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Great Britain Wins Gold in Athens

Great Britain got a three-run sixth inning and a complete game pitching performance from Megan Matthews to defeat Greece, 3-0, for the gold medal at the International Softball Tournament. 

The victors lost just once in their six games here since the event began on Wednesday. Great Britain won two of three games against Greece in the tournament. 

The contest was scoreless until Great Britain started off the sixth inning by loading the bases.  Shortstop Rosie Leutzinger led off the inning with a single.  Second baseman Tanya Price then reached on an error, and Jodie Cox came up next and did the same to set the stage for Sarah Lockett, who came to the plate next and singled to score Leutzinger and Price, with Cox advancing to third.  Later that inning, Sophie Froud came home to score the third and final run and Matthews and the defense held off a last gasp for Greece. 

In the bottom of the seventh, the Greeks loaded the bases, but couldn’t get the goose egg off the scoreboard.  With one out, right fielder Jessica Bashor then catcher Stacey Farnworth each singled.  Center fielder Christa Dalakis flew out to left field, but second baseman Vanessa Czarnecki didn’t relent and reached base on an error to load the bases.  However, left fielder Lindsay James came to the plate and hit a grounder that Matthews fielded and threw to first to claim gold for Great Britain. 

Great Britain first baseman Stephanie Jardine, who had a game-high eight putouts, said, “It was a great game.  We went very well in defense and offense, and it was really a team effort.” 

Chloe Kloezeman again had the hot bat for Greece, going 2-for-3 at the plate. 

Following the game, during closing ceremonies, International Softball Federation (ISF) President Don Porter presented Great Britain with their gold medals, Greece with the silver, and the Czech Republic with the bronze medals.  

The event was being held to test the facilities and technology to be used in the Olympics in five months, as well as the grounds and other workings of the venue. 

Greece will be joined at the softball competition in the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad in August by Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Italy, Japan, and USA.