Women's European Championship Day One
The Women’s European Championship is underway in joint host cities Ostrava, Frydek Mistek, Czech Republic, and Rybnik, Zory, Poland.
Twenty-three countries are competing to keep their 2020 Olympic dream alive. The top six teams will advance to an Olympic qualifying tournament at the end of July in the Netherlands.
Entering the tournament, the top six seeds are Netherlands, Italy, Great Britain, Czech Republic, Russia and Greece. With the addition of several new dual citizens, countries like Ireland, Israel and Sweden could be in contention.
Here are five performances from the first day of competition highlighted by Softball America.
The Italians scored 52 runs in two games on Sunday and by games, it was a total of six innings.
In the first game against Turkey, Italy scored 41 runs in two innings. They recorded 30 hits total with 22 going for extra bases and 10 being home runs.
In the second game against Austria, Italy won 11-0. Five of their nine hits were extra-base hits.
Former McNeese All-American Erika Piancastelli was 7-for-8 on the day with eight runs scored, seven RBIs, four home runs, two doubles and a walk.
Johanna Grauer, Sweden
Sweden finished 1-1 against Slovakia and the Czech Republic but it was former UCLA pitcher Johanna Grauer who stood out for the Swedes.
In a 2-1 win over the Slovaks, Grauer pitched a complete game and allowed three hits and one run while striking out 14 and walking three. She was also 1-for-3 with a run scored and a double in the contest.
How important was her hit? Grauer is batting leadoff for Sweden and did not record a single at-bat while at UCLA from 2015-18.
Nerissa Myers, Great Britain
Great Britain came out swinging in its first game against Greece, winning by a score of 12-5.
Nerissa Myers, who played her college ball at Louisiana, was 4-for-4 with three runs scored, five RBIs, a home run and a triple.
Kelly Nelson, Ireland
Ireland split the day with Poland and the Netherlands but Holy Cross standout Kelly Nelson stood out in the circle and at the plate.
Nelson earned the win against Poland, striking out 10 on no hits and walking one in four innings. She was also 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.
She pitched three hitless innings in relief against the Dutch and struck out three.
Entering the tournament as the No. 20 seed, the Israelis went 2-0 with 9-1 and 15-0 wins against Ukraine and Turkey
The combined pitching of Arizona’s Vanessa Foreman and Tamara Statman held the opposition to three hits in nine innings. They struck out 17 batters and surrendered one unearned one.
|Switzerland 1||Germany 15|
|Great Britain 12||Greece 5|
|Italy 41||Turkey 0|
|Russia 3||Denmark 2|
|Netherlands 19||Hungary 0|
|Czech Republic 15||Lithuania 0|
|France 14||Belgium 0|
|Spain 8||Austria 1|
|Ireland 8||Poland 0|
|Ukraine 1||Israel 9|
|Sweden 2||Slovakia 1|
|Greece 14||Switzerland 4|
|Germany 10||Croatia 0|
|Hungary 0||Russia 27|
|Israel 15||Turkey 0|
|Poland 7||Denmark 0|
|Ireland 2||Netherlands 13|
|France 19||Lithuania 0|
|Austria 0||Italy 11|
|Belgium 2||Slovakia 1|
|Ukraine 1||Spain 10|
|Czech Republic 7||Sweden 0|
For USA Softball, Valerie Arioto Has Set The Gold Standard
USA Softball veteran Valerie Arioto is on the cusp of achieving her Olympic dream.
Standings (Note: Teams tied appear in alphabetical order)