Following the opening ceremonies in Bollate (Milan) on June 25, 2017, Team Italy went straight to work in defending their European Softball Championship title by dominating Spain 12-0 in four innings. A full house of 1,800 fans filled Bollate stadium and witnessed a spellbinding pitching performance by Team Italy’s Greta Cecchetti, who threw a perfect game and struck out eight batters. The number two through five Team Italy hitters Marta Gasparotto, Erika Piancastelli, Giulia Longhi and Beatrice Ricchi were responsible for 10 of the 12 runs scored.
Team Italy came back firing on June 26th to play Switzerland. Team Italy pitcher Alice Nicolini tossed a two-hitter and struck out five batters to shut out the Swiss 11-0 in four innings. Offensive highlights included doubles by Erika Piancastelli, Marta Gasparotto, and Priscilla Brandi, who went 3-for-3 and scored twice.
Team Italy returns on June 27th for a doubleheader against Croatia and undefeated France, a team that blanked Croatia 7-0 and beat Switzerland 9-3 prior to its battle against the Italians. There are 23 countries competing in this single round-robin tournament to determine who will be the next Women’s European Softball Champion. The competition in Bollate continues with play through July 1st.
by Roberto Angotti