Burlington pitcher save game for Canada

In a wild and whacky game where Australia gave the Canadians all they could handle, Canada managed to prevail, 17-13, to claim the bronze medal at the 5th IBAF Women’s World Cup in Edmonton.

The medal is Canada’s fourth out of five IBAF Women’s World Cup events after winning bronze in 2004 and 2006, and silver in 2008.

Canada built an 8-1 lead through three innings before Australia fought back to within one run of the lead in the fifth. Canada went ahead 17-8 after six innings before Australia made things interesting in the seventh by scoring five runs only to see Autumn Mills (Burlington) come in to pitch and get a fielder’s choice and strikeout to end the game.

Canada jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the second where Nicole Luchanksi (Edmonton) hit a three-run, inside-the-park home run much to the delight of the 2,000 fans in attendance.

Australia scored one in the top half of the third off Canadian starter Vanessa Riopel (Repentigny, QC) before Canada added to their lead with three runs in the bottom of the inning coming off an Ashley Stephenson (Mississauga) bases loaded double.

Just when it looked as though Canada was in the driver’s seat, Australia stormed back with three runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings to make it an 8-7 game.

Canada answered back in a big way in the bottom of the fifth scoring four runs to go in front 12-7. The inning was highlighted by a Stéphanie Savoie (Québec) triple with the bases loaded that scored all three runs.

Savoie was 2-for-5 on the day with two runs scored and four RBIs.

After Australia scored a run in the top half of the sixth Canada put up a five-run sixth to make the score 17-8.

Jenna Flannigan (Cornwall, ON) picked up her fourth hit of the day in the inning and also scored one of her teams five runs.

Flannigan tied for the team lead in doubles and RBIs, while hitting .520 out of the nine-hole throughout the tournament.

Mills replaced Hannah Martensen (Ottawa), who was credited with the win on the mound, in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded and only one out.