Canada earned a key 5-3 victory against China at the end of an exciting game that will leave China with some regret about the three runners stranded with no one out and the game tied at two and about suffering the last out of the game at third. Canada’s Kendra Falby played a spectacular all-around game, scoring the first run, giving a clinic on how to run the bases and getting the last out on a perfect throw.
Canada was quick in getting to China’s starter Chiai Yinan. Falby reached on an infield hit, stole second and third and scored on a base hit by Allyse Volpe. The left fielder stole second and scored on a single by pitcher Alexis Luchyshyn that sent Chiai to the showers.
Reliever Wei Yuchen managed to get to the end of the inning and to quiet Canada’s bats for three more at-bats.
In the meantime, China got to Lucyshyn with the short ball. With shortstop Lu Xiaomin (drag bunt) on second and third baseman Ma Yinying (single) on first, a grounder by right fielder Chen Anfeng forced a defensive error and a run. Designated player Gui Yunyuan followed with a base hit to tie the game. Catcher Xiang Yuwen failed to execute a squeeze play two times but reached safe first base anyway.
With the bases loaded an no one out, Canada got two consecutive outs at the home plate: on a comebacker to the mound by centre fielder Wang Yuan and, after another failed squeeze attempt, on a grounder to third by left fielder Liu Qi. Luchyshyn got another comebacker to get out of the inning.
Canada took back the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Volpe tripled over the head of Chen Anfeng in rightfield and scored on a sacrifice fly to shallow left field by Benson with a brave headfirst slide at home. Volpe injured herself while scoring and left for Megan Duclos.
Go ahead run!! 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/xiaKqTpUz6
— WBSC #U19SoftballWC (@WBSCsoftball) August 15, 2019
Canada added a couple of runs in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI-single by Falby and a ground out and gave reliever Kianna Jones a comfortable three-run lead to work with entering the seventh.
China didn’t give up without fighting. With one out, Chen Anfeng singled and advanced on a wild pitch. Jones got the second out, then hit catcher Xiang Yuwen. Center fielder Wang Yuan singled to make it 5-3. Xiang tried to reach third, but the game ended as she was tagged for the out by Rebecca Jones on a perfect throw by Falby.