Team Italy's Lisa Birocci throws no-hitter in 19-0 shutout over Hungary to advance Azzurre squad to Women's European Softball Championship phase two

Team Italy's Lisa Birocci throws no-hitter in 19-0 shutout over Hungary to advance Azzurre squad to Women's European Softball Championship phase two
29/06/2021
Team Italy remains undefeated (4-0) in the Women's European Softball Championship and plays a pair of phase two games against Czech Republic and Spain on June 30, 2021

It was all about Team Italy in Ronchi dei Legionari on Tuesday night, June 29, 2021. Azzurre starting pitcher Lisa Birocci, fresh from a successful playing stint in Taiwan, was in the zone and held winless Hungary (0-4) hitless with five strikeouts and no walks in three complete innings of work. The mercy rule stopped the Hungarian bleeding to put the Team Italy 19-0 shutout in the books.

Team Italy slugger Andrea Howard hit two home runs, while teammates Amanda Fama, Melany Sheldon, and Beatrice Ricchi each contributed one bomb to give the Azzurre five homers in total. In fact, Andrea Howard and Giulia Longhi share the current Women's European Softball Championship lead for home runs (3) with Kingdom of the Netherlands slugger Dimet Oosting.

It was a team effort offensively as Fabrizia Marrone, Emily Carosone, Erika Piancastelli, Andrea Filler, Elisa Cecchetti and Giulia Koutsoyanopulos showed the world why the Italians are the defending Euro champions and are headed to the Tokyo Olympics.

Group A leader Team Italy now advances to the Women's European Softball Championship round robin second phase in newly-created Group E with Czech Republic (second in Group C), Germany (second in Group B) and Spain (first in group D).

Team Italy plays Czech Republic (2-1) on June 30, 2021 at 12:30 pm (local time) and Spain (3-0) at 8 pm (local time). Both contests will be held in Ronchi dei Legionari. FIBSTV.com will feature highlights and postgame interviews. Forza #Italia! #PerEnrico

by Roberto Angotti

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Photo by EzR/NADOC, Team Italy celebrates Melany Sheldon's home run