Niki Boyd scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly from Daphnee Gelinas in the fifth inning, and Canada completed a rally from six runs down to beat Cuba 10-7 on Thursday in its second weather-shortened game of the women’s baseball World Cup.
Gelinas drove in Boyd with the one-out fly to right field off Cuban reliever Isabel Gonzalez Pavon, and Kate Psota and Kelsey Lalor added RBI singles to extend the lead.
“All wins in this tournament are big, but this one was big for us dealing with the adversity that we faced and how we overcame it,” said Canadian manager Andre Lachance.
“I’m proud of the way our group competed today, didn’t panic and ended up with a positive result. I had no doubt in my mind that we’d be able to come back after getting behind (early).”
The Canadians (2-0), defending silver medallists at the biennial event, trailed 7-1 in the third inning.
They scored two in the bottom of the third, then tied the game 7-7 with a four-run fourth inning that was capped by an RBI base hit from veteran third baseman Ashley Stephenson. Stephenson, of Mississauga, Ont., and Psota, of Burlington, Ont., have competed at each of the eight women’s World Cups since 2004.
Gelinas kicked off the action in the fourth with a pinch-hit RBI triple.
“That hit by Daphnee was huge for us,” said Lachance. “It really got our bats going and gave our team the spark that we needed.”
Kaitlyn Ross, Claire Eccles and Nicole Luchanski also drove in runs for Canada.
Usually seven innings, the game was called after five due to weather. Canada opened the tournament Wednesday with a 4-0 win over Hong Kong in a match that was also called after five innings following a lightning delay.
Right-hander Amanda Asay, a forestry PhD student at the University of British Columbia, pitched all five innings for the Canadians.
Asay also made a stellar defensive play in the top of the third, diving to field a bunt with the bases loaded and flipping the ball to catcher Ross while falling to the turf, getting the out at the plate.
Eccles of Surrey, B.C., left the game in the third inning after a collision at home. The Cuban catcher knocked Eccles’ head hard with her glove as the Canadian was diving into the plate in an attempt to beat the tag. Eccles was called out on the play.
Cuba (0-2) lost its first game 12-4 to No. 4 Australia on Wednesday.
Canada settled for a silver medal at the 2016 tournament in South Korea after falling 10-0 to Japan in the championship final. Canada plays Japan in first-round action on Friday in a rematch of that game.
Japan, ranked No. 1, has won the last five women’s World Cups. Canada has won silver twice and bronze three times at the event.
In other round-robin action Thursday, the No. 13 Dominican Republic earned its first-ever win at the women’s World Cup, upsetting Australia 9-6, and Japan downed No. 10 Hong Kong 23-0 in five innings.