Emeralds finish in style at Women's World Cup
Emeralds cap tournament with another strong win
Australia has wound up its Women’s World Cup campaign with a thumping 7-1 win over Korea to complete an undefeated second round and secure seventh placing overall.
From its eight games played, Australia won five and was ultra-competitive against higher-ranked nations in Japan and Canada – both of whom will be playing off in medals games.
GAME EIGHT: AUSTRALIA 7 defeated KOREA 1
With Sinead Flanigan spinning a quality start, Australia opening scoring with a three-run second built around hits to Abbey McLellan, Morgan Doty, Elodie O’Sullivan (RBI-single), a wild pitch, a Leslie Anglin sacrifice, a double by Shae Lillywhite and an Olivia Bannon single.
It was a telling assault followed by another three-spot in the third, including an O’Sullivan RBI-double, a defensive error and an Anglin grounder before the Koreans cashed in on a defensive slip-up for an unearned run in the top of four.
Winning pitcher Flanigan (four innings for three hits and no earned runs) was relieved by Amy Collins, who tossed a scoreless two innings while the Emeralds plated another insurance run before Maddison Tabrett closed out the game and the tournament for her side.
Outhitting the Koreans eight to three, Australia had several offensive contributors including O’Sullivan (two hits and two RBIs), Anglin (two RBIs), Doty (two hits) and Lillywhite (two hits). BOX SCORES
While Head Coach Simone Wearne, her staff and squad would be disappointed with not qualifying for the Super Round, a somewhat revamped playing group from the previous World Cup did particularly well in winning five games overall and finishing seventh. An Opening Round loss to Dominican Republic was especially costly, although a strong win over Cuba and highly competitive outings against Japan and Canada were reflective of the capacity of our team to take on some of the very best in the world. Well done to all!
United States will play Canada for the Bronze Medal, while an undefeated Japan will clash with Chinese Taipei for the Gold Medal. Both games are scheduled for Saturday 1 September AEST and will be streamed live by World Baseball Softball Confederation. WBSC LINK
Aussies overpower Puerto Rico
Australia has notched another impressive win at the Women’s World Cup in Viera, Florida – this time a 10-3 result over Puerto Rico, which was unable to negate timely hitting and solid defence generated by the Emeralds.
GAME SEVEN: AUSTRALIA 10 defeated PUERTO RICO 3
The Emeralds were off to a bright start, with three in the top of the fourth, built around a lead-off Shae Lillywhite HPB, a Bronwyn Gell single, an Abbey McClellan RBI single, a Tahnee Lovering single and a two-out Morgan Doty double that gleaned three for the inning.
Puerto Rico hit back with two unearned off Emeralds starter Kim McMillan in the bottom of the second before Australia stretched the lead on a Gell RBI-single in the top of four and a booming two-run opposite field homer by Taylah Welch in the top of five.
A Lillywhite sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded Chelsea Forkin HPB handed Australia a six-run break as the wheels threatened to fall off for Puerto Rico – which managed to escape the game-breaking innings with bases still juiced.
Relieving McMillan in the bottom of the frame, Abbey Kelly conceded a lead-off single and a walk that amounted to naught – compliments of a timely strike out and strong defence.
Plating two more on a muffed fly and throwing error in the sixth, the Emeralds rang the defensive changes and called Maddison Tabrett from the pen for a scoreless sixth before offensive star Welch was called upon to close out the game.
Although McMillan carded the win with a steady start, Welch (four hits, including the homer, for two RBIs) had an outstanding game, with great support provided by Gell (two hits, RBI, walk), McLellan (two hits, RBI, walk) and Morgan Doty (two hits). BOX SCORES
Australia will play its last game of the Women’s World Cup against Korea, starting at 8.00 AM on Friday 31 August AEST. STREAM
Emeralds produce crushing win over Netherlands
Generating an effectively flawless team performance, Australia thumped Netherlands 18-0 earlier today to post its third win of the Women’s World Cup being held in Viera, Florida.
GAMES SIX: AUSTRALIA 18 defeated NETHERLANDS 0
A three-run first was followed by an avalanche of runs as our team put up a six-spot in the second and three more in the third before forcing an early finish to the contest with another half dozen in the fourth of a five-innings mismatch.
Amassing fifteen hits, the Emeralds produced timely offence right through the order, with Chelsea Forkin leading the charge (triple and three doubles for a stunning six RBIs) along with Taylah Welch (three hits, three ribbies and a walk), Shae Lillywhite (two and one, with two walks), Maddison Tabrett (one and two, with a walk), Elodie O’Sullivan (hit, two RBIs and a walk) and Leslie Anglin (two hits and a walk).
