GB Cubs beat Italy 2 in Massimo Romeo opener

Wed 14 Aug 2019

Wednesday 14 August – The GB Cubs Under-13 Girls’ Fastpitch Team got the 2019 European Massimo Romeo Youth Trophy tournament off to the best possible start this afternoon with a 2-1 win over Italy 2.

The Cubs are playing in the more competitive Sport Division again this year, along with two Italian teams, two Czech teams and the top Russian club team Moscovia, and this game marks the first time that a GB Under-13 team has ever beaten an Italian side.

It’s also the first time that the Cubs have won their opening game at the tournament since it began in its current format in 2012, and when the Cubs played Italy 2 last year, the result was an 11-0 loss.  The progress that the Cubs have made over the last couple of years in particular looks like continuing in 2019!
 

Pitchers’ duel

GB Cubs pitcher Georgia Wilson pitched all five innings, giving up just four hits and one walk while hitting one batter and striking out nine, and the one run that Italy 2 scored, in the bottom of the third inning, was unearned.

Italian pitcher Lidia Napolitano also threw a complete game and gave up only two hits and no earned runs while striking out eight.  But she also walked six Cubs, and the Italians committed four errors to just two for GB.  Walks and errors played a major role in both the run the Cubs scored in the top of the first inning to take the lead and the run that they scored in the top of the fifth inning that won them the game.

Scoring

GB’s rally in the top of the first inning started with a one-out walk to Amy Morris.  Stella Albrecht went down on strikes for the second out, but there was an Italian error on a ball hit by Georgia Wilson which allowed Amy to get all the way to third and Georgia to second. 

The Italians then decided to walk Cubs’ catcher Cara Edwards intentionally to load the bases, a move that backfired when MaKenzie Eberly also walked, driving in Amy Morris with the opening run.

Georgia Wilson retired the Italians in the bottom of the first inning on just one hit and set them down in order in the bottom of the second.  But in the bottom of the third, Italy 2 tied the score with a two-out rally.

Irene Silvestri and Mirta Anselmi hit back-to-back singles, and an error allowed Silvestri to score.

Neither team scored in the fourth inning, though both had chances, but Amy Morris opened the top of the fifth inning for the Cubs by drawing her second walk of the game.  A groundout moved Amy to second, and when there was an Italian throwing error on Georgia Wilson’s single to shortstop, Amy was able to score the run that gave GB a 2-1 lead.

Georgia Wilson then set the Italians down in order in the bottom of the fifth inning on two groundouts and a strikeout, and the Cubs had made a lot of history in their very first game of the tournament.

Looking ahead

The GB Cubs are playing, as mentioned, in the six-team Sport Division at the tournament, otherwise known as Pool A, while 11 other teams playing in the Futures Division have been divided into Pools B and C for their opening round-robins.

The Cubs v Italy 2 was the first Pool A game of the day.  The full Pool A results were:

GB Cubs 2, Italy2 1
Moscovia 19, SaBat Prague 1 (3 inns)
Italy1 10, Joudrs Orange 0 (4 inns)

Tomorrow (Thursday), the GB Cubs will play Joudrs Orange at 11.15 am local time and Moscovia at 6.00 pm.

The Cubs will complete their round-robin games on Friday when they play SaBat Prague at 9.00 am and Italy 1 at 6.00 pm.

On Saturday, the teams that finished fifth and sixth in Pool A will play off for fifth place in the final standings, while the teams that finished third and fourth will play the bronze medal game and the top two teams will play the gold medal game.

There’s no telling at this point where the GB Cubs will end up, but they’ve made a terrific start.

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