Grand Slam
Baseball & Softball Headlines
June 2006
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2006 by Marco Stoovelaar

Index News Archive JUNE 2006

Dutch Baseball
Weekend Starters announced. (June 1)
Maurice DeConge steps down as Head Coach HCAW. (June 1)
Patrick Vielvoye new Head Coach HCAW. (June 2)
Kinheim, Neptunus win again. (June 3)
HCAW: To play or not to play? (June 3)
Neptunus returns to first place; HCAW wins. (June 4)
Milestone-win for Neptunus; More HCAW-problems. (June 5)
Starting Pitchers announced. (June 7)
Victory for Pirates. (June 8)
HCAW to honor championship team. (June 9)
Umpire Van Groningen Schinkel reaches unique milestone. (June 9)
Kinheim and Pioniers win. (June 9)
Sparta/Feyenoord hands HCAW huge shutout; Almere wins. (June 10)
ADO, HCAW recover after loss. (June 11)
Roster named for Haarlem Baseball Week. (June 12)
Former Pirates-coach Nico Meijers passed away. (June 14)
Starting Pitchers coming weekend named. (June 15)
Bottom-three teams win (again). (June 17)
Kinheim moves into first place. (June 18)
Starting Pitchers coming games announced. (June 21)
Remarkable comeback victory Almere. (June 22)
First decision in First Division. (June 22)
First Division: Loss for RCH-Pinguďns. (June 23)
Victories Kinheim, Pirates, Neptunus, Pioniers. (June 24)
HCAW falls further behind. (June 25)
HCAW and Cliff Foster separate. (June 27)
Neptunus nips ADO. (June 27)
Starting Pitchers coming days. (June 28)
Top Four wins. (June 29)

European Cups
EC: Opening loss Neptunus in Grosseto. (June 13)
CWC: Qualification Pools underway. (June 13)
EC: Neptunus almost eliminated for Final Round! (June 14)
CWC: Pioniers opens with victory. (June 14)
EC: Bologna wins, Neptunus eliminated! (June 14)
CWC: Pioniers in semi-final! (June 15)
EC: Small victory for Neptunus. (June 15)
CWC: Pioniers meets Lithuanians. (June 16)
EC: Big win Neptunus; Grosseto again in Final. (June 16)
EC: Neptunus finish in fifth place. (June 17)
EC: San Marino wins European Cup! (June 17)
CWC: Pioniers in Final! (June 17)

Dutch Softball Women
Shutout-win for Sparks Haarlem. (June 1)
Terrasvogels back in first place. (June 3)
Leader Sparks wins big. (June 13)
Shutout-loss for Sparks Haarlem. (June 20)
Softball Update I. (June 21)
Sparks and Terrasvogels in Play-Offs.(June 24)
Dutch Team arrives in Canada. (June 28)

International Baseball
CWC: Qualification Pools underway. (June 13)

News Archive 2006

Dutch Baseball
Weekend Starters announced
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Most starting pitchers have announced for the upcoming 3-game series, which opens on Saturday.

Four teams announced their starters for all three games: Amsterdam Pirates, Sparta/Feyenoord, Corendon Kinheim and ADO.
All four are coming back with the same rotation as they had planned for last weekend, with only Pirates having changed the order of throwing. Sparta/Feyenoord has named RHP Daan Baecke for the third game, which he initially was planned to do last weekend vs. Amsterdam Pirates. But then, he was scrubbed from his start because of a slight injury.

Instant Holland Almere '90 named starters for the first two games. Who will be the third starter, depends on who are needed in the first two games in relief.
That's the same story for DOOR Neptunus and Konica Minolta Pioniers, who only announced a starter for Saturday's game, being LHP Diegomar Markwell (Neptunus) and RHP Roger Kops (Pioniers).
RHP Leoš Kubát and LHP Gregory Gustina will be probable candidates for the other two games against Amsterdam Pirates, as is RHP Kevin Heijstek, who recently had a slight injury.
Candidates for the other two starting spots for Pioniers vs. Sparta/Feyenoord are American RHP Raul Quiroz and LHP Richard Orman, who was left out of the rotation last weekend, because of a sore shoulder.

No starters are known yet for Mr. Cocker HCAW, after the resignation of Head Coach Maurice DeConge on Thursday-evening.
An update concerning the starting pitchers will be added later today.
(June 1)

Maurice DeConge steps down as Head Coach HCAW
BUSSUM (Neth.) - Maurice DeConge has resigned as Head Coach of Mr. Cocker HCAW on Thursday-evening, effective immediately. DeConge announced his resignation in a press release and stated that the reason for this sudden separation was a conflict of interests with HCAW's General Manager and Sponsor Ron Jaarsma. HCAW currently is in fifth place with a 7-7-1 record.

Despite having injuries and suspended players, HCAW started the season well and won a season opening club-record seven games in a row. But then the team lost its next seven games, which streak was broken last Tuesday with a tie game. The recent results, however, didn't influence DeConge's decision to stop. ,,Losing is part of the game, especially for a young team, which also had to deal with some suspensions and injuries'', DeConge stated. ,,It's my goal to make individual players better and to educate them, give the team baseball knowledge. Approach the game differently. Anticipate what the opponents are doing, be prepared to take risks in important situations or do unexpected things in common ones. That's a learning process for everyone and costs time, but you will become a better player.''

Head Coaches
Season(s)Head Coach
1994-1997Craig McGinnis
1998-2000Brian Farley
2001Dave Daniels
2002Frank Koene
2003Nelson Orman
2004-2005Bill Froberg
2006Maurice DeConge
The reason for DeConge's departure has to do with the unexpected resignation of Cliff Foster as his Pitching Coach. Foster, who also is a member of the pitching staff, wanted to focus more on his own accomplishments. Foster made his decision last weekend. That meant that there was a coach less in the staff and a solution had to be found soon. It was decided that former Dutch big league-player Patrick Vielvoye was to be added to the staff. Vielvoye last played in the Dutch big league in 1997 when he retired after nine full seasons and playing a few games in two seasons before that (Neptunus 1987-1994; Kinheim 1995-1997). The former catcher also played in the Dutch national team, but has no coaching experience on the big league-level. DeConge states he wasn't consulted about the addition of Vielvoye and had no confidence in the new construction, because Vielvoye had been out of baseball for a long time. In a reaction, Ron Jaarsma said on Thursday-evening that an agreement already was made after last season in which Vielvoye was to be part of the staff, but that it was decided then that DeConge was to be the Head Coach with Cliff Foster as Pitching Coach and Chicho Jesurun as Bench Coach. ,,When available, Vielvoye would be added when the situation called for it'', Jaarsma said. DeConge had proposed to bring over his own former (professional) coach, good friend and former Major League-pitcher Bob Welch to help. Jaarsma said that there has been no mentioning of Welch becoming a coach, only that it was known already before that he would come over for a week.
,,I don't like it to stop like this. This is an unfortunate situation, especially for the players, but this was unworkable'', DeConge said in his press release. DeConge has played professionally for ten seasons in the USA for five Major League-organisations.
Jaarsma: ,,I've always respected Maurice and protected him when needed. Therefore, I'm not reacting to his sayings at this time. I've always been acting and handling as honest as possible.''

