Italy defeated Netherlands in the final match of the Women’s Softball European Championship 2019 by a score of 3-2 and was crowned European Champion in Ostrava, Czech Republic. A strong outing by Greta Cecchetti and a 2-run homer by Laura Vigna in the fifth inning secured the 11th title for the Italian side.
The best teams of the tournament took the field in the final match with the continental title on the line. Netherlands, the defending champions, arrived undefeated to the decisive contest, while Italy suffered only one loss before the final, precisely against the orange team.
An RBI single by Jessie Van Aalst gave the Netherlands the lead in the game. However, Italy came from behind with its favourite weapon: the long ball. Marta Gasparotto tied the game with a solo shot in the second inning, and then in the fifth Vigna homered to center field to make it 3-1. Italy totalled 40 home runs in 12 games during the tournament.
In the sixth Virginie Anneveld hit a solo home run off Cecchetti to make it a one-run ball, but the Italian right-hander closed the door retiring the last five batters she faced to clinch the win. Cecchetti went the distance recording 12 strikeouts, with 5 hits, 2 runs and 3 walks.
For the Bronze Medal, Great Britain beat Czech Republic, 5-1.
These four teams, along with Spain, France (who earned fifth and sixth positions respectively), Botswana and South Africa will play the WBSC Softball Europe/Africa Qualifier, looking to clinch a spot in the Olympic Games 2020. The qualification event will take place in Utrecht, Netherlands, from 23-27 July.
Women’s Softball European Championship 2019 final standings:
- Great Britain
- Czech Republic
Final results and stats at ESF website.