Team Italy wins two in U22 Women’s European Softball Championship debut

Team Italy wins two in U22 Women’s European Softball Championship debut
The Team Italy U22 women’s softball squad shut out Sweden 16-0 in afternoon and hours later returned to defeat Ukraine 18-2 at the U22 European Softball Championship in Kunovice, Czech Republic on Monday, June 27, 2022

Team Italy could not have had a better debut at the U22 Women’s European Softball Championship in Kunovice, Czech Republic on Monday, June 27, 2022. Pitchers Alexia Lacatena and Carlotta Salis threw a combined no-hitter with a total of 10 strikeouts in a three-inning mercy-rule 16-0 shutout over Sweden.

Azzurre team captain Elisa Princic led off with a solo home run in the first inning. After a single by Virginia Mambelli, McKenzie Barbara hit a two-run homer to give Team Italy an early 3-0 lead. Then Flavia Carletta walked and later scored on an RBI double from Noemi Giacometti to put the Italians on top 4-0.

In the second inning, the Team Italy offensive continued to punish the Swedes. Back-to-back bunt singles from Elisa Princic and Tara Melassi was followed by an RBI single from Virginia Mambelli. Then slugger McKenzie Barbara clobbered a three-run bomb to give Team Italy a commanding 8-0 advantage.

Team Italy nailed the coffin shut in the third inning when scoring eight more runs. An RBI single from Anita Bartoli and a grand slam by Tara Melassi, who completed the cycle in her four at-bats, accounted for the first five runs. After McKenzie Barbara singled and Flavia Carletta doubled down the left field line, Noemi Giacometti reached first base on an infield error which allowed McKenzie Barbara to score. Alessia Colonna followed with a two-run double to make it a 16-0 game.                                                                             



Team Italy returned for another contest against Ukraine. The relentless Italian offense scored 12 runs in the first inning and two runs in subsequent innings to win the four-inning mercy-rule game by a score of 18-2. Leadoff hitter Noemi Giacometti tripled, walked twice, scored three times and picked up an RBI. Virgina Mambelli went a perfect 2-for-2 with two walks, three RBI and three runs scored. Designated player McKenzie Barbara had another monster performance going two-for-three with two home runs, one walk, five RBI and three runs scored. Linda Rampaldi did some damage at the bottom of the lineup. She went 2-for-3 with a triple, walk, four RBI and two runs scored.

Team Italy U22 manager Andrea Longagnani called on starter Alessia Melegari, who allowed just one hit with two strikeouts in two scoreless innings. Reliever Beatrice Nannetti surrendered two runs on four hits with one strikeout in two innings of work.



On Tuesday, June 28, 2022, the Italians play two Group A round-robin games against Croatia (1:45 pm local time) and Slovakia (6:15 pm local time). Forza #Italia!


by Roberto Angotti

(Photo of Team Italy waiting to celebrate McKenzie Barbara's second home run against Sweden in the 2022 U22 European Softball Championship by Adam Mičo)