On Tuesday, eight games of the 2016 Men‘s European Championship in fastpitch softball were played.

Temperature in Montegranaro, Italy has not changed from the previous day too much – it was around 35°C.

After the first „mercy rule rules“ day, a day of tight games began.

Israel 4, Croatia 3

Both teams were active in the first inning and scored twice. A couple of hits were recorded later, but no runs were scored until the sixth inning. Sinkovic brought one run home for Croatia, but the Israeli team answered with one run as well.

The game was decided in bottom of the seventh - Team Croatia went for two intentional walks when there was a runner on the third. A hit-by-pitch with all bases loaded ended this game.

This was an imporant win for team Israel, who has may make it to the top three in pool A now.

Belgium 4, Germany 2

Belgium started off with two runs in the first. But team Germany played a good game and eventually scored – they tied the game in the fifth and the Belgian team decided to change their pitcher

Unsuccessful squeeze play ruined the German’s hopes on getting in the lead though.

Belgian batters were able to utilize situations with their runners on bases and scored twice on sac flies by van Aarsen in the fourth and by  vande Voorst in the fifth.

Denmark 7, Great Britain 0

The British started off well, hitting a few of Kim Hansen’s pitches, but nobody scored until bottom of the third. It was the Danish team, who took the 1 – 0 lead on Brown’s single. Denmark scored again in the fourth, and it was Brown again, who hit an inside-the-park homerun and made the score 3 – 0.

Curt Taylor went to pitch for James Darby (GBR) in the sixth, the team recorded a few errors then and it seemed like the British resigned on the game a little bit.

Team Denmark added four more runs and won the game in the sixth on mercy rule.

The scoreline doesn’t really go with how tight and intense the game actually was. Pitchers were the key players of the game - Kim Hansen struck out 10 British batters, meanwhile James Darby added 8 strikeouts to his statistics.

Sweden 0, Israel 12

It  may seem that the result of this game tells the story itself, but it doesn’t really.

Israeli batters were unable to contact pitches properly, therefore, the first three innings were scoreless. They finally started to hit in the fourth and didn’t stop until the score was 12 – 0 in the sixth inning.

The Swedish players are like no others, though. They truly are the example of how the „pitch by pitch“ style of game should be executed.

They don’t worry about their errors. They concentrate on every pitch again and again and they try again and again and eventually, they make the third out. And they keep smiling, trying to reach what they’ve been practicing for.

taly 4, Belgium 13

The first batter for Italy, Origlia, was also the first run of the game. Team Belgium responded with three runs in their following offense though. Italy added two runs in the third again to tie the game, but couldn’t manage get back into the game after the Belgian team added a total of ten runs in the following innings.

Italy 18, Germany 6

Italian Team played two back to back games and the players seemed to be a bit tired in the second one.

Team Germany is still waiting for their first historical win. Both performances of the second day were bringing them closer to the dream, but ended up in a loss at the end.

Many runs of this game were scored on wild pitches, or bases on balls.

The German squad kept itself in the game by scoring a few runs in most of the innings. But seven Italian runs in the seventh inning were the breaking point, that Team Germany couldn’t respond to.

Great Britain 3, Croatia 2

Coming into this game, Team Croatia was clearly determined to win.

Croatian pitcher, Hrvoje Jerbic, struck out seven British batters and led his team in their top-leveled performance. The two Croatian runs were scored on Jerbic’s double to left field.

The first two British runs were delivered on a few errors of the Croatian defense.

In top of the seventh, British scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Martin and took a one run lead.

With a runner on second, Jerbic seemed ready to add another RBI, but the British intentionally walked him and managed to get the third out and win.

Czech Republic 7, Netherlands 2

The last game of the day started off as a close pitchers duel between Arjan Baanen and Jaroslav Brenik.  Despite the Czech team taking an early lead, the game was very tight, with the Netherlands staying slightly behind, but still in the game.

In the top of the sixth. The Dutch had a chance to tie the game, but their batters couldnt deliver at this clutch moment and they left three runners on bases.

The Czechs added another three runs, including Mertl's two-run shot to eventually seize the win with the final score 7-2.

/photos by Sascha Schneider/
-Helena Novotná-