Team Italy advances to U22 European Softball Championship final round robin

Team Italy advances to U22 European Softball Championship final round robin
29/06/2022
Undefeated Team Italy (6-0) beat host Czech Republic 4-1 and Germany 7-0 in the second round robin of the U22 European Softball Championship in Kunovice on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 to guarantee access to the final round robin

Last seen two days ago in her 2022 U22 European Softball Championship debut when throwing two hitless innings with six strikeouts against Sweden, starting pitcher Alexia Lacatena returned in the circle for Team Italy against Czech Republic in the first of two second round-robin games against Czech Republic on Wednesday, June 29, 2022. Prior to the first pitch, both teams were undefeated. In the end, the Italians prevailed with a 4-1 victory.

Alexia Lacatena threw a complete seven inning game and surrendered just one run on six hits with eight strikeouts. The relentless Team Italy offense went right to work in the bottom of the first inning when scoring twice. Elisa Princic and Virginia Mambelli crossed the plate after infield singles and a costly error by the Czech right fielder.

The Italians tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Tara Melassi led off with a bunt single and was driven in on a two-run home run by Virginia Mambelli. With a 4-0 lead going into the fourth inning, Team Italy pitcher Alexia Lacatena appeared stronger than ever. Despite giving up a solo homer to Czech Republic in the top of the seventh inning, the Italian pitching ace answered with back-to-back strikeouts to end the contest.

CZECH REPUBLIC-ITALY BOX SCORE

CZECH REPUBLIC-ITALY LIVE STREAM REPLAY

Team Italy shut out Germany 7-0 later in the day. Azzurre starting pitcher Alessia Melegari threw five scoreless innings and allowed just three hits with eight strikeouts for the win. The Italians jumped out in front 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Leadoff hitter Elisa Princic singled, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tara Melassi and scored on an RBI groundout from Virginia Mambelli. Then back-to-back home runs by McKenzie Barbara and Noemi Giacometti gave Team Italy an early 3-0 lead.

The relentless Team Italy offense tallied four more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Tara Melassi hit a solo homer. Virginia Mambelli was hit by a pitch and replaced on the bases by Elena Slawitz. McKenzie Barbara followed with an RBI single. Flavia Carletti entered the game as a pinch runner and later scored on a two-run home run by Alessia Colonna. Down 7-0, Germany had no chance to get back into the contest.

GERMANY-ITALY BOX SCORE

GERMANY-ITALY LIVE STREAM REPLAY

Undefeated Team Italy returns for its final game in the second round robin against Ireland on Thursday, June 30, 2022 at 12:30 pm and later at 7 pm face the only other undefeated team, Kingdom of the Netherlands, to begin action in the final round robin. Forza #Italia!

U22 EUROPEAN SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE AND RESULTS

by Roberto Angotti

(Anita Bartoli tags the Czech runner out at second base after a perfect throw from Team Italy catcher Elisa Princic in the U22 European Softball Championship by MG/Oldman)