The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Americans nip Canada 8-7 at women's World Cup baseball competition

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MIYAZAKI, Japan - Second baseman Nicole Luchanski of Edmonton had two hits, scored three runs and stole a base as Canada dropped an 8-7 decision to the United States on Wednesday in the final first-round game for both teams at the women's baseball World Cup.

Third baseman Ashley Stephenson of Mississauga, Ont., added two hits and two runs-batted in for Canada in a game that featured two rain delays.

"We never quit," said Canadian manager Andre Lachance. "I'm proud of my team, the way they show up every day, they fight, they never quit, and they always believe they have a chance.

"We make it tough on other teams all the time. It's not just because it was USA, it's going to be the same against Australia and against Japan. Whatever the score is, we're going to fight until the end."

Right-hander Vanessa Riopel of Repentigny, Que., started on the mound for Canada, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and a walk over three innings. Saskatoon's Melissa Armstrong came on in relief and gave up three runs on four hits with a walk while fanning one over 1 2/3 innings.

Amanda Asay of Prince George, B.C., took the loss, allowing a run on three hits and a walk over the final 1 2/3 innings.

Canada opens second-round play Friday against Japan.

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