Softball medal hopes for Team Italy diminish with 5-0 loss to Mexico in Tokyo Olympics

Softball medal hopes for Team Italy diminish with 5-0 loss to Mexico in Tokyo Olympics
The Team Italy women's softball squad fell victim to a one-hitter by Mexico pitcher Dallas Escobedo, who led her team to its first-ever Olympic win and eliminated Italy's chances of earning a medal in Tokyo

With its back against the wall after three losses in the Tokyo Olympics prior to the first pitch against Mexico at Yokohama Stadium on Sunday, July 25, 2021, Team Italy needed to beat Mexico today and Canada later tonight (10:30 pm PT) in order to keep the dream to win a medal #PerEnrico. Mexico starting pitcher Dallas Escobedo made sure her team remained in the hunt for a medal instead by throwing a one-hit 5-0 shutout against Team Italy. The only hit for the Azzurre softball squad came in the top of the sixth inning when Laura Vigna singled to left field. Mexico faces Australia tomorrow (4 am PT) to determine which of the two teams will play Canada later at night under the lights (9 pm PT) for the bronze medal.

Team Italy manager Federico Pizzolini started pitching ace Greta Cecchetti in the circle against Mexico. "Iron Greta" was her usual self and had an easy 1-2-3 out first inning with two groundouts and a strikeout of Nicole Rangel. But doubles by Suzannah Brookshire and Chelsea Gonzales in the second inning put Mexico on top 1-0. Further damage was sustained when a home run from Sydney Romero in the the third inning gave Mexico a 2-0 advantage.

A leadoff walk and a two-run homer by Anissa Urtez in the fifth inning prompted Italian softball skipper Federico Pizzolini to summon reliever Alexia Lacatena from the bullpen. Then cleanup hitter Brittany Cervantes worked a seven-pitch at-bat to finally get what she was waiting for and clubbed the next delivery from Alexia Lacatena to the deepest part of center field for a home run. The young and talented Team Italy relief pitcher regained her composure and threw a scoreless sixth inning, but Mexico got the job done in the end with a 5-0 shutout.

After suffering a disappointing loss to Mexico, winless Team Italy (0-4) has its last opportunity to pick up a victory #PerEnrico against Canada (2-2) tonight at 10:30 pm PT. Forza #Italia!


by Roberto Angotti


(Photo of Team Mexico slugger Sydney Romero rounding third base after hitting a home run by Shinji Oyama/WBSC)