The Mix start Women’s Euro Cup with a win

Mon 19 Aug 2019

Monday 19 August – Sian Wigington singled in the winning run in the top of the eighth inning and the The Mix, Britain’s representative in the European Women’s Cup, got the tournament off to a great start today with an extra-inning 6-5 win over Skovde Saints from Sweden.

The score was tied at 5-5 after three innings, with The Mix having scored five runs in the top of the second inning and the Saints having scored two in the bottom of the second inning and three in the bottom of the third.

But then neither team was able to score over the next four innings, and the tie-break came into force in the eighth.  The Mix were able to cash their tie-break runner, the Saints couldn’t do the same, and The Mix were off and running in the tournament.

Tournament details

For the Skovde Saints, who won their opening game in the tournament this morning against the Danish team Horsholm, the loss to The Mix took their record to 1-1.  For The Mix, the game against the Saints was their only game today, but they will play twice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before completing the round-robin with a single game on Friday.

Nine teams have entered the tournament, which is a qualifier for the 2020 European Women’s Premiere Cup, and the teams are playing a full round-robin over the course of the week, followed by bronze medal and gold medal games on Saturday. 

The goal for The Mix, if they want to come back to the UK with their stated aim of a medal, is to finish somewhere in the top four places in the round-robin table by the end of Friday.

Today’s win was a good first step.

Early runs

Nomeda Neverauskaite was the starting pitcher for the Saints, but she was removed in the top of the second inning after walking Anna Prins, Sian Wigington and Gayle Khoenkhoen to load the bases with one out. 

Rhianna Rich, who came on in relief, was quickly greeted by a two-RBI single by Ysa Urquiaga and a two-RBI double by Emmilee Blowers, who subsequently scored on a wild pitch, and The Mix had a 5-0 lead. 

But Rich settled down after that and kept The Mix to just two hits and no runs over the next five innings.

Meanwhile, the Saints started to claw their way back in the bottom of the second inning against The Mix’s starter, Ysa Urquiaga.

In an eventful second inning, the Saints conjured two runs from two hits, two walks, an error and a wild pitch, and it might have been more if The Mix hadn’t cut off a runner at home.

In the bottom of the third inning, a single and a walk was followed by a three-run home run to right field by Lina Larsson, and suddenly the game was a 5-5 tie.

But Mary Murray took over the pitching for The Mix in the top of the fourth inning, and the Saints never scored again.  Their only real threat against Mary came in the bottom of the seventh inning, when the first two batters reached base.  But two fly balls outs and a force out at third got The Mix out of the jam and sent the game to the eighth inning and a tie-break runner to start the inning at second base.

The end

For The Mix in the top of the eighth, that tie-break runner at second was Hannah Pitman, and she had to stay put when Anna Prins popped out to second base after trying and failing to lay down a sacrifice bunt.  But Hannah took third on Holly Newell’s groundout, and then Mix captain Sian Wigington drove a clutch single to right field to score the all-important run.

In the bottom of the eighth, Tilde Harnesk was the Saints’ tie-break runner and she never moved from second as Lynn Andre grounded out to short, Jonna Wiggins fouled out to first and Helena Nukunuku popped out to second base.

Mary Murray got the win for pitching five tidy scoreless innings in relief, allowing three hits and a walk and striking out two.

Tomorrow The Mix will be on the field early with a game against Athletico San Sebastian at 9.00 am local time and will then face one of the two Bulgarian teams, Akademics Sofia, at 1.30 pm.

Scores and standings

Scores on Monday in the nine-team round-robin were:

Akademics Sofia (Bulgaria) 14, Beit Shemes (Israel) 4 (5 inns)
Skovde Saints (Sweden) 9, Horsholm (Denmark) 1
Gepardy Zory (Poland) 3, Princ Zagreb (Croatia) 1
Angels Dupnitsa (Bulgaria) 4, Akademics Sofia (Bulgaria) 3
The Mix (GB) 6, Skovde Saints (Sweden) 5 (8 inns)
Athletico San Sebastian (Spain) 2, Gepardy Zory (Poland) 0
Princ Zagreb (Croatia) 5, Angels Dupnitsa (Bulgaria) 1

Standings after Day 1 are:

The Mix (1-0)
Athletico San Sebastian (1-0)
Angels Dupnitsa (1-1)
Akademics Sofia (1-1)
Gepardy Zory (1-1)
Princ Zagreb (1-1)
Skovde Saints (1-1)
Beit Shemes (0-1)
Horsholm (0-1)

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