After suffering a 10-0 shutout by Japan earlier in the day, the young and talented Team Italy Azzurrine squad lost 3-0 to Australia in the WBSC U19 Women's Softball World Cup at Bill Barber Park in Irvine, California on August 12, 2019. Team Italy manager Enrico Obletter put all his trust in starting pitcher Alexia Lacatena (1-1), who threw a two-hitter in the 10-0 mercy-rule beating of South Africa on August 11. The strong Italian American hurler came out firing early and had an easy 1-2-3 out inning at the start the game. Alexia Lacatena tossed six innings and gave up six hits with four strikeouts and one walk in the Team Italy loss.
The Italians were unable to capitalize on many scoring opportunities during the contest. The Team Italy offense ignited with one out in the top of the third inning when sparkplug Susanna Soldi singled and got into scoring position after a sacrifice bunt by Alessandra Rotondo. An infield single from Giulia Koutsoyanopulos advanced Susanna Soldi to third base, but a flyout to right field by cleanup hitter Elisa Princic ended the scoring threat.
Starter Alexia Lacatena did not give up a hit until the bottom of the third inning when back-to-back singles prompted pitching coach Marco Villani to visit the mound. However, Alexia Lacatena escaped danger when a flyout to right fielder Alessia Colonna ended the inning. The Italians missed their second chance to score in the top of the fourth inning with a leadoff double by Noemi Giacometti, but she was left stranded at second base without crossing the plate. Australia scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 2-0 lead. The Aussies added another run in the bottom of the fifth inning to make it a 3-0 game.
Team Italy came close to scoring again in the top of the sixth inning when Elisa Princic doubled with one out, but the Italians were unable to put a run on the board. Pitcher Alexia Lacatena helped herself with the bat when she tripled to right field in the top of the seventh inning, but once again Team Italy failed to score. With the loss to Australia, Team Italy (1-2) now faces Czech Republic (1-2) on August 13 at 8 pm (local time) in the Placement Round. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen #U19SoftballWC
by Roberto Angotti