For the second year in a row we were at EMRYT tournament, something similar as a European Cup for under 13 year category. Unlike last year when we had only one team, this year we competed with two teams,each in one division, the Panthers Zagreb in Future division and Princ Zagreb in Sport division. The competition is in a tradicional charahter and was held in Italy in the city of Collechio from 9.-12.-th of August 2017.
First day of the tournament we had 3 games. The Princ team opened EMRYT by winning two games,first one against Czech team,the Jourds Orange with the result 15:2 and the second one was also against a Czech team, the Czech-stars,14:5. With 12 hits and 9 strike outs in the 5.-th inning of the first game and 13 hits, 1 home run, 2 doubles and 3 triples we made a good start of this tournament.
The Panthers,our second team lost a game against Czech team,the Merklins with a final result of 6:3 with 7 hits and great pitching on the Panthers side.
On Thursday, the Panthers marked their first victory, against the Turkish National Team with an interesting turn over in their last offence and finished the game with a score of 6:5. Earlier that day the Panthers played another game against Jourds Navy, a Czech team, which they lost due to lack of hitting with a result of 8:11.
The Princ team lost against Moscow team 1:0,again due to our hitting game,despite that, the game was intense until the end with great pitching.
Friday was opened with victory by the Panthers with a great result of 12:1 against Moscow 2. After this game came a very important one,Princ and Italy 2. We were aware of significance of this game and our opponent,for if we win, we would find ourselves in top three teams. But, we also knew and belived in the abilities of our players. In the beggining of the game we permitted one run and held that score the entire game until our last offence. Rita as a lead off hitter made her way on first base,after her came Jurica who hitted a triple just in the right moment,send the ball over the outfields heads and sended Rita home. With this momentum Lorena also hitted a triple in the outfield and the game ended with a WALK OFF!!! All in all, it was a great game which ended 2:1, a strong mental toughness of our players and fighting until the end made us this big victory possible.
On the same day the Panthers played another two games,one against the favorite of Future division, the Cataluna(SPAIN),the kids fought but sadly lost with a result 12:11. It was a great game,both deffence and offence,in which Jan Županić highlighted himself with 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 RBI, 1 double and 1 home run. The second game was against the London Cubs,if we would be victorious against them, it would provide us an entrance in top 4. The kids played their game and won with a confident score 8:1.
Later in the day came the last game for Princ against the mighty Italy 1. We knew we played against the favorite of the stronger group and lost 15:0 but outcome of this game didn’t depend on our order amongst other teams. No matter the defeat we were all in all satisfied, an ensured medal and making it into top 4 with the Panthers, put a smile on our players and coacheses face and on our loyal fans that followed us through out the tournament.
On our last day the Princ firstly played against Italy 1 and lost 17:0, after which came a important game for the Panthers,playing for the third spot against the Joudrs Navy(Czech). With excellent pitching and defence and even better offence they deservedly won and secured their bronze medal!!! With their last victory, the tournament was finished for them. The kids, who were more than happy, cheered on their friends,brothers and sisters on the Princ team with their continuing fight for a medal. Before them stand a game for entering the finals, against the Jourds Orange(Czech). it was a game full of hits from both sides but it ended with our victory 15:6 and with it, we secured our silver medal as well as entering the finals!
More succesful than last year, we played the finals with Italy 1! Surrounded by incredible atmosphere, full of proud with the succes we made, we stepped onto the diamond,ready to fight until the end. Italy 1 was simply better than we were. The last game of EMRYT ended with a final result 11:1 for Italy. Despite the outcome of this game, we were aware of the big success we have made on this tournament and we are extremly proud of ourselves. Considering Italy as a leading country in European softball,the girls on their team being elected among thousands of players we really have a reason to be more than satisfied and proud of our team.
At the end of a tournament,rewards were given for the best players. We hoped and secretly expected for Rita Despot to be given a reward for the best pitcher and our hopes came true. Rita was declared as the best pitcher of this years EMRYT- with 17 pitched innings in total,32 strike outs and only 3 wild pitches!!! Not only Rita but another one of our players also recieved a reward as the best hitter, with 545. Avg, 11 at, 5 runs, 6 hits, 2 doubles, 1 triple, slugging .909, 2 bb and only one SO, on base percentage .615, Niko Ratković had a tremendous statistic!
In general, our kids were leading in all of the statistics and definetly were one the best players of the tournament!
Bronze and silver shined this summer and this years success on EMRYT. Behind this tough earned medal hides hard work,sweat and persistance. The enthusiasm,will power and tirelessness credits this amazing young,little people who have shown a tremendous love towards softball. Three weeks of preparations for this tournament and a whole years work brought them to this result. Stamina, discipline,hard work and love made this tournament possible and enabled us some immense but also beautiful experience.
Sport Division was a group for more experience teams and this is the final order:
- Italy 1 (ITA)
- Princ Zagreb (CRO)
- Joudrs Orange (CZE)
- Italy 2 (ITA)
- Moscow 1 (RUS)
- Czech Stars (CZE)
Final order for Future Division:
- Catalunya (ESP)
2. SC Merklin (CZE)
3. Panthers Zagreb (CRO)
4. Joudrs Navy (CZE)
5. London Cubs (GBR)
6. Turkey (TUR)
7. Moscow 2 (RUS)