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Updated: June 30, 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 in Semi-Final, but game against Italy scrubbed

BOLLATE / CARONNO PERTUSELLA / BOVISIO-MASCIAGO / RHO (Italy) - Day 5 of the European Championship was another long day for everyone involved, but especially for the players and staff-members of the participating teams and the game officials (umpires and official scorers.) Today, a total of 26 games were scheduled. 25 of them were played, the final one ending well after midnight.

The Netherlands Softball Team began the day with an 8-0 shutout-win against the Czech Republic to complete the Second Round.

In the afternoon, the Orange-squad opened the Play-Offs with an 11-4 win against Great Britain.

In the evening, the Netherlands was to meet host Italy in what always is a classic and interesting match-up during these European events. The game was scheduled to start at 8:45 PM, but due to the length of earlier games, this time was not met. The game was moved to later in the evening and in the end, it appeared that the game even might get underway towards midnight!

In the end, the game was scrubbed after a request from both teams, which was granted by the Technical Commission of the ESF. However, for some reason, it was ruled a double-forfait, meaning both teams were credited with a loss! In the preceeding game, Great Britain won 10-4 against Russia. In case Russia had won, the game had to be played. The result of this game meant that the Netherlands and Italy were to finish in first and second place in this Play-Off Round (Pool X), whatever happens in the remaining games in this pool. Italy earlier won 4-1 against both Great Britain and the Czech Republic today. With that, the Netherlands and Italy will face each other in the Semi-Final on Friday-evening. Tonight's Italy vs. Netherlands game only would determine who would finish in first and who would finish in second place, which would be decisive for home and away in the Semi-Final. A coin-flip decided home and away and the Orange team will be the away-team.

In the morning, the Netherlands will play its final game in the Play-Offs against Greece.

(June 29)

Complete Schedule

Netherlands vs. Czech Republic (Second Round)

The Netherlands settled things early in this game, scoring three runs in both the first and second inning.

In the first at bat, Chantal Versluis walked with one out. Hereafter, Jessie van Aalst and Dinet Oosting hit back-to-back triples to give the Orange-squad an early 2-0 lead. Moments later, the third run was added on a sacrifice fly by Maxime van Dalen. Hereafter, Virginie Anneveld singled, but she was left behind.

The lead was doubled in the second at bat when three more runs were scored. Lead-off hitter Karin Tuk was hit by a pitch, moved on a sacrifice bunt by Brenda Beers, then scored when Britt Vonk hit her second homerun of the tournament. With two outs, Jessie van Aalst singled. Next batter Dinet Oosting also singled and when that was followed by an outfield-error, Van Aalst was able to score and lift the lead to 6-0. A pitching change followed and the inning ended when Oosting was eliminated at the plate trying to score on a passed ball.

After being retired in order in the third inning, the Netherlands reached the 7-run mercy-rule difference in the fourth at bat.

...Maxime van Dalen..., double, RBI...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
...Rebecca Soumeru...
...3 strikeouts...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
In the fourth, Karin Tuk led off with a homerun, which also was her second homerun in the event. Later in the at bat, Brenda Beers and Chantal Versluis both reached on an error. With these two runners on second and third base and one out, the inning ended when a line drive by Jessie van Aalst was turned into a double play.

In the top of the fifth inning, the Netherlands added an 'mercy-rule insurance run'. With one out, Maxime van Dalen doubled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a 2-out single by Suka Van Gurp.

Lindsey Meadows started for the Netherlands and threw four solid innings in which she struckout six batters. She gave up a lead-off single in the bottom of the first inning to Lucie Halakucová, but then retired the next three batters, two of them with a strikeout.

With a 6-0 lead for the Netherlands, the Czechs got into scoring position for the first time in the second inning. Julie Coufalová led off with a double and Adéla Weissová singled. But with runners at the corners, Meadows retired the next three batters, again including two strikeouts.

After retiring the side in the third, Meadows had runners on first and second base with two outs in the fourth inning, but then closed with her sixth strikeout.

Rebecca Soumeru pitched the fifth inning and closed the game by striking out all three batters she faced.

With this game, the Netherlands concluded the Second Round.

...Left: Italian Home Plate Umpire Gianluca Magnani meets with coaches Juni Francisca...
...and Vojtech Albrecht and checks the starting line-ups...
...Right: The teams line up for the National Anthems...

