A New Champion
This past weekend the first Achilles Challenge took place. The softball equivalent to the Yoshida Challenge was hosted on the French Riviera with three national teams playing for the title. France Germany and Great Britain played three days of round robin games, each team playing two games a day.
The final came down to Germany and Great Britain. It was the third game of the day for the Brits and they lost by a score of 6-2. That means the Germany national team is the first ever winner of the Achilles Challenge with Great Britain taking 2nd and the host team falling into the 3rd and final place.
Germany maintained a .750 winning percentage throughout the tournament with Great Britain averaging .500. The German national team averaged .351 at the plate while taking second to Great Britain on the mound. GB’s team ERA was 2.59 nearly a full point lower than Germany’s.
The top two bats of the tournament also belonged to Great Britain. Hayley Avilar hit .714 in five plate appearances and Aubrey Peterson swung .667 in her 6 opportunities. Germany’s Katharina Szalay had double the at-bats of either GB player however, making 14 plate appearances. She averaged .571 including 6 runs off 8 hits with 1 RBI and a walk. She led the tournament in hits and runs scored. Her teammate, slugger Lisa Marie Kollner lead the event in RBIs, doubles, triples, homeruns and total bases.
On the mound it was Germany’s Claudia Volkmann, who posted a .84 ERA and Christina Gable, with a 1.00 ERA that lead the tournament. Volkmann struck out 5 in 8.1 innings pitched but it was Great Britain that had the top two strikeout leaders. Georgina Corrick flagged 9 while Amie Hutchison took down 8 of her own.
Individual awards included MVP of the tournament Choe Wigington of Great Britain and championships game MVP Mona Horner of Germany. Hayley D’Avilar, who led the tournament in batting, took home the Best Hitter Award and pitcher Claudia Volkmann of Germany was awarded the Best Pitcher honors.