AGUASCALIENTES, Mexico — Pinch hitter Amanda Asay hit a go-ahead two-run double in the seventh inning as Canada rallied for a 7-5 win over Cuba on Monday in a women’s baseball World Cup qualifier.
Cuba had taken a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth inning before the Canadians stormed back to win their third game of the tournament (3-0).
Asay, from Prince George, B.C., is a 14-year veteran of the women’s team.
“I can’t say enough good things about Asay,” said Canadian manager Aaron Myette. “She pitches, she’s a leader, and then we know we’re going to get good at-bats from her. We know she’s not intimidated by any situation or any pitcher, and we know she can hit the ball hard like she did today, bringing in those two runs for us.”
Claire Eccles of Surrey, B.C., paced the Canadian offence with three hits while scoring a run and stealing a base. Ellie Jesperson of Spruce Grove, Alta., singled twice and drove in two and Toronto’s Emma Carr reached base in all four of her plate appearances with two singles, two walks, one run scored, and one driven in.
Anne-Sophie Lavallee of Boucherville, Que., allowed four runs (none earned) on eight hits, with three walks and two strikeouts through five innings.
“It’s been fun to see what this team can do,” said the 21-year-old Eccles. “I’ve been used to being one of the young ones and this year kind of flipped the switch. Now I’m on the higher side of the average age (of 20), but it’s been fun. They’re really talented, so it’s been cool to play with all of them.”
Canada plays the United States Tuesday at the eight-team tournament. The top four teams advance to the 2020 World Cup.
Canada, ranked No. 2 in the world in women’s baseball behind Japan, won the bronze medal at the last World Cup in 2018. Canada has six World Cup medals in total since the biennial tournament began in 2004.
© Deloraine Times & Star