Tuesday 17 August – Two more losses for The Mix at the European Women’s Cup in Dupnitsa, Bulgaria on Tuesday will make it difficult – but not impossible -- for the British team to fight their way through to a medal game on Saturday.
The Mix went down 6-1 at the hands of the Vienna Wanderers from Austria in a game played at 12.30 pm local time and lost again to Western Fire from Ukraine by 4-3 in a tense affair played later in the afternoon. The Ukranian team broke a 3-3 tie with a two-out walk-off run in the bottom of the seventh inning after the British team had led 3-0 earlier in the game.
The Mix, who finished second in this tournament in 2019, now sit at the bottom of the table after Tuesday’s play, but will hope to claw their way up the standings via single games against the Wroclaw Panthers from Poland on Wednesday and the host team Angels Dupnitsa on Thursday.
The Mix will close out the round-robin portion of the tournament on Friday with games against Princ Zagreb from Croatia and the team currently topping the table, the Wesseling Vermins from Germany.
However, three of their last four round-robin opponents are currently in the bottom half of the standings in this eight-team competition.
Once the round-robin is over, the standings will determine which teams will play in the seventh place game, the fifth place game, the bronze medal game and the gold medal game on Saturday.
The Mix v Vienna Wanderers
This game was over early, as the Vienna Wanderers, after going down 1-2-3 with two strikeouts in the bottom of the first inning against Mix starter Amie Hutchison, jumped on Amie for five runs in their next at-bat.
Caroline Meriaux opened the bottom of the second inning for the Austrians with a long home run to left field and three more hits and two walks led to a further four runs.
The Mix pulled a run back in the top of the third inning when Julie Winkel was hit a pitch, advanced to second on a groundout by Chelsie Robison and scored on Alana Snow’s double to right field.
But the Wanderers came right back with another run in the bottom of the third when pitcher Racqual Espinoza doubled and Lea Karner singled her home.
At that point, Anna-Be Bartels replaced Amie Hutchison in the circle and neither team scored again over the rest of the game. Racqual Espinoza struck out nine and didn’t walk anyone in holding The Mix to just six hits – two each by Alana Snow and Barbara Killer – and just the single run.
The Mix v Western Fire
About an hour after the game against Wanderers ended, The Mix were back on the diamond to face Western Fire from Ukraine in what turned out to be a tense and thrilling game.
The Mix wasted no time in showing their intent to get a win on the board, putting up three quick runs in the top of the first inning against Ukranian starter Yuliia Malik.
Julie Winkel and Barbara Killer led off the game with back-to-back singles to centre field, and Alana Snow brought both of them home with a hard-hit triple to left field. A few moments later, Alana scored on an error, and even though the next three batters struck out, The Mix had an excellent start.
But the British team was never able to add to those first-inning runs. Yuliia Malik allowed four hits and also issued three walks over the remaining six innings, but the British team couldn’t cash anything in.
Meanwhile, Western Fire chipped away against Mix pitcher Anna-Be Bartels who, like Malik, pitched a complete game, allowing seven hits and no walks. But she wasn’t helped by a Mix defense that committed five errors.
The Ukranians cut their deficit to 3-2 with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on a single and two infield errors, and they tied the game with another run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Mix had chances to score late in the game.
They left the bases loaded in the top of the fifth inning after a double by Alana Snow and two intentional walks, and they had runners at second and third with one out in the top of the sixth inning but couldn’t cash anyone in as Julie Winkel struck out and Barbara Killer flied out.
There didn’t appear to be much danger for The Mix when the first two Western Fire batters grounded out to open the bottom of the seventh inning. But Anastasia Kratiuk and Anna Khodakovska both singled, and an error on a subsequent ground ball allowed Khodakovska to score the walk-off winning run.
Results and standings
Results from Tuesday's play were:
Wesseling Vermins 2, Wroclaw Panthers 0
Vienna Wanderers 6, The Mix 1
Western Fire 3, Akademiks Sofia 2
Angels Dupnitsa 9, Princ Zagreb 2
Western Fire 4, The Mix 3
Wesseling Vermins 4, Vienna Wanderers 0
Standings after Day 2 are:
Wesseling Vermins (Germany) (3-0)
Western Fire (Ukraine) (3-1)
Vienna Wanderers (Austria) (2-1)
Akademiks Sofia (Bulgaria) (1-1)
Wroclaw Panthers (Poland) (1-1)
Angels Dupnitsa (Bulgaria) (1-2)
Princ Zagreb (Croatia) (0-2)
The Mix (GB) (0-3)