Orange County Italians have the opportunity to rally round Team Italy when the young and talented Azzurre squad compete in the U19 Women's Softball World Cup from August 11-17, 2019 in Irvine, California. Under the guidance and supervision of manager Enrico Obletter, ninth-ranked Team Italy battles USA (ranked #1), Japan (ranked #2), Canada (ranked #3), Puerto Rico (ranked #4), Mexico (ranked #5), Chinese Taipei (ranked #6), Australia (ranked #7), China (ranked #8), the Netherlands (ranked #10), New Zealand (ranked #11), Brazil (ranked #14), the Czech Republic (ranked #15), Ireland (ranked #22), South Africa (ranked #28), and Botswana (ranked #43).
By capturing the U19 Women's Softball European Championship title with a 7-3 victory over runner-up Ireland on July 21, 2018 in front of a hometown crowd in Ronchi dei Legionari, Team Italy automatically qualified for the U19 Women's Softball World Cup. During the week-long international tournament in Staranzano, Team Italy compiled an impressive 10-1 record. The Netherlands overcame a five-run deficit in the top of the seventh inning to beat the Italians 9-7 on opening day, but Team Italy defeated the Dutch 4-3 in the semifinal game to move on to the Euro championship. The Czech Republic handed the Netherlands a 12-8 loss to secure third place in the European Championship on the final day of the tourney. The top four European finishers (Italy, Ireland, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands) qualified for the U19 Women's Softball World Cup in Irvine, California. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti