Slovakia loses in 13 innings, Greece surprises by their win over Germany, former medalists without a loss, Russia fails badly in the most expected game of the day! The first day of the Championship displayed 22 games. Not even a morning storm could ruin the beautiful day.
All expected leaders confirmed their roles; the Czech Republic managed to beat Sweden in a quite tight game 5:3, the Netherlands didn’t record any troubles against Greece, nor Lithuania, Italy smashed Spain in the evening game in four innings.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY
A 13-inning game
Slovakia and Ireland may have played the longest games of their softball lives. It looked like a normal close game when in the top of the seventh Ireland was in the lead 3:1. One of the most experienced players on the Slovakian roster tied the game with a triple.
It looked like the end of the game when the Slovakian defense broke down and Ireland scored two runs in the top of the 9th. But the Slovaks pulled it together and surprised the Irish with four hits and returned the two runs again.
Both teams scored once again in the 10th and remained scoreless until the 13th. Ireland came out as the winner of this „anybody’s“ game, having scored once in the 13th.
A surprising win
Only a few Greek players were also on the roster of the 2015 Greek National Team. This year, Greece is represented by younger players than two years ago, and this clearly has helped them, and already brought them their first important win. Greece, who placed 10th at the last Championship, beat Germany (7th at the last Championship) 5-3.
An unexpectedly easy win
Great Britain against Russia game was expected to be the most interesting one of the day. Both teams compete in the top five and fight for the medal every time, sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don’t.
Russia came readily into the game having scored twice in the 1st. Dasha Shembereva, having returned after a maternity leave, started pitching in the fifth, but the British seemed unstoppable at that time. They secured themselves a win in the 6th inning when they turned the game around from 1-2 to 7-2.
We are all Softball Europe
A new brand - Softball Europe - was introduced to everyone in Bollate, a new campaign was launched to raise exposure of our sport in Europe. Learn more about Softball Europe here.
The opening ceremony was a beautiful celebration of sport. 23 teams and the umpires’ team were on the field sharing their love for softball. Roberto Fabbricini, the secretary general of the Italian National Olympic Committee, attended the opening ceremony, too, and expressed support for softball and baseball in their Olympic status. “The way to Tokio 2020 is now officially open. We’ve done everything we could to make sure that baseball and softball have the attention they deserve,” Fabbricini said.
WHAT NOT TO MISS ON MONDAY
Germany’s only chance to advance to the top eight is to beat the Netherlands – a very demanding task – the game is scheduled for 20:45 in Caronno.
Austria is in a similar situation, they can only make it to the top eight by winning at an 18:30 game against the Czech Republic. Poland, undefeated after the first day, can also make the group C more interesting – are they strong enough to beat Sweden at 18:00?
/cover photo by Grega Valancic/