The fifth annual London Cup Tournament gets underway tomorrow in the United Kingdom. Eight teams will compete at the Roundshaw Playing Fields in Croydon. The locals will want to come out and watch Great Britain’s women’s national team, which next month will compete in the ISF-sanctioned II World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City (USA) before heading to China in August for the XI Women’s World Championship.
Other entries in the 2006 London Cup include a top American travel team called USA Athletes, who won the tournament last year, the Czech Under-19 national team, club teams from the Czech Republic, Greece, & Spain, and British club teams London Angels and Heyford Diamonds. The latter includes three of the best players from the Czech Republic’s national team. The team from Greece played in the A pool European Club Championships last year.
Great Britain’s women’s national team is coming off a runner-up finish last week in Italy at the Francesco Sanna International Tournament. GB had beaten Russia, 2-0, and the Czech Republic, 3-1, to reach the Final, where they lost 2-0 to Italy. Winning pitcher Leslie Malerich picked a most opportune time to throw a perfect game, recording eight strikeouts along the way.
Great Britain’s pitching might just steal the show at this weekend’s London Cup. Last week Tiffany McDonald was the Francesco Sanna Tournament’s strikeout leader (28 in 19.1 innings), and her GB teammate Stacie Townsend had a 1.12 earned run average (to go with an impressive .350 batting average).