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Updated: June 27, 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; Photos by Fred Versluis & Marco Stoovelaar)

Netherlands opens European Championship with two shutouts

BOLLATE / CARONNO PERTUSELLA / BOVISIO-MASCIAGO / RHO (Italy) - The Netherlands Softball Team has opened the 20th European Championship on Sunday (June 25) with two shutout-victories. The Orange-squad won 7-0 against Greece in its first game, then added a big 16-0 victory against Lithuania later in the day.

This years European Championship is held in Italy with Bollate being the main location. Games are are played in nearby Caronno Pertusella, Bovisio-Masciago and Rho.

The Netherlands Team arrived in Bollate last Monday (June 19) and played three exhibition games on the following days, including games against Spain and Great Britain.

There also had to be made one final decision regarding the roster. Eighteen players traveled to Italy, but only 17 are allowed on the final roster. It was known in advance that one of the pitchers would be cut.

...Eva Voortman...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
The coaches made that decision on Thursday and it was lefthander Eva Voortman, who was dropped from the roster. This was a somewhat surprising move, as she had been one of the regulars in the team the past three years. The lefthanded pitching and hitting Voortman also is a solid hitter, speedy baserunner and besides pitching, she can play in the outfield and at first base and can be the designated player. Five weeks ago, she sustained a foot-injury in a domestic accident. Her recovery took longer than expected and she even needed surgery early June. While she didn't play since the suffering the injury, she was on her way back, appeared to be recovered and participated in practices again. Voortman returned home on Thursday-evening. Today (Sunday, June 25), the lefthander pitched for the second team of Olympia Haarlem.

In the game against Greece, the Netherlands collected only six basehits, including a 2-run homerun by Karin Tuk. The team had two rallies to win 7-0 in five innings.

Later in the day, the Netherlands hit only seven hits against Lithuania, but scored 16 runs in a 3-inning, mercy-rule game. Suka Van Gurp homered for the Orange-squad. Three Lithuanian pitchers walk 11 batters. Pitchers Leonella Elizabeth and Rebecca Soumeru gave up no basehits and threw a 'combined' No-Hitter.

Italy, which two years ago captured the European title in Rosmalen (Netherlands), opened the event in the evening with a 12-0 win against Spain in four innings. Veteran pitcher Greta Cecchetti threw a No-Hitter and struckout eight batters.

Besides the No-Hitters by the Netherlands and Italy, there were four more No-Hitters today.

(June 25)

Complete Schedule

Netherlands vs. Greece

In its tournament-opener, the Netherlands used two innings for a rally and went on to win 7-0 against Greece. Several years ago, the Netherlands suffered seven losses to Greece, when the team was primarily compiled from American players with Greek roots. This was at the time of the Olympic Games of 2004, which then was hosted in Greek capital Athens. Today, the Netherlands, which is ranked in fourth place on the European ranking, dominated from the beginning against Greece, which shares 13th on the ranking with Belgium.

In the top of the first inning, Greek starter Loren Kathryn Stavrou walked lead-off hitter Britt Vonk. She stole second base, but then was left behind, as the next three batters were retired in order.

Last week, Britt Vonk joined the team after a very long travel from the USA (20 hours), where she plays for Scrap Yard Dawgs.

In the second inning, the Netherlands offense struck with three runs. Lead-off hitter Maxime van Dalen was hit by a pitch, then Virginie Anneveld doubled. Van Dalen scored the first run on a sacrifice fly by Suka Van Gurp and hereafter, Karin Tuk followed with a 2-run homerun.

Stavrou retired the side in the third inning, but the Netherlands reached base again in the fourth, without hitting a basehit. With one out, Virginie Anneveld reached on an error, but was forced out on a grounder by Suka Van Gurp. After the latter had stolen second base, Karin Tuk walked, but the two were left behind.

...Karin Tuk...
...2-run homerun...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
...Ginger de Weert...
...starting pitcher...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
The 7-run mercy-rule was then reached in the top of the fifth by scoring four runs. Britt Vonk led off, reached on an error, stole second base and scored on a single by Brenda Beers. After a pitching change, Beers stole third base and Jessie van Aalst walked. The next run was scored on a single by Dinet Oosting and Maxime van Dalen added an RBI-triple. Van Dalen was then replaced by pinch-runner Anne Blaauwgeers, who later scored the fourth run in the inning on a single by Suka Van Gurp.

