By Maren Angus
Three years into existence, Softball Ireland jumped up 11 spots in the WBSC World Rankings in December. Team Ireland is the fifth-highest ranked European team behind the Netherlands (8), Italy (9), Czech Republic (10) and Great Britain (14).
“Considering we only introduced the Olympic variation of fastpitch to Ireland in 2014, we are delighted and honored to have Ireland ranked No. 20 in the Women’s World Softball Rankings.“ said Softball Ireland President Colum Lavery in a press release.
In only its second European Championships in 2017, Team Ireland finished a historic-high, 15th, and continues to climb the European rankings. The Irish also claimed 18th at the WBSC Junior Women’s World Championships in Clearwater, Fla. The team was the first junior squad to represent Ireland in the tournament and finished with wins against South Korea, Israel and Peru.
“I wish to congratulate the players, coaches and management staff of our Women’s and Junior Women’s National Team programs who have put in countless hours to help Ireland break into the Top 20,” said head coach Melanie Lavery. “We look forward to the opportunity to climb even higher in the rankings during the Junior and Under-22 European Championships in 2018.”