Australia A are off to a shaky start in the 2019 Asia Pacific Cup after going down to Italy today 3-0 at Blacktown International Sportspark.
The score, however, didn’t reflect how tight the game was, Italy reaching the lead 1-0 in the 3rd inning through Amanda Fama.
Two more runs in the 6th and top of the 7th put Italy in control and they were able to successfully repel the Australians despite Carmelle Sorensen and Belinda White reaching second and third base in the bottom of the 7th respectively.
Italian pitcher Greta Cecchetti was impressive in keeping the Australian team scoreless and striking out Tabitha Callander and Chelseas Robinson while under pressure in the bottom of the 7th inning.
“We had a couple of chances in the 7th when we had a couple of runners on base and from a battery coach point of view I was happy with our pitchers,” said Battery Coach and former Olympian Mel Roche.
“They contained the Italian batters but there was just a couple of loose pitches, and at this level, that’s where they need to sharpen up.”
Roche said the fight shown by the Australian A team in the bottom of the 7th is what they’ll be looking to carry over into their next game against Chinese Taipei.
“I said to them after the game we need that little extra bit of mongrel in us, a bit more fight so when we’re down three to nil, we can come back.
“That needs to be our culture so there’s constant talk of that and drawing it out of them. The way we finished that game with a bit of fight, is how we need to start the next game.”
Earlier in day one of the Asia Pacific Cup, defending champions Japan survived a scar from Chinese Taipei, getting home in an 8th inning 2-1 victory.
They then defeated China 3-1 go a perfect two wins from two games on their opening day.
China recorded a comfortable 5-1 victory over New Zealand.
The Travelodge Aussie Spirit are now on diamond against New Zealand with Australia A taking on Chinese Taipei.
In the final game of the day, the Travelodge Aussie Spirit will take on Italy.