(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Fred Versluis)
Women Dominican Republic win softball-gold on Central American & Caribbean Games
VERACRUZ (Mexico) -
The women-team of the Dominican Republic captured the softball-gold on the Central American & Caribbean Games.
In a thriller-final against Cuba, the Dominican squad won 6-5 in eight innings on Sunday, November 30, the final day of the multi-sports event.
At the World Championship last August in Haarlem (Netherlands), the Dominican Republic finished in 12th place, while Cuba ended up in ninth position.
During the event, the Netherlands Softball Team faced the Dominican squad in the preliminary round and won convincingly with 14-1 score.
The Dutch didn't face Cuba during the event.
Against the Dominicans, the Dutch Team outhit their opponent 8-3.
The Dutch Team was very productive off of starting pitcher Geovanny Nuñez and her reliever Rosaura Pérez.
With that, the Dutch Team underscored its strength.
The Orange qualified for the Play-Offs and ended in a tie for fifth place with Chinese Taipei.
...Geovanny Nuñez pitching against the...
...Orange at the World Championship...
(© Photo: Fred Versluis)
The same Geovanny Nuñez and Rosaura Pérez now were victorious in the final against Cuba, giving up only four basehits.
Nuñez started and threw 4 1/3 inning, then Pérez took over to become the winning pitcher.
Cuba and the Dominican Republic had only slightly changed their teams as opposed to the World Championship.
In the final at Carlos Cerdán Sports Complex in Veracruz, the Dominican Republic trailed three times, but in the end left the field as winner.
The Dominican squad opened the score with one run in the first at bat when Rosaura Pérez homered.
Cuba then scored twice in the third inning, but the Dominicans came alongside in the fourth off of Cuban starter Anisley Lopez.
In the top of the 6th inning, Cuba again scored two runs to re-take the lead.
But the Dominican Republic immediately answered with two runs of its own to tie the score again, highlighted by a homerun by Danelis Ramirez.
As the score was 4-4 after seven innings, a tie-break followed.
Cuba scored a run in the top of the 8th to take the lead for the third time, but once more the Dominican Republic had a good reply.
The team scored two runs in the home half of the eighth to win 6-5.
In the Preliminary Round, Cuba and the Dominican Republic ended in a tie for first place.
Cuba began the event with a 3-2 loss vs. Guatemala, which was to be the lone win for this team.
The Dominicans began with a small 3-2 win vs. Venezuela.
On Day 2, the Dominican Republic won 6-4 vs. Guatemala, while Cuba shutout Colombia 9-0.
Next, the Domincans suffered a 2-0 loss vs. Cuba.
On the fourth day, both teams won again.
The Dominicans won 6-2 vs. Colombia and Cuba nipped Mexico 3-2.
On the final day of the Preliminary Round, Cuba won only 1-0 vs. Venezuela, while the Dominicans won only 3-1 vs. host Mexico.
In the first semi-final, Cuba and the Dominican Republic met each other.
Cuba won 5-4 to become the first finalist.
In the second semi-final, Colombia won 3-2 vs. Mexico.
That set up the bronze medal-game between Colombia and the Dominican Republic.
The latter won big 8-1 to become the second finalist of the event.
Four years ago, when the event was held in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic finished in second place behind Venezuela, which now ended up in fifth place.
In 2006, the Dominicans won the bronze medal in Colombia.
Miriam Jiménez of Venezuela was the leading hitter of the tournament with a .539 (7-for-13) batting average.