MIYAZAKI, Japan – The Australian Women’s National Baseball Team, the “Emeralds”, have claimed the 2014 Women’s Baseball World Cup bronze medal, erasing an early 2-0 deficit to beat Canada 3-2 on Sunday.
Emerald pitcher Stephanie Gaynor, who came in relief of starter Melinda Latimer in the second inning, earned the victory.
After Canada had tagged Latimer for two runs on two hits to start the game, Gaynor was brought in and silenced the Canadian offense, allowing only 1 hit over the next 5 1/3 innings.
Australia struck for one run in the second-, fifth- and seventh/final inning to complete the comeback victory. Shae Lillywhite had two hits on the day, including a game-tying single in the 5th inning that scored Leigh Godfrey, who had doubled to start the rally.
The win for Australia answers back to Canada’s bronze medal victory over the Emeralds two years ago at the V Women’s Baseball World Cup, which was staged in Edmonton, Canada.
With the win, Australia’s Godfrey becomes the first player in history to win medals at both baseball and softball world championships. (Feature story to come later)
The loss for Canada was their fourth consecutive defeat – and second in as many nights to Australia – with three of those losses coming by only one run.
With Australia’s bronze medal performance, the Emeralds will now take sole possession of being ranked No. 3 in the world behind No. 1 Japan and No. 2 USA; both Australia and Canada had entered the World Cup with the same amount of IBAF World Rankings points.
Lillywhite was named “Best Second Basewoman” of the Women’s World Cup, while Canada’s Stephanie Savoie earned the honour of “Best Catcher”.
Australia’s best result was at the IV Women’s Baseball World Cup that was staged in Maracay, Venezuela in 2010, when the Emeralds reached the final and earned the silver.
Canada has earned one silver and three bronzes since the inception of the Women’s Baseball World Cup in 2004.
A total of twenty-four Baseball World Cup games were contested in Miyazaki, with each National Team competing in a total of six contests.