Restricting the Netherlands to a handful of scoring opportunities, Kaila Borgomastro (three innings for two hits) and Morgan Doty (two hitless, scoreless frames) combined beautifully to share pitching duties in a comprehensive team outing that will give the Emeralds great confidence leading into tomorrow’s game against Puerto Rico. BOX SCORES
In their second Consolation Round game, the Emeralds will play Puerto Rico, starting at 8.00 AM Thursday 30 August AEST. STREAM
Emeralds edged out by Japanese juggernaut
With its 5-1 win over Australia this morning, Japan has gone undefeated through the Opening Round of the Women’s World Cup, while the Emeralds have finished fourth in their group and will move on to the Consolation Round to decide final placings for the tournament.
GAME FIVE: JAPAN 5 defeated AUSTRALIA 1
Needing the win to seal a Super Round berth, Australia was rocked early, when a walk and two doubles produced two for Japan in the bottom of the first before Taylah Welch and Morgan Doty doubled to reply in the second.
Losing her radar with four passes in the third, Brittany Hepburn was relieved by Kim McMillan with bases loaded and one out – a tough situation that could have produced more than three against a quality side in search of its twenty-sixth win on the trot at World Cup level.
Although landing several runners on base, the Emeralds were not able to convert, as Japan played solid and at times brilliant defence while McMillan (3.2 innings for three hits and no walks) did an outstanding job to keep her side in the contest.
Playing errorless defence and matching Japan with six hits – two of those by Bronwyn Gell - the Emeralds were ultra-competitive against the tournament favourite but paid dearly for one damaging innings back in the third. BOX SCORES
With Hong Kong dealing a surprise loss to Cuba, a three-way tie for third was averted – enabling Dominican Republic to advance to the Super Round ahead of Australia, which will go to the Consolation Round (after a rest day tomorrow) to decide final placings.
Canada offence relentless against Emeralds
Australia has incurred its second loss in the Opening Round of the Women’s World Cup, a 6-9 result against Canada, which recovered from a deficit and edged away through the last three innings in Viera Florida this morning.
GAME FOUR: CANADA 9 defeated AUSTRALIA 6
Canada challenged Emeralds starting pitcher Abbey Kelly in the first, stringing together a series of hits for an early run, although the Aussie team replied in kind after Shae Lillywhite slapped a triple into rightfield and scored on a Chelsea Forkin grounder.
Two more in the second gave Canada a handy lead before Australia called upon Laura Neads to contain a free-hitting opponent that conceded three walks and a HPB for a run in the bottom of three – although the scoring damage could have been far greater with bases left juiced.
Continuing to mow down the Canadian hitters, Neads was accorded offensive support in the bottom of three, when an error and a Lillywhite RBI-single levelled scores at three apiece before Abbey McLellan drew a bases-loaded walk for an Emeralds lead that forced a pitching change.
A Tahnee Lovering HPB and a wild pitch gleaned two more – for a three run break – although an irrepressible Canada continued to respond, knocking in three of its own and drawing Maddison Tabrett to the hill with the game deadlocked.
A two-out double by livewire Jenna Flannigan delivered two more for Canada, which produced some timely inspired defence in the bottom of six before plating a ninth run in the last and withstanding a late challenge from the Aussies, who landed runs at first and second - with none out - but were not able to convert.
Although the Emeralds displayed decent pitch selection and played solid defence, they were placed under sustained pressure by a Canada offence that racked up sixteen hits to seven over a thrilling contest, with Lillywhite (two hits, a walk and an RBI), McLellan (hit, walk, RBI) and Tahnee Lovering (walk and two ribbies) best with the bat for Australia. BOX SCORES
Now needing either another win or results falling its way to qualify for the Super Round , Australia’s final game of the Opening Round will be against reigning champion Japan, starting at 8.00 AM Monday 27 August AEST. AUSTRALIA versus JAPAN LIVE STREAM
Aussies sink Hong Kong in dominant outing
The Emeralds have kept their Super Round and medals hopes alive with a thumping 24-2 win over Hong Kong in the third of their Women’s World Cup games played in Viera, Florida overnight.
GAME THREE: AUSTRALIA 24 defeated HONG KONG 2
Although the Hong Kong side matched the Emeralds early – at two apiece after two – it could not contain a rampant Australian offence that amassed eighteen hits to five and placed the contest well beyond doubt with nine in the third and a blistering thirteen in the third for its second win of the tournament.
