Dutch Women Baseball Team opens WC with loss
CARACAS (Venezuela) - The Dutch National Women Baseball Team on Thursday-evening played its first game of the 4th World Women Baseball Cup in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, which in June/July also hosted the World Softball Championship. The Dutch Team started the event with a big (5-inning) 20-4 loss vs. host Venezuela. For the Dutch Team, this was its first-ever international game, as it participates for the first time in a World Championship. A National Women Softball Team was established two years ago.
Eleven countries are participating in the 4th World Women Baseball Cup, which is being held August 12-22 in Caracas and Maracay. The Netherlands is playing in Pool A and meets Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and Venezuela. In Pool B, defending world champion Japan is joined by Cuba, Puerto Rico, Korea and USA. The three best teams of each pool will qualify for the Play-Offs to be played in Caracas, the remaining teams will travel to Maracay for final ranking. Before the start of the Opening Ceremony on Thursday-evening, four games already were played. Japan beat the USA, 5-1 and Canada won 6-1 vs. Australia. Cuba won big vs. Korea 21-9, while Taipei registered a comfortable 17-1 victory vs. Hong Kong.
The Dutch Women Baseball Team includes two players, who currently play in the Dutch Softball Major League, being Mickey Ras and Kirsten Vierdag. The latter this year also was a member of the preliminary roster of the Dutch National Junior Softball Team. Both play for Euro Stars. Another one, Letticia Horstman also has played on the highest softball level, also with Euro Stars.
The Dutch vs. Venezuela game was played after completion of the Opening Ceremony, which, like the Softball World
Championship, was a big event with dance, music and fireworks. During the Ceremony, Raúl Martínez sang the Venezuelan National Anthem, then Edwin Zerpa, the President of the Venezuelan Baseball Federation welcomed the participating countries. Elias Jaua, the Vice-President of the Republic of Venezuela, declared the championship open on behalf of President Hugo Chavez.
Because of the Opening Ceremony, the game started more than 1 1/2 hour later than scheduled at Estadio José Antonio Casanova. The Dutch Team then experienced a disastrous first at bat in which Venezuela scored 12 runs on only four basehits. The Dutch defense committed four errors, which led to 10 unearned runs. Starting pitcher Thari Diefenbach walked three batters and hit another in this at bat. After the 35-minute first Venezuelan at bat, the Dutch side was retired quickly in order, but Kirsten Vierdag highlighted the inning with a line drive, that was caught. In the second inning, Venezuela led off with a single, but hereafter three quick outs followed. In the home of the second inning, the Dutch Team managed to do something back. With one out, Minke Blok registered the first Dutch basehit, then Letticia Lokken-Horstman reached on an error. Another error on a grounder by Marlina Becker loaded the bases. After a strikeout, the first Dutch was scored when Loes Ausmus was hit by a pitch. Next, Tessa Heeres doubled to bring in two more runs.
Venezuela answered with four runs in the third inning, including two on a homerun by Nidia Pineda, but the Dutch scored another run in its third at bat. With one out, Hilde Bosker (who had singled) advanced when Minke Blok was hit by a pitch Letticia Horstman singled, then scored on a grounder by Marlina Becker, but then two outs followed.
Venezuela scored two more runs in both the fourth and fifth inning to lift the lead to 20-4.
The roster of the Dutch Women Baseball Team is as follows:
Loes Ausmus (+ IF), Michelle Bruijn, Thari Diefenbach, Linde Gerritsen, Jessica Kroeskop (+ IF), Mickey Ras (+ IF), José van Veen.
Minke Blok, Zonairis Thielman.
Marlina Becker (+ OF), Hilde Bosker, Letticia Lokken-Horstman.
Kyra van Genderen, Sanne van Gool, Tessa Heeres, Esther Maliepaard, Miranda Noordenbos, Kirsten Vierdag.
Percy Isenia (manager), Ronald Jaarsma (coach), Elton Koeiman (pitching coach), Jan van Genderen (head of delegate), Ivette van Putten (team manager).