Looking back at the GB Cubs’ silver medal

Sat 24 Aug 2019

The GB Cubs Under-13 Girls Fastpitch Team reached the final in the competitive Sport Division in the recent European Massimo Romeo Youth Trophy tournament in Collecchio, Italy, and their silver medal was the team’s highest-ever placing in this annual competition since it began in 2012.  Below, Team Manager Julie Spittle looks back at an exciting week.


We travelled out to Italy on the Monday before the tournament with the bare minimum of nine play-ers, having secured a late pick-up at our training camp the previous day, so that we could have some training sessions and get settled before the tournament started on the Wednesday, and the girls were raring to go.

On Monday evening we were able to train on the main field where we would be playing all of our games and this helped the team to adjust to the different conditions, as we had been unable to do much training on dirt fields and for some this was their first time on a dirt field.

On Tuesday morning we trained again before chilling out and getting ready for the Opening Ceremony in the Town Square that evening.  We were also able to meet Sveva, Matilde and Silvia who were join-ing us for the tournament.

Wednesday

On Wednesday afternoon we faced Italy 2 to begin our journey and we made history by beating them 2-1.  It was a great start, and the the stand-out play from that game was catcher Cara Edwards’s throw to shortstop Shinju Phalon who made the tag on an attempted steal.  Another good play was a tag out at home by Cara on a throw from third base player Matilde Neri to stop Italy 2 scoring a go-ahead run.

Amy Morris scored both our runs in the first and fifth innings by drawing walks and then being pushed around the bases by batters behind her: Georgia Wilson, Cara Edwards and Sveva Moggi.

Thursday

On Thursday we played Joudrs Orange and Moscovia and we went 1-1.

We won against Joudrs 5-1, with a run in the first inning and then four in the third inning.  The runs were scored by Sveva Moggi, Georgia Wilson, Cara Edwards, MaKenzie Eberly and Shinju Phalon.

Moscovia was a tougher game and the experience of losing 1-0 would help us get to the final.  The bats just didn't work for us, but defensively Georgia Wilson struck out nine Russians and the other three outs came on a 6-3 play from Shinju Phalon to Amy Morris, a pop-up caught by catcher Cara Edwards and a fly out to Silvia Barbieri in right field.

Friday

In our game against SaBat Praha on Friday we put up 12 runs to their 1.  Sveva Moggi and Cara Edwards both scored three runs, Georgia Wilson and Matilde Neri scored twice and Shinju Phalon and Elise Alexandre once.

Our last round-robin game was against Italy 1 and we were happy to know that we were in with a chance for the bronze medal at this point.  We were not getting our hopes up with regard to a place in the final, but we also had everything to play for.

Italy 1 were playing the short game and they were getting runners on base but weren’t able to score them as we were playing tough defense.  We held them to 0-0 in five innings and the game went to two tie-break innings, with us scoring the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.  We had won!  We had beaten Italy 1!

It turned out that the Cubs, Italy 1 and Moscovia all had just one loss and we were all 1-1 against each other, so it went to runs conceded and Moscovia was the team that dropped to third place.  It also meant that we were top of Pool A, the Sport Division, because we had beaten Italy 1 in our head-to-head match-up.

Unfortunately, when we met them again in the final, it was Italy 1 that took the gold.

The final

The final was a different game to the one we had played the day before.

Unfortunately, the team had some injuries.  Shinju Phalon was unable to play in the last two games, Sveva Moggi had hurt her ankle in the previous day’s game but was able to play and Stella Albrecht had a bruised hand.

During the final Georgia Wilson was moved to first base after pitching into the fifth inning and holding the Italians to three runs in the first four innings.  But Georgia was hit by a pitch on her ankle while at bat in the bottom of the fourth inning and her ankle started to swell, so Amy Morris came in to pitch during an Italian rally in the top of the fifth inning.  The final score was 11-0 to Italy.

Looking back

Afterwards, Head Coach Jodie Rushin said, “I am over the moon that we have taken home the silver medal, something that still hasn’t quite sunk in.”

Special mention should go to Georgia Wilson and Cara Edwards.  Georgia received the Best Pitcher of the Tournament award with incredible stats and she deserved it for the sheer amount of hard work she has put in to become the pitcher that she is today, with a great future in the game in front of her.

However, Cara Edwards deserves recognition as well because of the old saying: “Behind every great pitcher is an even more amazing catcher.”  What a duo they were, and they definitely held the team together this year.  We all sincerely hope they can both progress and become the players we know they can be at senior level.


Thanks

After the tournament, Jodie Rushin said, “I would like to say thank you to the most incredible coaching team -- Nadya Pavlova, Elysee Enness-Laporte and Dawne Edwards -- and to our team Manager Julie Spittle, who keeps the girls and our coaching team in order.  We would not have done this without each other.

“And thank you to the girls who were just superb throughout the whole tournament and performed against all the odds and just amazed everyone.  The amount of comments I received from other coaches, the number of messages I got from people back home and the sheer display they put on this week have amazed so many people it’s unbelievable.  To be told by numerous people that ‘This is the best team we’ve ever produced and the development of our programme from the start to now is astounding’ truly shows that hard work does pay off and we now have the proof.”

The Cubs have excelled themselves this year and we are all very very pleased with what we have come home with.  We are all looking forward to next year and the challenges it will bring as we will say goodbye to around four players and hopefully see them progress through the GB programme.

Our silver medalist Cubs were:

Georgia Wilson (P)
Cara Edwards (C)
Amy Morris (1B)
Sveva Moggi (2B/SS)
Shinju Kimura-Phalon (SS)
Matilde Neri (3B/OF)
MaKenzie Eberly (3B/OF)
Stella Albrecht (OF/2B)
Jessie Emery (OF)
Megan Rollins (OF)
Silvia Barbieri (OF)
Elise Alexandre (OF/2B)

Back to news listing


Comments

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

BSF development grants available, apply