After a 10-0 shutout over South Africa in the WBSC U19 Women's Softball World Cup opener at Bill Barber Park in Irvine, California on August 11, 2019, Team Italy lost 10-0 to Japan in the first of two games scheduled for the Azzurrine squad on August 12. The Italians return for another contest at 3 pm (local time) against Australia.
Starting pitcher Chiara Rusconi was assigned a tough task to tame undefeated Japan (3-0). A leadoff walk coupled by a pair of hits ended up costing Team Italy the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. Chiara Rusconi threw 1.2 innings and surrendered a total of five runs before Team Italy manager Enrico Obletter summoned reliever Giorgia Telò from the bullpen. The relentless Japanese offense continued to do damage and had a comfortable 7-0 at the end of the second inning.
Giorgia Telò battled back and tossed a scoreless third inning. With a runner in scoring position and one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, Italian skipper Enrico Obletter brought in Fadwa Ben Karim to pitch. She could not stop the Japanese offensive attack as the powerhouse nation tacked on another three runs to seal the deal in a 10-0 mercy-rule victory.
With the loss to Japan, Team Italy (1-1) now faces Australia (1-1), a strong softball team that also suffered an 8-1 defeat to Japan. The Italians must beat the Aussies in order to advance to the Super Round, which starts on August 13 and culminates with the U19 Softball World Championship on August 17. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen #U19SoftballWC
by Roberto Angotti