Undefeated Team Italy guarantees top-seed ranking in Women's European Softball Championship with 27-0 shutout over Bulgaria

Undefeated Team Italy guarantees top-seed ranking in Women's European Softball Championship with 27-0 shutout over Bulgaria
29/06/2021
Team Italy earned the right to advance to Women's European Softball Championship round-robin phase two after crushing Bulgaria 27-0 in Cervignano on June 29, 2021

Team Italy dominated Bulgaria from the first pitch thrown in Cervignano on day three of the Women's European Softball Championship on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. Team Italy starting pitcher Alexia Lacatena picked up the win after the three-inning mercy-rule 27-0 game. The young and talented hurler from New Jersey surrendered just one hit with six strikeouts and no walks.

On this blazing hot afternoon, the Team Italy offense was on fire. Andrea Howard and Giulia Longhi led the attack with 7 RBI each. In the first inning alone, University of New Mexico Lobo All-Star Andrea Howard hit a three-run home run and a two-RBI triple. Italian panda Giulia Longhi had similar success in the second inning when leading off with a solo homer and then clobbering a three-run homer later in the inning. She now shares the Women's European Softball Championship home run lead with Kingdom of the Netherlands' slugger Dinet Oosting with three bombs so far.

Infielders Elisa Grifagno (1-for-2, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 4 R) and Melany Sheldon (1-for-3, 3 RBI) made their debuts in the Azzurre starting lineup, while pinch-hitter Amanda Fama made her post-injury return count with an RBI single. Catcher Elisa Cecchetti (4-for-4, 3 RBI, 3 R) had to settle for two doubles, one of which would have clearly been a home run in any other park that did not have a 20-foot high fence.

Team Italy plays another game tonight at 8 pm (local time) against winless Hungary (0-3) in Ronchi dei Legionari. As the top-seed in Pool A, undefeated Team Italy will play Czech Republic (2-1) tomorrow at 12:30 pm (local time) and Spain (3-0) at 8 pm (local time). Both round-robin phase two games will be held in Ronchi dei Legionari. Follow all the action on FIBS TV. Forza #Italia! #PerEnrico

by Roberto Angotti

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Photo: Team Italy celebrates Giulia Longhi's home run (EzR-NADOC)