July 1, 2017
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. ÃƒÆ’Â¢ÃƒÂ¢’Â¬” It was a successful week for University of Notre Dame sophomore outfielder Alexis Bazos and the Greece National Team at the 2017 Women’s Softball European Championship. For just the second time in a tournament that dates back to 1979, the Greek squad cracked the final six teams in Europe with a sixth-place finish out of 23 entries in Bollate, Italy.
Prior to the 2017 championship, the only other finish among the top six for Greece at the Women’s Softball European Championship was as the silver medalist in 2005. Teams among the final six following preliminary pool play matched up to begin the quarterfinal round, where the Netherlands claimed the 2017 championship title after outlasting Italy, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Russia and Greece.
Sophomore outfielder Alexis Bazos
Wearing the number 13 in her first Women’s Softball European Championship appearance for Greece, Bazos (BAYzose) closed the tournament among the team’s top players on offense. She batted .310 in 11 starts, adding 10 runs, one double, seven RBI, three stolen bases and a .375 on-base percentage at the plate. Bazos led all Greek hitters in both runs scored and stolen bases during the tournament, placing second in total hits (9) and third in RBI.
The first win for Greece in Group B play was arguably the upset of the tournament, as the Hellas stunned perennial championship contender Germany 9-3 on June 25. Bazos was among the offense standouts for Greece in the win, batting 2-for-4 with a team-high three RBI and one run scored.
Greece carried the momentum into the following day, outscoring its opposition by a combined 23-0 run count in victories over Ireland (15-0) and Lithuania (8-0) that both lasted four innings on June 26. Bazos paced all Greece players with three hits and three runs scored against Ireland, chipping in a pair of RBI. She added a single, stolen base and run scored in her lone at-bat later in the day against Lithuania.
A 4-1 pool showing in Group B for Greece was cemented on June 27, thanks to a 10-0 win in five innings against Slovakia. Bazos reached base in two out of three official plate appearances, adding a hit, steal, two RBI and two runs to the Greek cause to reach the tournament’s final eight.
Bazos was ultimately responsible for both Greece runs during its opening quarterfinal round matchup against Russia on June 29, reaching base three total times by way of an error, single and hit by pitch. Crossing the plate for the first time in the top of the third inning after a leadoff single, Bazos was then hit by a pitch with one out in the fifth. An RBI double one batter later brought the Notre Dame speedster all the way home from first base to tie the game at 2-2.
Upon returning to the United States, Bazos is expected to resume her 2017 summer season with the Stratford Braketts of the Women’s Major Fastpitch league in Stratford, Connecticut, one of the top amateur teams in the women’s major division sanctioned by USA Softball. In five games in June prior to departing for Greece National Team training, Bazos logged three hits, two RBI, and scored three runs for the Braketts.
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Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men’s soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.