Softball playoffs: Alconbury's Ballard opens with a no-hitter
LANDSTUHL, Germany — Although little was official after Thursday’s early pool-play games at the European high school division softball tournaments, one thing was clear: It won’t be easy for anyone to wrest the D-III crown from the Alconbury Dragons.
Alconbury right-hander Reva Ballard no-hit the London Central Bobcats in a 17-0 four-inning victory ended by the 15-run mercy rule.
Ballard fanned four and walked three. Catcher Meaghan Archer was 2-for-4, and shortstop Alicia Christensen drove in four runs.
Alconbury was playing the Rota Admirals later in the day, but because both teams had already beaten London Central, they were assured of advancing to Friday’s semifinal games.
The Alconbury-Rota winner was likely to play Lajes in one of the semis; the loser was all but certain to take on unbeaten Baumholder. The pairings would not become official until after Thursday’s late games.
Lajes catcher Emily Foraker was 6-for-8 for the day as Lajes beat Giessen 11-1.
Baumholder’s Dominic Perez went the distance as Baumholder rallied to beat Lajes 9-7. Baumholder was to wind up pool play with its game against Giessen.
Thursday’s early D-I games produced a pair of run-rule romps against Würzburg as Wiesbaden swamped the Lady Wolves 19-7 and Ramstein beat them 15-0 a couple of hours later.
In Thursday’s other early game, Heidelberg held off Kaiseralautern 4-3. Later Thursday, Lakenheath was to play Kaiserslautern, Wiesbaden was to test Ramstein, and Lakenheath was to face Heidelberg.
D-I semifinal play is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Friday.
Four pool-play games are scheduled for Friday, at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., and two for 9 a.m. Saturday.