There are no surprises on the second playing day of the Championship as all games ended up quite as expected. Thrilling game was played between Russia and Germany and the second German loss means most probably an end for them. We also have to mention unbelievable pitching pefrormance by Grauer, who threw 20 strike-outs against Poland.
Group A – All games ended early with a scoreline difference Hungary suffered another bitter loss as the Swiss defeattooed them today 5-23. Therefore the Swiss got their first points, however the Hungarians are still waiting for them. The Swiss then played another game in the evening, when they faced Austria. This encounter was totaly under control of the Austrians, who scored 11 runs in the second inning and ended the game after the fourth one. Meanwhile, the Czechs confirmed their wins from yesterday, kept another clean sheet in defense and won over Belgium 11-0.
„I think this game was even a bit easier than the one against the Swiss. Belgium didn’t play their best players, because they’ve been saving them for tommorow’s fight for play-off,“ said Vojtech Albrecht, one of the Czech coaches.
Group B – Netherlands celebrates another 10-0 victory Only two games were played in the group B today. The Dutch faced the Croatians in a clear game and won after four innings by 10 runs to nothing. They put up two pitchers, and both of them threw five strike-outs. The second game of this pool was played in the main ground between the Spanish and the Slovaks. Spain took the lead in the first two innings and defended it well until the last one, which resulted in a 5-2 win.
„We have some injuries in the team, so we didn’t play some our best players. Therefore the first inning, where we managed to get a shutout was a big positive sign for us,“ said Croatian coach Sasa Havelkova, who still believes in beating the Spanish and get through the group.
Group C – Thriller between Russia and Germany ends up in a tie-break In the morning, the British met the Danish and it ended up with the biggest difference yet in the scoreline at the moment. Great Britain has won 20-1 after getting 10 runs in the second inning. However, the more important game was played later between the Russians and the Germans. Germany wanted to fight for the second place in which case there wasn’t a different way, than beating Russia. Scoreless 7 innings put the game into a tie-break, where the Germans took a 3-0 lead. Nonetheless, the Russians managed to turn the scoreline around in the bottom of 8th and won 3-4. Last match of this pool was played between the Israeli and Denmark. This game went also to the tie-break and the Danish decided late in the 10th inning with 8 runs to get a comfrot-looking win 15-8.
„When we were down in the tie-break, we told ourselves there is nothing to lose and that we have to do our best. It was maybe the most important game of our pool,“ said one of the Russian pitchers, Ekaterina Eronina.
Group D – Italy dominates pool B, Poland is still waiting for a win First game of the second day was played by the Polish and the French. Tight game ended up better for France, who punished opponent’s errors and won by two runs only 5-3. Then, the Italians won two more games. At first against Ukraine 7-0 in the sixth. Then against France 15-0 after just three innings, since they’ve scored 11 runs in the first one. Last game was quite special as the Swedish pitcher Johanna Grauer noted 20 strike-outs from facing 21 Polish players in total. Sweden has won 6-0 and still competes for the first place. have just two games left for the pool.
„20 strike-outs?! Wow! That must have been a great afternoon (he laughs). Johanna played brilliantly today, she pitched up and down, to the sides and just around whole strike-zone and she made it almost impossible for the opponent to hit the ball,“ said Mattias Grimstoft about Grauer’s performance after the game.
2013 XVIII. EChW, Prague (CZE): 7 - 13 Jul
Federation: CZECH REPUBLIC - CESKA SOFTBALLOVA ASOCIACE