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Updated: June 27, 2017
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Copyright © 1997-2017
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 continues dominance and reaches Second Round

BOLLATE / CARONNO PERTUSELLA / BOVISIO-MASCIAGO / RHO (Italy) - On Wednesday (June 27), Day 3 of the European Championship, the Netherlands Softball Team played three games. The team closed the preliminary round with two more shutouts and with that, the scoreless inning-streak continued for the Dutch pitching, as all five games played by the Orange squad ended in shutouts. The scoreless streak ended in the evening during the first game of the Second Round.

The Netherlands first shutout Ireland 12-0, then closed the preliminary round with a 7-0 win against Germany. This last game was initially scheduled for Monday-evening, but was then cancelled due to heavy rain. With the win against Germany, the Netherlands recorded its fifth consecutive victory, but it was this game that decided which two teams would advance to the Second Round for places one through eight from Pool B. By winning, the Netherlands ended up in first place, while Germany was eliminated. Because of this result, Greece became the second team to advance to the top-8.

In the evening, the Orange-squad traveled from Bollate to Carronno Pertusella to open the Second Round against Russia, which finished in second place in Pool D. There, the Netherlands won 8-1 and pitchers Leonella Elizabeth and Rebecca Soumeru threw their second 'combined' No-Hitter.

With that, a long day of softball ended. After the last pitch in the last game, the Dutch Team had been on the field for more than twelve hours! The first game today started at noon, but of course, before that, there had been an hour of pre-game activities. The third game today began at 9:30 PM and ended at 11:44 PM! Afterwards, the team traveled back to its hotel in Bollate to end the long day.

Reigning champion Italy had an even longer day and also played three games. In the morning, starting at 9:30 AM, Italy won 14-0 against Croatia in Caronno Pertusella. The team then traveled to Bollate and there, it won 6-0 against France to finish in first place in Pool A. Hereafter, Italy had to return again to Caronno Pertusella to play its first game in the Second Round against Greece. That ended in a 2-0 win for the Italian squad, which this year is lead by a new coaching-staff, led by Head Coach Enrico Obletter. In their five games played so far, Italy has not given up a run.

(June 27)

Complete Schedule

Netherlands vs. Ireland

In its first-ever game against Ireland, the Netherlands rallied for six runs on six hits in the top of the first inning to take an early deciding lead. The Orange-squad collected 14 basehits, including two by Britt Vonk (who homered), Karin Tuk, Shareday Christina, Anne Blaauwgeers and Damishah Charles.

Britt Vonk led off the game with a bunt-single off of Shawna Walsh, who went the distance for Ireland. Next batter Chantal Versluis was hit by a pitch, then both runners scored on a triple by Dinet Oosting. She then scored the next run on a following double by Karin Tuk. Shortly thereafter, Tuk was eliminated on a grounder by Virginie Anneveld, who then moved to third base on a single by Suka Van Gurp. When the latter stole second base, Anneveld stole the plate. The next run was recorded on a double by Shareday Christina, who scored herself moments later on a single by Damishah Charles.

And so, thing went very quickly in this game and the Dutch had a comfortable early lead.

In the second inning, the seventh run was added. Chantal Versluis then led off with a walk, stole second base and scored on a 2-out single by Virginie Anneveld.

...Anne Blaauwgeers...
...single, triple...
...2 runs, 2 RBI's...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
...Britt Vonk...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
Two more runs were scored in the third at bat. Shareday Christina led off with an infield-hit and advanced when a throwing error followed. She moved to third base on an infield-hit by Anne Blaauwgeers, who then stole second base. When a pick-off at second base was done, Christina tried to score, but was eliminated. Blaauwgeers then scored when Damishah Charles flied out and Britt Vonk followed with a homerun to make it a 9-0 score. The tenth run appeared to be in the making when next batter Chantal Versluis tripled, but she was left behind on third base.

