Recuperating from a 6-0 shutout by Czech Republic the night prior, Team Italy bounced back with a 9-1 victory over Brazil in the WBSC U19 Women's Softball World Cup Placement Round at Bill Barber Park in Irvine, California on August 14, 2019. The Italians played with heart and erupted with a five-run frenzy in the bottom of the fourth inning to end the game via mercy rule in the fifth inning.
Team Italy manager Enrico Obletter sent out starting pitcher Alexia Lacatena, who picked up her second win of the international 16-country tournament by limiting Brazil to just three hits with four strikeouts and no walks. A leadoff bunt single followed by a stolen base and an infield error led to Brazil's only run of the game in the top of the first inning.
Team Italy came fighting back in the bottom of the second inning. Azzurrine captain Alessandra Rotondo reached first base on a bunt single and advanced to second base on a throwing error by the catcher. Sara Cianfriglia singled to drive in Alessandro Rotondo and also scored on an infield error to give Team Italy a slim 2-1 lead.
Team Italy added two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Noemi Giacometti singled and Alexia Lacatena doubled to put two runners in scoring position for Elisa Princic. Her sacrifice fly to center field allowed Noemi Giacometti to cross the plate. Alessandra Rotondo followed with an RBI double to put Team Italy on top 4-1.
Team Italy took possession of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Sara Cianfriglia led off with a single, and Arianna Nicolini walked. Then Fadwa Ben Karim hit a bunt single to load the bases for Giulia Koutsoyanopulos, who delivered a clutch RBI single. A fielder's choice by Susanna Soldi brought home another run. A two-run pinch-hit triple by Sofia Fabbian gave Team Italy an 8-1 advantage. An RBI triple from Elisa Princic made it a 9-1 game.
With the win over Brazil, the Italians now have the momentum to press forward in the final standings. Team Italy (2-3) finishes the WBSC U19 Women's Softball World Cup 9-12 Placement Round with a clash against New Zealand on August 15 at 8 pm. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen #U19SoftballWC
by Roberto Angotti