Undefeated Team Italy advances in U18 Women's European Softball Championship after 23-2 rout over France

Undefeated Team Italy advances in U18 Women's European Softball Championship after 23-2 rout over France
21/07/2021
Team Italy (5-0) finished U18 Women's European Softball Championship Group A round-robin play after defeating France 23-2 in Prague, Czech Republic on July 21, 2021

After a 23-2 rout over France on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 in Prague, Czech Republic, the Azzurrine squad is the undisputed U18 Women's European Softball Championship Group A top-seed. Team Italy, Group A runner-up Germany (4-1) and third-place finisher France (3-2) begin the Euros second round robin series against Group B leader Czech Republic (4-0), runner-up Kingdom of the Netherlands (3-1) and third-place finisher Spain (2-2).

In the contest against France, Team Italy manager Andrea Longagnani had to pull starter Marianna Zumerle early with one out in the bottom of the first inning after a walk, an infield error, another walk and a bunt single put France on top 2-0. Winning pitcher Beatrice Nannetti quickly got a flyout and a strikeout to get out of the jam. She threw the remainder of the mercy-rule five-inning contest and allowed just one hit with six strikeouts and one walk.

Team Italy took the 6-2 lead in the top of the third inning and never looked back. The Azzurrini added four runs in the top of the fourth inning before the offense exploded for 13 more in the top of the fifth inning. Highlights included an inside-the-park home run by leadoff hitter Anita Bartoli, a three-run double from Alice Caroti, two productive triples by Clara Caroti, an RBI triple from Agnese Giacometti, and a three-run triple by Linda Rampoldi. However, the offensive player of the game had to go to slugger Giada Acanfora, who clubbed a three RBI double and a grand slam.

Team Italy enters the second phase of the U18 Women's European Softball Championship with a clash against undefeated Czech Republic on Thursday, July 22 under the lights beginning at 7:30 pm (local time). Then the Italians play two games on the following day against Kingdom of the Netherlands and Spain. The U18 Women's European Softball Championship final as well as the battle for the bronze take place on Saturday, July 24. Forza #Italia! #PerEnrico

by Roberto Angotti

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(Photo of Team Italy leadoff hitter Anita Bartoli scoring after an inside-the-park home run by MG#19)