Defensive role limited due to partial tear in rotator cuff
Santo Domingo – Mia Valcke, who lives in St. Marys and plays for the Stratford Midget Tier 2 boys’ baseball team, scored four of her tournament-leading nine runs as the U20 Team Canada went undefeated to win the inaugural Women’s International Cup at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal on Sunday, romping the host Dominican Republic 13-3 in the gold medal championship game.
Canada beat Cuba 12-2, the Dominican Republic 11-1, and Mexico 7-3 in the round-robin portion of the tournament, and took down Mexico 11-1 in the semi-finals.
Valcke, a multi-sport student-athlete at St. Michael Catholic SS, led off the bottom of the first reaching by error as the Dominican second baseman rushed a throw after corralling a ground ball up the middle. She promptly stole second and scored on Repentigny, Quebec’s Daphnée Gélinas’ double.
The game was tied 2-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, when Canada exploded for four runs, and then plated another four in the bottom of the fifth. Valcke walked and scored in the midst of both rallies, also swiping second with her tourney-leading fifth theft.
In Canada’s three-run sixth inning when they invoked the international mercy rule, Valcke lined a single to right to score Paradise, Newfoundland’s Heather Healey, and was driven home on Candiac, Quebec’s Isabella Denis’s game-ending two-run single.
Valcke reached base in 12 of her 16 plate appearances. Her defensive role was limited due to a partially torn rotator cuff, and played mainly left field and first base.
“I learned a lot about playing international baseball on this trip, like having to make adjustments for pitchers with different speeds and deliveries,” said the 16 year-old, who also plays softball for the Waterloo Ghosts. “My OBP (on-base percentage) was okay, but I didn’t feel that I hit to my potential overall. Also, the heat and humidity got to me on Friday and I had to sit out for the entire game against Mexico to rehydrate myself and loosen up my quadriceps. I won’t make that mistake again!”
Valcke has been invited to play on the national prospects team in Red Deer, Alberta in late August at the Senior National Championships, where Canada will select its senior women’s roster to play in the World Cup in Korea slated for September.