Italy, Netherlands Top 2019 European Softball Rankings
The 2019 European women's fastpitch rankings were released by the European Softball Federation on Monday.
Italy, which won its 11th European title in early July, is featured in the rankings as the top team in Europe. In late July, the Italians secured their spot in the 2020 Olympics with their performance in the Europe/Africa Olympic qualifier.
Rounding out the top five behind Italy in this year's rankings—which are primarily based on the results of July's European Championships—are the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Great Britain and Russia.
Israel demonstrated the biggest improvement of all the ranked teams this year, jumping from the 20th position to the 15th spot. Ireland and Lithuania also improved their rankings in 2019, as they went from 12th to 9th and 24th to 21st, respectively.
Austria fell four spots in the rankings from 10th to 14th, while Slovakia fell three positions from 16th to 19th.
In total, 25 countries were ranked by the European Softball Federation.