Stadium. You can follow the game live at the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) website at: www.ibaf.org.