Italy-Spain ends 10-1

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Italy ruthless

Two powerful grand slams by Elisa Cecchetti and Mc Kenzie Barbara give Italy a clear win against Spain (10-1 in the 6th) in the last match of the final round of the European Elite in Catalonia and mathematical qualification for Saturday afternoon’s 3 p.m. bronze final against the Czech Republic.

For Federico Pizzolini’s girls, it is the seventh victory in the continental competition, with only two one-point defeats (2-1 with Great Britain, 3-2 with the Netherlands), which, however, cost them exclusion from the final battle for the title.

On Friday afternoon, before the formidable slugging of the Bollate catcher (second in the tournament) and the Italian-American designee (who came up with three homeruns), the Italian national team suffered beyond what was necessary against an opponent that had strong motivations.

In fact, the game for four rounds turned out to be more difficult than expected, with the “roja” national team intent on playing their last chances to enter the bronze final. The starters Ramirez and Lacatena (6bv in 4rl with 8so) managed to keep home plate inviolate, also due to some errors on the bases. Italy went close to the lead on the second try: Laura Vigna fired a missile to right field and grounded out to second and was pushed to third by Elisa Princip’s splendid bunt. On Koutsoyanopulos’ elimination at the plate, Longhi sees the ball away from the catcher and ventures the run home, but Sojo manages to reach it and strike out. In the fourth it is Spain that goes close to the lead: Lacatena concedes a base and two valid, but with two outs leaves Denia at the plate.

The Azzurri unlocked the score in the 4th: with two out, Cecchetti packed a big double and, after the intentional to Vigna went to score on the most trivial of errors, a ball that the third baseman dropped from his glove while picking it up on the fly. In the top of the fifth the Iberians evened the score: Caicoya went to second on a throwing error by Longhi and scored 1-1 on Garcia’s hit to right. Alice Nicolini’s entry (awarded MVP of the game) ended the offense with a fly 8 and a defensive double.

The game ended at the changeover: with two outs on the board and Fama on first, Sheldon beat out a single and Barbara took four balls. With the bases loaded, Elisa Cecchetti explodes all her power with a grand slam to left that slams into the organization’s tents. Spain recalls Annyibell Ramirez (5bv in 4.2) and brings in Parejo, who shuts down the offense.

The sixth fraction opened with Longhi’s double to third on Koutsoyanopulos’ bunt; base to Edwards and winning hit by Fabrizia Marrone, who pushed home the 6-1. New substitution in the circle for the Iberian women. Alonso strikes out Fama, concedes the base to Sheldon. With the bases full this time it’s Barbara who hits a grand slam, with a mile-long ground-air missile that goes dead a few dozen meters from the fence. And it allows one to start thinking about the last effort, the challenge with the Czech Republic.

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