|Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2017 by Marco Stoovelaar|
(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Fred Versluis)
Tex Town Tigers opens strong against Sparks Haarlem
HAARLEM (Neth.) -
Opening Day began with a surprise for reigning champion Oolders Omaco Sparks Haarlem and probably also for opponent Tex Town Tigers on Saturday (April 15).
In the opener, Tex Town Tigers trailed 1-0 after three innings, came alongside and added six more runs to register a convincing 7-1 victory.
Sparks Haarlem was limited to only two basehits by Lindsey Meadows, who also hit two homeruns.
In the next game, Tex Town Tigers again trailed and again came alongside, which led to extra innings.
The Enschede-team took a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning, but Sparks Haarlem answered with two runs to win 3-2.
Before the first game, the players were introduced.
Hereafter, a moment of silence was then obtained in memory of Olga Lablans, who passed unexpectedly in January.
Olga Lablans not only was a longtime Official Scorer, but also had been very active as a volunteer within Sparks Haarlem and SC Haarlem, the club with whom Sparks merged in 2001.
Olga Lablans was much-liked and was very known, also by several players of both teams, who played for the Netherlands Junior Team when Olga was its Business Manager.
Oolders Omaco Sparks Haarlem vs. Tex Town Tigers (game one)
Veteran righthander Lindsey Meadows had an old-fashioned strong outing for Tex Town Tigers.
She dominated in the circle, threw a 2-hitter and contributed offensively with three basehits, including two homeruns, batting in four runs.
However, Meadows and Tex Town Tigers trailed 1-0 after three innings.
In the bottom of the first inning, Kehli Washington led off for Sparks Haarlem and reached second base on a throwing error.
She moved to third base on a grounder by Maaike Blaauwgeers, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Jenny Kinburn.
But this would be the lone run Sparks Haarlem scored in this game.
The reigning champion left runners behind on second and third base in the second inning.
Lead-off hitter Virginie Anneveld reached on an error and Anne Blaauwgeers doubled with one out, but the next two batters were eliminated.
Anneveld played only four innings in this game, as she is recovering from an injury, which also kept her out of action the previous two weeks during the final preparations for the new season.
Besides that, Sparks Haarlem has to do without lefthanded hitting Maxime van Dalen, who is recovering from a muscle-injury in her leg.
It was hoped that veteran infielder Chantal Versluis could play for the team today before she leaves to start her second season in Italy.
However, she also is slightly injured and was not available.
Sparks Haarlem-starter Ginger de Weert gave up no hits and allowed only one batter to reach base (walk) in the first three innings, but then saw Tex Town Tigers come alongside in the fourth.
With one out, Annemiek Jansen walked and Nadine Marinus singled, which led to runners on second and third base.
Lindsey Meadows followed with a runscoring single, but two runners were left behind when De Weert closed with two strikeouts.
In the fifth inning, TTT took a 2-1 lead.
Myrthe Smid led off with a double and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Kimberley Zehnder.
Hereafter, Olivia Hornstein reached on an infield-hit (her first Golden League basehit), which was followed by a throwing error, enabling Smid to score the go-ahead run.
TTT then struck with four runs in the sixth inning.
Nadine Marinus led off with a walk and Lindsey Meadows then connected well, as she hit a 2-run homerun into centerfield.
That lifted the lead to 4-1 and led to a pitching change, as Rebecca Soumeru took over from Ginger de Weert.
Australian Jasmine Peters followed with her first big league-basehit and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Aafje van Baal.
Myrthe Smid then reached on an infield-hit, which kept Peters at second base.
Moments later, two runs were added on a pinch-hit single by Daniëlle ten Donkelaar and a sacrifice bunt by Olivia Hornstein.
Tex Town Tigers made it a 7-1 score when Lindsey Meadows hit her second homerun in the game with two outs in the seventh inning.
From the third inning on, Sparks Haarlem reached base only two more times and got only one more runner in scoring position.
After giving up a lead-off single to Onaisha Franka in the fifth inning, the dominating Meadows retired the next nine batters in a row to end the game.