Then 10-run difference was reached in the fourth at bat. Karin Tuk led off with a single and pinch-hitter Maxime van Dalen walked. With two outs, Tuk's temporary runner Shareday Christina and Van Dalen both scores on a triple by Anne Blaauwgeers. Damishah Charles followed with a double to bring in Blaauwgeers and lift the lead to 12-0.

Orange-starter Ginger de Weert retired the side in the first inning. In the next at bat, she gave up a lead-off single to Alexandra Monteleone, but then retired the next three batters, two of them with a strikeout.

Rebecca Soumeru closed the game for the Netherlands. In the third inning, the righthander saw lead-off hitter Grace Kearney reach on an error, but then struckout the next three batters.

In the bottom of the fourth, after striking out the first batter, Soumeru gave up a double to Alexandra Monteleone and a single to Teresa Griswold. However, she kept the shutout intact by striking out the next two batters to end the inning and the game.

...The players of the Netherlands listen to the National Anthem...

...Karin Tuk and Shareday Christina make contact...

...Left: Dinet Oosting played at third base for the Netherlands...
...Right: Chantal Versluis scores in the second inning...

...Ginger de Weert and Rebecca Soumeru pitched for the Netherlands against Ireland...

...Shareday Christina is eliminated in a rundown in the 3rd inning...

...Shareday Christina is eliminated in a rundown in the 3rd inning...
...She is tagged out by 3B Alexandra Monteleone...

...Britt Vonk hits a homerun for the Netherlands in the third inning...
(© All Photos: Fred Versluis)

Ireland - Netherlands 0-12 (4 inn.)
Netherlands6123 -12141
Ireland0000 -032
pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Ginger de Weert24-1--

Rebecca Soumeru, W (1-0)26-2--

pitcher Irelandinn.SOBBHRER
Shawna Walsh, L (0-2)4-2141212

Homerun: Netherlands: Britt Vonk (1)(3rd,solo,off Walsh).
Umpires: HP-Brian Aron (Israel), 1B-Susan Strafford (Canada),
3B-Michal Židek (Czech Rep.).
Official Scorers-Chiara Bianchi Bosisio (Italy), Anita Manca (Italy).
Technical Commissioner-Anna Di Luca (Italy).
Starting Time-12:00 PM.
Time Played-1:30 hrs.
Site-Field #1, Bollate (Italy).

Game Notes:
First game in history against Ireland.
First win in history against Ireland.

Netherlands vs. Germany

While the Netherlands had won four games so far, it was still not sure of qualifying for the Second Round. A loss against Germany would create a 3-way tie with Greece. As all teams would have won one game in the head-to-head games, the Team Quality Balance would become the tie-breaker. That meant that the final game in Pool B would be decisive for the Netherlands, Germany and Greece. And in case of a loss, the final score would also become important.

It didn't come that far, as the Netherlands shutout Germany 7-0 to record its fifth consecutive shutout and continue to scoreless inning streak. With the result of this game, Germany was eliminated for the top-8, while Greece advanced. Germany now will play for places 9 through 16 in its Second Round.

In this game, the Netherlands collected 10 basehits, including three by Dinet Oosting, who doubled and tripled, scored twice and batted in three runs. Britt Vonk and Chantal Versluis both had two basehits.

Just as in the previous game against Ireland, the Netherlands decided the game in the first inning. This time, the Orange squad scored three runs in the opening at bat, but that was enough.

In the first inning, with one out, Chantal Versluis doubled and Jessie van Aalst walked. After the two had executed a double-steal, they both scored when next batter Dinet Oosting tripled. A runscoring single by Maxime van Dalen followed to make it a 3-0 score.

...Dinet Oosting...
...single, double, triple...
...2 runs, 3 RBI's...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
After a scoreless second inning, the Orange-squad added a run in the third inning off of Mona Hörner, who went the distance for Germany. With one out, Dinet Oosting doubled and with two outs, the bases got loaded when Virginie Anneveld walked and Suka Van Gurp reached on an error. A single by Karin Tuk then led to a run, but the team also left three runners behind.

