Just 24 hours after losing one run games to Australia and Canada, Team Italy (1-3) dominated in a 8-0 win over Botswana (0-4) in the WBSC Women's Softball Championship at Zett.A. Ball Park in Ichihara City, Japan on August 5, 2018. Team Italy starting pitcher Alice Nicolini threw four scoreless innings and allowed three hits before handing off the ball to reliever Greta Cecchetti, who looked impressive striking out all three batters she faced in the fifth inning.
The Team Italy offense went right to work in the bottom of the first inning when Andrea Howard walked and slugger Erika Piancastelli knocked her in with a two-run home run. Amanda Fama led off the bottom of the third inning with a homer of her own to give Team Italy a 3-0 lead. The Azzurre rally continued as Erika Piancastelli walked and Marta Gasparotto singled. Both players scored on an infield error to make it a 5-0 game. Team Italy nailed the coffin shut in the bottom of the fourth inning with three more runs. After Amanda Fama walked, Andrea Howard singled to deep left field. Veronica Comar replaced Amanda Fama on second base as a pinch-runner and later scored on a pair of wild pitches. Then Marta Gasparotto walked to put baserunners on the corners. Both Andrea Howard and Marta Gasparotto came home to score on a two-RBI single to deep center field by Giulia Longhi to seal the 8-0 victory.
Ninth-ranked Team Italy returns to Zett.A. Ball Park for a contest against 14th-ranked Great Britain on August 6 at 2:30 am EDT before traveling to Akitsu Stadium in Narashino City for games against 17th-ranked Venezuela on August 7 and 12th-ranked China on August 8 to conclude Group B action. With wins in the next three games, Team Italy will most likely advance to the WBSC Women's Softball Championship playoffs from August 9-12 as one of the top four finishers in Group B. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti