GB Cubs win again, then lose one-run thriller

Thu 15 Aug 2019

Thursday 15 August – The GB Cubs Under-13 Girls’ Fastpitch Team picked up their second victory at the European Massimo Romeo Youth Trophy tournament in Collecchio, Italy this morning and then lost a one-run thriller this evening.

The morning game was a 5-1 win over the Czech team Joudrs Orange, and this evening’s loss came in a 1-0 pitchers’ duel against the Russian team Moscovia.

GB Cubs’ pitcher Georgia Wilson was at the heart of both games.  Against Joudrs Orange she allowed only two hits and one unearned run and recorded 14 of the 15 Czech outs via strikeouts.  Against Moscovia, Georgia allowed only one hit while striking out nine and the only run the Russians scored, again in the first inning, was again unearned.

In this game, however, GB couldn’t get on the scoreboard against Moscovia pitcher Iana Petrova, who gave up only two hits and struck out 10 Cubs, while the Russians played errorless defense.

Today’s games leave the Cubs with a 2-1 record in the tournament’s more competitive Sport Division, also known as Pool A, with two round-robin games left to play tomorrow.  Despite tonight’s loss, the Cubs are well on the way to their best-ever performance at this tournament.

A report on the Cubs’ 5-1 win over Joudrs Orange this morning has been on the BSF website since lunchtime today and can be found below, followed by today’s scores and standings.

Here are the details from the tough loss to Moscovia.

GB Cubs v Moscovia

Both teams threatened to score in the first inning of this game, but only the Russians managed to do so.

In the top of the first inning, Sveva Moggi walked for the Cubs, but was thrown out trying to steal second.  That was unfortunate because Georgia Wilson and catcher Cara Edwards followed with singles to the outfield – the only two hits the Cubs were to have in the game – and had Sveva still been on base she would almost certainly have scored.  But Iana Petrova ended the threat on a strikeout.

In the bottom of the first inning, Moscovia got the only hit Georgia Wilson would allow in the game, but it was a one-out double to left field by Russian first base player Sofia Lipatova.  She advanced to third on a groundout and might have been stranded there but for a Cubs’ error on a play that could have ended the inning.

So Moscovia had a 1-0 lead, and two good pitchers kept the offenses quiet for the rest of the game, something you don’t always see with Under-13 teams. 

In fact, over the final four innings of the game, the GB Cubs went up and down in order and never mounted another threat.

Moscovia left runners on base in each of their last three at-bats, in part because of Cubs’ errors, but Georgia Wilson made sure none of them crossed the plate, ending each of those innings with a strikeout.

It was a tough loss for the London Cubs, but it was also the third straight game in which they played at a high level and the team will be very much looking for a medal when the playoff games are played on Saturday.

GB Cubs v Joudrs Orange

In this game, Georgia Wilson gave the Czech team Joudrs Orange just two hits and one unearned run, scored in the top of the first inning, along with four walks.  But it was a totally dominating performance by the GB pitcher, as 14 of the 15 Czech outs came on strikeouts, and the other was a grounder back to the pitcher.

GB scored an unearned run of their own in the bottom of the first inning to tie the score, then put up four runs on four hits in the bottom of the third to take the game away from the Czechs.

They also had a big helping hand from their opponents, as Joudrs Orange committed three errors during the Cubs’ four-run rally.

The win marked the first time a GB Under-13 team had ever won their first two games at the Massimo Romeo tournament, and for the moment, it left the Cubs sharing the lead in the Sport Division with Italy 1, who had battered another Czech team, SaBat Prague, by a score of 16-0 in the first game of the day.

Scoring details

The Czechs’ run in the top of the first inning was manufactured by their lead-off batter, shortstop and later relief pitcher Amalie Kalievola, who walked, stole second, stole third and scored when the throw to try to get her at third went awry.

But the GB Cubs quickly tied the game in the bottom of the first against Joudrs starter Karulina Berankova. 

With one out, Sveva Moggi walked, and the Czechs failed to get anyone out on Georgia Wilson’s infield grounder, with Sveva taking second.  When Cara Edwards hit a ground ball to second base, an error allowed Sveva to score while Georgia took third.

A catcher’s interference call with Stella Albrecht at the plate loaded the bases, but the Cubs couldn’t score any more runs, as Makenzie Eberly popped out to first base and Shinju Kimura-Phalon grounded out to second.

So the score stayed at 1-1 until the bottom of the third inning, at which point GB bats came to life and the Czechs made life harder for themselves with some defensive mistakes.

Georgia Wilson opened the inning by reaching base on an error by the Czech shortstop.  Cara Edwards then singled up the middle, and when the ball got past Czech centre fielder Veronica Kuinevola, Georgia scored and Cara wound up on third, from where she scored on Stella Albrecht’s ground out to first base.

That made the score 3-1, but the Cubs weren’t done.

Makenzie Eberly singled to third base, Shinju Kimura-Phalon singled to right field and the runners moved to second and third on a throwing error by the Czech right fielder.

And that set the stage for Matilde Neri to drive in both runners with a single up the middle, taking the score to 5-1.

And there it stayed.

The Czechs went down in order on three strikeouts in the top of the fourth inning, and though Georgia Wilson gave up a hit and walk with two outs in the top of the fifth, she struck out Vulie Houbola to end the game.

Scores and standings

Today’s scores in the six-team Sport Division were:

Italy1 16, SaBat Prague 0 (3 inns)
GB Cubs 5, Joudrs Orange 1
Moscovia 5, Italy2 2
Joudrs Orange 15, SaBat Prague 8 (4 inns)
Moscovia 1, GB Cubs 0
Italy1 10, Italy2 1

Standings in the Sport Division (Pool A) after Thursday’s play are:

Italy 1 (3-0)
Moscovia (3-0)
GB Cubs (2-1)
Italy 2 (1-2)
Joudrs Orange (1-2)
SaBat Prague (0-3)


Looking ahead

The GB Cubs will conclude the round-robin phase of the tournament tomorrow (Friday) with a game against SaBat Prague at 9.00 am local time and a meeting with Italy 1 at 6.00 pm.

On Saturday, the Cubs will either be playing for fifth place, the bronze medal or the gold medal, depending on where they finish in the Pool A standings.

Photos by David Morris

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