Great Britain beat Australia 2-0 in the opening game of the Women’s Softball World Cup Group A in Balbriggan, while defending champions USA beat Chinese Taipei 5-0 in the second, before Ireland were too good for Botswana winning 7-0 in the last game of the day.
An historic day as the first ever WBSC two-stage tournament got underway at Balbriggan All Weather Field in Fingal-Dublin, Ireland on Tuesday on the opening day of the XVII WBSC Softball World Cup Group A.
After an exciting build up, the teams also delivered with Great Britain beating Australia 2-0 in the opening game, followed by defending champions USA proving to be too good for Chinese Taipei 5-0 and Ireland beating Botswana 7-0 in the last game of the day. Prior to the Ireland v Botswana game Mayor of Fingal, Councillor Adrian Henchy, threw a celebrity pitch in front of an excited home crowd.
“Fingal is a county which is absolutely steeped in sport and we can now add softball to the mix,” he said beforehand. “We’re a young, diverse county and it’s important that we have second-to-none facilities. That’s hugely driven by the local authority, in partnership with the sports clubs We wish everybody well and, obviously being biased, I hope Ireland do very well. It sounds like they’re in a tough pool but in order to be the best, you have to beat the best!”
Councillor Henchy needn’t have been concerned about the opening night, as Ireland went on to run out 7-0 winners against Botswana to wrap up a momentous day in North Dublin.
“It felt great,” said Ireland’s Kailey O’Connor afterwards. “We were a little nervous at first but once we started getting the first pitch going, it felt normal, it felt like we were all clicking. We’ve all played together at some point and it felt like we were reunited again. “I wouldn’t say there’s extra pressure (of hosting). We were more excited than anything. We turned any pressure into excitement. It means a lot to us to play on our own field so it kind of gives us an extra boost that we don’t have playing at other places.”Kailey O’Connor Ireland International