When we took the field on Thursday, whilst warming up for our friendly match against Bucharest, we immediately noticed the conditions, which were far from perfect. The field was a swamp, and impossible to move around on with any type of speed whatsoever. We started out very cautiously, but soon began to be a bit more ambitious– a big mistake. Within 5 minutes our whole squad was dropping to the ground as if they’d been shot, and in a short space of time we all looked like human Malteasers. Nonetheless, we braved the conditions and played our friendly, which we lost 4-2. It was at this point that we thought we’d be seriously affected by the conditions during the tournament… And we couldn’t have been more right.
On day one, we still spent most of our time getting to grips with the muddy playing surface. We lost our first game against Prague, who went on to win the tournament. During this game, we had one inning where we were hit with a barrage of runs, and only one inning where we were actually able to produce any runs. The second game was scarily similar, with the same level of inconsistency that we experienced in the first game. We wrapped up day one knowing that we had to seriously step up our game.
Surely enough, that came back to punish us. Because of course, they took the lead in extra innings, and of course we couldn’t come back again, and ended up losing the game.
That was a game that we fully deserved to win, but we lost. Just sums up our time in Bucharest.
We did at least come back with Sportsmanship Trophy, which was very IICS of us. In the end, we may not have played the best quality softball, but we were definitely the most entertaining team to watch, by far.