European women’s cups were scheduled for the third week of August. There are three cup competitions: Premiere Cup, where national champions meet, European Cup, that is a qualification for the Premiere Cup and then there’s Winner's Cup, where the winners of national Cups participate.
Premiere Cup and Winners Cup were held in Prague. They were both part of Prague Softball Summer, which continues today with Super Cup Men. European Cup was held in Dupnitsa.
European Premiere Cup Women 2015, Prague, Czech Republic, August 17th - 22nd.
First two days of the tournament were cancelled due to non-stopping rain. Therefore, not only the schedule, but also the tournament system had to be changed. Originally, all the teams were supposed to play each other; when the rain gave up, there were three pools for the round robin phase of the tournament.
Groups E and F consisted of the 6 teams advancing from their pools. La Loggia, Sparks and Vermins all managed to win one game in group E. Runs-against rule decided on La Loggia taking the first place, Sparks keeping their hopes alive and Vermins remaining out of the game.
Group F results were more clear; Bussolengo didn’t allow a single run and took the first place, Eagles overplayed Carrousel 4:0 and deserved a chance to go on in fighting for the final.
There was also group G where the remaining teams played the placement pool – Belgian Hoboken was the strongest and won against both of their opponents. Luzern (SUI) managed to beat Swedish Soder and placed second in this pool.
Later on, Vermins and Carrousel met when playing for the fifth spot. The Russian team had a strong third inning and scored twice, increasing their lead to 3:0. Vermins from Germany tried to dramatize the end of the game, but only scored once. Final score 3:1.
The hosting team of the tournament, Eagles, played against the Dutch Sparks – the winner would later advance to the semifinal game. Eagles were off to an outstanding start when they created pressure on the defense, Sparks hesitated, and the situation ended with the score 3:0 for Eagles. The game wasn’t over yet, though. Sparks scored in the second (1 run), tied in the fourth and added another two runs in the fifth. When the score is 5:3, there is always hope for the losing team to catch up, however, Sparks weren’t done - sixth inning meant another 3 points. But Eagles wouldn’t give up, they got their players on bases. With bases loaded, Sparks allowed one run on an error, but that was it. Eagles lost their hopes and placed fourth.
Italian teams La Loggia and Bussolengo played the first semifinal. The game was tied with no runs, until the very last moment. The bottom of the seventh, two outs, Bortolomai singled, then stole second, Refrontolo singled to right centerfield and the only run of the game was scored on the hit.
La Loggia played against Sparks in the second semifinal the next day. Both teams helped their opponent get one run in after some fielding errors. No more runs were scored until the second extra inning. Sparks pushed hard, had the bases loaded, but only one run scored. La Loggia managed to get two more runs and after the nerve-wrecking game advanced to the final.
The final game was as tight as the previous games. Only one run was scored, this time, it was in the first inning after a dropped third strike and a double through center field. Bussolengo won the European Premiere Cup.
European Cup Winner‘s Cup, Prague, Czech Republic, August 17th - 22nd.
Thirteen teams took part in this year’s Winner‘s Cup. This tournament also suffered from the two-day non-stopping rain, which resulted in TC‘s decision – round robins would be played for five innings only. The games were over very quickly for the players, but the rules were the same for everyone. Teams were divided into four groups and the best two teams from each pool advanced. Dutch Terrasvogels lost to British Angels and couldn’t even beat the hosting Joudrs. After all, they found themselves out of the game as well as Danish Barracudas. Forli made it to the first place in the other playoff group after beating German Nightmares really closely in the 9th inning! Nightmares took the second place and they had a shot in the medal game. And they seized it, they won over the Angels and even got to play the semifinal game against Joudrs, who lost to Forli 2:0 in the first semifinal. The hosting team was really eager to play the final game in front of the cheering crowds, and the crowds were happy at the end of the game, Joudrs made it to the final.
The final game, Forli vs. Joudrs. The home team came with high hopes, but they were ruined quickly by unbelievable Italian offense leading off with five hits in a row. Forli took the lead 3:0. Their pitcher Blaire Luna kept the Czech team in distance from scoring. The final game result was Forli 5, Joudrs 0. Fiorini Forli won the European Cup Winner's Cup.
European Cup Women, Dupnitsa, Bulgaria, August 18th - 22nd.
Six teams participated in the Cup, the winning team would win a spot for their country at the Premiere Cup for the next season.
Bulgarian Babes and Croatian Prince played the quarter final game. Excited players from Croatia appeared to be the stronger team. They later played Spanish Sant Boi, who lost to Les Comanches – the French team 11:0 in the semifinal games. Sant Boi didn’t show any weakness in the second semifinal game, won on a run-ahead rule in the sixth inning. The final game was the tightest game of the tournament. Les Comanches (FRA) vs. Sant Boi (ESP). The game was tied 2:2 in the bottom of seventh inning. Now this is how a fairy tale happens: Raina Hunter stepped in the box and hit a homerun. One swing of the bat ended the game. Les Comanches won the European Cup.