On the third day of the U16 European Women’s Softball Championship in Zagreb, Croatia, Team Italy defeated Croatia 21-1 in the morning and Ukraine 16-1 in the afternoon on July 31, 2019. In the contest against Croatia, Team Italy pitchers Beatrice Nannetti and Valeria Munaretto threw a combined no-hitter with seven strikeouts and one walk during the three-inning mercy-rule win. An RBI single from Alessia Brandi and a two-run double by Sarah Bortolotti yielded the first three runs for Team Italy in the bottom of the first inning. The explosive Italian offense produced four extra-base hits and 15 runs in the first inning alone. Team Italy put the game out of reach after back-to-back inside-the-park home runs by Alessia Brandi and Alessandra Mavilla followed by a double from Elisa Raviola.
The Azzurre U16 softball squad returned for afternoon contest against Ukraine. Team Italy starter Sofia Bertani tossed a no-hitter with two strikeouts and two walks in the three-inning mercy-rule victory. Anita Bartoli was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI double and an RBI triple. A two-RBI double from Giulia Bancora followed by a two-run dingle from Alessandra Mavilla and an RBI double by Manola Beltrame highlighted a 7-run rally in the bottom of the second inning.
With the pair of wins, Team Italy improves its record to 5-1 in the U16 European Women’s Softball Championship. The Azzurre move on to the next round as the second-seed behind leader Russia (5-0) and ahead of third-seed Ukraine (2-3) from Pool F. Netherlands (5-0), Czech Republic (4-1), and Germany (2-3 ) also advanced in the competition from Pool E.
Team Italy plays two games on August 1 beginning with a clash against defending Euro champion Netherlands at 9:15 am (local time) followed by a battle with Germany at 3:45 pm (local time). The Azzurre U16 softball squad comes back on August 2 at 12 noon (local time) to face Czech Republic. The results of the important Pool X contests will determine which two teams compete in the U16 European Women’s Softball Championship final on August 3 at at 6 pm (local time). Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti