Baseball, softball teams trying to stay unbeaten
May 8, 2013
From the outset, the paths to the DODDS-Europe baseball and softball European championship tournaments have been sloppy with mud-caked cleats and rained-out doubleheaders. Regardless, its travelers can now glimpse the end of the road.
With two weeks remaining in the regular season, six teams – three apiece in baseball and softball – have navigated the treachery without a loss. Here’s a look at those teams’ hopes for entering the postseason unbeaten:
The Italy-based Wildcats have been largely sheltered from the weather that has roiled their northern counterparts.
Signature games: Established Italian dominance March 29 and 30 with two wins apiece over Aviano and Vicenza.
Biggest remaining threat: Not applicable; the Wildcats completed their season May 4.
The three-time defending Division I European champions look well-equipped to extend their streak.
Signature games: Blanked a strong Ansbach team by consecutive 10-0 scores in a swirling snowstorm March 23.
Biggest remaining threat: Regional and divisional rival Heidelberg visits Thursday.
The dominant Royals haven’t been seriously challenged since an 8-4 win over Lakenheath in their March 22 season opener.
Signature games: Swept rival Kaiserslautern on April 26 by scores of 16-0 and 18-1.
Biggest remaining threat: Travels to dangerous defending Division II champion SHAPE on Saturday.
The Panthers haven’t seen much diamond time, but the innings they’ve played have been sparkling.
Signature games: Shut down a fledgling threat from Wiesbaden in an 18-2 and 20-0 sweep April 20.
Biggest remaining threat: Visits Vilseck to round out the regular season May 18.
The Royals have scored at least 12 runs per game while maintaining a season-long shutout.
Signature games: Opponents have yet to muster a meaningful challenge to the reigning champions.
Biggest remaining threat: AFNORTH, with a solid 6-2 record, will take the field’s final regular-season shot at the Royals on May 18
The Falcons tend to yield a few runs per game, but their explosive offense more than compensates.
Signature games: Outlasted Wiesbaden 16-11 on May 4 to complete a sweep and remain undefeated.
Biggest remaining threat: Hosts Patch on May 18 in both teams’ regular-season finales.