After serving as Pitching Coach the last two seasons (while also pitching himself), Maurice DeConge this year was in his rookie season as Head Coach after succeeding Bill Froberg, who resigned after completion of last years Holland Series.
When Craig McGinnis retired in 1997 after guiding the team for four seasons (the longest period by any HCAW-coach), DeConge became the sixth different Head Coach in the nine seasons since then, including this year. The new Head Coach, which probably will be Patrick Vielvoye, will become the seventh in that period.
A press release by HCAW concerning the current situation is expected on Friday.
(June 1)

Patrick Vielvoye new Head Coach HCAW
BUSSUM (Neth.) - As expected, Patrick Vielvoye has been named the new Head Coach for Mr. Cocker HCAW. He will make his debut on Saturday-evening, when HCAW plays the opener of a 3-game series vs. Instant Holland Almere '90 at Almere.
The appointment of Vielvoye was officially confirmed by HCAW in an press release on Friday-evening.

...Patrick Vielvoye...
(1997 Photo: Kinheim)
Patrick Vielvoye succeeds Maurice DeConge, who stepped down as Head Coach on Thursday after a big conflict of interests with HCAW's General Manager and Sponsor Ron Jaarsma.
Vielvoye has no coaching experience and been out of baseball since the end of 1997. After completion of that season, the former catcher of Neptunus and Kinheim retired from the sport.
Vielvoye becomes the seventh different Head Coach with HCAW in the last nine seasons, including this year.
Chicho Jesurun will remain Bench Coach and Hitting Coach, while a successor for Pitching Coach Cliff Foster has not yet been named.

The press release states that Vielvoye was to be added to the coaching staff after Cliff Foster asked to be relieved of his duties as Pitching Coach after Saturday's 6-3 loss to Corendon Kinheim. Foster was unable to combine his duties as Pitching Coach and active pitcher any longer and wanted to focus more on his pitching. Also because of the recent results (the team lost seven games in a row after having won the first seven), General Manager Ron Jaarsma had proposed to add Vielvoye to the technical staff. In that proposal DeConge would remain Head Coach and also work with the pitchers, while Vielvoye would become the 3B Coach (DeConge coached at third himself). DeConge had no confidence in that construction and stepped down. It was then decided to appoint Vielvoye as new Head Coach.
(June 2)

Kinheim, Neptunus win again
HAARLEM / AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - League-leader Corendon Kinheim extended its unbeaten streak to 13 games (12 wins, 1 tie) on Saturday by shutting out ADO, 2-0 in a pitching duel between Patrick Beljaards (Kinheim) and Rob Cordemans (ADO). Kinheim had 7 hits, ADO 5.

At Amsterdam, DOOR Neptunus registered a big 11-0 shutout vs. Amsterdam Pirates on 15 hits, including four by Benjamin Dille, who also scored three runs and had two RBI's. Winning pitcher Diegomar Markwell won his seventh game.

At Rotterdam, Sparta/Feyenoord scored four runs, including three on a homerun by Earmy Isabella in the second inning vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers, but ended up emtpy-handed, as Pioniers won 5-4, scoring the winning run in the ninth inning.

HCAW: To play or not to play?
At Almere, Mr. Cocker HCAW on Saturday-evening took a 3-0 lead in the second inning, but lost 10-4 to Instant Holland Almere '90, for whom Randy Daal doubled twice and had five RBI's, while Eugene Kingsale scored four runs.
Was there no tension in the game, there was enough before the game started, as part of the HCAW-team initially didn't want to play, as a result of the recent coaching change. Only 20 minutes or so before game time, the team was in the dug-out and started the game without taking any pre-game practices.
This game was HCAW's first led by new Head Coach Patrick Vielvoye.
(June 3)

Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

Neptunus returns to first place; HCAW wins
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - DOOR Neptunus on Sunday won 7-3 and returned to first place, as Corendon Kinheim's unbeaten streak ended. However, there was more attention for Mr. Cocker HCAW and the follow-up after Saturday-evening's crisis in Almere.

At Bussum, the team of Mr. Cocker HCAW took the field as scheduled on Sunday-evening for its second game against Instant Holland Almere '90 and won 3-1 to end a winless streak of nine games (8 losses, 1 tie). The only player who left the team is Catcher Nick Fridsma.
Earlier in the day, there have been talks about the crisis before Saturday-evening's game when part of the team didn't want to play and the word 'mutiny' was used a few times. That situation followed the stepping down of Head Coach Maurice DeConge on Thursday and the appointment of Patrick Vielvoye as his successor.
After Sunday's game it was said that the clouds were cleared. After Saturday's loss, this was the first win for HCAW under its new coach.

At The Hague, Corendon Kinheim's unbeaten streak (12 wins, 1 tie) ended with an 8-0 shutout loss vs. ADO.
The team from Haarlem produced only two basehits off Akira Okamoto, who went the distance.

At Rotterdam, DOOR Neptunus was outhit 11-6 by Amsterdam Pirates, but won 7-3. Because of Kinheim's loss, Neptunus returned to first place.

At Rotterdam, Konica Minolta Pioniers handed Sparta/Feyenoord a big 17-1 loss on 13 hits, including three by Mark Duursma, who had five RBI's.
(June 4)

Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

Milestone-win for Neptunus; More problems for HCAW
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - With 9-2 win vs. Amsterdam Pirates on Sunday, DOOR Neptunus became the first club in history to register its 750th big league-victory.
Neptunus broke a 1-1 tie with a 6-run rally in the fourth inning.

At Almere, Mr. Cocker HCAW shutout Instant Holland Almere '90 11-0, but the team encountered another problem.
After last Saturday's problems before the opener of this 3-game series, Catcher Nick Fridsma left the team. Today, intended starting pitcher Patrick de Lange was a no-show. He was penciled in on the starting line-up, but wasn't on the field. Jurjen van Zijl started instead. HCAW had eleven hits with eight of the nine starters collecting at least one.

At Haarlem, ADO defeated Corendon Kinheim 13-6 on 18 basehits, including four by Marvin Bleij (4 RBI's) and Kalian Sams.

At Hoofddorp, Konica Minolta Pioniers broke a 5-5 tie with a 6-run rally in the seventh inning to win 13-5 vs. Sparta/Feyenoord.

Because the second teams of the big league-squad didn't play this weekend, eight pitchers of these First Division-teams were recalled. They were added to the rosters and threw some innings for the big league-teams. The eight pitchers were Wouter Lensselink (Neptunus), 15 year old Maxim Kerkmeer, Daan de Jong (both Pioniers), Tim Roodenburg (Sparta/Feyenoord), Jeroen Hubert, Joep de Wit (both HCAW), Thomas Morang (Kinheim) and Manuel Dame (Almere '90).
(June 5)

Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

Starting Pitchers announced
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Six starting pitchers have been announced for the 2-game series to be played on Thursday and Friday.
On those days, Corendon Kinheim will meet DOOR Neptunus and Amsterdam Pirates plays against Konica Minolta Pioniers.
There is an interesting (lefthanded) match-up on Thursday-evening when the two winningest pitchers of the season face each other: Patrick Beljaards (Kinheim, 6 W) and Diegomar Markwell (Neptunus, 7 W).
These games are scheduled for these days to give Neptunus and Pioniers some extra off-days in then weekend, as both teams will participate in the European Cup-tournaments next week. Neptunus travels to Grosseto (Italy) for the Champions' Cup, while Pioniers is going to Prague (Czech Republic) for the CupWinners Cup.
On Saturday and Sunday, there are two more 2-game series. The starters for those games will be announced soon.
(June 7)

Victory for Pirates
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - In an attractive game, Amsterdam Pirates 2-hit Konica Minolta Pioniers and won 3-1 on some fine pitching.

At Haarlem, Corendon Kinheim and DOOR Neptunus played a 10-inning game that ended in a 2-2 tie.

These teams will play again on Friday-evening with veteran umpire Fred van Groningen Schinkel reaching an unique milestone in his long and impressing career by officiating in his 1000th big league.
(June 8)

Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

HCAW to honor championship team
BUSSUM (Neth.) - In 1996, Mr. Cocker HCAW celebrated its first Dutch championship title by winning the Holland Series vs. Kinheim, 3-2 led by American Head Coach Craig McGinnis.
On Saturday, June 10, the championship team comes together in a reunion for the 10th year anniversary of the first title in club history. Before the start of the game of the current team against Sparta/Feyenoord on Saturday-afternoon, the players will be honored.

Three players of that championship team are still active: René Rijst (Instant Holland Almere '90), Lars Koehorst and Michael Duursma (both Konica Minolta Pioniers). Nick Fridsma was active until last week as a player for HCAW.
Other players from the 1996 squad are currently playing in HCAW-3 in a lower division, being Frank Koene, Danny Wout, Jeroen Hubert (who last weekend made an appearance for the big league-team), Tom Urbanus, Ronald de Jong, Roy Berrevoets and Jurjan Koenen.
Only a few have left active baseball. Caspar van Rijnbach now lives in Brazil, while Clive Mendes and Jeffrey Cranston also retired.
One member who was with the team then and still is today is Scorekeeper Adrie Berrevoets.
Five of the players have become members of the 500-Club (500 or more games in the big league): Rijst, Koehorst, Koenen, Cranston and Mendes.
(June 9)

Umpire Van Groningen Schinkel reaches milestone; Kinheim, Pioniers win
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Umpire Fred van Groningen Schinkel on Friday-evening reached an unique milestone, as he became the first Dutch umpire to officiate in his 1000th career big league-game. In his milestone-game, Van Groningen Schinkel was working first base in the game between DOOR Neptunus and Corendon Kinheim. That game lasted only eight innings, because it had to be stopped due to the 10:50 PM curfew-rule. Kinheim won 7-5. At Hoofddorp, Konica Minolta Pioniers shutout Amsterdam Pirates, 3-0, by breaking a scoreless tie with three runs in the eighth inning.

...Fred van Groningen Schinkel...
...1000 games...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Before the game between Neptunus and Kinheim, senior umpire Fred van Groningen Schinkel was honored. Ruud van Zetten, vice president of the Dutch Baseball Association, not only mentioned Fred's impressing career in a speech, but also named some (funny) facts. The vice president had calculated that Fred must have seen about 250.000 pitches either behind the plate or in the field, judged at least 80.000 batters, drove at least 120.000 kilometers to reach the Dutch big league-clubs and must have used at least 6000 liters water during showers after the games and must have eaten about 4000 pieces of cheese or some other snacks in the clubhouse, accompanied by about 600 liters of refreshments. Some 250.000 people must have seen Fred officiate in the 34 years (also a record) he has been active in the big league since making his debut in 1972 and Fred must have been active for more than 400.000 minutes, including traveling, in his games.
Never before has an umpire reached a milestone like this and he probably also is the first European umpire to reach 1000 games in a highest national league. Van Zetten underscored that the KNBSB is proud of what Fred has reached, who already was decorated in the past for his impressive accomplishments.

Fred van Groningen Schinkel started his umpiring career in 1967 and became an international umpire in 1977. He participated in more than 70 international events, including 9 European Championships, 3 World Championships, 2 Olympic Games, 3 Intercontinental Cups, 14 Haarlem Baseball Weeks, 10 World Port Tournaments, more than 20 European Cup-tournaments and the recent World Baseball Classic in March.
Neptunus and Kinheim, the teams in Fred's 1000th career game, also were involved in two other milestones in his long career. On May 6, 1972, he made his debut at first base in the game between HCK (Haarlem) and OVVO (Amsterdam). Since 1973 HCK, is known as Kinheim. On May 28, 1991 Fred worked his 500th career game which was played between Haarlem Nicols and Neptunus.

In tonights game, Kinheim rallied for five runs in the second inning to break a 1-1 tie, highlighted by a 3-run triple by René Cremer, en route to a 7-5 win.
Last night, Pioniers had only two hits vs. Pirates and tonight the team had only four, but this time they won 3-0.
(June 9)

Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

Sparta/Feyenoord hands HCAW huge shutout; Almere wins
BUSSUM (Neth.) - Sparta/Feyenoord won big on Saturday-afternoon, handing Mr. Cocker HCAW a 12-0, 7-inning shutout-loss. HCAW had only four basehits off Satoru Fujii, who went the distance.
The Rotterdam-team already was leading 8-0 in the second inning in which HCAW had to relief its starter Cliff Foster, who walked six batters. HCAW had only four basehits and reach base five times.

In the evening, Instant Holland Almere '90 defeated ADO 3-2. The winning run was scored in the ninth inning on a basesloaded, pinch-hit single by Ferd van Stekelenburg.
ADO's starter Akira Okamoto struckout 15 batters in eight innings, but ended up empty-handed. With the score tied at 2-2, Jurrian Koks took over in the ninth, but loaded the bases and gave up the winning hit.
(June 10)

Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

ADO and HCAW recover after loss
THE HAGUE / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - ADO and Mr. Cocker HCAW both recovered after their Saturday-loss by winning their game on Sunday.

At The Hague, ADO won 6-1 vs. Instant Holland Almere '90. For ADO, Rob Cordemans went the distance and gave up seven hits to earn his sixth win.

