On the heels of the 2020 war cry and the launch of the official hashtag #HicEtNunc (#HereAndNow), Team Italy softball manager Enrico Obletter goes to battle with 20 of his best players in the Australia Pacific Cup (AP Cup), which takes place from January 30 through February 2, 2020 at Sydney's Blacktown International Sportspark. Italian skipper Enrico Obletter will also be accompanied by coaches Federico Pizzolini and Giovanna Palermi as well as the medical staff of doctor Gaetano Schiavottiello along with physiotherapists Ulises Hernandez and Elio Paolini.
The following Azzurre players have been summoned to participate in the 2020 Australia Pacific Cup: Lisa Birocci, P/DP; Ilaria Cacciamani, P; Emily Carosone, INF; Elisa Cecchetti, C/OF; Greta Cecchetti, P; Lara Cecchetti, INF; Sarah Edwards, INF; Andrea Filler, INF; Marta Gasparotto, INF; Andrea Howard, INF/OF; Giulia Koutsoyanopulos, INF; Alexia Lacatena, P; Giulia Longhi, INF; Fabrizia Marrone, OF; Alice Nicolini, P; Erika Piancastelli, C/INF; Beatrice Ricchi, OF; Alessandra Rotondo, C/INF; Melany Sheldon, C/INF; and Laura Vigna, OF.
Formerly known as the Asia Pacific Cup, the newly-branded Australia Pacific Cup (AP Cup) reflects the tournament’s Down Under flavor on the international softball circuit. Softball Australia and the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) have added even more significance to the six-country tourney by ensuring all competing nations in the AP Cup are eligible for international ranking points. Eclipsed only by the Olympics, the AP Cup is the second biggest elite level international softball competition in 2020. The name change from Asia Pacific Cup to Australia Pacific Cup is appropriate since it also reflects Australia’s elite status in the game.
With the exception of USA and Canada, the remaining four countries qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will meet in the AP Cup. Team Italy (ranked #9) will get a sneak preview of what to expect this summer when the Azzurre softball squad takes on Australian host Travelodge Aussie Spirit (ranked #7), Mexico (ranked #5), and Japan (ranked #2). In addition to the four countries vying for Olympic Gold, Chinese Taipei (ranked #6), New Zealand (ranked #11), and another all-star team from Australia will also compete in the AP Cup.
Team Italy blasts off on Thursday, January 30, 2020 against Mexico at 4 pm and relaunches again at 7:30 pm when facing host Travelodge Aussie Spirit (ranked #7). The Italians return the following day on Friday, January 31 for a battle against Japan (ranked #2) at 1:30 pm and a clash against New Zealand (ranked #11) at 6:30 pm. Team Italy kicks off the Saturday, February 1 morning opener at 11 am against Chinese Taipei (ranked #6) before coming back for a 4 pm contest with the Australia All-Stars. The AP Cup playoffs begin on Sunday, February 2 at 9 am with the grand final scheduled in the afternoon at 1:30 pm.
The 2020 AP Cup will be immediately followed by the second annual Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball from February 3-5, 2020 at Blacktown International Sportspark. The Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball is an exciting, fast-paced take on the traditional game with only three innings, shorter fences, and bases loaded every inning. Six teams will be made up of a mix of international softball all-stars who will play together during the course of the three-day competition. To purchase tickets for the AP Cup, click HERE. For tickets to the Summer Slam – Fully Loaded Softball, click HERE. Forza #Italia! #TokyoHereWeCome
by Roberto Angotti