The first ever Men’s Slowpitch European Championship began on Tuesday. Seven national teams compete in Choceň, the Czech Republic. After three days of games, the top four is determined to compete for the title.
The first game of the tournament was the longest one so far. Two of the expectedly strongest teams started the Softball Europe season – Great Britain against the Netherlands. The Dutch started of stronger and it wasn’t until the third inning that team GB took the lead. Starting with that moment, GB was heading straight to the first win of the season. Final score 24:13.
GB continues in the tournament without having experienced a single loss. The only team that really challenged the British were the Czechs. The final score was 14:13; the winning run was scored in the bottom of the seventh inning of this nerve-wracking game.
The Czechs experienced two more one-run-difference games; a close win against Germany (15:14) and a loss with Belgium (19:20). This win for the Belgians gave them a chance of advancing among the top four.
The Czech Republic, Germany, and Belgium all took three wins and three losses, and their destiny was determined by the “runs against” rule. Germany and the Czech Republic made it through to the playoffs while Belgium found themselves unlucky and they will have to fight for the fifth place in the tournament.
Italy and Ireland paired up on the last day of the round-robin to get that one win to boost one’s pride. For a long time, it was anybody’s game, but in the end, it Italy won this one (21:16).
Italy, Ireland, and Belgium will now play against each other in their placement group to determine their final standings.
Three more games are now scheduled for the top four teams – Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Their newly gained scores will determine their positions going into the page-system.