The Mix end Euro Cup with loss to Trnava

Fri 24 Aug 2018

Friday 24 August – The Mix, Great Britain’s representative in the European Women’s Cup being played this week in La Loggia, Italy, ended their tournament this morning with a 7-1 loss to the Trnava Panthers from Slovakia.

Although The Mix progressed from the initial round-robin to the Championship playoffs by virtue of a win over Fenix Valencia from Spain in their first game of the tournament, the team lost all its subsequent games and finished with a 1-5 record overall.

Today, as in many of The Mix’s losses, the score was close for the first half of the game, but their opponents then scored heavily in the later innings.

The Mix played very well at times during this week and were competitive in every game.  And of course the main purpose of entering the tournament was to provide the young GB pool players on the roster with additional competition experience.

Head Coach Robbie Robison said, “The tournament has been a fantastic experience for the team, and in many respects these players have played above themselves, given how many of them lack international experience.  And the way they have conducted themselves throughout the tournament has done British softball proud.”


Looking back

Because the experience provided by these tournaments is key, The Mix, and the British Softball Federation they represent, are entitled to raise questions about why there were so few games on the schedule: six games in a six-day tournament is not enough given the expense of attending.  The ESF may need to re-look at its format for a competition with nine teams.

The Mix also suffered a blatant injustice in their final first-round game against Witches Linz from Austria on Wednesday, which certainly affected the outcome of that game and perhaps a subsequent game later that day -- but these things sometimes happen and have to be overcome.

Through Thursday’s game, Mix outfielder and occasional pitcher Alana Snow was leading the tournament in batting (based on a minimum of 10 at-bats) with a .714 average and was tied for the lead in hits with 10, though her average will drop to .588 after Alana went 0-for-3 today.  Chelsie Robison will finish at .467, another very strong performance.

Gabry Sassoli, one of three pitchers The Mix used during the tournament, was tenth in the pitching stats before today with an ERA of 3.71.

But the fact that Gabry gave up 17 runs altogether but only seven of them were earned reflects one of the main reasons The Mix didn’t do as well as they had hoped: they were last in team fielding percentage and committed 19 errors over their six games.  Of the 42 runs scored against The Mix, only 23 were earned.

“It’s down to experience,” Robbie Robison said after today’s game.  “A lot of those errors came in pressure situations towards the end of games, and they cost us.  That’s why our players need as much of this kind of competition as they can get.”


Trnava Panthers 7, The Mix 1

This game followed the pattern of many others The Mix played this week: after three innings the Panthers led 1-0, but the Slovakian team scored six runs over the next three innings and pulled away to a 7-1 win.

On the other hand, The Mix weren’t able to provide much offense against Trnava’s Miriama Gombikova, who pitched all seven innings, struck out 10 and allowed only three hits, one walk and one hit batter. 

The Mix had baserunners in five of the seven innings, but usually only one, and their only real scoring threats came in top of the third inning, when Chelsie Robison hit a two-out double down the left field line but was stranded on second base, and then in the fifth inning when they manufactured their only run.

This came about when Gabry Sassoli led off the inning with an infield single, moved to second on a sacrifice, went to third on a groundout and scored on Louisa Scott’s single to centre field.

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning against Mix starter Ysa Urquiaga on three hits and an error, but Ysa allowed only one baserunner in shutting down the Slovakians in the second and third innings.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, however, four straight hits brought in two runs for the Panthers and brought Gabry Sassoli in to pitch.  She got out of the inning at the cost of one further run, but the Slovakians, who are currently tied for the top spot in the Championship playoff group, now had a 4-0 lead.

That became 4-1 when The Mix scored in the top of the fifth, but the Panthers tagged on after that, with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and another in the sixth.

Meanwhile, Miriama Gombikova continued in control and retired The Mix in order in the sixth and seventh innings.

The Mix will finish sixth in the final tournament standings, and will be spectators for the rest of today and tomorrow as the tournament is played to a conclusion.


Scores

Here are the scores in Friday’s games in the Championship and Placement playoffs:

Championship Playoffs
Trnava Panthers 7, The Mix 1
New Zealand Academy 10, Amager Vikings 3
Witches Linz 13, Princ Zagreb 0

Placement Playoffs
La Loggia 9, Hrabiny Wroclaw 2
Fenix Valencia 3, Hrabiny Wroclaw 1
Fenix Valencia 7, La Loggia 0


Standings

Below are the final Championship and Placement playoff standings:

Championship Group
New Zealand Academy (4-1)
Trnava Panthers (4-1)
Witches Linz (3-2)
Princ Zagreb (3-2)
Amager Vikings (1-4)
The Mix (0-5)

Placement Group
La Loggia (3-1)
Fenix Valencia (2-2)
Hrabiny Wroclaw (1-3)

Final results in this group will determine Places 7-9 in the tournament.


Page Playoffs

The Page Playoffs, involving the top four teams from the Championship playoff group, began on Friday evening, and the scores were:

3 v 4 Game:  Witches Linz 5, Princ Zagreb 3
1 v 2 Game:  New Zealand Academy 7, Trnava Panthers 0

The results mean that the New Zealand Academy will play in tomorrow’s final and Princ Zagreb is eliminated and will finish fourth.  Trnava Panthers and Witches Linz will play on Saturday morning to see who finishes third and who will join New Zealand in the gold medal game.

You can see all the results and standings from the tournament here: http://competition.europeansoftball.org/2018/loggia/schedule.php.

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