By striking out all 15 batters she faced, Azzurre pitching ace Greta Cecchetti threw a perfect game in Team Italy’s 7-0 shutout over France in the second round of the European Women’s Softball Championship in Ostrava, Czech Republic on July 3, 2019. Earning back-to-back victories with her 7-0 shutout against Israel on July 2, “Iron Greta” leads all pitchers in the international competition with 29 strikeouts.
The Team Italy offense wasted no time in getting on the board early in the bottom of the first inning. Leadoff hitter Amanda Fama squared up on a pitch and blasted the ball over the center field fence to give Team Italy a 1-0 lead. The Azzurre squad added another run when Erika Piancastelli doubled and later scored on an RBI single by Lisa Birocci. In the bottom of the second inning with two out, Amanda Fama delivered another extra-base hit with a triple to right field and scored on a wild pitch to make it a 3-0 game.
The relentless Team Italy offense sealed the win via mercy rule in the bottom of the fifth inning when four more runs scored. It all began with Lisa Birocci’s sixth home run of the Euro Championship followed by a single from Andrea Howard. An RBI double by Giulia Longhi made it 5-0. Valeria Bettinsoli replaced Giulia Longhi on the bases, and she advanced to third base on a wild pitch. Elisa Cecchetti’s perfectly-executed suicide squeeze not only allowed Valeria Bettinsoli to score but also granted her a base hit. She moved to into scoring position on a single by Laura Vigna and later came home on an RBI single from Erika Piancastelli.
With the 7-0 win over the French, Team Italy improves its record to 6-1 in the Euro competition. The Italians return for another game tonight at 8:15 pm (local time) against Greece. The European Women’s Softball Championship continues through Saturday, July 6. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti