Great Britain, Italy Dominate Opening Games In Olympic Qualifier
On Saturday, softball will have its third Olympic berth handed out in the Netherlands, as the Europe/Asia Olympic Qualifier is underway.
Group A includes the Netherlands, Great Britain, South Africa and Spain, while Italy, the Czech Republic, France and Botswana make up Group B.
Italy enters the tournament with the highest world ranking and as the favorite. The Italians won the European Championship and added more fire power with the addition of Emily Carosone to the roster. The current NPF star joins a lineup bolstered with power. Erika Piancastelli, Amanda Fama, Laura Vigna and Lisa Birocci each earned European All-Tournament honors.
The Netherlands finished as the runner-up in Europe, but have stiff competition in their pool with Great Britain.
South Africa and Botswana are both trying to become the first African representative for softball at the Olympic Games.
|Spain 2||Great Britain 9|
|Botswana 0||Italy 7|
|France 1||Czech Republic 6|
|South Africa 1||Netherlands 11|
|France 11||Botswana 2|
|South Africa 0||Great Britain 15|
|Czech Republic 0||Italy 2|
|Netherlands 7||Spain 0|
VIDEO: Valerie Arioto Talks First-Ever Adidas Women's Cleat
Softball America caught up with Team USA's Valerie Arioto about the launch of Adidas' first-ever women's softball cleat.
Nerissa Myers, Great Britain
Nerissa Myers continues to swing a hot bat, as she has started the tournament 4-for-6 with two home runs, a double, a triple, three runs scored and five RBIs. Both of her home runs came in G.B.'s first contest on Tuesday against Spain.
Britt Vonk, Netherlands
In the Netherlands' first game against South Africa, Britt Vonk was a perfect 3-for-3 with a double and three runs scored.
Amie Hutchison, Great Britain
In two games, Amie Hutchison is 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and four RBIs. She has also pitched three innings and allowed one earned run on five hits.
Kimane Rogron, France
Kimane Rogron enters the tournament as one of its youngest players. At 17, she is 5-for-7 in two games with a double and a run scored.
Greta Cecchetti, Italy
Greta Cecchetti has appeared in two games for Italy and hasn't allowed a run. In eight innings, she has only surrendered two hits and earned a complete-game shutout over the Czech Republic on Wednesday.