Italy wins European Softball Championship, qualifies for World Games 2022 Birmingham

Italy wins European Softball Championship, qualifies for World Games 2022 Birmingham
04/07/2021
The host team defeated Netherlands, 9-5, in the final of the European Women’s Softball Championship. With the victory, Italy qualified for The World Games Birmingham 2022.

Andrea Howard and Erika Piancastelli led Italy’s 15-hit, 9-5 victory over the Netherlands in the final of the European Women’s Softball Championship on Saturday. It's Italy's second consecutive European title. The continental event was played in Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Italy, and sends the Italian National Softball Team to The World Games 2022 Birmingham.

Howard and Piancastelli combined for 5 hits, 3 home runs and 5 RBI to power Le Azzurre’s offensive. Howard led off the game with a homer, and added a two-run shot in the four-run fourth inning. Piancastelli added a 2-run home run of her own in the same frame. Third baseman Giulia Longhi went 4-for-4 in the final.

Greta Cecchetti grabbed the win for Italy with a 6-inning, 117-pitches effort, giving up 6 hits and 4 runs with 7 strikeouts. Marjolein Merkx was charged with the loss.

With this title, the ninth-ranked team in the WBSC Women’s Softball World Rankings conquered their 12th continental crown and the second in a row.

In the bronze medal game, the Czech Republic topped Israel, 2-0.

The continental event also served as an Olympic tune-up for Italy, who will open their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games against No. 1 USA in Fukushima on 21 July in Fukushima, Japan.

The final standings of European Women’s Softball European Championship can be viewed here.