Having recently captured the European Softball Championship title in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Team Italy manager Enrico Obletter now has the difficult task of narrowing down his roster of proven winners to comply with the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) limit of 15 players for the Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier, which takes place in Utrecht, the Netherlands from July 23-27, 2019.
The Italian softball skipper has released the names of 14 of the 15 players selected to participate in the Dutch-hosted tournament with the final player slated to be announced prior to the team's departure on July 19. The following Azzurre players have been confirmed to participate in the Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier: Andrea Howard, INF/OF (ASD Bussolengo Softball); Greta Cecchetti, P (Bollate Softball 1969 ASD); Amanda Fama, INF (Bollate Softball 1969 ASD); Alice Nicolini, P (Saronno Softball ASD); Ilaria Cacciamani, P /OF (Softball Club Forlì ASD); Marta Gasparotto, C /INF (ASD Bussolengo Softball); Giulia Longhi, INF (Saronno Softball ASD); Laura Vigna, OF (ASD Bussolengo Softball); Fabrizia Marrone, OF (Saronno Softball ASD); Alessandra Rotondo, INF (Saronno Softball ASD); Beatrice Ricchi, OF (Softball Club Forlì ASD); Elisa Cecchetti, INF/C (Bollate Softball 1969 ASD); Lisa Ann Birocci, P /DP (Saronno Softball ASD); and Erika Piancastelli, C/OF (Softball Club Forlì ASD).
Team Italy manager Enrico Obletter will be accompanied by coaches Federico Pizzolini, Julio La Rosa, and Giovanna Palermi, physician Gaetano Schiavottiello, physiotherapist Elio Paolini, FIBS board of director Roberta Soldi, and delegation team manager Claudia Venturini. Seeded as the top team in Group B of the Olympic Qualifier, Team Italy (ranked #9) begins the international tournament at Utrecht’s Sportpark de Paperclip with a contest against Botswana (ranked #43) on Tuesday, July 23 at 1 pm (local time). The Azzurre squad returns to face Czech Republic (ranked #15) on July 24 at 4 pm (local time) and concludes the Opening Round with a game against France (ranked #26) on Thursday, July 25 at 10 am (local time). Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti