Italy defeated Great Britain 5-0 in the final game of the WBSC Softball Europe Africa Olympic Qualifier held in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and got the ticket for Tokyo 2020. Italian pitcher Greta Cecchetti was outstanding, throwing a shutout game in 99 pitches with 13 strikeouts and only 2 hits allowed. Emily Carosone and Erika Piancastelli got a pair of hits. Italy was the third team to join the Olympic Games, with the already qualified Japan and USA.
In front of a huge crowd, Great Britain and Italy faced off again, three weeks after the European Championship. Greta Cecchetti and Georgina Warrick were the starting pitchers. Italy took the lead in the first inning. Amanda Fama was hit by pitch. With one out, Emily Carosone singled. Later, Emily Piancastelli plated Fama from third with a single to right field. Then, Ricchi reached first on a fielders choice. In the action, the British defense made a throwing error. So, Carsone could score the 2-0 lead.
The Italian team extended the lead between the third and the fourth frame. With one out, Carosone doubled to left field. Then, Beatrice Ricchi plated pinch-runner Fabrizia Marrone with a two bases hit. In the fourth inning, Andrea Howard singled. Pinch hitter Alessandra Rotondo reached on a fielders choice, while Howard was out on second. Longhi flied out but Fama had a base hit.
Later, Vigna singled to make the score 5-0.
Great Britain tried to back into the game, but it couldn’t. Greta Cecchetti was outstanding from the circle, pitching a shutout game with 13 strikeouts and only 2 hits allowed. On the other side, Georgia Corrick took the loss.
Italy joined with the already qualified Japan and USA. The other 3 National Teams will be defined in the other two Qualifiers. Two teams will qualify from the Softball Americas Qualifier that will take place in Survey, Canada. The last one will come from the Softball Asia/Oceania Qualifier that will be in Shanghai, China.
-photo by Sascha Schneider-