In the end, the Games are played. As per tradition, the first races took place before the opening ceremony (Friday). And the first Italy to take the field was that of softball, which at 5 in the morning – Italian time – made its debut against the US national team, led by star Cat Osterman, one of the strongest players of all time, driving the favorite team for the gold medal.
Against the Americans, masters of this sport, the blue lost 2-0. The context around equality is rather bleak: as per health protocol, no public.
The US colleagues are too strong. The blue against them had lost the last five games. In the two Olympic games, it ended 6-0 for the Americans in Sydney 2000 and 7-0 in Athens 2004.
In Fukushima, the symbolic place of Japan, city devastated by the nuclear accident of March 2011, this morning the blue played a more than dignified match. The next match of the Italian players will be tomorrow, against Australia, at 3 pm local time (8 am in Italy): in the other opening match the Australians lost 8-1 (evident in the fifth round) against Japan.
The goal is the podium. The girls of the Pink Diamond have the chance to win a medal. Everything is still open. The best blue – from Greta Cecchetti to Emily Carosone, from Andrea Howard to Erika Piancastelli, from Giulia Lnghi to Marta Gasparotto – have qualities and personality to lead the medal group. The new format designed for these Olympics foresees that the teams all face each other in a classic group. The top two finishers will compete for the gold medal, the third and fourth for the bronze.
The history of Italian softball is a story of courage and obstinacy, among the many difficulties that the discipline experiences every day. Suffice it to say that in Italy there is only the women’s national team. But the group led by CT Federico Pizzolini is made up of extraordinary girls, who have sacrificed a lot for their passion. They also play – the blue ones – to honor the memory of the man who formed them and brought them to Tokyo, Enrico Obletter, who passed away in February from Covid-19.
Italy won the pass for Tokyo even in 2019, with the sure-footedness of a team that is among the best in Europe, as confirmed by the title won against the Netherlands in June in Castions di Strada (Udine), on 12 ° put on the bulletin board by the blue, who at the Games boast 5th place in Sydney 2000 and 8th in Athens 2004.
Softball – a game similar to baseball, with a bigger ball and a shorter duration (7 innings) – he returned to the Games after thirteen years (last appearance in Beijing 2008) and he will not be at the next edition, Paris 2024, but to see him again in an Olympic version it will be necessary to wait for Los Angeles 2028 .