Opening Day softball-season
APELDOORN / ROSMALEN / AMSTERDAM / HOOFDDORP (Neth.) -
On Saturday, April 9, the softball-season opens in the 'Overgangsklasse', the second hightest league in the Netherlands, with four double-headers.
The first game will get underway at 2:00 PM at Apeldoorn, where Robur '58 hosts DSS, which last season relegated from the big league.
30 minutes later, Rosmalen will be the site for the confrontation between Gryphons and UVV.
These two teams are labeled as the prime contenders this season for first place and therefore promotion to the big league.
Last season, Gryphons finished in second place behind champion Alcmaria Victrix, but missed promotion after losing best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Play-Off series vs. Olympia Haarlem.
Game One of this double-header promises to see a great pitching match-up between Canadian Leah McIntosh (UVV) and American Taryne Mowatt (Gryphons), but also will see a confrontation between two veteran coaches.
Berend Mannessen is in his first season with UVV, after having coached at DSS the last two seasons, while André Prins returns as clubcoach in his first season at Gryphons.
Last season, Prins didn't coach a team, but in the previous years, he headed the Dutch National Youth Program.
The remaining two double-headers will start at 3:00 PM.
Amsterdam Pirates will host Roef!, which last season promoted to this league, while Hoofddorp Pioniers is playing at home against Be Wild! Zuidvogels.
Also this weekend, the First Division opens with one double-header on Saturday (DVH at Alcmaria Victrix 2, starting at 2:00 PM).
Seven other double-headers in this division are scheduled to be played on Sunday.
The Second Division also has its Opening Day coming Sunday with six double-headers scheduled.
The Dutch Major League opens the new season on Saturday, April 16.