Tenacious Team Italy holds USA hitless for three innings but falls short in Olympic Softball debut

Tenacious Team Italy holds USA hitless for three innings but falls short in Olympic Softball debut
21/07/2021
Team Italy starter Greta Cecchetti matched USA ace Cat Osterman pitch-for-pitch for three complete innings, but the Americans prevailed in the end by a score of 2-0 in game one of the Tokyo Olympics

Team Italy manager Federico Pizzolini successfully prepared his Azzurre softball squad for its biggest game on the global stage in the Tokyo Olympics, and it showed at the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium on Wednesday July 21, 2021. Team Italy and USA were scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when the Americans finally got two hits off Team Italy starting pitcher "Iron" Greta Cecchetti and took a slim 1-0 lead. USA starter Cat Osterman did not allow a hit until Andrea Filler singled in the top of the fifth inning, but the Athens 2004 gold medalist and closer Monica Abbott kept the Italian offense quiet for the rest of the contest.

Team Italy reliever Alexia Lacatena entered the game with baserunners on the corners in the bottom of the fifth inning and limited the damage to just one run on a sacrifice fly to keep the game close 2-0. She pitched a total of two innings and only gave up one hit with one strikeout and one walk.

The Team Italy defense was on point throughout the contest and was highlighted by a diving catch by center fielder Giulia Koutsoyanopulos. The Azzurre softball squad returns tomorrow to Fukushima for a battle against Australia at 3 pm (local time). Based on what was demonstrated on the artificial turf surface in game one, Team Italy appears to be ready to upset the Aussies in the quest for a medal #PerEnrico. Forza #Italia

by Roberto Angotti

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