Undefeated Team Italy shuts out Ireland and the Netherlands in U22 European Softball Championship

Undefeated Team Italy shuts out Ireland and the Netherlands in U22 European Softball Championship
30/06/2022
With the 10-0 shutout over Ireland and the 4-0 shutout over the Netherlands, Team Italy has won eight consecutive games in the U22 European Softball Championship in Kunovice, Czech Republic

Team Italy U22 manager Andrea Longagnani and his promising Azzurre squad closed out the U22 European Softball Championship second round robin with an easy four-inning mercy-rule 10-0 shutout over Ireland on Thursday morning, June 30, 2022. Winning pitcher Carlotta Salis threw a one-hitter with four strikeouts and one walk.

Team Italy got on the board early with two runs in the top of the first inning. Tara Melassi walked and later scored on an RBI double by Virginia Mambelli. McKenzie Barbara followed with an RBI double of her own.

The Italians took the Irish out of the contest in the bottom of the second inning when five more runs crossed the plate. Leadoff hitter Giulia Koutsoyanopulos hit a solo home run to get the party started. Anita Bartoli was hit by a pitch and scored when Elisa Princic reached first base on a fielder's choice and an ensuing infield error allowed her to move on to third base. A sacrifice fly by Tara Melassi put Team Italy on top 5-0. After a walk to Virginia Mambelli and a double by McKenzie Barbara, Flavia Carletti bunted for an RBI single. Then Linda Rampoldi picked up an RBI with her productive groundout to give Team Italy the 7-0 lead.

Team Italy added three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Giulia Koutsoyanopulos reached first base on an infield error and hustled to third base on a single up the middle by Anita Bartoli. Giulia Koutsoyanopulos scored on an RBI bunt single from Tara Melassi. Both Anita Bartoli and Tara Melassi advanced one base on the throw to the plate. Anita Bartoli eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it a 10-0 game.

IRELAND-ITALY BOX SCORE

IRELAND-ITALY LIVE STREAM REPLAY

Team Italy returned for the nightcap to play its first U22 European Softball Championship final round robin contest against the Netherlands. Italian skipper Andrea Longagnani took no chances and put his pitching ace Alexia Lacatena in the circle. She threw seven scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts and two walks.

Team Italy took control of the game early when scoring one run in the bottom of the first inning and never looking back. Leadoff hitter and team captain Elisa Princic reached first base on an infield error and got into scoring position on a flyout to center field by Virginia Mambelli. Then McKenzie Barbara hit an RBI single to give Team Italy a slim 1-0 lead.

The Italians took advantage of an outfield error to tack on another run in the bottom of the third inning. Spark plug Elisa Princic hustled to second base on a dropped ball in right field and reached third base on a sacrifice bunt by Tara Melassi. An RBI single from Virginia Mambelli made it 2-0.

Team Italy added two insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Elisa Princic reached first base on an infield error and crossed the plate on a two-run home run by Virginia Mambelli.

NETHERLANDS-ITALY BOX SCORE


NETHERLANDS-ITALY LIVE STREAM REPLAY

Team Italy continues final round-robin play on Friday, July 1, 2022 when facing France at 11:15 am (local time) and Spain later at 5 pm (local time). Other countries participating in the final round-robin include host Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Germany.

The U22 European Softball Championship final takes place on Saturday, July 2, 2022 at 6:45 pm (local time), while the battle for the bronze precedes the championship game at 3:30 pm (local time). Forza #Italia!

U22 EUROPEAN SOFTBALL SCHEDULE AND RESULTS

U22 EUROPEAN SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP LIVE STREAM

by Roberto Angotti

(Photo of Team Italy celebrating after Giulia Koutsoyanopoulos hit a home run against Ireland in the U22 European Softball Championship by MG/Oldman)