Italy Wins European Championship
Italy avenged a previous loss to the Netherlands with a 3-2 win in the championship game in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and was crowned the 2019 European Champion.
Laura Vigna hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to give Italy a 3-1 lead and Greta Cecchetti only allowed one more run to secure the victory.
The win secured Italy’s 11th European title and Vigna’s homer brought their tournament total to 40.
The Netherlands, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Spain and France rounded out the top six and will compete in the Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifier with South Africa and Botswana in Utrecht, Netherlands. The tournament begins on July 23.
Five of the top eight teams remained at the top of the European ranks with Spain improving from No. 7 to No. 5. Sweden and Russia both fell from the top eight while Ireland and France moved in.
The most improved countries were Ireland and Israel. Ireland entered the tournament ranked No. 15 and Israel was No. 20.
Here are the final standings of the 23 participating countries.
2. The Netherlands
3. Great Britain
4. The Czech Republic
VIDEO: Amanda Chidester On Journey To Olympic Team, Hitting
Softball America spoke with United States Olympic softball team member Amanda Chidester.
All Tournament Team (Final Stats)
Daria Semenova, Russia
Nerissa Myers, Great Britain
Laura Vigna, Italy
Amanda Fama, Italy
Alicja Wolny, Great Britain
Darby Rosen, Israel
Melissa Mayeux, France
Lisa Birocci, Italy
Britt Vonk, Netherlands
Rebecca Blitz, Israel
Mia Marinakis, Greece
Estibaliz Alvarez, Spain
Greta Cecchetti, Italy
Beatriz Parejo, Spain
Vanessa Foreman, Israel
Veronika Peckova, Czech Republic
Kelly Nelson, Ireland
Georgina Corrick, Great Britain
Most Outstanding Player: Erika Piancastelli, Italy