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Updated: July 14, 2017
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2017 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)

Orange Under-16 reaches Final European Championship

OSTRAVA (Czech Rep.) - The Netherlands Under-16 Softball Team has qualified for the all-deciding Final of the European Under-16 Championship by winning the Semi-Final against host Czech Republic, 2-0 on Friday-evening (July 14).

Earlier in the day, the Orange-squad won 2-1 against Italy to finish in second place in the Play-Off Round. With that, it set up a Semi-Final against the Czech Republic, which had become the unbeaten winner of this round.

In the evening, the Netherlands shutout the Czechs to become the first finalist. On Thursday, the Dutch Team suffered its first loss of the event, losing 2-0 against the Czech squad. But tonight, the roles were reversed.

The Czech Republic now will meet Italy in the second Semi-Final (or backdoor) on Saturday to decide who will be the second finalist. The Final will be played at 4 PM on Saturday.

(July 14)

Netherlands vs. Italy

Italy left a runner behind on third base in the top of the first inning, but the Netherlands opened the score right away in its first at bat. With two outs, Sophie Verdaasdonk walked and moved on a passed ball. After next batter Bobbi Scheurkogel also walked, Verdaasdonk scored the first run when Esmee Toet delivered a runscoring single.

Starting pitcher Lisa Meyering retired the side in the second inning, then the Netherlands got a chance to do some more scoring in the home half of the at bat. With one out, Meyering walked and Tess Remmers singled, but a force out and strikeout followed.

Italy got runners on first and third base with two outs in the top of the third inning. Margot van Eijl then took over the pitching and a pop-fly ended the at bat.

Both teams left several baserunners in scoring position in this suspenseful game. In the bottom of the third, the Netherlands did it again, stranding runners on second and third base.

The Orange then added an insurance run in the fifth inning. With one out, Bobbi Scheurkogel singled. After a pitching change, she moved on a passed ball, then scored on a single by Melissa Hoeverts to make it a 2-0 score.

In the top of the sixth inning, Italy cut the deficit in half. With one out, a single and double led to runners on second and third base. A grounder made it a 2-1 score, but Margot van Eijl then closed the game with a strikeout.

Netherlands - Italy 2-1
Italy000001 -161
Netherlands10001X -250
pitchers Italyinn.SOBBHRER
Chiara Marazzi, L (2-1)4.124421

Sabrina Monti0.21-1--

pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Lisa Meyering2.2-12--

Margot van Eijl, W (3-0)3.12-411
Umpires: HP-Pavel Kasperčik (Czech Rep.), 1B-Franck Lautier (France), 3B-Britt Nielandt (Belgium).
Official Scorers-Jakub Hauser (Czech Rep.), Marina Burkovičová (Czech Rep.), Kateŕina Havrlantová (Czech Rep.).
Technical Commissioner-Wout Isbouts (Netherlands).
Starting Time-11:15 AM.
Time Played-1:40 hrs.
Site-Field #2, Arrows Park, Ostrava (Czech Republic).

Netherlands vs. Czech Republic (Semi-Final)

For the second time today, the Netherlands was outhit, but left the field victorious.

In the first four innings, both teams left five runners behind.

Orange-starter Sterre den Duijn got runners in scoring position in the first and second inning, but avoided giving up runs. In the third, she gave up a lead-off double, then struckout the next two batters. Hereafter, a single followed, but the runner, who tried to score, was eliminated at the plate to end the inning.

In the fourth, the Czechs stranded runners on second and third base.

The Netherlands got into scoring position for the first time in the second inning. With one out, Marijn Crouwel reached on an error and moved on a wild pitch. When next batter Sterre den Duijn walked, ball-four ended in a passed ball, enabling Crouwel to reach third base, but the two were left behind.

In the third inning, with two outs, Bobbi Scheurkogel and Esmee Toet singled, but also stranded.

The Netherlands then struck in the fifth inning with two outs on two costly errors. With one out, Jacky Huijben tripled, but was eliminated at the plate trying to score on a grounder to third base by Sophie Verdaasdonk. Hereafter, the bases got loaded when Bobbi Scheurkogel walked and Esmee Toet reached on an error. Two runs were then scored when another error was made on a following grounder by Melissa Hoeverts.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Dutch defense made a double play. In the bottom of the at bat, the team left a runner behind on third base.

In the top of the sixth inning, the Czechs got on base again off of reliever Lisanne Spoor. The first two batters reached on a single and a walk. A force play at second base followed, but put runners at the corners. After a flyout accounted for the second out, Jill Cloo took over the pitching. She got a grounder that ended the game.

And with that, the Netherlands became the first finalist of the event!

Czech Republic - Netherlands 0-2
Netherlands000020 -261
Czech Republic000000 -083
pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Sterre den Duijn, W (1-0)4 (*)416--

Lisanne Spoor, H (1)1.2-12--

Jill Cloo, SV (1)0.1-----
(*) - Den Duijn pitched to one batter in the fifth inning

pitchers Czech Rep.inn.SOBBHRER
Erna Vodicková, L (2-1)4.27262-

Klara Pospechová1.111---
Umpires: HP-Salvatore Biondillo (Italy), 1B-Britt Nielandt (Belgium), 3B-Thomas Lohnert (Germany).
Official Scorers-Romana Kucková (Czech Rep.), Barbora Saviola (Czech Rep.), Michaela Merczová (Czech Rep.).
Technical Commissioner-Gabriele Hardinger (Austria).
Starting Time-6:10 PM.
Time Played-1:40 hrs.
Site-Field #1, Arrows Park, Ostrava (Czech Republic).

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