Forli pitchers Sarah Pauly and Ilaria Cacciamani combined efforts to beat Terrasvogels (Netherlands) 4-2 in the Women's European Cup Winners Cup Championship final game in Prague, Czech Republic on August 24, 2019. In the first battle between the two top teams just two days prior in the international competition, Forli crushed the Dutch squad 12-0 in a four-inning mercy-rule shutout. Undefeated Forli (9-0) handed Terrasvogels (7-2) their only two losses and also outscored opponents 71 to 3 during the six-day tournament. With the victory in the championship final, Forli captured its sixth European Cup Winners Cup title.
Team Italy captain Erika Piancastelli led Forli in hits (15), doubles (6), home runs (5), RBI (20), batting average (.652), slugging percentage (1.565) and on-base percentage (.667). Azzurre teammate Beatrice Ricchi was not far behind with a .500 batting average (9-for-18 with one double, one triple, four walks, and nine RBI).
Team Italy pitcher Ilaria Cacciamani helped Forli with both her arm and her bat. She pitched two 7-0 shutouts in the Women's European Cup Winners Cup. In her first start against Rivas (Spain) on August 20, she threw a one-hitter with 12 strikeouts and one walk. She returned the next day against tourney host Eagles Praha (Czech Republic) and tossed another one-hitter with nine strikeouts and one walk. In addition, Ilaria Cacciamani contributed offensively with six hits (including one double and two triples with four RBI) during the competition.
By securing the Women's European Cup Winners Cup Championship title, Forli has reaffirmed to the softball world that Italy is truly the powerhouse of Europe. Congratulations to Forli manager Calixto Miyar Soca, coach Giulio Brusa, and all the players. Forza #Italia! #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti