|Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2017 by Marco Stoovelaar|
(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Fred Versluis & Marco Stoovelaar)
Netherlands in Final; Meadows No-Hits Italy!
BOLLATE / CARONNO PERTUSELLA / BOVISIO-MASCIAGO / RHO (Italy) -
The Netherlands Softball Team had reached the Final of the European Championship by winning 1-0 against Italy in the Semi-Final on Friday-evening (June 30).
Earlier in the day, the Orange-squad closed the Play-Off Round with an 8-1 win against Greece.
In the Semi-Final, Lindsey Meadows went the distance for the Netherlands and dominated from the beginning.
The righthander threw a No-Hitter, which is very rare against Italy.
She retired the first nine batters she faced, then got two baserunners in the fourth via a walk and hit batter, but retired the next batters.
In the top of the sixth inning, with two outs, the lights suddenly went out due to an electronical power failure.
The game resumed after a 46-minute delay!
In the seventh, the Italian lead-off hitter reached on an error, but she stranded on second base.
The Netherlands scored the lone run in third inning when pinch-runner Shareday Christina scored on a basesloaded walk for Chantal Versluis, but three runners were also left behind.
However, the one run was enough.
Versluis left the game in the fifth inning after being hit on her chin by a foul ball, but she later re-entered in the seventh inning.
Italy now will meet Great Britain in the backdoor-game on Saturday at 1 PM.
The British squad won 4-1 against the Czech Republic in nine innings in the other Semi-Final.
The Final will be played in the evening, starting at 6 PM.
Netherlands vs. Greece (Play-Offs)
The Netherlands Team collected 13 basehits in this game, including three by Damishah Charles, who also batted in two runs.
Shareday Christina, Virginie Anneveld (two doubles) and Jessie van Aalst all had two basehits.
Christina and Anneveld both scored twice.
Greece recorded only one basehit off of two pitchers and that also led to its lone run.
Dutch starter Leonella Elizabeth retired the first eleven batters she faced, but then her Perfect Game, No-Hitter and ShutOut all ended with one pitch.
With two outs in the top of the fourth inning, Anyssa Iliopoulos hit the ball over the leftfield-fence for a homerun.
At that time, the Orange-squad already led 3-0.
Iliopoulos was to be the lone baserunner for Greece.
The Netherlands opened the score with three runs in the bottom of the first inning off of starter Efthimia Marinakis.
With one out, Brenda Beers and Jessie van Aalst both singled, then Dinet Oosting followed with runscoring double to open the score.
With two outs, Virginie Anneveld added a 2-run double to make it a 3-0 score.
...2 runs, 2 hits...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
The Netherlands reached base again in the next two innings, but was held scoreless.
In the second inning, Damishah Charles singled with one out and stole second base, but stranded.
In the third, Jessie van Aalst led of with a single, but was eliminated trying to reach second base.
...2 runs, 2 RBI's...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
With a 3-1 lead, the Orange took more distance by scoring three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Virginie Anneveld led off with a double and moved on a single by Shareday Christina.
The bases got loaded when next batter Anne Blaauwgeers reached on an infield-hit.
Hereafter, Damishah Charles also singled to bring in a run and when an outfield-error was made, another run was scored.
With two outs, the bases got loaded again when Jessie van Aalst walked.
Moments later, the third run in the inning was scored when pinch-hitter Maxime van Dalen also walked.
Three runners were left behind when Marinakis closed with a strikeout, her third one in this inning.
The Netherlands reached the 7-run, mercy-rule difference in the bottom of the fifth inning off of new pitcher Loren Kathryn Stavrou.
Virginie Anneveld led off with a walk and Shareday Christina singled to start the inning.
With one out, Damishah Charles and Suka Van Gurp delivered runscoring singles to lift the lead to 8-1 and end the game.
And with this, the Orange-squad closed the Play-Offs and were off to the Semi-Final against European archrival Italy.
|Netherlands - Greece 8-1 (5 inn.)|
|Efthimia Marinakis, L (3-3)||4||5||2||10||6||6|
|Loren Kathryn Stavrou||0.1||-||1||3||2||2|
|Leonella Elizabeth, W (4-0)||4||4||-||1||1||1|
|Homerun: Greece: Anyssa Iliopoulos (1)(4th,solo,off Elizabeth).|
Umpires: HP-Gianluca Magnani (Italy), 1B-Franck Lautier (France),|
3B-Vladímir Liss (Czech Rep.).
Official Scorers-Ulpiano Massari Gozzi (Italy), Andrea Maestri (Italy).
Technical Commissioner-Lis Castro (Denmark).
Starting Time-11:24 AM.
Time Played-1:21 hrs.