Greece got in scoring position in both the first and second inning off of starter Ginger de Weert, but was unable to score.

In the bottom of the first inning, Demitra Turner led off with a walk, but was forced out. A single by Anyssa Iliopoulos led to runners on first and second base, but the next two batters were retired. In the second Greek at bat, it was Nikolette Gialketsis who led off with a walk. She moved on a grounder, then advanced to third base when Eleni Marie Spyrakis reached on an error. The latter stole second base, but this time Greece stranded runners on second and third base.

Ilona Andringa took over the Dutch pitching in the third inning and she retired the side. In the fourth, trailing 3-0, Greece reached base again. Lead-off hitter Chelsea Lysikatos reached on an error, then Nikolette Gialketsis singled. Andringa then retired the next three batters, the last two with a strikeout.

Lindsey Meadows pitched the fifth inning for the Orange squad. The righthander gave up an one-out single to Alexis Bazos, but the next two batters flied out, ending the game.

...The players of the Netherlands Team line up for the playing of the National Anthem...
...From left Dinet Oosting, Jessie van Aalst, Brenda Beers, Maxime van Dalen,...
...Virginie Anneveld, Ilona Andringa, Damishah Charles, Shareday Christina,...
...Chantal Versluis, Suka Van Gurp and Lindsey Meadows...

...Ginger de Weert, Ilona Andringa and Lindsey Meadows pitched for the Netherlands...

...Left: 2B Suka Van Gurp forces out runner Demitra Turner in the first inning...
...Right: Maxime van Dalen scores the first run for the Nethelands in the second inning...

...Karin Tuk hits a 2-run homerun for the Netherlands in the second inning...

...Left: Brenda Beers scores for the Netherlands in the 5th inning...
...Right: Virginie Anneveld takes her position at third base...

...Dignitaries line up for the official Opening Ceremony of the 20th European Championship...
...Amongst them are Bollate Mayor Francesco Vassallo (2nd from left), Andrea Marcon, President...
...of the Italian Baseball & Softball Federation (4th from left) and Gabriel Waage, President...
...of the European Softball Federation (5th from left)...

...Players and coaches of the Netherlands enter the field during the Opening Ceremony...

...Il Gruppo Sbandieratori e Musici Città di Legnano performs during the Opening Ceremony...

...Il Gruppo Sbandieratori e Musici Città di Legnano performs during the Opening Ceremony...
...The 23 participating countries lined up around the field...

...Il Gruppo Sbandieratori e Musici Città di Legnano performs during the...
...Opening Ceremony of the European Championship...
(© All Photos: Fred Versluis)

Greece - Netherlands 0-7 (5 inn.)
Netherlands03004 -762
Greece00000 -032
pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Ginger de Weert2121--

Ilona Andringa, W (1-0)23-1--

Lindsey Meadows1--1--

pitchers Greeceinn.SOBBHRER
Loren Kathryn Stavrou, L (0-1)4 (*)12354

Chelsea Lysikatos122322
(*) - Stavrou pitched to two batters in the fifth inning

Homerun: Netherlands: Karin Tuk (1)(2nd,2-run,off Stavrou).
Umpires: HP-David Hurley (Great Britain), 1B-Natalia Kasapova (Russia),
3B-Lewis Hamilton (Sweden).
Official Scorers-Maria Luigia Ruocco (Italy), Eugenio Menescardi (Italy).
Starting Time-11:40 AM.
Time Played-2:11 hrs.
Site-Field #2, Bollate (Italy).

Game Notes:
10th game in history against Greece.
Third win in history against Greece.

Netherlands vs. Lithuania

In the second game of the day, the Netherlands decided the game against the very young team of Lithuania in the first inning by scoring ten runs. In the first-ever game against Lithuania, the Netherlands collected only seven basehits, including two by Virginie Anneveld, who scored three runs and batted in two. Suka Van Gurp hit a walk-off homerun in the third inning of the mercy-rule game.

