Day Three: Historical win for Slovakia, Lithuania still waiting for first points

The Under-22 Women’s World Championship is half way through and the leading positions are still under control of both favorites – the Netherlands and Russia. Third day was a great one for Slovakia, which played well against the Dutch at first to beat the Czechs later in the evening game. Lithuania on the other side remains seeded on the bottom after losing to Greece and Poland.

Greece vs. Lithuania 16-1 after 3rd inning 
The Lithuanians played fourth inning only once so far -- against Ukraine and  it stayed this way also after their encounter with Greece. Disastrous first inning for Lithuania turned into 11 runs from Greece despite only one hit from this team. Two Greek errors lead to a single run on the other side, but Tamosionaute’s errors at first base meant an early end to this game. Greece only needed four hits to close it on mercy rule after three innings.

Poland vs. The Czech Republic 5-8
One of the most important games of the day took place when Poland and the Czechs faced each other, both teams with only one win so far. Home team started better and by start of third inning they were 5 runs ahead while Poland still didn’t have a single player on base to that point. However, they managed to score twice in the bottom. Then in sixth inning, the Poles had bases loaded with no one out and therefore it was a big chance to get back. Substitution in the Czech lineup followed -- Huskova went to pitch and she did well as she only allowed one run. Then Cermakova pulled home 2 Czechs and despite a decent offense in bottom of the seventh inning by Poland, it was a victory for the hosts.

Russia vs. Ukraine 14-2 after 4th inning
Russia started the afternoon schedule with a game against Ukraine. They turned their whole lineup at bat during the first inning, hit 8 pitches and gathered 10 runs. When it was already 14-0 for Russia, the Ukrainians scored twice on two errors in the fourth inning, but that was it for them.

The Netherlands vs. Slovakia 8-1 after 5th inning
The Slovaks turned out to be the first real contender for the number one favorites. They played a whole game with only one error and as the first team at the tournament; they kept the Dutch offense short of scoring in third inning. However, that was already after the Netherlands were 6 runs ahead. Rudohradska scored the only run for Slovakia coming home from the third base after she had tripled before. Despite losing 8-1 in the end, the Slovaks could have been satisfied.

Lithuania vs. Poland 7-16 after 5th inning
There are very few positive things to find on Lithuanian defense so far and it proved to be true again in their game against Poland. Three pitchers turned out for Lithuania in first two innings, but none could make a difference. The Poles collected 14 bases on balls in total and scored 9 runs in the second inning. However, in the very last possible moment at 16-0 lead for Poland, Neverauskait doubled for 2 RBI and Lithuania pulled some runs back. Paskocimaite even surprised with a inside-the-park home run for 2 RBI. Anyway, Poland took an easy 16-7 win in the end.

The Czech Republic vs. Slovakia 8-12 in tie break
Wednesday schedule climaxed with a ‘former federation’ derby between the hosts and Slovaks, who may meet each other also in the play offs. It was an outstanding game! Mihalkova’s 3 RBI double sent Slovakia in a 4-0 lead after the first inning which transformed into a 7-2 after the second inning. Home side started their pursuit with a subsitute pitcher Cinkeova. They closed the gap to two points after the fifth inning. Cermakova’s triple made it a one-run game and Dedkova’s run on a passed ball sent it into a tie breaker! The Slovaks scored four runs and took their first ever win over the Czechs in the under 22 category.

/photos by Libor Matějka/
-Martin Voltr, Marek Kratochvíl-