Site-Field #2, Bollate (Italy).
11th game in history against Greece.
Fourth win in history against Greece.
Netherlands vs. Italy (Semi-Final)
The Semi-Final between the Netherlands and Italy was exciting from begin to end.
To add to the suspense, there was a 46-minute interruption due to a light failure in the sixth inning!
That came while Lindsey Meadows was throwing a No-Hitter!
The Netherlands got into scoring position right away in the first at bat off of veteran righthander Greta Cecchetti.
With two outs, Jessie van Aalst singled and stole second base, but was left behind.
In the second at bat, lead-off hitter Maxime van Dalen reached on an error, but later was eliminated in a double play.
The Orange-squad then was productive in the third inning, got the bases loaded with no outs, but scored only once.
And that would remain the lone run in the game!
Karin Tuk led off with a single, then Brenda Beers reached on an infield-hit.
Next batter Britt Vonk was then hit by an inside pitch from Cecchetti, which loaded the bases.
Dutch Head Coach Juni Francisca then made a somewhat surprise move.
He brought in Shareday Christina as pinch-runner for Karin Tuk, who already was on third base.
Mostly, a pinch-runner is inserted on first and second base.
However, with no outs, the speedy Christina could beat a throw to the plate in a force play-situation or score on a flyout in short outfield.
Moments later, Christina indeed did score, but she didn't have to do anything for that, as Cecchetti also hit Chantal Versluis with a pitch!
That left the bases loaded with still no outs.
The veteran righthander then recovered and struckout the next three batters, but the hit batter for both Vonk and Versluis were very costly, as it resulted in the lone run in the game!
In the fourth inning, Cecchetti also hit powerhitter Karin Tuk with a pitch with two outs.
Her temporary runner stranded on first base.
In the fifth inning, Cecchetti retired the side, but there also was a scary moment.
With one out and an 1-1 count, Chantal Versluis fouled off a pitch that hit the bottom of her chin hard.
Out of precaution, she was removed from the game.
Damishah Charles took over the at bat as pinch-hitter with an 1-2 count and swung at the first pitch she saw.
The strikeout was credited to Versluis, who luckily didn't sustain any injuries.
Cecchetti also got two quick outs in the top of the sixth inning.
Moments after Maxime van Dalen had grounded out for the second, everything went black in Bollate, as the lights went off.
Due to an electrical power failure, the light installation went black, the play-by-play stopped, as did the coverage of the game via the live-stream.
Electricity was restored shortly thereafter, but it took awhile for the lights to burn again at full strength.
After a 46-minute delay, the game resumed.
Cecchetti returned to the pitching circle and got a grounder from Virginie Anneveld, meaning she also retired the side in the sixth.
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
The Netherlands got into scoring position again in the top of the seventh inning.
Lead-off hitter Suka Van Gurp struckout, but reached first base on a passed ball.
She advanced to third base on consecutive sacrifice bunts by Karin Tuk (who had re-entered) and Brenda Beers.
Hereafter, Britt Vonk was walked intentionally.
Chantal Versluis then re-entered the game as pinch-hitter and struckout.
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
Defensively, it was Lindsey Meadows, who played a major part.
The righthander threw a great game and held Italy hitless in seven innings!
It is very rare when a No-Hitter is pitched in the Final Round of an European Championship.
Meadows retired the first nine batters she faced.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, lead-off hitter Laura Vigna was awarded first base when she was hit by a pitch.
It appeared she was running into the pitch, instead of avoiding it, but nevertheless got first base.
That ended the Perfect Game for Meadows, who walked Erika Piancastelli with one out.
An infield-fly and flyout then ended the inning.
Meadows retired the side again in the bottom of the fifth.
While keeping the No-Hitter intact, the righthander had to wait a long time to return to the field in the sixth inning, due to the 46-minute delay for the light failure.
However, Meadows kept her cool and returned to the circle in the bottom of the sixth, retiring the side again.
With still the minimal lead of 1-0, the suspense builded again in the bottom of the seventh when Italy got its second runner in scoring position.
Lead-off hitter Erika Piancastelli reached on an error and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Giulia Longhi.
She advanced again on a grounder by Priscilla Brandi and with that, the tying run now was on third base.
But the inning and the game ended when Beatric Ricci grounded to 3B Virginie Anneveld.
And so, Lindsey Meadows threw a rare 7-inning complete game No-Hitter in an European Semi-Final!
And with the minimal win of 1-0, the Netherlands became the first team to secure a spot in the all-deciding Final on Saturday!
|Lindsey Meadows, W (3-0)||7||6||1||-||-||-|
|Greta Cecchetti, L (3-1)||7||9||1||3||1||1|
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