Undefeated Team Italy (3-0) crushed Ukraine 15-0 in the first of two games scheduled on day two of the European Women’s Softball Championship on Monday, July 1, 2019 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Team Italy manager Enrico Obletter sent out starter Alice Nicolini on the mound to stifle the Ukrainians. She surrendered just one hit and struck out four batters to earn the victory in the three-inning mercy-rule 15-0 shutout.
Team Italy scored early in the bottom of the first inning when Laura Vigna reached first on a fielder’s choice, stole second base, and scored on an RBI single by Marta Gasparotto, who also scored after stealing second base and reaching home plate after an infield error. Consecutive singles from Lisa Birocci, Priscilla Brandi, and Micaela Arbatine yielded another run to give Team Italy a 3-0 advantage.
The Azzurre offense came back in the bottom of the second inning to pad the lead. Alessandra Rotondo walked and later scored after a single from Amanda Fama and an infield error. A two-run home run by Laura Vigna make it a 6-0 game. After Erika Piancastelli followed with a single, cleanup hitter Marta Gasparotto smashed a two-run homer down the left field line to give Team Italy a convincing 8-0 lead. Lisa Birocci reached second base on an infield error and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Micaela Arbatine. Then Elisa Cecchetti singled to right field and came home on an outfield error to put the Italians on top 10-0.
The relentless Team Italy offense was not done as Amanda Fama led off the bottom of the third inning with a home run blast to left center field. Laura Vigna followed with a triple and scored on a series of infield errors which also allowed Erika Piancastelli to touch the plate. Team Italy nailed the coffin shut on the Ukraine after Marta Gasparotto doubled and scored on a two-run home run by Lisa Birocci. With the 15-0 mercy-rule shutout, the Italians so far have outscored opponents 67-0 in the European Women’s Softball Championship. Team Italy returns tonight for game two of the day when the Azzurre face Spain at 8:15 pm (local time). Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti