European Women’s Cups crown champions

Sun 26 Aug 2018

Sunday 26 August – The European Women’s Cup that has been played this past week in La Loggia, Italy, and the European Women’s Cup-Winners Cup, played in Capelle a.d. IJsell in the Netherlands, came to an end on Saturday 25 August, with champions crowned.

The Cup-Winners Cup was affected by rain and had to cancel some placement games, but did manage to get the medal games played to a conclusion.

In both competitions, the British representative – The Mix in the Women’s Cup and the London Angels in the Cup-Winners Cup -- were spectators on Saturday, having been eliminated on Friday.

European Women’s Cup

The European Softball Federation has been welcoming teams from New Zealand into its competitions – mostly men’s fastpitch tournaments – in recent years, and this time the eight European clubs that had entered the European Women’s Cup were joined by a team from the New Zealand Academy.

In the end, they turned out to be the best team in the competition, losing only one game all week and winning the final by a score of 5-1 over the Trnava Panthers from Slovakia, with Sammi Park pitching all seven innings for the Kiwis.

Beth Reid had two hits and two RBIs for New Zealand, and the Panthers were not able to score until the top of the seventh inning, when they were already 5-0 behind.

The Mix from the Great Britain Fastpitch League, GB’s representative in the tournament, won only their opening game and finished sixth overall, but were competitive in every game they played and could easily have registered another couple of wins.  Lack of frontline pitching and too many errors cost The Mix some games.

But the team had a good week, and for the many young GB and High Performance Academy players in the team, it was valuable competition experience.

Reports on all games played by The Mix over the week can be found on this website.

Page Playoff results

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

Final Standings

1 – New Zealand Academy
2 – Trnava Patnthers
3 – Witches Linz (Austria)
4 – Princ Zagreb (Croatia)
5 – Amager Vikings (Denmark)
6 – The Mix (GB)
7 – La Loggia (Italy)
8 – Fenix Valencia (Spain)
9 – Hrabiny Wroclaw (Poland)

European Women’s Cup-Winners Cup

In the past, this competition has been the weakest of the three European Women’s Cups that are played simultaneously every August, but this year the Cup-Winners Cup featured a number of very strong teams, particularly Joudrs Prague from the Czech Republic, Bollate from Italy and Sparks Haarlem from the Netherlands, with all of these teams full of national team players from their respective countries.

Bollate and Sparks Haarlem were a cut above the rest, and had three epic games against each other during the playoff rounds, with Bollate winning all of them: 2-1 in eight innings on Thursday, 1-0 in nine innings on Friday and 1-0 in seven innings in Saturday’s final.

The final was a pitching duel between Italy’s #1 Greta Cecchetti for Bollate and American Jolene Henderson, who pitches for the American professional team USSSA Pride, for Sparks.

The Dutch team out-hit Bollate 4-2, but Bollate scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning when Amanda Fama singled, was sacrificed to second, and scored on a single by Jamee Jaurez.

The London Angels from the Great Britain Fastpitch League, the British representative in the competition, won three games (one of them was a forfeit from a guest Botswana team that never arrived) and finished in ninth position overall. 

The Angels had a particularly good final game, overwhelming the Russian team Kalita 14-4, and had earlier lost a 4-3 thriller to the Luzern Eagles from Switzerland.  But the Angels were also on the wrong end of some mercy rule scorelines during the week.

Reports on all games played by The London Angels over the week can be found on this website.

Page Playoff results

3 v 4 Game:  Joudrs Prague 10, Wesseling Vermins 0
1 v 2 Game:  Bollate 1, Sparks Haarlem 0
Pre-Final:  Sparks Haarlem 4, Joudrs Prague 1
Final:  Bollate 1, Sparks Haarlem 0

Final Standings

1 –  Bollate (Italy)
2 – Sparks Haarlem (Netherlands)
3 – Joudrs Prague (Czech Republic)
4 – Wesseling Vermins (Germany)
5 – Atketico San Sebastian (Spain)
6 – Royal Greys (Belgium)
7 – Luzern Eagles (Switzerland)
8 – Eurostars (Netherlands)
9 – London  Angels (GB)
10 – Kalita (Russian)
11 – BCF Paris (France)
12 – Titans (Botswana)

Women’s European Premiere Cup

The third European Women’s Cup competition, the Premiere Cup, was also played this past week at Forli in Italy.  The Premiere Cup is generally the best of the three European Cup competitions, and this year there was a distinctly British flavour to the winners.

The final was won 3-0 by Bussolengo from Italy over Zraloci Ledenice from the Czech Republic.  Bussolengo is currently coached by former GB Women’s Team Head Coach Craig Montvidas, and two current GB Women players – Nerissa Myers and Sydney Brown -- played for Bussolengo this week after returning from the World Championship in Japan.

In the final, Nerissa went 3-for-3 with a double, a run scored and an RBI and Sydney went 1-for-3, and between them they had two-thirds of the Bussolengo hits!

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