...Chantal Versluis...
...single, double...
...2 runs, 1 RBI...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
Two runs were scored in the fourth at bat. Britt Vonk led off with a triple and scored on a following single by Chantal Versluis. With one out, Versluis scored on a single by Dinet Oosting to make it a 6-0 score and approaching another mercy-rule run-difference.

The final run was scored with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning. Virginie Anneveld led off with a walk, then her pinch-runner Damishah Charles moved on an error and a wild pitch, then scored on a walk-off single by Anne Blaauwgeers.

Lindsey Meadows started for the Netherlands and gave up only one basehit in the four innigs she pitched. In the first at bat, German lead-off hitter Katharina Szalay reached on an error, but was forced out. Szalay is currently the second-best hitter in the Dutch Golden League, hitting .509. For several weeks, she was the leading hitter in the highest Dutch league. In the Golden League, Szalay plays for Terrasvogels, where she is a teammate of Netherlands Team-player Suka Van Gurp.

Meadows retired the side in the second inning, then saw Germany gets its first runner in scoring position in the third at bat. With Christin Poon (fielder's choice) on first base and one out, she moved on a sacrifice bunt by Katharina Szalay, but then was left behind.

The No-Hitter ended when Meadows gave up an one-out single to Sarah Gutknecht in the fourth. She became the second and last German runner to get into scoring position after advancing on a sacrifice bunt by Lisa Marie Köllner, but then also stranded.

Ilona Andringa pitched the fifth (and last) inning for the Netherlands. With one out, she gave up a single to Alisha Theissen, but she was forced out.

...The players of the Netherlands and Germany and the umpires listen to the National Anthems...

...Lindsey Meadows and Ilona Andringa pitched for the Netherlands against Germany...

...Left: Short stop Britt Vonk forces out Katharina Szalay in the first inning...
...Right: The small and crowded dug-out of the Netherlands...

...Left: Maxime van Dalen slides past short stop Katharina Szalay and reaches 2nd base in the 1st inning...
...Center: Suka Van Gurp connects; in the background 3B Umpire Brian Aron from Israel...
...Right: Jessie van Aalst makes contact in the 4th inning with Chantal Versluis running at 1st base...
(© All Photos: Fred Versluis)

Netherlands - Germany 7-0 (5 inn.)
Germany00000 -023
Netherlands30121 -7101
(one out when 7-run difference was reached in the fifth inning)
pitcher Germanyinn.SOBBHRER
Mona Hörner, L (0-2)4.1131075

pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Lindsey Meadows, W (1-0)43-1--

Ilona Andringa1--1--
Umpires: HP-Susan Strafford (Canada), 1B-Michal Židek (Czech Rep.),
3B-Brian Aron (Israel).
Official Scorers-Vincenzo Amoruso (Italy), Eugenio Menescatdi (Italy).
Starting Time-4:15 PM.
Time Played-1:40 hrs.
Site-Field #1, Bollate (Italy).

Game Notes:
Ninth game in history against Germany.
Ninth win in history against Germany.

Netherlands vs. Russia (Second Round)

The long day for the Netherlands Team ended with an 8-1, mercy-rule victory against Russia in the opening game of the Second Round in Caronno Pertusella. The Orange-squad collected eight basehits, including two by Virginie Anneveld and Suka Van Gurp. Jessie van Aalst scored three runs, while Van Gurp batted in four runs.

Pitchers Leonella Elizabeth and Rebecca Soumeru held Russia hitless to record their second 'combined' No-Hitter.

Russia reached the Second Round by finishing in second place in Pool D, losing only to pool-winner Great Britain, which remained unbeaten. For the Dutch Team, this was its third game of the day. For Russia, it was its second. It faced Belgium in the afternoon and recorded a 14-0 shutout-win to secure its spot in the top-8.

Tonight's game went underway at 9:29 PM and took two hours and 15 minutes to complete, meaning the teams left the field close to midnight.

The Netherlands opened the score in the bottom of the first inning off of Mayya Shalvadze. Britt Vonk led off with a walk and stole second base, then reached third base on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by Chantal Versluis.

