After enduring a pair of shutouts by Japan and Australia the day prior, defending European softball champion Team Italy gave Czech Republic a moment of glory by losing 6-0 in the WBSC U19 Women's Softball World Cup Placement Round at Bill Barber Park in Irvine, California on August 13, 2019.
Team Italy manager Enrico Obletter altered his lineup to allow some of the younger players on the roster the opportunity to start against the Czechs so that they could develop and gain some valuable experience in high-pressure game situations. Absent from the lineup card were team captain Alessandra Rotondo as well as regular starters Sara Cianfriglia, Alessia Colonna, and Arianna Nicolini. Instead, Silvia Torre, Sara Camisasca, Elena Slawitz, and Silvia Gerbella lined the Italian infield and enjoyed every minute of playing time.
Team Italy skipper Enrico Obletter handed the ball off to left-handed starting pitcher Susanna Soldi, who found success on the mound when the young and talented Azzurrine squad won the 2018 European Softball Championship. Susanna Soldi pitched hitless first and second innings, but she surrendered four runs in the top of the third inning. The energetic lefty was replaced in the top of the fourth inning by reliever Chiarra Rusconi, who pitched two scoreless innings before being tagged for runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
The Team Italy offense was limited to a single and double by Giulia Koutsoyanopulos in addition to a single from Silvia Gerbella and a double from Alexia Lacatena. With the loss to Czech Republic, Team Italy (1-3) now faces Brazil (1-3) on August 14 at 3 pm (local time). The Azzurrine softball squad concludes the WBSC U19 Women's Softball World Cup 9-12 Placement Round with a clash against New Zealand (2-2) on August 15 at 8 pm. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen #U19SoftballWC
by Roberto Angotti