European Pool Play Ends, Top 8 Teams Determined
Pool play at the European Championship came to an end on Tuesday and there’s been a shift in Europe as the top eight teams have been determined.
Netherlands, Italy, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Greece and Spain moved in to the top bracket determining the six countries that will move on to the Olympic qualifier in a couple weeks. Ireland and France finished strong and have found themselves in the top eight as well.
Great Britain scored double-digit runs in all four pool play games, outscoring opponents 49-15. Nerissa Myers leads the team with a .727 batting average (8-for-11) with 11 RBIs, six runs scored, two doubles, a triple and a home run. Amy Moore leads the team in hits (nine) and Alicja Wolny leads in home runs (three) and RBIs (12).
The British beat Ireland 8-0 in the first game of top-eight play and will take on Spain and Czech Republic next.
Knowing that the 2024 Paris Olympics replaced softball with breakdancing, the French have shocked the world by reaching the top eight and went 4-1 in pool play.
Recent Louisiana commit, Melissa Mayeux has driven in a team-high 12 runs and Kimane Rogron leads the team with a .714 batting average, 10 hits and four doubles.
The Irish are the blueprint program of what it looks like to build a program from the grassroots level on up. They have improved at every level each year and that allowed them to go 4-1 in pool play.
Everyone has seen playing time with only two players starting all six (top-eight loss to Great Britain).
Miami Ohio’s Lily Wilmot leads the starters with two home runs and eight RBIs.
There is no stopping Erika Piancastelli in this tournament. In five games, she is batting .625 (10-for-16) with 12 runs scored, six home runs, 10 RBIs and two doubles. Amanda Fama isn’t close behind with five homers and 10 RBIs.
The Italians have outscored their opponents 68-4 in six games. They went undefeated in pool play and dropped their first top-eight game to the Netherlands 6-2 without Piancastelli in the lineup.
The host team swept pool play and continued with a win over Spain in top-eight play. The Czech haven’t done it with power as 19 of their 66 hits have been for extra bases.
Kristyna Mala has done the most damage a team-high eight RBIs but it’s Eliska Thompsonova, Natalie Kopicova and Veronika Klimplova who are batting .533, .500 with a team-high eight hits each. The pitching staff has worked together and has a team ERA of 1.61 in six games.
The Dutch have been in the driver’s seat all tournament. Their closest game was a 6-3 win over Russia and their largest margin of victory was 19-0 over Hungary.
Former Cal Bear Britt Vonk has been with the national team for over 10 years and she continue to lead in all aspects. She batting .545 (6-for-11) with nine runs scored, two home runs, a double and six RBIs.
Spain held on to walk off a winner against to Israel to secure a top-eight seed. Estibaliz Alvarez leads in batting (.538) and RBIs (nine) while Uxua Modrega has belted three home runs.
The Spaniards went 4-1 in pool play and then dropped their first game of top-eight play 10-3 to the Czech.
The Greeks compete in the five-team bracket, the other three had six. They went 3-1 with their only loss to Great Britain until they dropped a one-run contest to France in top-eight play.
They have four players batting .500 with at least eight hits and a slugging percentage no lower than .625. Mia Marinakis has a team-high seven RBIs.
|Lithuania 6||Belgium 27|
|Israel 2||Austria 0|
|Slovakia 9||France 11|
|Turkey 0||Ukraine 13|
|Germany 1||Great Britain 15|
|Croatia 0||Switzerland 2|
|Denmark 12||Hungary 5|
|Russia 2||Ireland 9|
|Netherlands 10||Poland 0|
|Belgium 7||Sweden 11|
|Spain 5||Israel 4|
|Slovakia 2||Czech Republic 6|
|Italy 15||Ukraine 0|
|Greece 6||Germany 4|
|Great Britain 15||Croatia 0|
|Hungary 0||Poland 14|
|Czech Republic 10||Belgium 0|
|Ireland 14||Hungary 0|
|Austria 13||Ukraine 3|
|Denmark 0||Netherlands 11|
|Poland 1||Russia 2|
|Sweden 2||France 9|
|Israel 0||Italy 7|
|Turkey 0||Spain 17|
|Croatia 0||Greece 7|
|Lithuania 0||Sweden 24|
|Denmark 0||Ireland 15|
|Switzerland 1||Great Britain 17|
|Netherlands 6||Russia 3|
|France 0||Czech Republic 9|
|Austria 15||Turkey 0|
|Italy 7||Spain 0|
|Slovakia 15||Lithuania 0|
|Germany 6||Poland 3|
|France 7||Greece 6|
|Great Britain 8||Ireland 0|
|Italy 2||Netherlands 6|
|Czech Republic 10||Spain 3|
VIDEO: Sara Groenewegen On Softball Journey, Activism
Softball America spoke with former Minnesota All-American and current Team Canada pitcher Sara Groenewegen.
Standings (Note: Teams tied appear in alphabetical order)