European Championship Cadet Girls (U16) in Nuoro, Italy, started with three scheduled games today. Six teams are participating at this ESF tournament: Belgium, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Italy, Russia and Spain. All the teams will play against each other during the round robin, later on the top four teams will have a chance to make their way into the finals.

Photogalery from the first day: here.


In the first match of the EChCG, Great Britain scored the first runs of the tournament in the second inning. After 2 hits by the British and four errors by the Spanish players, team GB took the 5:0 lead. No more runs were scored until the 6th inning, when Alana Snow tripled and scored on an illegal pitch. It was impossible for the Spanish to react, despite their pitcher only allowing 2 hits more than the British hurler. Defensive errors decided about the clear score of this game.


In the second game, Russia beat Belgium - lead by the guru of European softball and the defending champion, Andre Prins - by the score of 4:2. Yulia Maslova, Russian pitcher only allowed two hits. The young pitcher seems very solid. Russia scored in the first inning taking the one run lead quickly and added three more points after managing 5 back-to-back hits. The only difficulty for Russia was caused by the (unusually lefthanded) shortstop, Viktoria Dolganova, who was under pressure too often. In the last inning, Russia made their only errors of the game and the yellow-red team attempted a comeback. Two runs scored with only 1 succesful hit by Belgium. But that wasn't sufficient to change the momentum.


The last game of the day was between the home team - Italy and the silver team from the last Championship - Czech Republic. The Czech team capitalized on 3 hits and took a 4:0 lead in the first inning, resulting in a pitching change early in the game. No more runs were scored after this inning by the Czech team. However Italians scored in the third, and again in the fourth, a total of 3 runs. This offensive pressure ended with a strike out after the Czechs called in a new pitcher. Final score - Czech Republic 4, Italy 3.

-HNov, Michele Gallerani -