The Under 22 Women’s European Championship is getting into its final day. After last games of round robin, the semifinal games took place. The Czechs lost their 6-0 lead to Slovakia during single inning, but eventually won a medal spot with some runs in a tiebreaker. The Dutch became first finalist thanks to a late turnover and a victory over Russia.
Ukraine vs. The Netherlands 1-16 after 4th inning
The Dutchwomen secured themselves the first place already on Thursday, as Ukraine had secured number seven on the other side. The difference between both sides showed completely in the third inning. Ukrainian loss started to be inevitable with a wild pitch and Weijgertse’s run. Wies Ligtvoet was 4 for 4 at bat with 3 RBIs as her team scored 7 runs in both third and fourth innings to end the game.
The Czech Republic vs. Greece 9-1 after 5th inning
Only two teams didn’t know their position before the final day of the round robin games and they played each other to determine that. Greece started better with Stavrou’s RBI in first inning. However, the home team was patient and equalized a bit later thanks to Cermakova’s double. The game was settled in the fourth inning, where the Czechs collected important eight runs.
Russia vs. Poland 9-4
The Russians were saving some energy for the evening game and it almost cost them the final result. The game took an unexpected twist in the fifth inning while Russia had a 6-1 lead. Then Ilyashenko went to pitch instead of Sorokina and made two errors, which allowed the Poles to score three runs. However, Vereikina singled right in the bottom of the same inning for 2 RBI and also scored herself, which made the winning side clear again.
Slovakia vs. Lithuania 14-4 after 4th inning
It turned out to be an unfortunate schedule for Slovakia as they had to play one more game right before their semifinal. In hot weather, the coaches kept Rampackova out and let Mihalikova pitch this game. She struggled and the Lithuanians went 4-1 ahead by the third inning, but then the Slovaks got up and turned the game around completely. Rampackova turned her only start at bat while being 4-3 down into 3 RBI double, which made the game of Lithuania fall apart totally.
Slovakia vs. The Czech Republic 7-9 after 8 innings
Whoever expected less drama than in the first game between these two was wrong. The Czechs sarted great with two runs in the first two innings and eventually going 6-0 in front by mid-fifth inning. However, the hosts failed terribly then. They made four errors and let the Slovaks take an unbelievable scoring run to make it even. In the tiebreaker, it again turned out to be true that the starting team has a mental advantage. The Czechs scored three runs while the Slovaks only scored once. That was it. Slovakia ends at a good fourth place and the Czechs secured themselves a medal.
The Netherlands vs. Russia 4-3
97-12. The score from Dutch round robin deserves a great respect as well as 9-0 win from the first game against Russia. However, the Russians took it as a new test this time and almost got the win. The pitchers Ilyashenko and Hop dominated the game. First point for Russia was on a wild pitch, but the equaliser came in the third inning. Then Ilyashenko proved herself valuable also in the offense with an RBI hit to take the lead back. With Gudym scoring in top of the seventh inning, the Russians were close to a success. However, the Dutch came back incredibly. They loaded the bases and scored once on base on balls. Then Laura Wissink singled for 2 RBI and launched a great joy in her dugout.
/photos by Libor Matějka/
-Martin Voltr, Marek Kratochvíl-