Team Italy women’s softball manager Enrico Obletter has announced the names of the 17 players who will make the 10,000 mile journey to Sydney, Australia for the second annual Asia Pacific Cup from January 31 - February 3, 2019 and the inaugural Summer Slam competition from February 4 - 6, 2019. The Italian skipper will be accompanied by coaches Federico Pizzolini and Lisa Birocci-Banse, video analyst Giovanna Palermi, physician Gaetano Schiavottiello, and physiotherapist Ulises Hernandez.
Team Italy players include: Chiara Bassi, SS (Collechio), Valeria Bettinsoli, OF (Saronno), Mariel Bertossi, C / INF (Saronno), Laura Bigatton, OF / P, Priscilla Brandi, INF (Pianoro), Ilaria Cacciamani, P (Forli), Elisa Cecchetti, C / OF (Bollate), Greta Cecchetti, P (Bollate), Elena Chiesa, C (Collechio), Amanda Fama, INF (Bollate), Marta Gasparotto, INF (Bussolengo), Giulia Longhi, INF (Bussolengo), Fabrizia Marrone, OF (Bussolengo), Alice Nicolini, P (Saronno), Erika Piancastelli, C / INF (Forli), Elisa Princic, C / SS / OF, and Alessandra Rotondo, C / INF (Saronno).
The 2019 Asia Pacific Cup brings together some of the best softball players in the world with six of the world’s top 12 teams competing in four-day round-robin tournament at the Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney, Australia from January 31 - February 3. Ninth-ranked Team Italy is one of seven competitors that will play 21 games to determine rankings for the five playoff contests on the final day of the tournament. On Thursday, January 31 at 1:30 pm (local time), the Italians play against fourth-ranked Australia and return under the lights at 7:30 pm (local time) to face Australian powerhouse, the Aussie Spirit.
The fierce competition continues when Team Italy competes in two afternoon battles on Friday, February 1 beginning with a tug-a-war against fifth-ranked Chinese Taipei at 1:30 pm (local time) followed by a 4:30 pm (local time) game against 12th-ranked China. The Azzurre women’s softball squad kicks off the Saturday, February 2 program with an early 11 am (local time) start against 11th-ranked New Zealand and later takes on second-ranked Japan at 4 pm. (local time). The top four teams will advance to the finals while the remaining squads will compete in a consolation round on Sunday, February 3, 2019.
Held between February 4 - 6, 2019 at the Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney, The Summer Slam - Fully Loaded Softball will feature six teams including Italy, Australia, New Zealand, and Chinese Taipei. The fast-paced competition will have revised softball rules. It will be a much shorter three-innings game. If the game is tied after three innings, a tiebreaker inning with one out per team will be played to determine the winner. The fence distance will be reduced to increase the number of home runs and runs scored in the game. Runners will be placed on all bases to begin each team’s inning. To speed up the game, there are no warm-up pitches between innings or offensive / defensive conferences for coaches allowed. In addition, the ball goes directly back to the pitcher after every strikeout instead of the usual around-the-horn ritual by the defense. Let’s wish Team Italy the best in 2019 so that #Tokyo2020 becomes a reality. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti