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Updated: April 18, 2019
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2019 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Fred Versluis)

Netherlands Softball Teams Women & Men open exhibition series

UITHOORN (Neth.) - The Netherlands National Softball Teams for women and men opened their 5-game exhibition series on Wednesday-evening (April 17) at the site of Thamen in Uithoorn.

The well-visited game was attractive and was won by the men-squad with a 7-5 score. American Coach Connie Clark recently was named the new Head Coach of the women-team. She will join the team next month. Tonight, the team was led by Pitching Coach Ferenc Jongejan and Hitting Coach Bart Hanegraaff.

For both teams, the series are part of their preparations for the international tournaments later this year.

The Orange women-team will defend its European title at the European Championship, which will be held June 30-July 6 in Ostrava, Frýdek-Místek (both Czech Republic), Rybnik and Żory (both Poland). The six best teams of the Championship will qualify for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which will be organized July 23-28 at the site of UVV in Vleuten (Netherlands). The winner of this event qualifies for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo (Japan).

The Orange men-team, which is led by Head Coach Anthony Hosé, will participate in the Zeister Slot Tournament in Zeist (Netherlands) on June 8-9. This will be the final preparation for the World Championship that will be held June 13-23 in Prague and Havlíčkův Brod in the Czech Republic.

The two National Teams will meet again on Wednesday, April 24 at the site of reigning men softball-champion Quick Amersfoort in Amersfoort.

On Tuesday, April 30, the two teams will face each other at the site of Hoofddorp Pioniers in Hoofddorp. Hereafter, the next game will be played on Wednesday, May 8 at the site of De Zuidvogels in Huizen. The series ends on Wednesday, May 29 at the site of UVV in Vleuten/Utrecht.

(April 17)

It was a real exhibition game, as both teams made multiple changes, both defensively and offensively. It was also a game in which the women-team led 3-2 after five innings. The men-squad then took the lead in the sixth and added more runs in the next at bat.

...The players of the Netherlands Women Team are introduced...
(© Photo: Fred Versluis)
The basehit-production was low in the first five innings, as both teams collected only three in these at bats. The men-team then added seven more in the final two at bats in which it scored five runs.

For the visiting men-team, Enio Kwas recorded the first basehit with two outs in the top of the first inning off of starting pitcher Ginger de Weert, but he stranded on first base.

The women-team got into scoring position in its first at bat off of starter Wesley Blonk. With two outs, Britt Vonk tripled, but then was left behind. This season, Vonk plays in Italy for Bussolengo, but tonight, she was with the Orange-team. By the way, also with the team tonight were Jessie van Aalst, Brenda Beers (both Parma), Maxime van Dalen (Bollate) and Chantal Versluis (Sestese), who also opened the season in Italy a week ago. In the Golden League, they are on the rosters of Terrasvogels (Vonk), FysioExpert Olympia Haarlem (Van Aalst, Beers) and Sparks Haarlem (Van Dalen, Versluis).

The Orange-men scored twice in the second inning. Niels van Amstel then led off with a walk and scored when Dyron Juaquin homered with two outs.

The Orange-women (which had a batting order of eight players) answered with three runs in the bottom of the second. Karin Tuk led off with a walk and with one out, Cindy van der Zanden also walked. The two moved on a passed ball, then both scored on a single by Shareday Christina to make it a 2-2 score. Christina advanced to second base on the throw to the plate, then moved to third base on a wild pitch. When next batter Wies Ligtvoet walked, ball-four also was a wild pitch, enabling Christina to score the go-ahead run.

The women-team hold onto the lead in the next three innings, which all remained scoreless.

Eva Voortman pitched the third and fourth inning for the women-team. With one out in the third, she gave up a single to Glennsig Polonius, who this season is the Head Coach of the women-team of Hoofddorp Pioniers in the Golden League. Next, Enrique Javier walked, but a force out and strikeout followed.

In the fourth inning, Danny Rombley led off for the men-team and reached on an error, but stranded on second base. For many years, Rombley played baseball in the Dutch big league as well as for the Netherlands Baseball Team. He announced his retirement early 2018. This year, Rombley plays in the men softball-team of reigning Dutch champion Quick Amersfoort and now also is a member of the Netherlands Men Softball Team.

...Coaches Ferenc Jongejan and Anthony Hosé shake hands...
...Umpires Mariana Prins (left) and Britt Nielandt look on...
(© Photo: Fred Versluis)
In the fifth inning, Mariëlle Vleugels retired the side as third pitcher for the women-team.

