Canada matched its best-ever result in an international tournament with a silver medal at the Women’s Baseball World Cup on Sunday.
Ayami Sato pitched a complete game shutout as Japan downed the Canadians 10-0 to earn its fifth successive world cup championship.
Sato allowed just two hits and a walk while striking out five in a dominant performance. Chihiro Funakoshi drove in three runs for the top-ranked Japanese while Iori Miura had three hits and a run batted in.
“They’re five-time world champions for a reason and are a really tough team to play against,” Canadian manager André Lachance said. “You need to play a flawless game to beat them and unfortunately that didn’t happen for us today.”
London, Ont., native Autumn Mills took the loss, allowing six runs on six hits and three walks through 2 2/3 innings. She also struck out three.
Canada has five world cup medals – two silver and three bronze – since the biennial tournament began in 2004. Canada also won silver in 2008, losing to Japan in that final as well, and took silver at the Pan American Games in a loss to the United States in Toronto last summer.
“I’m so unbelievably proud of our team and the way in which we competed all week,” Lachance said. “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 No. 4 Canadians lost just two matches throughout their 2016 world cup run, including an opening round-robin loss to Japan.
Earlier Sunday, Venezuela scored four runs in the seventh and final inning to rally for a 4-3 win over Taiwan for bronze.
A five run third inning put Canada in a deep hole, chasing Mills out of the game. Japan used three hits, including a two-run double, two walks and two Canadian errors to score.
“Walks and errors normally haunt you and against Japan,” Lachance said. “They’re a team that will burn you if you make those type of mistakes.”
Lachance said that the women’s national team program, despite the loss, “took great strides here this week.”
“Our goal is to win one of these things one day and we’ll continue working toward that goal moving forward,” he added. “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.”Report Typo/Error