At Rotterdam, HCAW had to adjust its line-up due to some injuries, but won 6-4 vs. Sparta/Feyenoord, which threatened to come back in the ninth inning.
(June 11)

Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

Roster named for Haarlem Baseball Week
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - National Team Manager Robert Eenhoorn and his staff named 27 players to the roster for the Haarlem Baseball Week, which will be held July 21-30 in the historic Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem.
Before the international tournament, the Dutch baseball-team participates in the European Baseball Series between July 7-12 in the Netherlands and Italy. The first three games are to be played in the Neptunus Familystadium in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Italy opted to spread its three games, to be played in Grosseto, Nettuno and Messina.
Besides the Dutch team, participating in the Haarlem Baseball Week are the national teams of China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Japan and the USA.
Four players on Eenhoorn's roster will make their national team-debut when they play: Catcher Mark Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers), Outfielder Kalian Sams (ADO), Righthanded Pitcher Tom Stuifbergen (Amsterdam Pirates) and Righthanded Pitcher Jurjen van Zijl (Mr. Cocker HCAW). Infielder Roel Koolen (Corendon Kinheim) also is on the roster for a big event for the first time, but played one game for the national team in 2000 when it played a series of five exhibiton games against Chinese Taipei.
Corendon Kinheim has the most players on the roster with seven.

The Roster:

Pitchers (12)
RHP David Bergman, RHP Duko Jansen, RHP Michiel van Kampen (all Corendon Kinheim), RHP Kenny Berkenbosch, RHP Nick Stuifbergen, RHP Jurjen van Zijl (all Mr. Cocker HCAW), RHP Rob Cordemans, RHP Robin van Doornspeek (both ADO), RHP Dave Draijer (Konica Minolta Pioniers), LHP Gregory Gustina, LHP Diegomar Markwell (both DOOR Neptunus) and RHP Tom Stuifbergen (Amsterdam Pirates).

Catchers (3)
Mark Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers), Sidney de Jong (Mr. Cocker HCAW) and Tjerk Smeets (Corendon Kinheim).

Infielders (5)
Ivanon Coffie (Instant Holland Almere '90), Michael Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers), Percy Isenia (ADO), Roel Koolen (Corendon Kinheim) and Raily Legito (DOOR Neptunus).

Outfielders (7)
Johnny Balentina (DOOR Neptunus), Bryan Engelhardt, Eugene Kingsale (both Instant Holland Almere '90), Dirk van 't Klooster, Danny Rombley (both Corendon Kinheim), Harvey Monte and Kalian Sams (both ADO).

(June 12)

EC: Opening loss Neptunus in Grosseto

...Arnold Verbrugge...
...home plate...
(Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
GROSSETO (Italy) - DOOR Neptunus opened the European Champions' Cup-tournament in Italy on Tuesday with a 3-2 loss in 10 innings vs. Italian champion Italeri Fortitudo Bologna. Neptunus led 2-0 in the fifth inning, but then Bologna came alongside in the sixth. An error in the tenth inning then set the stage for the winning run.
In Pool A, Paderborn Untouchables shutout Kranjski Lisjaki, 15-0.

In the evening, Cupholder Le Colonie Della Maremma Grosseto Orioles shutout Balashikha Tornados (Russia), 5-0 in Pool A. Dutchman André Schrijber was the Technical Commissioner for this game.
In Pool B, T&A San Marino won 10-2 vs. Marlins Puerto Cruz (Spain) and had the defensive highlight of the day when a line drive by Marlins-batter Nestor Perez ended in a triple play in the eighth inning. Dutch Umpire Arnold Verbrugge was behind the plate in this game.
(June 13)

Complete Recap, Box Score and Play-by-Play
Complete Schedule & Scores European Champions' Cup


...Nico Meijers...
(1934 - 2006)
(Photo: Archive Pirates)
Former Pirates-coach Nico Meijers passed away
AMSTERDAM - Former baseball coach Nico Meijers has passed away on Tuesdaymorning at the age of 72. While he was already sick for awhile, his passing did come unexpectedly for everyone. The memorial and cremation ceremony took place on Friday-afternoon June 16 at Amsterdam. Nico's warm personality, optimism and characteristic laugh will surely be missed by everyone.

...1981: Promotion to the big league...
...players take their coaches...
...Nico Meijers (left) and Ruud Koene...
...on their shoulders...
(Photo: Archive Pirates)
Nico Meijers started his baseball career with the Amsterdam-based club De Meer, which no longer exists. Hereafter, he came to Amsterdam Pirates and remained loyal to that club ever since.
He was a member of the Board for a few years as its treasurer, was the Head Coach between 1975 and 1977 for the club's second baseballteam and in 1978 led the junior baseball squad.
Between 1979 and 1982, Nico Meijers formed a successful coaching duo with Ruud Koene, that led the first team of Pirates for four seasons. The two took over the coaching after Pirates had relegated to the Second Division in 1978. Ruud Koene, who passed away in February last year, was the Head Coach and 3B Coach and Nico Meijers was the 1B Coach.
In 1979, Pirates finished in second place, but in 1980, the team remained unbeaten (18-0), won the championship and promoted to the First Division. It was the beginning of a successful streak, as another championship could be celebrated in 1981 and Pirates promoted from the First Division to the Major League. In 1982, the team succeeded in remaining in the highest division.
In their four successful years with Pirates, Koene and Meijers coached in exactly 100 official games, winning 70 of them. In the first three seasons, Pirates won 56 of its 64 games played under guidance of the Koene-Meijers duo.
After having coached Pirates in its first big league-season, the two stopped as coach. Ruud Koene continued coaching with other clubs, but Nico Meijers retired as a baseball coach.
A few years ago, Meijers and Koene made one comeback and coached a Pirates Alumni Team, that won a game against a team from former players of HCAW.
Nico Meijers remained a frequent visitor of Pirates-games, participated in the winter-activities (card games) of the Amsterdam club and traveled a few times to international tournaments of the Dutch National Team, like the 2001 European Championships in Bonn (Germany).

Nico's whole family was and still is involved in baseball for a long time. His wife Wies was his dug-out scorer with the Pirates-juniors and was an Official Scorer for the KNBSB. Sons Peter and Marcel also played a longtime for Pirates, with whom they reached the first team and the big league.
(June 14)

EC: Neptunus almost eliminated for Final Round!
GROSSETO (Italy) - DOOR Neptunus on Wednesday also lost its second game in the European Cup Tournament, losing 8-6 to T&A San Marino.
With the loss, Neptunus now only has a small theoretical chance of reaching the Final Round, otherwise it has to play for fifth through eighth place.
Neptunus already trailed 5-0 in the second inning and therefore was forced to make a quick pitching change. Neptunus managed to come back to 5-4 and in the fifth inning the score was tied, 6-6. In the seventh inning, San Marino took an 8-6 lead, which also became the final score.
(June 14)

Complete Recap, Box Score and Play-by-Play
Complete Schedule & Scores European Champions' Cup

CWC: Pioniers opens with win
PRAGUE (Czech Rep.) - Konica Minolta Pioniers on Wednesday opened the CupWinners Cup-tournament in Prague with a 12-5 win vs. Savigny-sur-Orge Lions from France.
Both teams scored three runs in the first inning, but Pioniers then broke the 3-3 tie by scoring twice in the fourth inning and added two more runs in the sixth at bat. Leading 7-3, Pioniers rallied for five more runs in the ninth inning.
Richard Orman started for Pioniers and threw four innings. The lefthander was followed on the mound by Raul Quiroz (three innings), Tommy van Limburg and Dave Draijer (who each threw one inning).

After Bracknell Blazers (Great Britain) had withdrawn its team about two weeks ago from Pool A, there were three teams in this pool and four in Pool B. But now the tournament is underway, Pool B also exists of three teams, as Cupholder Rojos de Tenerife didn't show up to participate.
(June 14)

Complete Recap, Box Score and Play-by-Play
Complete Schedule & Scores European CupWinners Cup

Bologna wins; Neptunus eliminated!
GROSSETO (Italy) - Italeri Fortitudo Bologna on Wednesday-evening won 4-2 vs. Marlins Puerto Cruz to decide the ranking in Pool B of the European Cup-tournament.
With the win, Bologna and T&A San Marino clinched a spot in the semi-finals, while DOOR Neptunus officially was eliminated for the Final Round and has to play in a pool for fifth through eighth place.
In Pool A, Cupholder Le Colonnie della Maremma Grosseto Orioles became the first team to reach the semi-final after winning 12-2 vs. Paderborn Untouchables.
(June 14)

Complete Schedule & Scores European Champions' Cup

CWC: Pioniers in semi-final!
PRAGUE (Czech Rep.) - Konica Minolta Pioniers on Thursday-afternoon became the first team to secure a spot in the Final Round of the CupWinners Cup-tournament.
In Prague, the team from Hoofddorp won big vs. Antwerp Eagles (Belgium), 21-1 in a game that ended after six innings because of the 20-run mercy rule.
(June 15)

Complete Recap, Box Score and Play-by-Play
Complete Schedule & Scores European CupWinners Cup

Small victory for Neptunus
GROSSETO (Italy) - DOOR Neptunus closed the preliminary round of the European Cup-tournament in Italy on Thursday-evening with a 13-9 victory vs. Marlins Puerto de la Cruz from Spain.
However, the team didn't convince, as it made six defensive errors, trailed 3-2 after two innings, decided the game with an 8-run rally in the fourth inning, but saw the Spaniards come back to 10-7.
Neptunus used two pitchers, who walked six batters and struckout none. All nine position players of Neptunus scored at least once in this game.
The complete recap of this game is coming up.
Box Score & Play-by-Play

Also on Thursday-evening, Le Colonnie della Maremma Grosseto Orioles (Italy) shutout Kranjski Lisjaki (Slovenia) 9-0, to remain unbeaten in Pool A.
In the afternoon, Paderborn Untouchables (Germany) became the second team from Pool A to reach the semi-finals after beating Balashikha Tornados (Russia) 8-5. The Germans got a scare in the ninth when they were leading 8-0, but the Russians then rallied for five runs.
T&A San Marino remained unbeaten in Pool B by winning 6-2 vs. Italeri Fortitudo Bologna (Italy). San Marino broke a 2-2 tie with a 4-run rally in the eighth inning.
(June 15)

Complete Schedule & Scores European Champions' Cup

Starting Pitchers coming weekend named
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The six starting pitchers for the upcoming 2-games series, scheduled for next Saturday and Sunday, have been named.

In the weekend, Amsterdam Pirates plays twice at home vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW, as the field in Bussum is not available. The Dutch Baseball Little League Championships take place on the HCAW-complex, therefore the team will play twice in Amsterdam.

Also scheduled are two games between Sparta/Feyenoord and ADO, while Instant Holland Almere '90 is playing against Corendon Kinheim.
Now league-leader DOOR Neptunus is not playing, because of the European Cup-toournament, but Kinheim and ADO can move into first place.
(June 15)

CWC: Pioniers meets Lithuanians
PRAGUE (Czech Rep.) - Konica Minolta Pioniers will meet Lituanica Kaunas from Lithuania on Saturday-evening in one of the two semi-final games of the CupWinners Cup-tournament in Prague.
Lituanica reached the semi-final by winning 8-3 vs. host Krc Altron Prague, which also meant that FC Barcelona finished in first place in Pool A and also reached the Final Round.

In the other semi-final, FC Barcelona meets Savigny-sur-Orge Lions (France), which reached the final four by winning 6-3 vs. Antwerp Eagles (Belgium).
The winners of the semi-finals meet in the Final on Sunday.

Antwerp and Prague will meet each other in a best-of-three series to decide fifth and sixth place. The losing team will relegate.
(June 16)

Complete Schedule & Scores European CupWinners Cup

Big win Neptunus; Grosseto again in Final
GROSSETO (Italy) - DOOR Neptunus on Friday-evening registered a big 15-0 shutout win vs. Kranjski Lisjaki of Slovenia in their first game of Pool C, which will decide fifth through eighth place on the European Cup-tournament in Italy. The countries that will be represented by the two bottom teams in this Pool, will relegate to the Qualification Pool.
With the win, Neptunus almost secured the Dutch spot for next years tournament, but theoretically, a 3-way tie is still possible. On Saturday, Neptunus will close the tournament with a game against Balashikha Tornados from Russia.
The complete recap of this game is coming up.
Box Score & Play-by-Play

Cupholder Le Colonnnie della Maremma Grosseto Orioles (Italy) returns to the Final, which will be played on Saturday-evening.
On Friday-evening, Grosseto shutout Italeri Fortitudo Bologna (Italy) 10-0 in seven innings to reach the deciding game. In the Final, Grosseto will play against T&A San Marino, which won 5-2 vs. Paderborn Untouchables (Germany) after trailing 2-0 and later 2-1, before scoring three runs in the sixth inning to win the game.
(June 16)

Complete Schedule & Scores European Champions' Cup

CWC: Pioniers in Final!
PRAGUE (Czech Rep.) - Konica Minolta Pioniers on Saturday reached the Final of the CupWinners Cup by winning 18-0 vs. Lituanica Kaunas (Lithuania).
Leading 7-0, Pioniers scored eleven runs in the sixth inning, including ten with two outs.
In the final on Sunday, Pioniers will meet Savigny-sur-Orge Lions (France), which surprisingly reached the deciding game by winning 7-3 vs. FC Barcelona (Spain) in the semi-final.
The complete recap of this game is coming up.
Box Score & Play-by-Play
(June 17)

