Canada exploded for seven runs in the first inning and added nine more in the fifth to cruise to an 18-4 mercy-rule win over India at the women’s baseball World Cup on Sunday in the first ever meeting between the two teams in a sanctioned international baseball competition.
The win evened Canada’s record at 1-1 through two days of competition. The Canadians, ranked fourth in the world, play the No. 7 Netherlands on Monday with a spot in the next round on the line.
Defending champion Japan leads Group B with two wins through two games. The Netherlands are also 1-1. The top two teams from each group advance to the second round.
“I’m pleased with the way we played today given the circumstances,” Canadian Manager Andre Lachance said. “These games aren’t easy to play sometimes when you’re heavily favoured, so I was happy with the way we went about our business today to come out with a win.”
India is playing in the women’s World Cup for the first time with the goal of helping grow baseball in the country. The entire team, including coaches, is new to baseball.
“It’s great to see new countries involved in the sport and trying to build programs to be able to compete at this level,” Lachance said. “I hope they continue with their program, it’s great for women’s baseball to have more countries involved.”
Fifteen-year-old Canadian starter Katie Hagen of Dartmouth, made history for the women’s national team program, becoming the youngest player to ever play in a World Cup game for Canada. Hagen worked all five innings and fanned 10 to pick up the win.
“Katie gave us exactly what we needed today which was to throw strikes and pitch well into the game so we could give our bullpen a rest,” Lachance said. “I’m proud of the way she handled herself on the mound.”
Canada came out swinging in the top of the first and batted around the order to take an early 7-0 lead. Leadoff hitter Niki Boyd singled in both of her plate appearances, scored a run and knocked in one, while Amanda Asay and Becky Hartley each drove in runs on base hits.
India fought back in the home half of the first using a lead-off single and walk to get two runners aboard before a double to left scored both. Hagen followed with two strikeouts, but the second batter reached on a dropped third strike that put runners on the corners before a sac fly brought in the third run of the frame.
Canada added two runs in the fourth to increase the lead by six before exploding for nine in the fifth.
Canada had nineteen hits with eight players recording multihit games. Ella Matteucci smacked three doubles and drove in two as part of a 3-for-4 day, while Asay also went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
“It’s nice to put one in the win column, but it all means nothing if we don’t come out and get a win against the Netherlands tomorrow,” Lachance said. “We still have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be, so tomorrow is a big game for us.”Report Typo/Error