Centrals last to clinch Top-4
- ENSCHEDE / CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL / DE BILT / OOSTERHOUT (Neth.) - The top-4 in the Dutch Softball Major League is set, after Centrals won its double-header on Saturday vs. Olympia Haarlem to become the fourth and final team to clinch a spot in the Play-Offs.
It marks the first time that Centrals reaches the final four.
Last season, Centrals was eliminated for the Top-4 on the final day of the season.
In its first three season on the highest level (2006-2008), Centrals finished in seventh place.
The current top-4 closed the regular season on Saturday.
On Saturday, league-leader Sparks Haarlem, which is in second place, won 10-2 and 8-1 at Euro Stars.
Tex Town Tigers, which is in second place, won 1-0 and 11-1 vs. DSS, which also played its last games, whille third placed Iber Lengua Terrasvogels split at Twins in two 2-1 games.
Centrals won twice vs. Olympia Haarlem, 8-1 and 5-1.
After completion of the regular season, which will end next weekend, the top-4 will play for the final ranking, as is the bottom-4.
Hereafter, the top-4 teams will participate in the Play-Offs for the Championship, while the standings for the bottom-4 will result in relegation for the team in last place.
The team that finished in seventh place has to play a promotion/relegation Play-Off vs. the number 2 of the First Dvision.
Twins, which is in fifth place, has two games left and therefore was eliminated for the top-4 because of the two wins by Centrals.
Euro Stars, which is in sixth place, has four games left, and can come alongside with Centrals.
However, in the four games played between the two teams, Centrals is 2-1 with one tie, meaning they qualified fot the top-4.
At Enschede, Tex Town Tigers scored a run in the first inning of their opener vs. DSS and that was to be enough.
Lead-off hitter Meike Witteveen reached on an error, advanced on an one-out sacrifice bunt by Britt Vonk and scored on a single by Karin Tuk.
Lindsey Meadows, who recently made her debut in the Dutch National Softball Team, dominated again as pitcher.
The righthander threw a No-Hitter, struckout eleven and walked only one batter, which cost her a Perfect Game.
After retiring 15 batters in a row in the first five innings, Meadows walked lead-off hitter Tippy Vink in the sixth, but then retired the next six again in order.
In Game Two, DSS registered only one basehit off starting pitcher Martina Lackner, who threw three innings and then was relieved by Ginger de Weert.
In this game, TTT collected 13 basehits, including doubles by Merel Oosterveld and Virginie Anneveld.
After scoring single runs in both the first and second inning, TTT gave up a run in the third, but then increased its lead by scoring three runs in the home of the third.
In the fourth at bat, TTT reached the 10-run difference by adding four more runs.
One out was registered in the fourth when TTT reached the mercy-rule difference.
Merel Oosterveld led off with a double, then scored on a single by Britt Vonk.
Singles by Karin Tuk and Virginie Anneveld then loaded the bases.
Hereafter, Lindsey Meadows grounded out, but a run was scored and then Nadine Marinus followed with a walk-off 2-run single that made it 11-1.
At Capelle a/d IJssel, Sparks Haarlem had 16 basehits, including three by Chantal Versluis, Kim Kluijskens (who both also had three RBI's) and Nathalie Timmermans.
Chantal also scored four runs, while Nathalie Gosewehr scored three runs.
Sparks hit five triples in this game, including two by Kluijskens and one each by Versluis, Timmermans and Gosewehr.
Winning pitcher Kirsten Scheele went the distance, struckout eight and gave up only six hits to raise her record to 11-1.
In Game Two, Dagmar Bloeming won her league-leading 15th game (she is 15-1) and threw a complete game, striking out five and giving up only three hits.
In this game, Sparks registered eight basehits, none of them for extra bases.
Chantal Versluis this time scored three runs.
Leading 3-1, Sparks reached the 7-run difference by scoring five runs in the fifth inning.
At Oosterhout, Terrasvogels scored runs in the first and fourth inning to take a 2-0 lead in Aimee Murch's 14th victory of the season.
The Australian righthander gave up four hits, but Terrasvogels got only two off Andrea Lindgren.
Terrasvogels opened the score in the first inning when Linda Hoenderdos led off with a walk and scored on a single by Annemiek van Riessen.
The second Terrasvogels-hit also accounted for a run.
In the fourth, Solange Starrenburg reached on an error and went on to score on a double by Eva de Bruin.
Twins scored its lone run in the home of the fourth on a single by Sandra Catoen.
In Game 2, Terrasvogels-starter Femke van Dusschoten gave up no hits in 4 2/3 inning, but walked five batters, which led to two runs in the fifth inning.
Lead-off hitter Sarah Van Der Meiren reached on an error, then Mickey Jansen walked with one out.
After a flyout accounted for the second out, two walks followed to bring in the first run, then a wild pitch gave Twins its second run.
Another walk then re-loaded the bases and thereafter, Aimee Murch took over the pitching, but the damage had been done.
Terrasvogels scored its lone run in the sixth inning.
With one out, Solange Starrenburg singled, then the bases got loaded when Marije Schoenmaker walked and Eva de Bruin reached on an error.
Solange went on to score on a basesloaded walk for Iris Kolman, but hereafter three runners stranded.
At De Bilt, Centrals broke an 1-1 tie by scoring five runs in the fourth inning, then added two more in the fifth to finish the game with a 7-run difference.
In the fourth, Lisa Sweeney led off with a single and advanced on a throwing error, then Lotte Holvast reached on a bunt-single and advanced on a throw to put runners on second and third base.
Next, Maaike Blaauwgeers grounded out.
Anne Blaauwgeers followed with a bunt-single, but in the same situation, Sweeney was eliminated at third base for the second out.
With two outs and runners on first and second base, next batter Jessica Hartung was walked intentionally, but that proofed to be a wrong option, as next batter Kimberly van der Lee cleared the bases with a 3-run triple to give Centrals a 4-1 lead.
A double by Maaike van Aarle and single by Milea Bos followed to make it 6-1.
An one-out single by Jessica Hartung in the fifth accounted for two more runs and ended the game.
In Game Two, Centrals collected 16 basehits off Christie Hill, but scored only five runs, as it stranded nine runners, including the bases loaded twice.
All players in the batting order hit at least one basehit, including three by Maaike van Aarle.
Vendy Draha went the distance for Centrals and threw a 3-hitter.