Complete Schedule & Scores European CupWinners Cup

EC: Neptunus finish in fifth place
GROSSETO (Italy) - DOOR Neptunus simply won 11-1 in eight innings vs. Balashikha Tornados from Russia on Saturday-afternoon to finish in fifth place on the European Cup-tournament and secure the Dutch spot for next years tournament.
Neptunus collected 16 basehits, including the second homerun of the tournament by Jeffrey Arends.
The complete recap of this game is coming up.
Box Score & Play-by-Play

San Marino wins European Cup!
GROSSETO (Italy) - T&A San Marino surprised on Saturday-evening with a 3-0 shutout-victory in the final of the European Cup-tournament to win the Cup for the first time in clubhistory. Dutch umpire Arnold Verbrugge was behind the plate in the final.
With the win, San Marino dethroned Italian host Le Colonnie della Maremma Grosseto Orioles that won the CUp last year in Rotterdam.
But the victory also meant a problem. Normally, the country from which the Cupholder comes is entitled to participate with a another team in the following years tournament. The problem is that T&A San Marino is the lone high-level team from the country of San Marino and participates in the Italian Serie A/1. The European Federation now has to decide who the second participant will be.
(June 17)

Complete Schedule & Scores European Champions' Cup

Bottom-three teams win (again)
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - On Saturday, Amsterdam Pirates, Sparta/Feyenoord and Instant Holland Almere '90 did it again. The bottom-three teams all won their game on the same day again. Therefore, they not only remained tied for sixth placed, but also handed some of the top-five teams a loss, therefore again influencing the Play-Off race.

At Amsterdam, Amsterdam Pirates played a very good game vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW and won 6-1. The team hit at the right moment and had great defensive moments, including a triple play and a wonderful catch by leftfielder Derick Francisca.

At Rotterdam, the game between Sparta/Feyenoord and ADO was tied after nine innings, 1-1 and when the game was in the home 12th, everyone already appears to settle for a tie. But then, a 2-out error put a runner on base, after which rookie Dwayne Kemp delivered a game-winning, walk-off, RBI-double giving Sparta/Feyenoord a 2-1 victory. Rob Cordemans started for ADO and struckout 12 batters, including the 1000th in his career, but his team stranded 16 runners.

At Almere, Corendon Kinheim broke a scoreless tie in the eighth inning on Saturday-evening vs. Instant Holland Almere '90 with two runs. But in the home eighth, Almere answered with four runs, including three on a homerun by Bryan Engelhardt to win 4-2.
(June 17)

Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

Pioniers wins CupWinners Cup!
PRAGUE (Czech Rep.) - Konica Minolta Pioniers on Sunday won the CupWinners Cup by winning 11-0 vs. Savigny-sur-Orge Lions (France).
It is the second time in clubhistory that Pioniers captured the CupWinners Cup. After winning it in 2003, Pioniers lost the final in 2004 and 2005 to Rojos de Tenerife (Spain), which this year didn't showed up without giving any details.
Game recap, Box Score and Play-by-Play are coming up.
More later.
(June 18)

Complete Schedule & Scores European CupWinners Cup

Kinheim moves into first place
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - After losing their game on Saturday, Corendon Kinheim, ADO and Mr. Cocker HCAW all won on Sunday, but they did it with small scores.

At Haarlem, Kinheim trailed 1-0, but then took a 2-1 lead in the sixth inning when Edward Illidge homered en route to a 3-1 win to move into first place.

At The Hague, ADO remained unbeaten at home, where it now is 10-0, and shutout Sparta/Feyenoord 3-0. Winning pitcher Akira Okamoto went the distance and threw a 3-hitter.

At Amsterdam, HCAW hold onto an 1-0 lead vs. Amsterdam Pirates and the run was to be the only one in the game.
(June 18)

Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

Starting Pitchers coming games announced
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Most starting pitchers have been announced for the upcoming games to be played on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
On Thursday, teams will play a one-game series, followed by a 2-game series in the weekend against another opponent.

Mr. Cocker HCAW, ADO, Corendon Kinheim and Sparta/Feyenoord have their rotations set for these three games.
For HCAW, RHP Jos de Jong will make his first start of the season when he takes the mound vs. DOOR Neptunus on Thursday-evening.

Instant Holland Almere '90, DOOR Neptunus, Konica Minolta Pioniers and Amsterdam Pirates, the other four teams have named their starters for Thursday's games, but who will start on Saturday and Sunday depends who they will need on Thursday and what the result of those games will be.
Of course, the respective coaches already know who they will start, but will confirm them on Friday or after Thursday's game.
Almere named its starters for Friday and Saturday. Sunday's starter probably will be RHP Derrick Isenia.
Pirates' weekend starters probably will be RHP Robert van der Pol and RHP Kevin Miner.
Candidates for Neptunus to start in the weekend are RHP Kevin Heijstek, LHP Gregory Gustina and RHP Leoš Kubát.
Pioniers probably will go with RHP Roger Kops and LHP Richard Orman.

Milestones coming up:
On Thursday-evening, 3B Jeroen Sluijter (Neptunus) will play his 500th big league-game, while OF Ronald Jaarsma (HCAW) will play his 400th.
Next Saturday, C/OF Johnny Balentina (Neptunus) will become the eleventh player to reach the 600-game mark.
(June 21)

Remarkable comeback victory Almere
ALMERE (Neth.) - Instant Holland Almere '90 had a remarkable comeback on Thursday-evening to win 7-6 vs. Sparta/Feyenoord.
Almere trailed 5-0 and 6-1 and had only one basehit off Satoru Fujii in the first seven innings, while committing seven errors defensively. But then, Almere scored six runs in its last three at bats to win. Sparta/Feyenoord outhit Almere 11-4 and had only one error, but that proved to be decisive for the game, as it led to two unearned runs in the ninth inning with two outs.

At The Hague, Konica Minolta Pioniers trailed 2-1 after three innings, then scored three runs in the fourth inning and went on to win 6-5 to hand ADO its first home loss of the season.

At Rotterdam, DOOR Neptunus won 5-3 vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW. Neptunus had 12 basehits, including two by 3B Jeroen Sluijter, who played his 500th career big league-game. HCAW's CF Ronald Jaarsma played in his 400th game on the highest level.

At Haarlem, Corendon Kinheim registered a 7-0 shutout vs. Amsterdam Pirates, which had only one basehit off lefthanded rookie Jean-Paul Gulinck, who threw eight innings.
(June 22)

Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

First decision in First Division
DELFT (Neth.) - The first decision of the 2006 season has arrived and it came on Thursday-evening Pool B of the First Division.
Because of a 10-1 victory of leader DOOR Tridents vs. Blue Birds, Almere '90 2 was eliminated for first place and therefore the national championship for second team. So far, Almere has lost all 18 games it played this season.
This weekend, Sparta/Feyenoord 2 can become the second team to be eliminated for the title.
(June 22)

First Division: Loss for RCH-Pinguďns
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - RCH-Pinguďns, the leader in Pool A of the First Division, lost 7-4 to Sparta/Feyenoord 2 on Friday-evening in an First Division Interleague-game.
For Sparta/Feyenoord, which is in seventh place in Pool B, this was only its fourth victory of the season. This weekend, the team can become the second to be eliminated for the Dutch title for second teams. A combination of a Sparta/Feyenoord-loss on Saturday and a victory of pool-leader DOOR Tridents will mean elimination. On Thursday, Almere '90 2 was the first team to be eliminated after losing its 19th consecutive game.
In Pool A, all ten teams still can finish in first place.
(June 23)

Victories Kinheim, Pirates, Neptunus, Pioniers
BUSSUM / AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Corendon Kinheim and Amsterdam Pirates both won on Saturday-afternoon.
At Bussum, Kinheim scored the winning runs vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW in the eighth and ninth inning. The Haarlem-club broke a 4-4 tie with two runs in the eighth inning, then added three in the ninth on a homerun by Roel Koolen. Kinheim had 20 basehits in this game and remained the league-leader with this victory.

At Amsterdam, Pirates trailed 1-0 when its scored six runs in the eighth at bat vs. Sparta/Feyenoord. With a 1-1 score, Fausto Álvarez hit a baseclearing, 3-run double to give his team a 4-1 lead.

At Rotterdam, in the evening, DOOR Neptunus hosted ADO and won 9-3. Neptunus rallied for four runs in both the third and fourth inning. Johnny Balentina played his 600th career game.

At Almere, Konica Minolta Pioniers won 4-1 at Instant Holland Almere '90 in the evening. Roger Kops went the distance and threw a 7-hitter.
(June 24)

Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

HCAW falls further behind
HAARLEM (Neth.) - Corendon Kinheim on Sunday won 6-3 vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW to remain in first place. On the other hand, HCAW remained in fifth place and now is seven points behind fourth place.

At Hoofddorp, Konica Minolta Pioniers won big vs. Instant Holland Almere '90, 12-2, to move into a tie for third place with ADO.

At Rotterdam, Sparta/Feyenoord had a 3-0 shutout vs. Amsterdam Pirates, which had only three hits off Satoru Fujii.

At The Hague, the game between ADO and DOOR Neptunus rained out and was re-scheduled for Tuesday-evening.
(June 25)

Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

HCAW and Cliff Foster separate

...Cliff Foster...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
BUSSUM (Neth.) - Mr. Cocker HCAW and its American pitcher Cliff Foster have separated, effective immediately.

In a brief press release, HCAW announced the decision on Tuesday. It stated that "HCAW decided to end the agreement with Foster after the team played twice vs. Corendon Kinheim in the weekend. Because of his disappointing results in the last few weeks, the American pitcher was released effective immediately and was removed from the roster." The release ends by mentioning that "the spot of Foster will now be filled by using pitchers from the club's youth development program".
Last Sunday, Foster was the losing pitcher vs. Kinheim when he walked five batters and gave up three runs in one-plus inning.

Exactly a month ago, on May 27, when HCAW also played vs. Kinheim, Cliff Foster asked to be relieved of his duties as the Pitching Coach to focus more on his active pitching. The vacancy in the coaching staff was filled by adding Patrick Vielvoye a few days later. The change in the coaching led to the stepping down of Head Coach Maurice DeConge. Vielvoye was then named new Head Coach.
This season, Foster appeared in 13 games, including five as a starter, and threw in 30 innings. He had problems with his control the last few weeks and is in second place with 38 walks. Only Satoru Fujii (Sparta/Feyenoord) has more with 54. The righthander has an 1-6 record, but also two saves and struckout 27 batters. So far, HCAW also hasn't been offensively productive since half May to support their pitching with enough runs. After winning its first seven games of the season, HCAW won only four of the next 18. Besides the changing in the coaching, HCAW started the season with three suspended players and had a lot of injuries. Currently, the team is in fifth place, seven points behind the number four team. The top-four qualifies for the Play-Offs.
Last season, in his first year in the Dutch big league and with HCAW, Foster threw in 25 games and ended the season with a 5-1 record and nine saves.
(June 27)

Neptunus nips ADO
THE HAGUE (Neth.) - DOOR Neptunus nipped ADO 3-2 on Tuesday-evening in a make-up game. Last Sunday, this game rained out.
Neptunus scored one run in each of the three middle innings to take a 3-0 lead, before ADO scored their two runs in the home of the sixth inning.
Japanese pitcher Akira Okamoto again went the distance for ADO and lost his first game of the season.
(June 27)

Game Recap, Line Score & Box Score

Starting Pitchers coming days
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The eight teams in the Dutch big league will play a one-game series on Thursday-evening, then face another opponent in a 2-game series coming weekend. For most of these games, the starting pitchers have been announced.
After next Sunday, the season will be interrupted for international games by the Dutch National Baseball Team. Starting on Friday, July 7, the Dutch squad will play six games vs. Italy in the European Baseball Series. The first three games will be played in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), the last three in three different Italian cities. From July 21-30, the Dutch team will participate in the bi-annual Haarlem Baseball Week.

Amsterdam Pirates, Mr. Cocker HCAW, ADO, Sparta/Feyenoord and Corendon Kinheim announced their starters for all three games.

Instant Holland Almere '90 named their starters for Thursday (LHP Nick Veltkamp) and Saturday (RHP Erik Remmerswaal). Depending on who is needed in relief in these games, candidates for Sunday are RHP René Rijst, RHP Forstin Coenraad and RHP Derrick Isenia, while it is also possible that Saturday's starter might change.

Konica Minolta Pioniers and DOOR Neptunus only announced their starter for Thursday, respectively RHP Raul Quiroz and RHP Martijn Nijhoff. The probable starters for Pioniers in the weekend are LHP Richard Orman and RHP Roger Kops. Neptunus will choose its starters in the weekend from LHP Diegomar Markwell, LHP Gregory Gustina or RHP Kevin Heijstek. Neptunus' Czech righthander Leoš Kubát is not available in these three games, as he currently is participating with the Czech National Team in the Prague Baseball Week.

Of Course, it is always possible that announced starting pitchers can change on game days.
(June 28)

Top Four wins
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The current top-four teams all won their games on Thursday-evening.

At Hoofddorp, Konica Minolta Pioniers trailed 2-1 vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW, then tied the score in the eighth inning and won 3-2 in the ninth.

At Amsterdam, ADO needed only one run to win vs. Amsterdam Pirates, 1-0.

At Rotterdam, Corendon Kinheim led 7-0, but opponent Sparta/Feyenoord would come back to 7-5. In the end, Kinheim won 8-5.