With that, TTT underscored that it was the better team in the season's opener.
|Oolders Omaco Sparks Haarlem - Tex Town Tigers 1-7 (game 1)|
|Tex Town Tigers||000||114||1||-||7||9||2|
|Oolders Omaco Sparks Haarlem||100||000||0||-||1||2||1|
|pitcher Tex Town Tigers||inn.||SO||BB||H||R||ER|
|Lindsey Meadows, W (1-0)||7||6||2||2||1||-|
|pitchers Sparks Haarlem||inn.||SO||BB||H||R||ER|
|Ginger de Weert, L (0-1)||5 (*)||5||3||5||4||3|
|Homeruns: Tex Town Tigers: Lindsey Meadows 2 (2)(6th,2-run,off De Weert; 7th,solo,off Soumeru).|
Oolders Omaco Sparks Haarlem vs. Tex Town Tigers (game two)
The second game of the double-header was a close one and it almost ended in another victory for Tex Town Tigers.
Trailing 2-1 in the eighth inning, Sparks Haarlem scored twice with one out to win 3-2 and ending the game after two hours and 20 minutes.
TTT-starter Cheyenne Scheffer retired the side in the first inning, then gave up a lead-off single to Karin Tuk in the second inning.
However, her temporary runner stranded on second base.
In the third inning, the home team opened the score.
The team scored only once, but it could have been more and three runners were left behind.
Anne Blaauwgeers led off with a triple and Onaisha Franka walked.
Hereafter, Lindsey Meadows took over te pitching for TTT with runners on first and third base.
Franka the took off towards second base, while Blaauwgeers attempted to score, but she was eliminated.
In this situation, Franka advanced to third base and also was eliminated at the plate when she tried to score on a following grounder in front of the plate by Kehli Washington.
While Franka was eliminated, Washington moved to second base, advanced to third on a single by Maaike Blaauwgeers and scored the first run on a single by Jenny Kinburn.
The bases got loaded when Karin Tuk walked, but a flyout ended the bat, leaving three runners behind.
Lindsey Meadows retired the side in the fourth and fifth inning.
TTT came alongside in the fourth inning, but also left three runners behind,
Sparks-starter Leonella Elizabeth encountered no problems in the first three innings.
In the fourth, the righthander gave up three hits.
Annemiek Jansen led off with a single, then Lindsey Meadows singled with one out.
With two outs, Aafje van Baal singled to bring in the tying run.
A walk for Myrthe Smid loaded the bases, but Elizabeth closed with her sixth strikeout.
Both teams got another scoring opportunity again in the sixth.
For TTT, Aafje van Baal and Myrthe Smid singled with two outs.
Rebecca Soumeru then took over the pitching and closed the at bat.
For Sparks Haarlem, Jenny Kinburn led off with a single, but later stranded on third base.
As the seventh inning also went by scoreless, the game went into extra innings.
Tex Town Tigers took a 2-1 lead in the top of the eighth.
Tie-break runner Nadine Marinus moved on a sacrifice bunt by Lindsey Meadows and scored on a single by Jasmine Peters.
In the bottom of the eighth, Sparks Haarlem answered with two runs.
Tie-break runner Kehli Washington reached third base on a sacrifice bunt by Maaike Blaauwgeers, then scored the tying run on a double by Jenny Kinburn, who was 3-for-4 in this game.
Hereafter, Karin Tuk singled through the middle.
Kinburn raced towards the plate, jumped up to avoid the tag by catcher Aafje van Baal and scored the winning run.
With this, Jenny Kinburn was reponsible for all three runs, as she scored one and batted in the other two.
|Oolders Omaco Sparks Haarlem - Tex Town Tigers 3-2 (game 2)|
|Tex Town Tigers||000||100||01||-||2||7||0|
|Oolders Omaco Sparks Haarlem||001||000||02||-||3||8||1|
|(one out when the winning run was scored in the eighth inning)|
|pitchers Tex Town Tigers||inn.||SO||BB||H||R||ER|
|Cheyenne Scheffer||2 (*)||-||1||2||1||1|
|Lindsey Meadows, L (1-1)||5.1||2||1||6||2||1|
|(*) - Scheffer pitched to two batters in the third inning|
|pitchers Sparks Haarlem||inn.||SO||BB||H||R||ER|
|Rebecca Soumeru, W (1-0)||2.1||1||1||1||1||-|
Umpires: HP-Britt Nielandt, 1B-Bob Gieskens.|
Official Scorer-Leo van den Brun.
Play-by-Play Scorer-Stefan Slinger.
Public Address Announcer-Wouter Hoos.
Starting Time-4:20 PM.
Time Played-2:20 hrs.
Opening Day 2017 Season.
Weather conditions at game time: Cloudy, 11,3° C (52,3° F); wind direction west-northwest;
wind speed 35 kmh (21,2); wind force 5 Bft; humidity 68%.
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