Team Canada win’s bronze after defeating the U.S. 8-5 at the women’s baseball world cup in Florida. (Baseball Canada/Instagram)

Canada beats U.S. for bronze in extras at women’s baseball World Cup

Canada won silver at the last tournament in South Korea in 2016, losing to No. 1-ranked Japan

Veteran Ashley Stephenson came into the women’s baseball World Cup with the mindset that the tournament could be her last as a player.

Now that she’s leaving with a bronze medal after a dramatic win over the United States, the third baseman from Mississauga, Ont., isn’t quite sure she’s ready to give it up.

Stephenson drove in two runs as part of a five-run 10th inning after Daphnee Gelinas broke the tie with an RBI single, and Canada held on to defeat the host United States 8-5 in Viera, Fla., on Friday.

“I was talking to Kate Psota, another veteran on the team, and she was like: ‘I don’t know how we can hang it up after this. That was just way too much fun,’” Stephenson said with a laugh. ”We just kind of chuckled to ourselves and left the room without saying anything else — so yeah, it will be a cliffhanger for the next little bit.

“I approached it like it was my last tournament and have no regrets about it. It’s every two years so it’s a big commitment. … But we didn’t pull the chute just yet.”

With international baseball rules in play, the teams began their respective halves of the extra innings with runners on first and second. Neither team managed to push a run across over the eighth and ninth despite plenty of chances on both sides.

Gelinas finally broke through with a run-scoring single off Stacy Piagno in the top of the 10th — her fourth RBI of the game after a three-run homer in the fifth — and Anne-Sophie Lavalee made it 5-3 with a bases-loaded hit by pitch. Mia Valke drove in another and Stephenson followed with her two-run base hit.

Right-hander Allison Schroder, competing in her first World Cup, allowed two runs in the bottom of the 10th before getting a double play to end the game.

Stephenson, a high school teacher, has played in each of the eight World Cups since the tournament’s inception in 2004. Psota, of Burlington, Ont., has done the same while manager Andre Lachance has skipped the team from the beginning.

This World Cup marked Lachance’s last at the helm of the women’s national program.

“Where the sport’s gone since 2004, not just in our country but across the globe, a lot of it has to do with Andre,” Stephenson said. “Today, the bronze felt like gold and I’m glad he was able to go out with a medal.”

Canada won silver at the last tournament in South Korea in 2016, losing to No. 1-ranked Japan in the championship final. The Canadians, ranked No. 2, have finished in the top 4 in every World Cup and have six medals — four bronze and two silvers.

Japan beat Taiwan for its sixth consecutive gold medal later Friday.

RELATED: Canada Cup action in photos at B.C.’s Softball City

Gelinas had given Canada a 3-2 lead with her three-run homer in the top of the fifth inning. The second baseman from Repentigny, Que., connected on a 3-1 pitch from Brittany Schutte with one out, sending the ball over the right-field fence and scoring Kaitlyn Ross and Nicole Luchanski.

Canada was two outs away from victory when the U.S. tied the game on a Malaika Underwood double off Schroder in the bottom of the seventh.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” Stephenson said. “I just remember saying when I jogged into the dugout ‘well let’s have fun.’ International tiebreak, I knew it would be a crazy finish.”

The Americans had scored two in the first inning on a single and a bases-loaded hit batter from Canada’s Amanda Asay, who was starting two days after pitching a complete game shutout against Venezuela.

The right-hander from Prince George, B.C., who’s in the process of completing a PhD in forestry at UBC, worked 5 2/3 innings before being replaced by the 16-year-old Schroder. The Fruitvale, B.C., native inherited a runner on third, but struck out pinch hitter Samantha Cobb to end the inning.

“Asay really bared down on the mound and was outstanding,” Stephenson said. “And then Schroder came in with nerves of steel. And she just kept dealing in extras.”

Schroder was one of two 16-year-olds on a Canadian team that blended youth with experience. Five more players on the roster were under 18.

“The future is right now for sure for this program.” Stephenson said. “There’s some veterans that were key, Psota had an unbelievable tournament, Luchanski is always so good. But the young girls really are the future and they’re here and they’re ready.

“It’s been fun to watch.”

Melissa Couto, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Rebels lose to Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1

Tigers break Rebels’ three-game winning streak

Red Deer’s newest outdoor ice facility opens to the public next week

The speed skating oval at Setters Place at Great Chief Park will be open Dec. 17th

Exhibition explores the rich history and culture of Métis people

The exhibition is on display from Dec. 15th to March 10th at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host sites announced

A total of 39 Provincial Championships will be hosted across the province

40-year Big Brother match a gift to Lacombe man

Andy Pawlyk and his Little Brother Chris Selathamby honoured at BBBS Awards Night

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

‘I practically begged’: B.C. woman with breast cancer denied referral to Calgary

Breast cancer patient left to fight disease alone after being denied referral to Calgary

Facebook reveals bug gave apps unauthorized access to 6.8 million users’ photos

It’s believed up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers had access to Facebook Stories, private photos

21 detained before Paris protests as police deploy in force

There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Language on Sikh extremism in report will be reviewed, Goodale says

A public-safety ministry document indicats terrorist threats to Canada included a section on Sikh extremism for the first time

Most Read