At Almere, DOOR Neptunus trailed 4-3, but went on to win 5-4 vs. Instant Holland Almere '90.
(June 29)

Game Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores

Dutch Softball Women
Shutout-win for Sparks Haarlem
CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL (Neth.) - Sparks Haarlem shutout Euro Stars 6-0 on Thursday-evening to make up their game that was canceled last Tuesday.
Winning pitcher Crissy Autry struckout 14 batters and won her seventh game.
(June 1)

Game Recap, Line Score & Box Score

Terrasvogels back in first place
SANTPOORT (Neth.) - A4 Terrasvogels returned to first place on Saturday by winning twice vs. Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers, 7-1 and 5-2.

At Oosterhout, league-leader Sparks Haarlem split with Twins, meaning they are now have to share first place with Terrasvogels.
Sparks nipped Twins 1-0 in the opener, the its winning streak of nine games ended with a 4-2 loss.

At Haarlem, Van der Peijl DSC '74 won 3-1 and 4-0 vs. Centrals, which therefore dropped to seventh place.

At Zoetermeer, Euro Stars won twice vs. Birds, 6-2 and 9-0.
(June 3)

Game Recap, Line Score & Box Score

Leader Sparks wins big
HAARLEM (Neth.) - League-leader Sparks Haarlem on Tuesday-evening won big vs. Twins, 10-2 and strenghtened its position, as A4 Terrasvogels played a 2-2 tie at Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers.

Van der Peijl DSC '74 handed Centrals its seventh loss in a row with a 2-0 shutout and Euro Stars won its fifth consecutive game, a 2-1 victory vs. Birds.

A big softball-update is in the making. All missing Game Recaps, Line Scores and Box Scores of recent games since May 25 will be added soon. Some links already are mentioned, but not all of them have been activated yet.
(June 13)

Shutout-loss for Sparks Haarlem
HAARLEM (Neth.) - League-leader Sparks Haarlem suprisingly lost 2-0 to Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers on Tuesday-evening. Sparks had only one basehit and committed four errors.

At Zoetermeer, A4 Terrasvogels moved within one point of Sparks Haarlem by winning 8-0 vs. Birds, as RHP Kirsten Scheele threw a 3-hitter.
At Oosterhout, Centrals ended a 9-game losing streak and won its first road game of the season by winning 5-4 vs. Twins.
At Haarlem, Van der Peijl DSC '74 shutout Euro Stars, 4-0, as RHP Lindsay Enders pitched a 4-hitter and struckout 10 batters.

Sparks Haarlem (despite the loss) and A4 Terasvogels tonight became the first two teams to secure their big league-spot for coming season. Coming weekend, when the combination is right, both can clinch a spot in the Play-Offs.
(June 20)

Softball Update I
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Due to different reasons, the site was running a little behind with softball, but as mentioned before updates are coming up.
The first update has now been added with the Line Scores & Box Scores of some previous games. The game recaps of these games are in the making, but here are the statistics.
(June 21)

Line Scores & Box Scores Thursday, May 25
Line Scores & Box Scores Tuesday, May 30
Line Score & Box Score Thursday, June 1
Line Scores & Box Scores Saturday, June 3
Line Scores & Box Scores Monday, June 5
Line Score & Box Score Tuesday, June 6
More Line Scores & Box Scores are coming up.

Sparks and Terrasvogels in Play-Offs
SANTPOORT / HAARLEM (Neth.) - On the last day before the first international break, A4 Terrasvogels and Sparks Haarlem on Saturday became the first two teams to secure a spot in this years Play-Offs.
The season will now be interrupted, as the Dutch National Softball Team will participate in the annual Canada Cup from July 1-9. The team leaves on Tuesday for Canada. The season resumes on July 15.

At Santpoort, Terrasvogels won 3-1 and 5-2 vs. Van der Peijl DSC '74 and at Haarlem, Sparks won 8-1 and 4-3 vs. Euro Stars. These combinations were enough for the two finalists of last season to return to the final round this year.

At Oosterhout, Twins won twice vs. Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers, 7-2 and 3-0.

At Zoetermeer, Birds and Centrals split their double-header. Centrals broke a 9-game losing streak and won the opener 2-1, then lost the next game, 4-2.

The recaps, Line Scores and Box Scores will be added later this week in the next Softball Update.
(June 24)

Dutch Team arrives in Canada
VANCOUVER (Canada) - The Dutch National Women Softball Team arrived safely in Canada late Tuesday-evening (local time). Their flight to Vancouver was delayed for almost six hours due to technical problems with the airplane.

The Dutch team is participating again in the Canada Cup International Women's Fastpitch Tournament, which will start its 13th edition next Saturday in Softball City and is known for years for its strong field of participants. The tournament runs through July 9.
The team of Manager Liz Kelly will play in the White Pool in which it will meet the national teams of Canada, Chinese Taipei and Puerto Rico, as well as clubteams Delta Sunfire (Canada), Florida Quicksilver (USA), Japan Elite (Japan) and Triple Crown Colorado (USA).
The Red Pool is exiting of the national teams of Australia, China and Venezuela and clubteams American Pastime (USA), Canada Elite (Canada), Japan - Denso Club (Japan), Schutt Hurricanes (USA) and Washington Blast (USA).
The Dutch team opens the Canada Cup next Saturday against the national team of Chinese Taipei.
On Friday, the squad will play an exhibition game vs. Florida Quicksilver.

Last year, Australia won the tournament. After eliminating Canada Elite in the semi-final with a 3-2 win, Australia shutout USA Elite 3-0 in the final game.

More coverage of this tournament will follow on this site in the coming days.
(June 28)

International Baseball
CWC Qualification Pools underway
BLAGOEVDGRAD (Bulgaria) / LJUBLJANA (Slovenia) - The two Qualification Pools for the CupWinners Cup are now underway. The winners of these events will secure a spot for their country in next years A-tournament.

At Blagoevdgrad, organizer Buffaloes Blagoevdgrad opened with a 17-11 win on Tuesday-evening vs. Minsk (Belarus).
Earlier in the day, Apollo Bratislava (Slovakia) shutout Silesia Rybnik (Poland), 13-0.
In the morning, the tournament started with a 9-8 win by Milon Sports Club (Greece) vs. BK Vojvode (Serbia-Montenegro).

At Ljubljana, Regensburg Legionäre (Germany) and organizer Ljubljana Jezica lead after two days of competition.
On Monday, Regensburg opened the event with an 11-1 win vs. Superfund Wanderers (Austria), then shutout Vindija Varazdin (Croatia), 20-0. For the Croation team, this was its second big defeat, as they opened on Monday with a 33-9 loss vs. Oslo Pretenders (Norway).
Ljubljana started on Monday with a 14-6 win vs. Sissach Frogs (Switzerland) and on Tuesday defeated Oslo, 20-0. On Tuesday, the Swiss team also lost its second game, as they fell 17-4 to the Wanderers from neighbouring Austria.

The two winners will take the spots of the two countries that will relegate from the CupWinners Cup-tournament, that opens on Wednesday in Prague (Czech Republic).
(June 13)

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Last Update: August 1, 2006
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