It was Olympia Haarlem that went home with this year’s European Cup Winner’s Cup. The Netherlands had two teams in the tournament and together they took home gold and bronze with DSS’s 3rd place finish. Between them lay newcomers Mediterrano from Malta.
While The Netherlands is ranked 8th in the world by the WBSC and 4th in Europe, Malta is unranked by either. Looking over their roster does leave a clue. In 2015, Malta and an Italian club began working together to help build Malta’s local talent and to give the club an opportunity to develop some of their talent as well. Under Cup rules, any European can play for any team. That is why the starting nine for Malta, with names like Olivetti, Trevisan and Giannini, could also naturally fit on an Italian roster. Factor in that Italy is ranked #2 in Europe, and 12th in the World, and the picture begins to come into focus. Perhaps that is why they opted for the name Mediterrano, a nod to both sides of the Mediterranean represented in their roster.
On the team leader boards the teams took turns leapfrogging one another for position. In batting it was DSS, Olympia and Mediterraneo. On the pitching board DSS took 2nd to Forli, who placed 5th in the tournament. Olympia was, once again, on their tale with Mediterraneo two spots behind. In fielding it was Olympia’s turn to be on top with Forli, once again, sneaking in between and DSS being followed directly by Mediterraneo.
Surprisingly then, very few of the individual players from these teams ended up in top spots on the leader boards. While they combined for 5 of the top 10 batters those slots were in the 5-9 positions. Furthermore, there were mass ties. In the 5-spot was a 3-way tie with a .545 and the final 3 players were all tied at .500 with two additional players.
In pitching Anisley Lopez, who played for Mediterraneo, took the #2 spot behind fellow Italian Siera Hyland, who played for Forti. They had a .28 and .66 ERA respectively. Next up was Haarlem’s Eva Voortman with a .74 ERA and rounding out the top 5, with a .97 ERA, was Maryssa Becker from DSS. No one else from the top 3 teams made the list.
These teams do begin dominating in individual achievements however. Noa Brand, from DSS and Jessie vanAalst from Haarlem tied with 14 hits and vanAalst’s teammate Marielle Vleugels is on their heels with 13. Olympia's Voortman ended up in a 3-way tie for runs scored with teammate Vleugels and Germany’s Christina Dehmel with 10 apiece. Vleugels sits alone on top of the RBI board with 11, but teammate vanAalst is directly on her heels with 10 of her own. Marielle Vleugels also tied with Wessling’s Sarah Gutknecht for tops in doubles with 5.