Mixed start for GB Slowpitch at World Cup

Fri 17 Nov 2017

The GB Slowpitch Team got off to a mixed start on the first day of the 2017 WBSC Slowpitch World Cup on Thursday 19 November with two wins – one by forfeit – and a loss to Team USA.

GB’s 7-0 forfeit win was picked up in their first game of the day against Bulgaria, who didn’t have enough players at that stage to take the field, though they did manage to play and lose two further games later on.

GB then lost 21-10 to USA in a game that was close for four innings before the Americans pulled away, then came back to beat Curacao 15-8 under the lights.

However, the only undefeated team at the end of the first day’s play was Canada, and the only team without a win was Bulgaria, so it should be a dogfight over the next three days to see who comes away with the title.
 

Standings

Round-robin standings after Day 1 were:

Canada (3-0)
GB (2-1)
Bahamas (2-1)
USA (2-2)
Curacao (1-2)
Turks & Caicos Islands (1-2)
Bulgaria (0-3)

Team USA apparently came into the tournament thinking they’d have an easy run, but two tough losses – 13-11 to Canada and 22-19 to the Bahamas -- plus a hard-fought game with GB, have brought them down to earth.

The defending champion Bahamas, having beaten USA, then surprisingly lost to the Turks and Caicos Islands in a 14-13 thriller, and Canada also struggled against Turks & Caicos, only winning 13-11.

So GB will have three tough opponents as the round-robin concludes on Friday:  the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos and Canada.

The round-robin games, played over the first two days, will only be used to determine seedings for the playoffs that will take place over the weekend, with all seven teams still involved.


GB v USA

GB took a 3-0 lead against USA in the top of the first inning on singles by Ruth Macintosh, Kirstie Leach and Danielle Atkinson, and doubles by Chris Yoxall and Jeff Swindell, and the Americans only managed one run in reply.

But GB went down in order in the top of the second inning, and then the Americans put up seven runs on six hits, the first of three big innings that decided the game.

GB chipped away with a run in the third inning and two more in the fourth, with RBIs from Amy Rice and Manny Estevez, and the Americans were quiet over those two innings, posting only a single run in the bottom of the fourth inning.

At that point, the score was 9-6 to USA, and either team could have won the game.

But after GB failed to score in the top of the fifth inning, the American offense suddenly came to life with seven runs in the bottom of the fifth and five more in the sixth, and that was that.

Manny Estevez and Kelvin Harrison homered as GB scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning, but the final score was a decisive 21-10 to an American team desperate to avoid a third defeat on the opening day.


GB v Curacao

GB was the home team in their final game of the day against Curacao, with both sides standing at 1-1 and eager for the win.

The teams mirrored each other over the first two innings, each scoring one in the first and three in the second.

GB’s run in the first inning came on a triple by Danielle Atkinson and a sacrifice fly by Jeff Swindell, and the key blows in the second inning were a triple from Hannah Pitman and a single by Jon Reynolds.

After the end of the second inning, with the score standing at 4-4, Curacao managed only one run over the next three innings, while GB steadily built up a lead with two runs in the bottom of the third inning, four in the fourth and five more runs in the fifth.

Matt Tomlin had two doubles over that span, Danielle Atkinson had her second triple, Jeff Swindell hit a home run and Chris Yoxall stroked a double.

Curacao put up three final runs in the top of the sixth inning on a three-run home run, but by then GB was out of sight and the final score was 15-8.


Day 1 results

Canada 13, USA 11
GB 7, Bulgaria 0 (forfeit)
Bahamas 22, USA 19
Canada 16, Bulgaria 8
Turks & Caicos 14, Bahamas 13
Bahamas 21, Bulgaria 4
USA 25, Curacao 9
USA 21, GB 10
Curacao 21, Turks & Caicos 6
GB 15, Curacao 8
Canada 13, Turks & Caicos 11

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