European Championship Cadet Girls was held in Nuoro, Italy, June 29th - July 4th.
Sardinia is a beautiful, but for most Europeans quite outlying destination. That may be a reason why at the end only six teams took part in the championship: Belgium, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Italy, Russia and Spain.
In the first part of the tournament, five games were scheduled for each team to compare its strength with all the other teams. Czech Republic managed to win all five games, Italy did well with only losing to Czech Republic closely 3:4. Competition wasn’t that clear when looking at the remaining four teams though. Russia played a tight game with Belgium, won on a run ahead rule with GB, but lost to Spain 4:5. Great Britain also ended up with two wins; game against Spain seemed quite easy for GBs, they were also able to get much needed runs in the bottom of the sixth when they were falling losing by one run since the first inning when playing Belgium.
Italy and Czech Republic met for the second time in the semifinal game. Cadet championship’s games are played for six innings only. This game however took a bit longer; an extra inning was needed after there were no runs scored so far. Italians had their last chance to score with two outs and runner on third. And they did score. Magliorini hit a homerun and took Italians to lead 2:0. The Czech couldn’t answer anymore, so it was Italy who advanced straight to the final.
Czechs went on in chasing their dream to play for the gold medals. The defeated Russians quite easily 12:2 and matchup number three was about to begin. Team Russia took bronze medals.
The final game. Italy vs. Czech Republic. Up until now, each team took one win and one loss with the opponent. Both games were very close, nobody would bet on the winner until the last pitch was thrown. This time Czechs started of with a great defense again and supported their performance with an outstanding offence by scoring three runs. After a first inning like this, you feel like you can’t really lose, but there were five more innings to go. Italians were the hosting team and they wouldn’t give up easily. They answered immediately with four runs. After outstanding performances of the Czech pitchers throughout the whole tournament, a bit of weakness showed up and allowed Italy to get the lead. The rest of the game was a no run softball with some great actions. Czechs had their tying run on the second, but didn’t manage to hit well enough.
Italy became the European Champion Cadet Girls!
2 Czech Republic
4 Great Britain
Go ahaed and read a few word from our Eddy van Straelen who was an EC at this tournament.
"After a very hot week on Sardinia I can only very much admire the performances of the players and coaches during this 2015 European Championship Cadet Girls.
Not just because of these weather circumstances but particularly for the high level of the games that have been shown there.
I am quite some years involved in European Softball, but it is great to see the improvement in this age group and I can only congratulate the federations that have achieved this.
It once more shows that for this goal they work hard with the young players from Europe and that for sure they are ready to come back to the Olympics.
I regret to say that mainly because of financial reasons not so many federations were able to be present and I hope that the ESF will be able to improve the number of participations for the next EChCG in 2017.
The hospitality and efforts by the organizers have been a great help to make this a beautiful and to be remembered tournament."
Eddy van Straelen,