Lithuania has only ten players on its roster, including a 15-year old and a 16-year old. It was rumored (and also communicated) today that the games by Lithuanian would be declared forfeits due to the young age (according to the rules) of the players and that it has only 10 players (teams must have at least 12 players according to the rules). In the end, that didn't happen, as all Lithuanian games kept their original final scores.

The Orange-squad scored ten runs in the first inning on only three basehits, while eight batters walked. All nine batters reached base safely before the first out was recorded. The first three batters, Brenda Beers, Damishah Charles and Jessie van Aalst, all walked, which led to a quick pitching change. The first run was then scored on a throwing error and the bases were re-loaded when Lindsey Meadows also walked. Hereafter, Maxime van Dalen received the fifth consecutive walk to bring in the next run. Virginie Anneveld followed with a 2-run single.

...Virginie Anneveld...
...3 Runs, 2 Hits...
...double, 2 RBI's...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
...Suka Van Gurp...
...2-run homerun...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
The productive inning continued when Van Dalen scored after a fly into the outfield by Suka Van Gurp ended in an error. A wild pitch accounted for the next Dutch run and the bases were loaded again when Shareday Christina and Anne Blaauwgeers both walked. The first out was then recorded on a grounder by Brenda Beers in her second at bat in the inning, but that als produced another run. Damishah Charles then hit a sacrifice fly, Jessie van Aalst walked for the second time and Lindsey Meadows and Maxime van Dalen added runscoring singles to lift the lead to 10-0. The inning finally ended when Meadows left third base too early.

The Netherlands scored four more runs off of the third Lithuanian pitcher in the second inning. With two runners on base and one out, a flyout was followed by an error, which resulted in a run. Hereafter, Damishah Charles singled in a run and Jessie van Aalst added a 2-run single to increase the lead to 14-0.

With that, the Netherlands needed one more run to end the game via the 15-run difference mercy-rule. That run (and one more) came in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Virginie Anneveld doubled, then Suka Van Gurp connected for a walk-off, 2-run homerun that ended the game after 55 minutes with a 16-0 score.

Netherlands-starter Leonella Elizabeth, who participates in her first European Championship, struckout six consecutive batters. In the third inning, veteran Rebecca Soumeru took over the pitching. She also struckout the first two batters she faced, but then walked Milda Ziukaitė. She was the lone Lithuanian runner, as Soumeru closed with another strikeout.

...Left: The players of Lithuania line up for the playing of the National Anthem...
...Right: Netherlands bullpen-catcher Laura Wissink exchanges a gift with Lithuanian rightfielder Milda Ziukaitė...

...Left/Center: Leonella Elizabeth and Rebecca Soumeru pitched for the Netherlands...
...Right: Ugnė Ziukaitė started the game as pitcher for Lithuania...

...Virginie Anneveld (left) scores on the 2-run, walk-off homerun from Suka Van Gurp in the 3rd inning...
(© All Photos: Fred Versluis)

Netherlands - Lithuania 16-0 (3 inn.)
Lithuania000 -003
Netherlands(10)42 -1670
(one out when 15-run difference was reached in the third inning)
pitchers Lithuaniainn.SOBBHRER
Ugnė Ziukaitė, L (0-1)- (*)-3-33

Akvile Barzdžiūtė1-5373

Guoda Aleksandravičiūtė1.1-3466
(*) - Ziukaitė pitched to three batters in the first inning

pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Leonella Elizabeth, W (1-0)26----

Rebecca Soumeru131---

Homerun: Netherlands: Suka Van Gurp (1)(3rd,2-run,off Aleksandravičiūtė).
Umpires: HP-Lewis Hamilton (Sweden), 1B-David Hurley (Great Britain),
3B-Luis Ignacio Pardo (Spain).
Official Scorers-Patrizia Mattiolo (Italy), Eugenio Menescardi (Italy).
Starting Time-5:00 PM.
Time Played-0:55 hrs.
Site-Field #2, Bollate (Italy).

Game Notes:
Leonella Elizabeth and Rebecca Soumeru (Netherlands) throw a 'combined' No-Hitter.
First game in history against Lithuania.
First win in history against Lithuania.

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