AJAX, Ontario -- On a baseball diamond in suburban Ontario, Team USA built its own field of dreams. The U.S. women’s baseball team brought home the gold medal, beating Canada 11-3, in the Pan American Games debut of the event.
With the gold hanging around their necks, these women have brought the great American pastime into the future.
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“This is beyond USA Baseball. This is about women’s baseball as a whole,” manager Jonathan Pollard said. “The entire world needs to respect this and come see it and support it.”
“It’s an honor to be a part of the first Pan Ams for women’s baseball – just getting us out there, putting us on the map and letting everyone know that girls can play baseball and play it well,” pitcher Michelle Snyder said.
Team USA put itself on the board first on a no-out single from pitcher Sarah Hudek in the bottom of the first. The team would add three more runs to take a commanding 4-0 lead.
Anna Kimbrell’s bases-clearing double in the bottom of the fifth would make it 8-3.
“Every time we play them, we know it’s never over until the final out is recorded,” Pollard said.
The Americans would add three more in the bottom of the sixth to take the 11-3 win.
“We are the best in the world and we showed that today,” Hudek said. “This is a big step for women’s baseball, showing we can be just as good as any guys’ team out there.”
While not yet an Olympic event, Hudek has big dreams for the sport’s future and its inclusion in a multi-sport event like the Pan Ams was just the first step.
“The Olympics is the next thing,” Hudek said. “There’s an outlet for women wanting to play with other girls.”
“Girls can play baseball,” Snyder said, “just like guys can.”