After the Team Italy women’s softball squad won two games in the 2019 Asia Pacific Cup, the Azzurre players remained at Blacktown International Sports Park in Sydney, Australia for the inaugural Summer Slam competition from February 4-6, 2019. The Italians were equally dispersed onto six different teams made up from other softball players from Australia, New Zealand, and Chinese Taipei. The Team Italy players dominated the international tournament and were recognized for their excellence. Greta Cecchetti won the Super Slam Best Pitcher Award while Elisa Cecchetti took home the Super Slam MVP honors.
The fast-paced three-day tournament was played with some unusual softball rules. Games were only three-innings long. If the game was tied after three innings, a tiebreaker inning with one out per team was played to determine the winner. The fence distance was reduced to increase the number of home runs and runs scored in the game. Runners were placed on all bases to begin each team’s inning. To speed up the game, there were no warm-up pitches between innings or offensive / defensive conferences for coaches allowed. In addition, the ball went directly back to the pitcher after every strikeout instead of the usual around-the-horn ritual by the defense.
2019 Summer Slam Champions Fury was led by the Italian dynamic duo of Amanda Fama and Laura Bigatton. Runner-up Emeralds heralded Summer Slam MVP Elisa Cecchetti. The Riot featured Super Slam Best Pitcher Award-winner Greta Cecchetti as well as Susanna Soldi and Elisa Princic.Team Italy’s Alessandra Rotondo, Marta Gasparotto, and Fabrizia Marrone played for the Bandits. The Lightning were powered by Alice Nicolini, Erika Piancastelli, Giulia Longhi, and Valeria Bettinsoli while the Panthers were equipped with Ilaria Cacciamani, Mariel Bertossi, Chiara Bassi, and Priscilla Brandi. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti