The Italian Baseball Softball Federation (FIBS) women’s softball national teams will continue their preparation for the 2019 season. The Italian women’s softball program will hold a training camp from 24-28 March in Saronno, Italy, including a series of friendly matches against Peruvian National Team. Head Coach Enrico Obletter named 17 players for the senior national team, and 20 athletes for the U-19 squad.

After competing in the Asia Pacific Cup in February in Sydney, Australia, Italian players will reunite for the first time in nearly two months for a training camp in Saronno. World No. 9 Italy will continue preparing for the upcoming European Softball Championship from June 30-July 6, 2019 in Ostrava, Frydek Mistek, Czech Republic and Rybnik, Zory, Poland. The top six finishers in this event will advance to the Europe/Africa Softball Olympic Qualifier, to be held in Utrecht, the Netherlands, from 23-27 June. Only the winner of this tournament will be at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The Italian U-19 National Team will head to Irvine, California, USA, to play the WBSC U-19 Women’s Softball World Cup, from 11-17 August. Italy arrives to Irvine as the European champion, beating Ireland in the final, 7-3. In 2017, the Azzurre finished in 12th place in the last U-19 World Championship held in Clearwater, Florida, USA.

See the full roster at FIBS official website.

McNeese State University retires Erika Piancastelli’s No. 16 jersey

Erika Piancastelli was honoured by McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana during a pregame opening ceremony on March 9, 2019 when her #16 Cowgirls jersey was officially retired and embedded on the outfield wall of Joe Miller Field.

Erika Piancastelli, a two-time All-American and four-time Southland Conference Player and Hitter of the Year, was the most prolific player to ever wear a softball jersey and one of the best athletes McNeese has ever had in any sport. Erika Piancastelli set a total of 20 career and single-season records including runs scored, RBI, and home runs during her historic and illustrious four-year career.

Piancastelli has played two Women’s Softball World Championships for the Italian National Team, including the 2018 edition in Chiba, Japan, where she was the captain of the team. She will lead the Italian squad again in 2019.