GB Slowpitch march on in Bulgaria

Fri 14 Jul 2017

Sofia, Bulgaria: 13 July – Detailed reports from Day 3 at the European Slowpitch Championship have yet to arrive, but the GB Slowpitch Team won another three games on Thursday to remain unbeaten and stretch their lead at the top of the pool standings.

GB will play two final games today, against Ireland and Slovenia, to complete the double round-robin.  Page Playoffs for the top four teams in the standings, plus a fifth place game for the bottom two teams, will be played on Saturday.

At the moment, the four teams likely to make the Page Playoffs can be seen from the pool standings below after all of Thursday’s games had been completed:

GB (8-0)
Slovenia (5-3)
Germany (4-4)
Ireland (4-4)
Czech Republic (2-6)
Bulgaria (1-7)

The Czech Republic remains an enigma in European Slowpitch.  This Czech team has some top women national fastpitch team players on the squad, and gave GB their closest game of the tournament on Opening Day, but the Czechs have never been able to use their talent to win consistently. 

The Czechs are one of just three teams (the others are GB and Ireland) to play in every European Slowpitch Championship since the tournament started, but if they fail to make the Page Playoffs here in Sofia, it will be another disappointment.


GB’s wins on Thursday came at the expense of the Czech Republic (26-9), Bulgaria (19-3) and Germany (13-2).

Holding teams to single figures – especially low single figures – in slowpitch is hard to do, and the GB defense was particularly sharp in supporting pitcher Brad Gilmour against Bulgaria, with no errors, and Dan Spinks against Germany, despite four errors.

GB 26, Czech Republic 9

Against the Czech Republic, where GB scored 21 runs across the second, third and fourth innings, Ed Watkinson went 5-for-5 with four RBIs, while Dan Spinks was 4-for-5 with five RBIs and Danny Gunn was 4-for-6 with six RBIs and two home runs.

Oddly, the Czechs scored all nine of their runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, when they were already trailing 21-0, and failed to score in the other five innings played.

Ruth Macintosh went 3-for-3 for GB, while Emily Clifford, Hannah Pitman and Nicole Ratel had two hits each.

GB 19, Bulgaria 3

Bulgaria took a 3-0 lead against GB in the top of the first inning, but the British responded with 10 runs in the bottom of the inning, and coasted after that.

Danny Gunn, Duncan Waugh and pitcher Brad Gilmour had three hits each, while Ed Watkinson had five RBIs.

The Bulgarians managed only eight hits against Brad Gilmour and never scored again after the first inning.

GB 13, Germany 2

This game was scoreless after two innings, but GB scored five runs in the top of the third and kept adding on after that, while Germany could only manage single runs in the third and sixth innings.

This time it was the Germans who could only manage eight hits in the game against Dan Spinks.

GB had 19 hits, three each by Claudine Snape, Dan Spinks, Danny Gunn and Mike MacDowell, and Dan Spinks had a triple and a home run with five RBIs.

Looking ahead

GB’s target coming into this tournament was to earn their 11th consecutive European title, and results so far suggest they are well on the way to doing that.

But there are other good teams here, and GB Head Coach Stephen Patterson won’t let his players take anything for granted when the tournament gets to the business end with the Page Playoffs on Saturday.

Photos by Pete Saunders

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