The Orange-women got only two baserunners in these three at bats. With two outs in the third, new pitcher Jeffry Visser walked Laura Wissink, but she was forced out. Visser retired the side in the fourth, as did Enio Kwas in the fifth.

In the top of the sixth, the men-team scored two unearned runs off of new pitcher Marjolein Merkx. Jorin van Amstel led off with a double and with one out, pinch-hitter Matthew Scholten walked. After the two advanced on a passed ball, Van Amstel scored the tying run on a grounder by pinch-hitter Dyron Juaquin (who re-entered in another spot in the batting order!). The go-ahead run was scored moments later when Anthony Beaumont reached on an error.

The Orange-men added three runs on six basehits in the top of the seventh. This also was an bat in which the batting order completely changed, but luckily Official Scorer Jeanette van Drunen was aware of all changes. For example, Dyron Juaquin batted in three different spots in tonight's game!

Idel Raap led off the seventh with a double and scored on a following single by Jeff Delfina. Next, Danny Rombley singled and scored on a double by Matthew Scholten, who went on to score himself on a single by Niels van Amstel to lift the lead to 7-3. Van Amstel was one of only two players who stayed in the same spot in the batting order.

The women-team, which changed its defense each inning, left a runner behind on second base in the sixth inning. Trailing 7-3, the team scored twice in the bottom of the seventh. Isa Los led off with a walk, then Jessie van Aalst was hit by a pitch with one out. With two outs, both scored on a single by Mariëlle Vleugels. But hereafter, a grounder ended the attractive game.

The following players played for the Netherlands Women Team:
Jessie van Aalst, Brenda Beers, Shareday Christina, Maxime van Dalen, Charlotte Drijvers, Wies Ligtvoet, Isa Los, Marjolein Merkx, Dinet Oosting, Karin Tuk, Chantal Versluis, Mariëlle Vleugels, Britt Vonk, Eva Voortman, Ginger de Weert, Laura Wissink and Cindy van der Zanden.

The following players played for the Netherlands Men Team:
Jorin van Amstel, Niels van Amstel, Anthony Beaumont, Wesley Blonk, Jeff Delfina, Ron Dix, Gabriel Godersk, Enrique Javier, Quincy Jones, Dyron Juaquin, Enio Kwas, Glennsig Polonius, Idel Raap, Danny Rombley, Matthew Scholten and Jeffry Visser.

...Left: Ginger de Weert was the starting pitcher for the Netherlands Women Team...
...Right: Wies Ligtvoet approaches 2nd base in the 1st inning while short stop Jorin van Amstel gets the ball...
...But she is called out for leaving first base too early...

...Left: Britt Vonk hits a triple in the first inning...
...Right: Shareday Christina scored the third run for the Women Team in the 2nd inning...

...Eva Voortman (left) and Marjolein Merkx pitched in relief for the Women Team...

...Jeffry Visser (left) pitched in relief for the Men Team and Danny Rombley made his debut...

...After the game, all players pose together for a teamphoto...
(© All Photos: Fred Versluis)

Netherlands Women Team - Netherlands Men Team 5-7
Netherlands Men Softball Team0200023-7100
Netherlands Women Softball Team0300002-542
pitchers Netherlands Meninn.SOBBHRER
Wesley Blonk2-3233

Jeffry Visser231---

Enio Kwas, W (1-0)331222

pitchers Netherlands Womeninn.SOBBHRER
Ginger de Weert231222

Eva Voortman, H (1)2211--

Mariëlle Vleugels, H (1)------

Marjolein Merkx, BS (1), L (0-1)211753

Homerun: Netherlands Men: Dyron Juaquin (1)(2nd,2-run,2 outs,off De Weert).
Umpires: HP-Britt Nielandt, 1B-Mariana Prins.
Official Scorer-Jeanette van Drunen.
Public Address Announcer-Eric Schouten (Thamen).
Starting Time-8:00 PM.
Time Played-2:03 hrs.
Site-Sportpark 'De Vuurlijn', Uithoorn (site Thamen).

Game Notes:
Game 1 'Battle of the Sexes' 2019.
Weather conditions at game time: Partly cloudy, 16° C (60,8° F); wind direction east-northeast;
wind speed 10 kmh (6,2 mph); wind force 2 Bft; humidity 76%.

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