Team Italy pitching ace Greta Cecchetti threw a five-hitter to dethrone defending champion Specchiasol Bussolengo and help undefeated MKF Bollate win its first Women's European Premiere Cup Championship title in history at home in Bollate on August 24, 2019. The Azzurre MVP picked up her fourth victory of the six-day international tournament. In the matchup between the two Italian powerhouse teams just two days prior in the tourney, Bollate beat Bussolengo 4-2. MKF Bollate shortstop Lara Cecchetti was the difference in the championship game as her triple in the bottom of the seventh inning led to a walk-off sacrifice fly by Azzurre teammate Laura Biggaton and give Bollate the 4-3 win. It was the second hit of the game for Lara Cecchetti and the culmination of her strong offensive effort (.316 batting average) during the competition.
Coming off an injury sustained in the Europe/Africa Olympic Softball Qualifier, Team Italy and MKF Bollate regular shortstop Amanda Fama did not start in the championship game but homered in her only plate appearance during the Women's European Premiere Cup. Fellow Azzurre teammate Alice Parisi was instrumental in Bollate reaching the championship final. In the semifinal game against OlympiaHaarlem (Netherlands) on August 23, MKF Bollate was behind 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning. With two out, Laura Wissink walked and Elisa Cecchetti singled to left field. Then Alice Parisi came through in the clutch with a walk-off two-run double to give Bollate a 5-4 victory and advance the tourney host to the Women's European Premiere Cup Championship final against Specchiasol Bussolengo.
Despite losing the Women's European Premiere Cup Championship title, runner-up Bussolengo (7-2) outscored opponents 76 to 17. Team Italy sparkplug Laura Vigna had an outstanding Women's European Premiere Cup with a .500 batting average (10-for-20 with five doubles, two home runs, four walks, eight RBI and 12 runs scored). Team Italy slugger Marta Gasparotto also contributed with .364 batting average (8-for-22 with two doubles, one triple, two homers, three walks, eight RBI and eight runs scored). After returning from the WBSC U19 World Cup in Irvine, California, Elisa Princic and Sara Cianfriglia made their impression felt in limited action. Elisa Princic hit .300 with one home run, five RBI and two runs scored while Azzurre Junior teammate Sara Cianfriglia went 1-for-3 with one double, one walk, two RBI, and one run scored.
Congratulations to MKF Bollate manager Luigi Soldi, coaches Andrea Dugheria, Bruna Manuelli, Ivan Parise, Ramon Vasquez Cedeno, Maida Micheloni and all the players on winning the Women's European Premiere Cup Championship title. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti