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Updated: November 15, 2010
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Copyright © 1997-2010
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2010 by Marco Stoovelaar

Sparks Haarlem adds six new players
HAARLEM (Neth.) - Dutch champion Sparks Haarlem added six new players to its roster after completion of the season, but also will miss several experienced players. In the Holland Series, which it reached after a tough Play-Off vs. Centrals, Sparks Haarlem dethroned Tex Town Tigers in five games to claim the championship.

...Virginie Anneveld...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The team from Haarlem added Dutch National Team 3B Virginie Anneveld, 1B Shannah van der Kaaij, IF Silea Bos, IF Beau van Gelder, OF Michelle van Driel and C/OF Celine van Roon. Four players left the team during and after the season.

The most important addition is the coming of Virginie Anneveld, one of the players who left Tex Town Tigers due to moving to the west of the country because of study. Virginie played 17 seasons for Tex Town Tigers, where she made her big league-debut in 2005, played in six big league-seasons, won the Dutch title in 2008 and 2009 and the European Cup this year. In her rookie-season, she played in 31 games, hitting .158, while also being one of the pitchers of the team, but became the regular third baseman for the Enschede-team during the last seasons. From 2006 on, she steadily improved her batting average, raising it to .370 in both the 2008 and 2009 season.

...Shannah van der Kaaij...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
In 2007, she was second best in the team with 22 runs and 37 hits, then led the squad with 25 RBI's in 2009. This season, Virginie played in all 32 games, hitting .289 (28-for-97) with a team-leading nine doubles. She scored 15 runs and led the team with 15 RBI's. Since last year, Virginie is the regular third baseman for the Dutch National Softball Team, with whom she won the European title in 2009 and this year participated in the World Championship in Venezuela. In total, Virginie played in 39 international games.

1B Shannah van der Kaaij is coming from Iber Lengua Terrasvogels and will be playing for her fourth club in six big league-seasons. In 2006, she made her debut, playing in 29 games for Birds, then played for Amsterdam Pirates in 2007, before joining Terrasvogels a year later. Last season, Shannah had a career-high with a .281 average and this year, she had personal highs with 18 runs scored and 22 basehits. She also was a member of the preliminary roster of the Dutch National Softball Team in 2009. This year, playing in 31 games, she hit .250 (22-for-88) and also had seven RBI's. Shannah initially was a pitcher, but this season was the first in which she didn't pitch.

...Silea Bos...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
Infielder Silea Bos comes to Haarlem from Centrals, after it was initially reported she would join Euro Stars, where she had made her big league-debut in 2006, playing in three games with two at bats. After not having played in the highest league in 2007, Silea returned to the big league while playing for Gryphons in 2008, appearing in only 19 games. Last season, she also played for Gryphons, which then relegated. This year, Silea was the leading hitter of Centrals, batting .321 (26-for-81), scoring eight runs and collecting 10 RBI's.

...Celine van Roon...

...Michelle van Driel...
(© Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)
Catcher/Outfielder Celine van Roon and Outfielder Michelle van Driel are both coming from Euro Stars.

Outfielder Michelle van Driel brings eight years of big league-experience. She made her debut on the highest level in 2003 playing in 18 games and hitting .172 in her first of four seasons at Birds. In 2007, Michelle played for Twins, hitting .296 in 31 games for the team from Oosterhout, where she also played in 2008. Last season, she played in her first season for Euro Stars. This season, she played in all 32 games, hitting .216 (16-for-74) with nine runs and two RBI's.

...Beau van Gelder...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
Catcher/Outfielder Celine van Roon this year made her debut in the big league, playing in 25 games for Euro Stars. In her rookie-season, she batted .111 (3-for-27) with two runs and one RBI.

Infielder Beau van Gelder, who is the niece of Outfielder Nathalie Gosewehr, comes from Alcmaria Victrix, where she played in the Junior-squad of the club. This year, Alcmaria won the title in the First Division and promoted to the big league. Sparks will be the fifth club for Beau, as she also played for Terrasvogels, Onze Gezellen and Olympia Haarlem in the past. Last year, she was a member of the Dutch Junior Softball Team that finished in second place on the 1st World Championship Under 17 at Prague (Czech Republic). This season, she made her big league-debut, playing in one game of the Dutch National Junior Team, going 0-for-2.

Leaving Sparks Haarlem are experienced players Kim Kluijskens and Noémi Boekel, who both retired after completion of the season.

Kim Kluijskens played for Sparks Haarlem since the 2000 season, playing in almost 450 games when you include all her games in the Play-Offs and Holland Series, as Sparks annually participated in the postseason whe she played. In her last eight seasons, Kim batted above .300 annually, including five seasons above .350 and four above .400. In 2003, she hit .465 with 47 basehits and 35 runs scored. She then hit .400 in 2005 with 42 basehits.

...Kim Kluijskens...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
Her best season came in 2006 when she hit .477 with 53 basehits and 40 runs. This year, she closed her career with another fine season, setting a career-high with 33 RBI's, hitting .422 (38-for-90) and scoring 23 runs. Kim played in two periods for the Dutch National Softball Team (2001-2003; 2007-2008), appearing in 89 official games and participating in the Olympic Games of 2008 in Beijing, one World Championship and three European Championships, amongst other events. With Sparks, she participated in eleven European Cup-tournaments, including this year when the team won the Cup Winners Cup.

...Noémi Boekel...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
While being the first baseman primarily during her career, she also played in the outfield frequently the last two seasons.

Noémi Boekel, who was the regular third baseman, but this season also was used at second base and as catcher, made her big league-debut in 2004, while playing in 28 games for Amsterdam Pirates, hitting .388 with 33 basehits. She played for Sparks Haarlem since 2005 where she had her best season in 2007, hitting .379 with a career-high 39 basehits, 24 runs and 22 RBI's. This season, Noémi also finished with a good year, hitting .391 (27-for-69) with 18 runs and 20 RBI's, while hitting two homeruns in one season for the first time in her career. Noémi retires due to busy study-commitments, as she is to become an airline-pilot. Noémi played in 60 official games for the Dutch National Team from 2004-2008 and participated the Olympic Games in Beijing, one World Championship and two European Championships amongst other tournaments.

After completion of the 2009 season, veteran players Marloes Fellinger, Jolanda Kroesen, Lynn Geertman and Kim Kafoé retired. However, all (including another former player Kinge Bouma) returned to active duty towards the end of the season, due to the small roster of Sparks and some injuries. The five again retired after completion of this season. But when a player retires at Sparks, it doesn't really mean that they will not be returning in the following season...

Marloes, who returned to her former position at third base, played in 10 regular season-games, hitting .304 (7-for-23), Kim played in four games as Catcher, hitting .375 (3-for-8) and Kinge was the Catcher in two games, hitting .500 (3-for-6). Outfielder Jolanda and 2B Lynn didn't play for the team in the regular season, but they did so in the 'ranking round', as well as the Play-Offs. Except for Lynn, all also played during the Holland Series.

...Left to right: Marloes Fellinger, Jolanda Kroesen, Lynn Geertman, Kim Kafoé, Kinge Bouma...
(© Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)

During the season, Infielder Judith Diepeveen and Outfielder/Catcher Lyanne Horeman left the team. Both have been members of preliminary rosters in the past for the Dutch National Softball Team.

...Judith Diepeveen...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Judith Diepeveen made her big league-debut in 2005, playing in one game for DSC '74, then didn't play on the highest level a year later. In 2007, Judith became a regular player of DSC '74, playing in 34 games, hitting .238 and was second best by scoring 17 runs. A year later, she was second in the team of Olympia Haarlem (the new name of DSC) with 19 basehits and hit the lone homerun of the team. Last year, she played in her first season for Sparks Haarlem and also was a member of the preliminary roster of the Dutch National Softball Team. This year, Judith played in 28 games, hitting .311 (23-for-74) with 15 runs and 10 RBI's. Next year, Judith will play again for Olympia Haarlem.

Lyanne Horeman played in 10 seasons on the highest level. In 2001 and 2002, she played in her first big league-games for Onze Gezellen, then joined Terrasvogels, where she became a regular player and would play for three seasons, appearing in 73 games. There, she had a good season in 2004, collecting 22 basehits, scoring 13 runs and hitting .244. In 2006, Lyanne played in her first of two seasons for Sparks Haarlem, then was the regular catcher for Olympia Haarlem in 2008, playing in 35 games.

...Lyanne Horeman...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
She returned to Terrasvogels for the 2009 season, playing in 28 games and delivered the game-winning single in the final of the European Cup Winners Cup. This season, playing again for Sparks Haarlem, Lyanne played in 24 games, hitting .200 (10-for-50) with six runs and seven RBI's. Lyanne decided to go back to the Onze Gezellen, the club where she started her career, but at the Haarlem-club, she currently is a non-playing member.

...Saskia Kosterink...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
Outfielder Saskia Kosterink, who played for Sparks during the Cup Winners Cup-tournament as well as during the Holland Series, will return to Italy again next season after making her debut there this year, playing for Sanotint Bollate. This year, the National Team-outfielder, played in her first season in the Italian Softball League.

Saskia played her first big league-game in 2005, while being at Tex Town Tigers. In 2008, she joined Sparks Haarlem and batted .324. Last season, Saskia hit .381, before deciding to play in Italy this year.

In the Holland Series, Saskia played in three of the five games, hitting .444 (4-for-9).

Next year, the team will be led again by Juny Francisca, who will then be the Head Coach in his fourth year with the squad. Francisca will again be assisted by Marcel Schippers and Jacqueliene de Heer.

(November 15)

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