...Jessie van Aalst...
...3 runs scored...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
The next run was added in the second at bat. This time, Maxime van Dalen led off with a walk, then Virginie Anneveld singled. After the two had moved on a wild pitch, the bases got loaded with one out when Karin Tuk reached on a fielder's choice. Van Dalen then scored on a wild pitch. With the other two runners on second and third base and two outs, the bases were loaded again when Britt Vonk walked, but three runners were then left behind when a flyout ended the inning.

...Suka Van Gurp...
...4 runs batted in...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
The Orange took more distance by scoring two runs in the third inning, but also two more runners were left behind. Jessie van Aalst reached on an error and Dinet Oosting walked. With one out, the bases got loaded when Virginie Anneveld also walked. Two runs were then scored when Suka Van Gurp delivered a 2-run single.

The scoreless inning-streak of the Dutch pitchers ended after 25 2/3 inning in the top of the fourth inning. Dutch starter Leonella Elizabeth retired the first nine batters she faced. In the fourth, she walked lead-off hitter Tatiana Sorokina, who advanced when next batter Tatiana Zhuchkova reached on an error. The two moved on a sacrifice bunt by Olga Yakovleva, then Sorokina scored the lone Russian run on a grounder by Irinia Ilyashenko. Elizabeth then closed with a strikeout.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Netherlands increased the lead to 6-1 by again scoring twice. Britt Vonk led off with a double and moved on a wild pitch, then Chantal Versluis walked. Next, Vonk got into a rundown and was eliminated trying to score on a grounder by Jessie van Aalst. With runners on second and third base and two outs, first Versluis, then Van Aalst scored on two consecutive wild pitches.

In the fifth inning, Rebecca Soumeru took over the Dutch pitching. She saw a batter reach on an error with two outs, but she stranded at first base. Soumeru then retired the side in the sixth.

In what was a long game, it appeared no mercy-rule run-difference was to be reached, but that eventually that did come in the bottom of the sixth. The Netherlands then again scored two runs with two outs. With one out, Jessie van Aalst and Anne Blaauwgeers (bunt) both singled. With two outs, the bases got loaded when Virginie Anneveld was hit by a pitch. The game then ended when Suka Van Gurp hit a walk-off, 2-run single to make it an 8-1 score.

...A look into the dug-out of the Orange Team...

...Left: Britt Vonk steals 2nd base in the 1st inning; Short stop Tatiana Sorokina jumps up to catch the ball...
...Right: Virginie Anneveld singles in the second inning...

...Damishah Charles and Karin Tuk in the batter's box for the Netherlands Team...

...Britt Vonk is eliminated in a rundown in the fourth inning...
...Left to right: Short stop Tatiana Sorokina (9), on-deck hitter Anne Blaauwgeers, Home Plate Umpire...
...Harald Schmidt (Germany), pitcher Mayya Shalvadze (21), Britt Vonk and 3B Alina Afanasyeva...

...Leonella Elizabeth and Rebecca Soumeru held the Russian team hitless...
(© All Photos: Fred Versluis)

Netherlands - Russia 8-1 (6 inn.)
Russia000100 -101
Netherlands112202 -882
(two outs out when 7-run difference was reached in the sixth inning)
pitchers Russiainn.SOBBHRER
Mayya Shalvadze (0-1)3.237464

Vera Kukharenko21-422

pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Leonella Elizabeth (3-0)441-1-

Rebecca Soumeru2-----
Umpires: HP-Harald Schmidt (Germany), 1B-Branislav Susila (Slovakia),
3B-Michael Renggli (Switzerland).
Official Scorers-Roberto Saletti (Italy), Andrea Maestri (Italy), Rinaldo Dossena (Italy).
Technical Commissioner-Lis Castro (Denmark).
Starting Time-9:29 PM.
Time Played-2:15 hrs.
Site-Caronno Pertusella (Italy).

Game Notes:
Leonella Elizabeth and Rebecca Soumeru (Netherlands) throw a 'combined' No-Hitter.
18th game in history against Russia.
15th win in history against Russia.

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