Eleven players registered hits for the Emeralds – with the standouts being outfielder Leslie Anglin (three hits and two RBIs, with a walk), evergreen Shae Lillywhite (two and four), Tahnee Lovering (two and three), Morgan Doty (two and two), Elodie O’Sullivan (two and two), Natalie House (one and two, with two walks), Taylah Welch and Bronwyn Gell.
Despite conceding an unearned run, the Aussie defence was solid throughout in support of winning pitcher Sinead Flanigan (3.2 inn for one earned run) before Amy Collins and Kaila Borgomastro mopped up towards the end of a confidence-building romp for the team. BOX SCORES
Still needing another win to gurantee a berth in the Super Round, the Emeralds are next scheduled to meet highly-ranked Canada, starting at 8.00 AM Sunday 26 August AEST. CANADA versus AUSTRALIA LIVE STREAM
Emeralds stumble against history-making Dominican Republic
After a comprehensive win over Cuba, Australia faltered against Dominican Republic at the Women’s World Cup overnight, going down 6-9 to an opponent that recovered from a deficit to post its first ever win at this tournament.
GAME TWO: DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 9 defeated AUSTRALIA 6
After the Dominicans plated a run in the first, the Emeralds levelled on a Taylah Welch RBI-double in the second before constructing a five-run third around a wild pitch, a balk, and error, a Shae Lillywhite double, Tammy McMillan single, Olivia Bannon single and a second run-scoring knock by Welch.
However, it began to come unstuck in the equaliser, when Aussie starter Brittany Hepburn found herself under fire for a string of runs before Abbey Kelly and Maddison Tabrett escaped the innings – a five-run response – before Dominican Republic broke the deadlock with three more in the bottom of six.
Both sides amassed nine hits in an intense contest, with Welch (two hits and two RBIs), Bannon (one and one), Abbey McLellan (two hits), Lillywhite (two hits), McMillan (hit and a walk) and Chelsea Forkin (hit and walk) providing the offence for an Emeralds side that will sense that this was one that got away.
Likely to require three wins to progress to the Super Round, Australia will face Hong Kong in Game Three (scheduled to start at midnight on Friday 24 August AEST) before tough games against powerhouse outfits in Canada and Japan. BOX SCORES
Emeralds crush Cuba in weather-affected contest
Australia has opened its Women’s World Cup campaign in positive fashion with a thumping 12-4 win over Cuba in a stop-start contest that spanned nearly twenty hours in Viera, Florida today.
GAME ONE: AUSTRALIA 12 defeated CUBA 4
The Emeralds started brightly, with a Natalie House double, a Chelsea Forkin triple and a wild pitch gleaning two in the bottom of the first before Cuba hit back with three of their own off Aussie starter Kim McMillan.
After drawing even, the Emeralds plated two more in the third – on a House single, some errant pitching and a pair of sacrifice flyballs by Tahnee Lovering and Morgan Doty for a one-run break before lightning and rain intervened in the bottom of the fourth.
On resumption nearly seventeen hours later – with first and second occupied – the Emeralds exploited Cuban defensive blunders to tack on six runs for a massive lead in support of reliever Laura Neads, who was accorded further run protection in the bottom of five when Shae Lillywhite smacked an RBI-double into the rightfield corner.
Holding an eight-run lead into the last, Australia summoned Sinead Flanigan from the pen to close out the game – compliments of a spectacular catch by short stop Bronwyn Gell - after a superb stint by winning pitcher Neads (3.2 innings for one hit and no earned runs).
With three hits - including a triple - for three RBIs, Chelsea Forkin was a star with the bat for Australia, along with Taylah Welch (three hits), House (two hits and a walk), Lovering (two RBIs) and Morgan Doty (triple, walk and an RBI). BOX SCORES
Australia will next meet Dominican Republic, starting at 4.00 AM Friday 24 August AEST.
Emeralds poised to shine at Women's World Cup
20 August 2018
While our national Under 15 squad was competing in Panama against the best emerging young players from across the globe, our women’s team – the Aussie Emeralds – has been engaged in intensive preparation in readiness for the Women’s World Cup starting in Viera, Florida, this week.
The tournament will run from 22 August to 31 August.
Ranked fourth by World Baseball Softball Confederation behind Japan, Canada and United States, the Australian women’s team has participated consistently at all World Cups thus far, being placed second in 2010 and third in 2014 - along with three fourth placings and one fifth.
Emeralds Head Coach Simone Wearne is excited about our prospects.
