The Mix to play for Euro Cup gold tomorrow

Fri 23 Aug 2019

Friday 23 August – The Mix will play for the gold medal in the European Women’s Cup in Dupnitsa, Bulgaria tomorrow.  This was confirmed by a 7-2 win this afternoon 

over the Danish team Horsholm, who were also looking for a place in the final.

Had Horsholm won this game, they would have put themselves into the gold medal game and relegated The Mix to playing for the bronze medal, but The Mix kept their cool and after they broke open a scoreless game with a five-run outburst in the bottom of the third inning off Danish starter Katerine Lind, the result was never in doubt.

The Mix added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning off reliever Michelle Bauer, and that was more than enough.  The single runs that Horsholm scored in the top of the fifth and seventh innings only served to avert a mercy rule ending.

Today’s win completed the nine-team round robin phase of the tournament for The Mix, who finished with a 7-1 record.  Their only loss came at the hands of Athletico San Sebastian, who are undefeated with one round-robin game left to play this evening, and the Spanish team will be the opposition for The Mix in the gold medal game on Saturday.

Athletico San Sebastian beat The Mix on Tuesday by a score of 17-2, but that was the day when The Mix’s top pitcher, Mary Murray, was unable to play due to an ankle injury which has improved markedly over the course of the week.

Today, Mary gave Horsholm only four hits and was rarely in trouble, as she struck out six and didn’t issue a walk, though she did hit a batter.  Meanwhile, The Mix continued to play solid defense behind her, with the infield making almost all the routine plays as the Danes hit 10 infield ground balls over the course of the game.

Mix captain Sian Wigington had said before the tournament that the team was coming to Dupnitsa looking for a medal, but the players may have surprised even themselves by how well they have played this week, including winning an extra-inning thriller to open the tournament and later pulling off two unlikely late-inning comeback wins.

Head Coach Robbie Robison said, “Athletico are a very strong team and they’re going to hit and bunt and slap and run tomorrow, like good teams do, and we’ll have to try to minimise their offense.  But the players are really up for it, and I think we have a good chance.”

Big inning

Today’s game was decided in the bottom of the third inning when The Mix, after going down quietly in the first two innings, came up with five hits and five runs in the bottom of the third.

Gayle Khoenkhoen led off with a triple down the right field line but was thrown out at home on Barbara Killer’s grounder to second.

Nothing daunted, The Mix continued to apply pressure.  Laura Thompson singled to shortstop and an error on Louisa Scott’s ground ball to shortstop loaded the bases.  Emmilee Blowers then singled up the middle to drive in two runs and Horsholm decided to replace their shortstop.

A single by Anna Prins then scored Louisa Scott, a sacrifice fly by Megan Beard brought in Emmilee and a single up the middle by Sian Wigington drove in Anna.

Adding on

The Danes brought Michelle Bauer in to pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning, and The Mix promptly added two more runs.

Barbara Killer singled to left with one out and the Danish infield didn’t manage to get an out on ground balls by Laura Thompson and Louisa Scott, which loaded the bases.  Emmilee Blowers took a called third strike for the second out, but Anna Prins’s single to right field brought two runners home.

Horsholm batters made some adjustments in the latter part of the game and had consecutive hits to lead off the inning in the top of the fifth and again in the top of the seventh.  But in both cases, the damage was limited to just one run, and the final score was 7-2.

Scores and standings

Scores from the final games in the nine-team round-robin played on Friday are:

Skovde Saints 10, Gepardy Zory 0 (4 inns)
Athletico San Sebastian 15, Beit Shemes 0 (3 inns)
The Mix 7, Horsholm 2
Akademics Sofia 7, Princ Zagreb 5
Athletico San Sebastian 12, Angels Dupnitsa 5 (6 inns)

The final round-robin standings are:

Athletico San Sebastian (8-0)
The Mix (7-1)
Skovde Saints (6-2)
Horsholm (5-3)
Akademics Sofia (3-5)
Angels Dupnitsa (2-6)
Princ Zagreb (2-6)
Beit Shemes (2-6)
Gepardy Zory (1-7)

The Mix and Athletico San Sebastian will contest the gold medal game in the 2019 European Women’s Cup at 4.00 pm Bulgarian time on Saturday (2.00 pm in the UK), preceded by the bronze medal game at 1.00 pm local time between Horsholm from Denmark and Skovde Saints from Sweden.

The following teams – Angels Dupnitsa, Akademics Sofia, Princ Zagreb, Beit Shemes and Gepardy Zory -- will take no further part in the tournament after today.

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