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Baltic Open 2014 Recap

Results Baltic Open 2014:

Women's Fastpitch:

Skövde Saints - Danmark J 13-3
AllStars - Danmark A 18-1
AllStars - Danmark J   8-5
Sverige A - Danmark A   8-2
Skövde Saints - Danmark A   3-5
Sverige J - Danmark J 16-1

Men's Fastpitch:

Team Sweden - Denmark   1-14
Team Sweden - Denmark   1-6


Baltic Open 2014 in local media:

Skaraborgs Allehanda: Sverige bärgade NM-titeln i Skövde

Skövde Nyheter: Dubbla premiärer för Skövde Saints

Radio Skaraborg: Sverige besegrade Danmark i Baltic Open


Successful premiere of Baltic Open Softball

(edited from mister-baseball.com)

When the inaugural edition of Baltic Open Softball was played in Skövde, Sweden on June 7-8, the tournament was a great success. In great weather, and with good media coverage from local press and radio, a total of four women’s softball teams participated – and for the first time since 1976, a game of men’s fastpitch was played in Sweden.
The organizing committee were hoping to have teams from Lithuania, Finland and Norway in this tournament, but due to time constraints and other committments, only teams from Denmark and Sweden participated in the first edition.
In the women’s tournament, Sweden and Denmark played two official Nordic Championship games, one for seniors and one for Under 19 players, with Sweden winning both Nordic Championship Games. Denmark also played with their Senior and Under 19 team against seven-time Swedish National Champions Skövde Saints, and AllStars, a team consisting mainly of foreign players playing in the Swedish Softball League.
The focus on the tournament was development, which allowed for an unbalanced schedule based on the respective needs of the participating teams.
Mattias Grimstoft, head coach of Team Sweden, was very satisfied with the tournament afterwards:
 – It was a great tournament and a great tool for the development of softball. For us we could both play games and focus a lot on practices and drills during the weekend, and also share knowledge and experiences with the other coaches, says Mattias Grimstoft.
Even with Sweden winning both Nordic Championship games against Denmark, Mattias was more interested in the individual development and performers of some of the players on the roster
 – Veterans like Priya Mohlén performed very steadily both on defense and offense, while younger players like Julia Croneld (17 years) and Emma Tegth-Nordin (19 years) really showed that they have great skills and potential in softball, Mattias Grimstoft said as he summarized the weekend.
Men’s fastpitch gaining ground in Sweden

Two friendly Men’s fastpitch games were also played between teams from Sweden and Denmark, marking the first time since 1976 that men’s fastpitch was played in Sweden. While Denmark have a strong male softball league, most of Sweden’s male players are playing for baseball clubs. But with a little help from players from other clubs, the host club Skövde Saints managed to field a softball team mixed with former baseball players, rookies and junior players, for the two games against a mix of Danish men’s players.
The Saints/Sweden team was coached by ESF Secretary General Ami Baran, who not only provided a “crash course” in fastpitch softball for the players, but also together with ESF Vice President Mette Nissen-Jakobsen spearheaded the effort to form the Baltic Open project for development purposes in the northern part of Europe.
 – The Baltic Open is a great initiative, it fills a need for development in our region, and it was especially great to see both former players, current players and rookies playing side by side in the Men’s fastpitch game, with both players, coaches and the spectators enjoying the game, says tournament director Kristian Pälviä of the Skövde Saints.
The former Secretary General of the SBSF sees great potential for men’s fastpitch in Sweden.
 – Our club haven’t been able to field a baseball team in the Swedish Regional League the past three seasons due to other committments, but with the interest for this weekend’s games we see that men’s fastpitch – especially with a easier tournament schedule – might be a very attractive alternative for both former baseball players and new recruits in Skövde. We have many potential players who has a great passion for baseball and softball, but who can’t commit to playing baseball every weekend during the summer, says Kristian Pälviä.
The home club of the seven-time Women’s champions is now leading the effort to start male softball as a supplement to male baseball in Sweden.
 – While we have been having sporadic men’s practices in our club earlier during the season, we will start with regular fastpitch practices for all our former male players. We got some great feedback both from the players participating this weekend, as well as from other clubs, and we feel confident that we – with some help and assistance – will be able to establish an all-male tournament system for fastpitch softball that won’t interfere with the baseball season, but instead can be a great alternative and supplement to baseball here in Sweden, says Kristian Pälviä. 

Uppdaterad: 08 JUN 2016 02:20 Skribent: Kristian Pälviä
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