In the rematch of the last European Championships Final, Italy defeated the Netherlands 7-4 and remained unbeaten at the Softball Qualifier Europe/Africa held in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The host team took an early 4-1 lead, but Italy bounced back thanks to three homers hit by Emily Carosone, Erika Piancastelli and Giulia Longhi. Ilaria Cacciamani got the win, while Ginger de Weert took the loss. Tomorrow, Italy will face Great Britain in the last game of the Qualifier in a winners take all game.
The Netherlands started the game well, scoring four runs in the first inning. Britt Vonk singled off Greta Cecchetti, Italian starting pitcher, and Eva Voortman walked. Then, Dinet Oosting fulled the bases with a single. With bases loaded and no outs, Maxime van Dalen and Virginie Anneveld hit 2 RBI’s singles for the 2-0. After Wies Ligtvoet stroke out, Jessie van Aalst hit a double to right center, bringing home two more runs.
In the bottom of the inning, Italy took the lead thanks to 4 runs. Beatrice Ricchi opened the frame with 4 balls. Then Giulia Longhi and Amanda Fama stroke out. But, Vigna reached first on error. With runners on first and third, Carosone tied the game up with a three run home to deep center field. Later, Erika Piancastelli hit moon shot to give Italy the lead, 5-4.
In the next inning, Italy extended the lead 7-4, thanks to a 2 run shot by Giulia Longhi, after Beatrice Ricchi had hit a single.
The Italian team left some runners on bases in the next frames. In the fourth, Carosone reached on error and Gasparotto singled to right field. Howard was hit by pitch, but Birocci grounded out. In the fifth, Ricchi doubled to deep right center with no out, but Italy couldn’t extend the lead. The Netherlands got the next three eliminations to end the inning.
The host team tried to bounce back in the last innings of the match, but it couldn’t. Ilaria Cacciamani closed the door and got the win. Tomorrow, the Netherlands will face Czech Republic, while Italy will face Great Britain in a winner takes all game.