...Chantal Versluis hits a foul ball in the 1st inning; Gianluca Magnani is the umpire, Michaela Regnerová the catcher...

...Moments later, Chantal Versluis (who walked) scores the first Dutch run on a triple by Dinet Oosting...

...Britt Vonk hits a 2-run homerun in the 2nd inning and is greeted at the plate by her teammates...
...In the middle, veteran Italian international umpire Gianluca Magnani gives the homerun-signal...

...Starter Lindsey Meadows delivers a pitch to Anetta Prokopenková in the 3rd inning; Dinet Oosting is the catcher...

...Karin Tuk leads off the fourth inning for the Netherlands with a homerun...

...Left: Brenda Beers reaches on an error in the 4th inning; 1B Adéla Weissová waits for the ball..
...Right: Also in the audience was Monica Perry, who pitched in the Dutch big league for Terrasvogels...
...She currently plays in Italy and is pitched once this season for Sparks Haarlem in the Netherlands...

...Left: Shareday Christina connects in the fifth inning...
...Right: After hitting a single in the 5th inning, Karin Tuk is greeted by 1B Coach Marcel Schippers...

...Lindsey Meadows and Rebecca Soumeru pitched in the game for the Netherlands...
(© All Photos: Fred Versluis)

Czech Republic - Netherlands 0-8 (5 inn.)
Netherlands33011 -8100
Czech Republic00000 -043
pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Lindsey Meadows, W (2-0)46-4--

Rebecca Soumeru13----

pitchers Czech Republicinn.SOBBHRER
Katelyn Marie Humhej, L (0-1)1.2-1665

Martina Bláhová3.11-422

Homeruns: Netherlands: Britt Vonk (2)(2nd,2-run,off Humhej); Karin Tuk (2)(4th,solo,off Bláhová).
Umpires: HP-Gianluca Magnani (Italy), 1B-Benny Van Der Weehe (Belgium),
3B-Beate Utzig (Austria).
Official Scorers-Paolo Gasparini (Italy), Andrea Maestri (Italy), Remo Gallo Stampino (Italy).
Technical Commissioner-Lis Castro (Denmark).
Starting Time-10:50 AM.
Time Played-1:45 hrs.
Site-Caronno Pertusella (Italy).

Game Notes:
30th game in history against the Czech Republic.
22nd win in history against the Czech Republic.

Netherlands vs. Great Britain (Play-Offs)

In the afternoon, the Netherlands opened the Play-Off Round (Pool X, top-6) with an 11-4 win against Great Britain in a game that (again) was partly played in the rain. Earlier in the day, the British squad closed the Second Round with a 4-1 loss against Italy. For Great Britain, that was its first loss after having won its previous seven games.

The Netherlands briefly trailed in this game, facing a 3-0 deficit halfway the second inning. But in its second at bat, the Orange-squad came alongside thanks to a homerun, then turned the game its way from the third inning on.

The Netherlands collected eight basehits, including three by Britt Vonk. Suka Van Gurp, who hit the above mentioned homerun, batted in four runs, while Dinet Oosting batted in three.

For both teams, the lead-off hitter singled in the first inning. Kendyl Scott led off for Great Britain with a single and stranded on first base. For the Orange Team, Britt Vonk singled, stole second base, then was caught stealing at third base.

In the top of the second inning, Great Britain rallied for three runs off of starter Leonella Elizabeth. Sydney Brown led off with a single, then the bases got loaded with one out when Chelsea D'Avilar and Stephanie Pearce both walked. The latter plays for FysioExpert Olympia Haarlem this season in the Dutch Golden League. With the bases loaded, Elizabeth struckout the next batter. The inning then appeared to end when Kendyl Scott hit the ball into the outfield, but there, it was missed, which cleared the bases and gave the British squad a 3-0 lead.

...Suka Van Gurp...
...3-run homerun...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
The Orange-squad came alongside in the second inning after a brief rain-delay. First, British starter Carling Hare walked Dinet Oosting and Maxime van Dalen and the game was then interrupted for rain. After a 6-minute delay, the game resumed and Suka Van Gurp drilled the ball over the centerfield-fence for a 3-run homerun to make it a 3-3 score. With one out, Anne Blaauwgeers tripled and with two outs, a pitching change followed, but a grounder then ended the at bat.

