GB Cubs get pre-season games in Holland

Sat 13 Apr 2019

The GB Cubs, the competition arm of the GB Under-13 Girls’ Fastpitch programme, took an Under-15 squad to the Netherlands on the weekend of 30-31 March to compete against Dutch teams in a tournament at the Roef Softball Club.

The GB Team had a couple of training sessions beforehand so that all the players could meet before the team travelled.  Shira Bengal and MaKenzie Eberly were the two new players that that hadn't travelled with the team to Collecchio last year for the Massimo Romeo Youth Trophy.

Day 1

Rain held off, but due to the club’s second field not being finished in time, games were played outdoors using an indoor schedule and were limited to 45 minutes.

The Cubs’ first game, against Sparks, finished 0-0 on a reversion as time expired.  Georgia Wilson pitched extremely well for the Cubs, facing 18 batters and striking out eight of them, while Cordelia Stevens at second base, Megan Longman in centre field, Shinju Phalon at shortstop and Shira Bengal at first base played excellent defense behind her.

The next game, against the host team Roef, was a 3-0 loss, again on a reversion after time expired.

Georgia Wilson again pitched well, with the opposition scoring only one earned run.  Two of the Roef runs came on a triple to right field in the first inning, and the Dutch team scored their final run in the second inning on a dropped third strike, stolen bases and a passed ball.

The Cubs were able to get runners on base through walks, but when they got bat on ball it tended to result in ground outs or fly outs.  GB scored in the last inning after Chelsie White was hit by a pitch and advanced through passed balls and stolen bases, but the run was wiped out on the reversion.

The third and final game of the day was against Storks, and this game had a lot more hits in it, with a final score of 6-4 to the Dutch team.

Amy Morris was the starting pitcher for the Cubs and her infield backed her up well in the first inning, but Storks got enough base hits to score three runs.

Georgia Wilson took over the pitching in the second inning and held the Storks scoreless, but the Dutch team scored another three runs in the third and final inning.

GB scored once in the first inning when Cordelia Stevens hit a grounder through shortstop, stole second base and came home on a double by Georgia Wilson.

Three more runs came in the fourth inning on hard ground ball hits by Georgia Wilson, Shira Bengal and Megan Longman and a two-RBI hit to centre field from MaKenzie Eberly.  But the rally ended when the next two batters struck out. 

Day 2

The Cubs were in fourth place after the round-robin games on Saturday, and faced Sparks again on Sunday morning, who had finished top of the group, winning all their games except the one against GB!

The second field was now available for play and so games were extended by 15 minutes, although the outfield on this diamond was very short.

This was another close game, with the final score 5-4 to Sparks, and the Cubs came out strong, scoring three runs in the first inning.

A base hit to right field by Matilde Crapanzano, a hit to centre field by Georgia Wilson and a walk to Shira Bengal loaded the bases, and all three runners scored on a double to centre field by Megan Longman.

The Cubs scored another run in the second inning when Matilde Crapanzano singled and advanced round the bases on a steal and two passed balls. 

However, Sparks scored two runs in the first inning, two more in the second inning and the winning run in their final at-bat. 

In the Cubs’ last game of the tournament the team played Roef once again, scoring in the first and fourth innings.  GB finished the game with three runs but unfortunately Roef scored five, all in the first inning, with one of the runs coming on a home run over the short fence.

So the Cubs finished the tournament in fourth place, but all the games were close and the team worked hard and played well defensively.  Overall, it was a good pre-season tournament and good preparation for the European Massimo Romeo Trophy competition in August.

Players and staff

The GB Cubs players at the tournament were:

Shira Bengal
Matilde Crapanzano
MaKenzie Eberly
Megan Longman
Amy Morris
Scarlett Patience                      
Shinju Phalon
Cordelia Stevens    
Chelsie White
Georgia Wilson

The staff was:

Head Coach and Physio:  Jodie Rushin
Assistant Coach:  Nadya Pavlova
Assistant Coach:  Jasmine Rushin
Team Manager:  Julie Spittle

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