WBSC Europe Softball Division President Gabriel Waage announced new dates for the European Women’s and Men's Softball Championships, both of which serve as qualifiers for the 2021 World Cups, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Friuli Venezia Giulia, Italy will remain as the host of the Euro Women's Softball Championship, which will take place from September 20-26, 2020.
After defeating the Kingdom of the Netherlands 3-2 in the European Championship Final in Ostrava, Czech Republic on July 6, 2019, Team Italy will defend the Euro softball throne and attempt to score back-to-back Euro titles. The last time the Italians accomplished the feat of winning two consecutive Euro softball championships was in 2007. In fact, the Team Italy women's softball squad was considered the European powerhouse after winning eight consecutive championship titles (1992, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007).
Team Italy has since regained its stature as the Euro powerhouse by qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. Just one week ago, the Team Italy women's softball squad was informed of the postponement of the Summer Olympics until 2021. Azzurre softball team captain Erika Piancastelli took the disappointment in stride and said, "Another year to get stronger, another year to get healthier, another year to grow mentally. We have the same dream and the same goal."
Although in its infancy, the Italian men's softball program looks promising. According to the European Softball Federation (ESF) website, the European Men's Softball Championship will take place in Ledenice, Sezimovo Ústí, Czech Republic from September 28 to October 3, 2020. Forza #Italia!
by Roberto Angotti