Avigliana, Italy: 20 August – The Mix, Britain’s representative in the 2022 European Women’s Cup, staged a late rally on Saturday in the bronze medal game against the Vienna Wanderers, but had to settle for fourth place as the Austrian team took the medal with a 7-3 win.
The Mix had done well to reach the bronze medal game, earning their place with three wins in their last four games in round-robin play.
However, The Mix had lost by 7-0 to the Vienna Wanderers in the opening game of the tournament, and though today’s result was closer, the British team still couldn’t muster quite enough offense against the Wanderers’ former US college pitcher Racqual Espinoza, who gave up six hits and three walks in pitching all seven innings but made things tough when she needed to, with The Mix stranding eight runners on base.
Anna-Be Bartels started in the circle for The Mix but gave way to Mary Murray after the Austrians scored five runs in the bottom of the second inning on six hits, including doubles by Denise Orlovits-Zaidan and Gabriella Gonzalez.
Mary pitched the rest of the game, and held the Wanderers scoreless in three of her four innings, though the Austrians padded their lead to 7-0 with two more runs in the bottom of the fourth.
After that, the Wanderers’ offense went quiet and The Mix tried to mount a comeback.
They scored once in the top of the fifth inning when Cheyenne Vogel reached on an infield single, stole second, was sacrificed to third by Anna-Be Bartels and scored on another infield single by Chelsie Robison.
In the top of the seventh inning, The Mix had three of the six hits they managed in the game and scored two more runs.
Anna-Be Bartels and Chelsie Robison hit back-to-back singles with one out and moved to second and third on a groundout. Amie Hutchison then doubled to left field to drive both runners home and bring the score to 7-3. But that still left The Mix with a lot to do, and a pop-out ended the game.
In the gold medal game, the Chicaboos from Belgium preserved their unbeaten run in the tournament and took the gold medal with a 10-0 four-inning mercy rule win over the host team Avigliana Rebels.
This means that the Chicaboos will get to play next year in Europe’s top women’s competition, the Premiere Cup.
Over the last three times they have played in the European Women’s Cup, with a break for the pandemic in between, The Mix have finished second, fifth and fourth – excellent results considering that many of their players have only a small number of games in the Great Britain Fastpitch League to prepare for a much more demanding competition.
The Mix also had several players on the tournament leader board for individual performance.
Going into the final day, Chelsie Robison was second in the tournament with 14 hits and Anna-Be Bartels was tied for third with 13.
Chelsie Robison and Megan Beard were tied for second place in the tournament with two triples each.
Anna-Be Bartels led the tournament in at-bats with 31, and Amie Hutchison’s six walks tied her for second place.
In the pitching stats, Mary Murray tied for third place with three complete games and was fifth in batters faced (101), second in groundouts (34) and third in fly outs induced (24), followed by Anna-Be Bartels with 23.
On defense, Sian Wigington, playing first base for The Mix, was third in the tournament with 50 putouts, while Barbara Killer was tied for fourth with 17 assists.
Given their runaway lead in the Great Britain Fastpitch League Women’s Division this year with just one weekend of play to come, The Mix are very likely to be back at the European Women’s Cup in 2023, making another run for a medal.