With one out in the top of the third inning, Lauren Evans and Sydney Brown both singled for Great Britain. Dutch Head Coach Juni Francisca then also went to the bullpen and brought in Ilona Andringa. She got a force play-grounder and closed with a strikeout.

...Dinet Oosting...
...2 runs, 3 RBI's...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
In the bottom of the third, the Orange scored twice to turn the game its way. Chantal Versluis led off with a walk and Jessie van Aalst singled. After the two had executed a double-steal, Dinet Oosting delivered a sacrifice fly to put the Dutch ahead, 4-3. Moments later, Van Aalst scored the next run on a passed ball.

Great Britain got one run back in the fifth on a pinch-hit single from Sarah Craig, but also left two runners behind.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Netherlands took more distance by scoring four runs. Britt Vonk led off with a bunt-single, then an error on a grounder by Chantal Versluis led to runners on second and third base. The bases got loaded when Jessie van Aalst walked and Dinet Oosting followed with a 2-run double. Sacrifice flies by Maxime van Dalen and Suka Van Gurp lifted the lead to 9-4.

In the sixth inning, Ginger de Weert took over the Dutch pitching and retired the side. Moments later, the Netherlands reached a mercy-rule run-difference off of new pitcher Amie Hutchison. Damishah Charles led off with a single and scored on a triple by Britt Vonk, who then scored the final run with one out on a walk-off grounder by Jessie van Aalst.

In the evening, the team returned to the complex in Bollate for the game against Italy, but it became a long evening of waiting, as it was not known at what time the game would start. In the end, it became clear that the starting time would be around 11:30 PM at the earliest, but probably closer to midnight. Italy and the Netherlands had to wait for the game between Great Britain and Russia to be completed and was played at the same field. Both teams filed a request not to play due to the late time. It was then decided that when Great Britain would win from Russia, the Italy vs. Netherlands match-up was scrubbed, as both teams would end up in first and second place because of the British win. And that is what happened, but nevertheless, it was another very long day at the field.

...Left: The players are lined up for the National Anthem...
...Right: Britt Vonk steals 2nd base in the 1st inning; Short stop Sydney Brown sees the ball end up in centerfield...

...Suka Van Gurp ties the score with a 3-run homerun in the 2nd inning and is greeted at the plate...

...3B Dinet Oosting eliminates Lauren Evans in the third inning...

...Left: Lauren Evans scores for Great Britain in the 5th inning...
...Right: Orange Bench Coach Saskia Kosterink talks with outfielders Chantal Versluis,...
...Damishah Charles and Jessie van Aalst...

...Left: Physical Therapist Lisette Hagen checks on Maxime van Dalen after she hit herself...
...on her foot with a foul ball in the 5th inning; On-deck hitter Suka Van Gurp looks on...
...Right: Temporary runner Suka Van Gurp steals 2nd base in the 5th inning, sliding past short stop Sydney Brown...

...Leonella Elizabeth, Ilona Andringa and Ginger de Weert pitched for the Netherlands...

...Looking on are Cobus Oosting, the publisher of Dino! Softball Magazine and father of player Dinet Oosting,...
...Roef!-players Wies Ligtvoet and Marjolein Merkx and Sparks Haarlem-player Kingsley Avery...

...The players of the Netherlands thank their fans after the game...
(© All Photos: Fred Versluis)

Netherlands - Great Britain 11-4 (6 inn.)
Great Britain030010 -471
Netherlands032042 -1182
(two outs when 7-run difference was reached in the sixth inning)
pitchers Great Britaininn.SOBBHRER
Carling Hare1.2-2333

Georgina Corrick, L (2-2)3.143363

Amie Hutchison0.2--222

pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Leonella Elizabeth2.12243-

Ilona Andringa, W (3-0)2.23-31-

Ginger de Weert1-----

Homerun: Netherlands: Suka Van Gurp (2)(2nd,3-run,off Hare).
Umpires: HP-Michal Židek (Czech Rep.), 1B-Vladimír Liss (Czech Rep.),
3B-Angelo Nearco (Italy).
Official Scorers-.
Starting Time-2:30 PM.
Time Played-2:19 hrs.
Site-Field #1, Bollate (Italy).

Game Notes:
6-minute rain-delay in bottom 2nd inning with 0 outs, runners at 1st and 2nd base and Great Britain leading 3-0.
24th game in history against Great Britain.
23rd win in history against Great Britain.

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