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Updated: March 7, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Dutch Team ends tournament with shutout-loss
AUCKLAND (New Zealand) - The Dutch Men Softball Team closed the World Championship in New Zealand on Thursday with a 7-0, 5-inning loss vs. Canada. The Orange squad hit only one basehit, a single by Marlon Comenencia and reached base only twice. Canada collected seven basehits, including three homeruns.

Earlier in the day, in Pool A, the USA won 4-1 vs. Great Britain, which therefore was eliminated. While the Americans could end up in a 3-way tie later on the day, they clinched the Play-Offs, as the tie-breaker rule was in their favor.
Venezuela won 7-0 vs. Indonesia to qualify for the Play-Offs, while Japan also advanced to the next round because of the win by Argentina.

In Pool B, Argentina nipped Colombia 1-0 to qualify for the championship round, while Colombia was eliminated because of the loss.
Samoa won 8-0 vs. South Africa, then qualified for the Play-Offs when the Czech Republic lost to Australia.

This all set-up the combination for the Play-Offs, which open on Friday.

...Marlon Comenencia...
...lone Dutch hit...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The Dutch Team reached base only twice in its final game of the tournament. In the first inning, René Koelink walked with one out and in the third at bat, Marlon Comenencia hit the lone Dutch basehit with one out. Both ended up on second base, but stranded there. Koelink advanced on a grounder by Mike den Braven, while Comenencia moved on a grounder by Tim Verbrugge. From that point on, the last eight batters were retired in order in this 5-inning game. Two Canadian pitchers struckout ten batters combined.

For the Orange, Erwin Visser started as pitcher. In the first inning, he got two quick outs after flyballs in the outfield, but then three Canadian runs followed. First, Jeff Ellsworth homered, then the bases got loaded when Brad Ezekiel walked, Ian Fehrman was hit by a pitch and Stephen Mullaley also walked. A single by Kevin Schellenberg then resulted in two runs and a 3-0 lead.

Arjan Baanen took over the Dutch pitching in the second inning and then retired the side. In the third inning, he faced Jeff Ellsworth, who had homered in the first inning and now led off the third at bat. The Canadian rightfielder again connected well and hit his second homerun in the game. Next, Brad Ezekiel walked, moved on a wild pitch and a double by Stephen Mullaley, then scored on a sac-fly by Kevin Schellenberg.

In the fourth, Canada added its next run off of Jeffry Visser. With one out, Mathieu Roy singled and moved when next batter Andy Skelton was hit by a pitch. A single by Jeff Ellsworth (who had a great day at the plate) then enabled Roy to score. The final Canadian run was scored in the fifth inning when Stephen Mullaley led off with a walk-off homerun, as the game ended through the 7-run difference mercy-rule.

Other games today:

Game 49: USA vs. Great Britain
The USA trailed 1-0 after three innings, but then scored four runs in the fifth to win 4-1 and clinch a spot in the Play-Offs. The Americans could end up in a 3-way tie later in the day, but they secured a spot in the final round by winning this game, as their results against the teams whom they would eventually tie were in their favor what the tie-break rule is concerned. On the other hand, the British squad was eliminated because of this loss. Great Britain took an 1-0 lead in the third inning when it got the bases loaded. Luke Peters led off with a walk, then Kenneth Pregnell singled. After a strikeout, Ryan Martin also walked to load the bases. After a flyout, the run was scored when Darrin Newson was hit by a pitch, then three runners were left behind as a strikeout ended the inning. In the bottom of the 5th inning, the USA rallied for four runs. Dave Lohman and Robert Rosthenhausler led off with walks and were replaced respectively by pinch-runners Jaime Garcia and Edwin Ketelhut. An error on a sac-bunt by Todd Schultz then loaded the bases. Another error followed on a force play-grounder by Adam Lalonde, which enabled the two pinch-runners to score and put the USA ahead. A following single by Chase Turner then increased the lead to 4-1.

...President Chávez opens the Women...
...World Championship in 2010...
Game 50: Venezuela vs. Indonesia
For Venezuela, this game came after an emotional day for the players and staff. Yesterday, on Wednesday-afternoon at 12 PM New Zealand-time, the team played against the USA, which was early Tuesday-evening Venezuelan time (6:30 PM). It was around that time that news broke that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frías had passed away at the age of 58 after battling an illness for two years. President Chávez was known for his love for softball. His two daughters play the sport and he himself played softball frequently in games that included government personnel. In 2010, President Chávez opened the World Championship Women Softball, which played in capitol Caracas. Two stadiums were specially built for the event. During his opening speech, Chávez then declared to ISF-President Don Porter that he would support the sport of softball in its campaign to return to the Olympic Games. During the Championship, Chávez was in the dug-out of the Venezuelan Women Softball Team several times to show his support.
After losing against the USA yesterday, Venezuela today shutout Indonesia 7-0 to qualify for the Play-Offs. Winning pitcher Ramon Jones struckout ten batters and threw a No-Hitter. Venezuela took a decisive 4-0 lead in the second inning. With one out, Luiger Pinto homered, then an error brought next batter Carlus Ojeda to second base. After a groundout, Kerlis Rivero singled, then Herwins Querales doubled to bring in the next run. A single by Iran Paez produced two more runs and made it 4-0. In the fourth inning, Yeider Chirinos led off with a single, then Arturo Acacio was safe on a force play-grounder. Two flyouts followed, then the bases got loaded when John Zambrano was hit by a pitch. A single by Rafael Flores brought in two runs and made it 6-0. The 7-run difference was reached in the bottom of the 5th inning. Luiger Pinto led off with a walk and scored, with two outs, on a walk-off, RBI-single by Arturo Acacio.

...Mauricio Caceres...
Game 51: Colombia vs. Argentina In the third consecutive deciding game today, Argentina nipped Colombia 1-0 to qualify for the Play-Offs. Because of the Argentinian win, Japan also qualified for the Play-Offs. With the win, Argentina even moved into third place of Pool A based on its head-to-head result against Japan, with whom they could end up in a tie later in the day when Japan beats Mexico. With the loss, Colombia was eliminated. Argentina scored the lone in the second inning when Mauricio Caceres hit a homerun with one out. The game was a pitching duel. Two Argentinian pitchers struckout 12 batters and gave up two hits, while Colombian pitcher Ramiro Martinez went the distance, gave up four hits and struckout 13 batters.

...Thomas Enoka...
Game 52: South Africa vs. Samoa
Samoa registered an important 8-0 win against South Africa, but then had to wait for the result of the Czech Republic. A Czech win would have created a 3-way tie, which could have been unfavorable for Samoa. For South Africa, the loss meant elimination, as they still had a theoretical chance to advance. So, for both teams this was a must-win situation. Samoa scored twice in the first inning. Bernard Hale led off with a walk, but was forced out on a grounder by Tony Niu. The latter then advanced on a single by Thomas Enoka, but was eliminated at the plate trying to score on a hit by Duane Jerard. Next, Michael Niu singled to bring in two runs and give Samoa an early lead. In the third inning, five runs were added. Bernard Hale led off with a triple, then Tony Niu reached on an error. An error on a grounder by Thomas Enoka then led to a run, as did a force play-grounder by Michael Niu. A force out at home then followed on a grounder by Gerard Long, then the bases got loaded when Gene Robinson singled. Next, Kallan Compain cleared the bases with a 3-run triple. In the fifth inning, a single by Joel Harris increased the lead to 8-0. Pitcher Thomas Enoka pitched a complete game 2-hitter.

Game 54: Australia vs. Czech Republic
The Czech Republic lost 8-2 against Australia, meaning the tournament ended for the team. Because of the result, Samoa qualified for the Play-Offs and moved into third place because of its earlier win against the USA, with whom they ended up in a tie. Because of the loss, the Czechs finish in sixth place in Pool A, due to their costly loss against Great Britain the day before. The loss was even more costly, as the British squad also didn't qualify. This also meant that no European teams were able to qualify for the Play-Offs. With the win, Australia became the only team that remained unbeaten in the preliminary round.
The Aussies took a decisive 5-0 lead in the first inning and struck right from the beginning. Michael Tanner led off with a single and scored when Cameron Bint followed with a triple. A single by James Todhunter then produced the next run. Later in the at bat, an error led to two more runs and a single by Adam Humble made it 5-0. The Czechs scored one run in the second on a single by Jiri Brabec, but Australia added three more in its second. A squeeze by Todhunter, passed ball and single by Nathan Jones resulted in the runs. The Czechs scored another in the fourth on a single by Pavel Stocek.

...Masateru Matsuoka...
...4 RBI's...
Game 55: Mexico vs. Japan Japan knew before the start of this game that it already had qualified for the Play-Offs, thanks to the earlier win by Argentina against Colombia. But nevertheless, Japan did a lot of scoring and hitting, collecting 11 basehits and rallying for 10 runs in the third at bat to win 13-0 vs. Mexico. In the second inning, Japan scored twice on a single by Masateru Matsuoka. In the third, 16 batters stepped up to the plate, recorded six basehits and scored 10 runs. The bases got loaded when Hiraku Yokoyama led off with a bunt-single, Naoaki Kawada followed with a single and Yohei Ono walked. Hereafter, Jun Taniguchi, Kengo Kindani (2-run) and Masateru Matsuoka (2-run) contributed with runscoring singles. A passed ball led to the next run, as did a basesloaded walk and another error. A single by Kidani then added two more runs to make it 12-0. The 13th run was scored in the fourth inning on a single by Hikaru Matsuda.

Game 56: New Zealand vs. Philippines
In the final game of the preliminary round, New Zealand shutout the Philippines 7-0 to end Pool B in a tie with Canada. New Zealand finished in second place and Canada in first due to the result of the head-to-head result. The Kiwis scored the first run in the second inning on a single by Thomas Makea. A 6-run rally followed in the fourth inning to make it a 7-run difference. In the fourth, Donny Hale led off with a double and Jarrad Martin walked with two outs. Thomas Makea then tripled to bring in the two runners and scored himself when Daniel Milne followed with a single. Next, Nate Nukunuku walked and Patrick Shannon singled and both scored on a following single by Brad Rona.

(March 7)

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