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Six out of eight teams know their final round robin position at the Under 22 Women’s European Championship. Only one thing is yet to be settled; who will make it into the final four and who will stay out to play Poland for the fifth place. The host team vs. Greece will be the deciding game. The Czechs were clear favorites in their game against Lithuania on Thursday, therefore the clash between two unbeaten teams – the Netherlands and Russia attracted the most attention.
Greece vs. Russia 0-15 after 3rd inning
The Russians had a good game for confidence boost before their clash with the Dutch. Nine runs and still in the first inning – that was a great start in their game against Greece. The Greeks only got twice on the base throughout the whole game. Ilyashenko (2/2, 3 RBI) and Nacharova (3/3, 2 RBI) were perfect at bat and the favorite finished the game soon on mercy rule.
Poland vs. Netherlands 3-13 after 6th inning
After a bit surprising performance of Slovakia against the Netherlands, the clear favorite had some problems again in their game against Poland. Not only the Dutch women didn’t score in the first two innings, they even conceded two runs on their errors. However, they put themselves up in the third inning with 3 RBI triple by Weijgertse and it went all north from that. Poland maintained to play full six innings, but at that time they lost it completely. The Dutch scored four runs without any outs and then closed the game for good.
Ukraine vs. Slovakia 2-7
It might not look like that by the scoreline, but Ukraine and Slovakia performed the best defense of the tournament so far. Palahina sent Ukraine into the lead with 2 RBI single in the first inning. Then Slovakia pulled one down in the third inning and sent Rampackova to pitch. She took over the game completely. The Ukrainians had some struggles with their pitching in the sixth inning, which lead to Slovaks equalizing the game. Then Rampackova tripled in the last offensive attempt and Sarah Mimouni contributed with a fantastic 3 RBI triple as well.
Russia vs. Netherlands 0-9 after 5th inning
Long-awaited game of two main favorites of the tournament took place in the afternoon. It was all directed by the Dutch. They took a 2-0 lead already in the first inning and went from that. Wissink hit her second home run on her birthday! Then she added third RBI to make it 6-0 and the Netherlands could substitute their pitcher. Russia then offered their opponent an early end with two errors in the fifth inning.
Greece vs. Ukraine 6-0
The Greeks had to win to keep their hopes for the final four alive. They started with a two-point first inning with Stavrou’s 2 RBI hit, but apart from that, there really wasn’t much to see. The scoreline moved again in the fourth inning and it was Stavrou’s work again. Then Kourea doubled for 2 RBI as well and the game ended with an easy win for Greece.
Lithuania vs. Czech Republic 1-22 after 4th
Game against one of the outsiders served as a confidence boost for the host side after losing to Slovakia the day before. The Czechs didn’t get on base at all in the first inning, but then they ruled in the offense. Sabina Vitkova became the star with 5 RBI. Lithuania managed to get one run while being 12-0 down already, but conceded 10 more runs in fourth inning on the substitute pitcher.
/photos by Libor Matějka/
-Martin Voltr, Marek Kratochvíl-