London Cubs finish Massimo Romeo in style

Sun 19 Aug 2018

Sunday 19 August -- The GB Under-13 London Cubs, who have grown in confidence through the European Massimo Romeo Youth Trophy tournament in Collecchio, Italy this week, finished on a high on Saturday with a 9-0 win over the Brabant Bandits from the Netherlands.

The result gave the Cubs, under Head Coach Jodie Rushin, a 3-3 record for the tournament, and a final placing of fifth in the tougher Sport Division section, by far their best-ever result at the competition.

The win also emphatically reversed the result earlier in the tournament, when the Cubs had lost 4-3 to the Dutch team in the bottom of the final inning on Thursday evening.  Following that loss, the Cubs went on to win three straight games.

Cubs pitcher Georgia Wilson gave the Dutch only two hits, struck out 12 and walked none, while the GB defense played errorless softball behind her.

All of the Cubs’ runs were charged to Dutch starter Anne Lubbers, who pitched into the fourth inning.  By the time she was relieved by Eline Brandma, who had beaten the Cubs on Thursday, the game was effectively over.

Early offense

The Cubs only had seven hits in the game, six of them off Anne Lubbers, but were helped by three walks and four Dutch errors that allowed them to put the game away early, with two runs in the bottom of the first inning and five in the bottom of the second.

Georgia Wilson gave up a two-out triple to Djoy Nijnens in the top of the first inning but otherwise struck out the side, and the Cubs mounted a successful two-out rally to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the frame.

Milliani Youngman started things with a single through the left side of the infield and stole second base.  Then the Dutch committed two errors on a ground ball to second base by Cara Edwards, and both Cubs were able to score.  A third Dutch error on a ground ball to shortstop allowed Shinju Phalon to reach base, and Georgia Wilson walked, but Megan Longman flew out to end the inning,

After three Brabant batters went down on strikeouts in the top of the second inning, the Cubs made the game safe, again with some help from the Dutch.

Jessie Emery started things with a one-out single, and there was eventually a two-RBI single by Matilde Crapanzano and infield hits by Cara Edwards and Shinju Phalon.  But in and around this the Dutch contributed an error, a walk and two wild pitches, and there were two Cubs’ stolen bases, and all of this added up to five big runs and a 7-0 lead.

The Bandits were able to do nothing on offense in the third and fourth innings against Georgia Wilson, going down in order both times with five strikeouts.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Cubs added a final pair of runs.  Matilde Crapanzano led off with an infield single, stole second, and went to third on a wild pitch.  When Milliani Youngman walked and then stole second, the Dutch changed pitchers, with Eline Brandma coming to the circle.  But Matilde scored on a groundout to second base by Cara Edwards and Milliani scored on a single to right field by Shinju Phalon before Brandma could end the inning.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Dutch got their second hit of the game, a single by Kris van Loon, but she was left stranded when Madelief Crooen ground out to second base, and the Cubs’ celebrations could begin.

Final standings

Final standings in the Sport Division at the 2018 European Massimo Romeo Trophy were:

1 – Italy 1
2 – Moscovia 1 (Russia)
3 – Italy 2
4 – Kalita 1 (Russia)
5 – London Cubs (GB)
6 – Brabant Bandits (Netherlands)
7 – Joudrs Orange (Czech Republic)
8 – Moscovia 2 (Russia)

Final standings in the Futures Division were:

1 – Catalunya U-13 (Spain)
2 – Italy 3
3 – Sever Brno (Czech Republic)
4 – Joudrs Navy (Czech Republic)
5 – Merklin (Czech Republic)
6 – Moscovia Youth (Russia)
7 – Princ Zagreb (Croatia)
8 – Molecules (Ukraine)
9 – Turkey
10 – Kalita 2 (Russia)

Photos by David Morris

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