The twelve qualifying nations have been split into two groups of six for an opening Round Robin, with the three top teams from each going through to the Super Round prior to medals playoffs.
For the Opening Round, Australia is scheduled to play in Group B against Cuba, Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Canada and Japan, which has won the past five titles to justify its ranking atop the international table.
Group A teams comprise Chinese Taipei, Venezuela, Korea, Netherlands, Puerto Rico and United States – which won the first two titles and has been among the medals for six of its seven campaigns.
“We arrived in Tampa late on Sunday the twelfth, and began practice on Monday 13 August,” an enthused and well-prepared Simone Wearne told Australian Baseball Alumni at the weekend.
“We have been really lucky through a contact of our Assistant Coach Anthony Bennett to have use of a fantastic indoor baseball centre each morning – the Courthouse Performance Centre.”
“Then we have been practising each afternoon on either local high school fields, or at the George M Steinbrenner complex, home of the Yankees spring training facility,” she said.
“We have played three practice games so far, with another one to come this Sunday, as we wrap up our Tampa leg of the trip. Monday morning we will drive to Viera to begin training at USSSA Space Coast Stadium - where the World Cup will be played.”
A vastly experienced competitor and coach on the international baseball stage, Simone Wearne is under no illusions about the quality of opposition that the Emeralds will face.
“Our pool is a tough one,” Wearne said. “We have a variety of very different teams in our side of the draw, and Cuba and Dominican are a little unknown. Obviously it is a challenge coming up against Japan and Canada, who are both ahead of us in world rankings.”
“Those teams are always a tough ask.”
Attracting enormous attention across the baseball world, the Women’s World Cup will this year be exposed to an even greater audience – with World Baseball Softball Confederation announcing recently that all fifty of the games will be broadcast live.
Taking on a somewhat different look to its previous campaigns, the Emeralds team boasts a balance of experience and youth combining the talents of seasoned performers like eight time representative Shae Lillywhite, Tahnee Lovering, Laura Neads, Bronwyn Gell and Kim McMillan alongside emerging stars including Olivia Bannon, Abbey Kelly, and Maddison Tabrett.
With twelve of the twenty-player squad representing Australia for the first or second time, this is a substantially new era for women’s baseball – one that is bound to generate real excitement and optimism for a baseball community that values the effort and the sacrifice expended by all of our players who qualify for national representation.
“We’re really excited that we have some new players on board this year, plus a few that will be here for the second time,” Simone Wearne said. “All three of our first year players have worked extremely hard to earn their spot on the team, and we really believe that they can all play a role during the tournament.”
“Abbey McLellan has suffered some setbacks over the past few years and has just never given up on getting herself to the World Cup,” she continued. “Same goes for Borgo (Kaila Borgomastro) and Elodie (O’Sullivan). They have both been playing for quite some time, but over the past couple of years they have really worked hard to improve themselves as players.”
“Chelsea Forkin has committed herself to the program again this year, and that’s a big ask – and a great sacrifice - given all of her Aussie softball team commitments.”
“Having veteran players back like Lovering, Lillywhite and Gell is obviously a huge bonus for the team,” she said. “Long-time Emeralds players Laura Neads and Kimmy McMillan are taking on more significant roles with development of our pitching staff, which has also been great to watch.”
“And we have three returning players who have been part of the team in the past, but were not there two years ago. House, Tabrett, Welch and Flanigan all return - two of them (House and Tabrett) after having kids.”
Australia will open its Women’s World Cup campaign against Cuba (starting 4.00 AM on Thursday 23 August AEST), followed by games against Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Canada and Japan in that order (see Emeralds schedule below).
The top three teams in each group after the Opening Round will progress to the Super Round, while the other six teams will play a Consolation Round to determine final tournament placings.
While World Baseball Softball Confederation and Baseball Australia will be providing comprehensive coverage and streaming of the Women’s World Cup, Australia Baseball Alumni will seek to provide news and updates during the series.
We extend our very best wishes to the Emeralds players, coaches, support staff and supporters for a fantastic tournament!
2018 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP
EMERALDS SCHEDULE (Australian Eastern Standard Time)
AUSTRALIA versus CUBA (start time 4.00 AM Thursday 23 August AEST)
AUSTRALIA versus DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (4.00 AM Friday 24 August AEST)
AUSTRALIA versus HONG KONG (midnight Friday 24 August AEST)
AUSTRALIA versus CANADA (4.00 AM Sunday 26 August AEST)
AUSTRALIA versus JAPAN (4.00 AM Monday AEST)