After an encouraging fourth-place finish in the Australia Pacific Cup at Sydney's Blacktown International Sportspark, the Team Italy women’s softball squad continues to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics with the upcoming the Spain Exhibition Series in Sant Boi (Barcelona) from February 28-March 1, 2020. The Azzurre will compete in a five-game exhibition series against Spain on the diamond of Sant Boi de Llobregat, an artificial turf surface similar to that the team will play on in Japan.
Team Italy will arrive in Spain on February 27 and take the field for two doubleheaders on February 28 and 29 with games at 10:00 am and 12:30 pm (local time). The final clash between Team Italy and Spain is scheduled for March 1 at 10:00 am (local time). The two squads met twice in the 2019 European Softball Championship in the Czech Republic. In their first contest on July 2, 2019. Azzurre pitcher Ilaria Cacciamani threw a three-hitter with 13 strikeouts and no walks to shut out Spain 7-0 in six innings. The explosive Team Italy offense was powered by two home runs from leadoff hitter Amanda Fama and another homer from Azzurre slugger Marta Gasparotto. In the rematch on July 4, 2019, Ilaria Cacciamani was lights out against Spain by limiting the Spaniards to just one hit, one walk, and one unearned run with 12 strikeouts in a 5-1 victory. Team Italy went on to win the 2019 European Softball Championship title, while Spain captured fifth place in the international competition.
In the 2020 Spain Exhibition Series, Team Italy softball manager Enrico Obletter will be supported by coaches Federico Pizzolini, Giovanna Palermi, and Julio Andres La Rosa Zequiera. The Azzurre squad will be accompanied by Dr. Gaetano Schiavottiello, physiotherapists Ulises Herandez and Elio Paolini as well as delegation team manager Claudia Venturini.
Italian skipper Enrico Obletter has selected the following 18 players for the 2020 Spain Exhibition Series: Valeria Bettinsoli (OF), Lisa Birocci (P/DP), Priscilla Brandi (INF), Ilaria Cacciamani (P), Emily Carosone (INF), Elisa Cecchetti (C/OF), Greta Cecchetti (P), Lara Cecchetti (INF), Amanda Fama (INF), Andrea Filler (INF), Giulia Koutsoyanopulos (INF), Alexia Lacatena (P), Giulia Longhi (INF), Fabrizia Marrone (OF), Alice Nicolini (P), Erika Piancastelli (C/INF), Alessandra Rotondo (C/INF), and Laura Vigna (OF). Forza #Italia!
by Roberto Angotti