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Updated: September 7, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Fred Versluis)

Netherlands Team Pitching Coach Karen Marr and KNBSB separate

NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - Karen Marr, the Pitching Coach of the Netherlands National Women's Softball Team, has left the Royal Netherlands Baseball and Softball Association effective immediately. On Friday (September 7), the KNBSB announced the sudden separation in a brief press release. A reason for her stepping down was not mentioned.

...Karen Marr talks with pitcher Ginger de Weert during the...
...World Championship last month in Japan...
(© Photo: Fred Versluis)
The statement read as follows:
,,Karen Marr, the pitching coach for Team Kingdom of the Netherlands Women’s Fastpitch Softball, has resigned from the KNBSB effective immediately. Marr, who came over from Australia in 2011, has put enormous effort in enhancing the Dutch softball pitching programs since arriving in the Netherlands.

Marr has committed a lot of time, attention and work into the pitching programs and in doing so she has positively influenced the development of many pitchers in the Netherlands. Marr was the pitching coach for the national teams in multiple age groups as well as instructor at different club teams, academies and clinics all over the Netherlands.

The KNBSB would like to thank Karen Marr very much. Not only for her role as the pitching coach for our national teams, but also for her work with countless young pitchers.

We wish her all the best in the next step in her career.''

Karen Marr joined the coaching-staff of the Netherlands Team in December 2010 when she was named Pitching Coach in the staff of then-Head Coach Craig Montvidas. In March 2011, she made her debut with the Orange squad during an American Tour to Florida and Tennessee. Later that year, Karen Marr is a member of the coaching-staff when the team captures the title at the European Championship in Italy.

Karen Marr has been the team's Pitching Coach since then. The Netherlands also won the European title in 2013 (Czech Republic) and 2017 (Italy). In 2015, playing on home soil, the team won Silver, losing the Final to Italy.

While working for the KNBSB, Karen Marr also served as Pitching Coach of the National Youth Teams (Cadets, Juniors) during several European Championships.

As Pitching Coach, Karen Marr also was with the Netherlands Team during the World Championship in 2012 (Venezuela), 2014 (Netherlands), 2016 (Canada) and last month in Chiba (Japan). At the 2016 World Championship, the Netherlands wrote history by finishing in fourth place, its highest classification ever.

During the recent World Championship in Japan, the Netherlands started the event with some disappointing results, which led to a change of coaching. In the opening game against Puerto Rico, the Netherlands took an early 4-0 lead, but eventually lost 6-5. The next day, the team led 5-0 against New Zealand, which then came alongside in the sixth inning. The Netherlands was able to come back, scored five runs in the seventh and won 10-5. On Day 3, the Netherlands was no-hit in an 11-0 shutout against the USA. Later that day, the team suffered an unexpected 5-4 loss against the Philippines after leading 4-2 after three innings. That loss led to the decision by KNBSB's Technical Director Tjerk Smeets to put Head Coach Juni Francisca on a non-active status. Out of loyalty, his Assistant Coach Marcel Schippers stepped down. Smeets handed over the responsiblities to Softball Topsport Program Manager Gonny Farley, while the coaching for the remaining games was handed over to Saskia Kosterink, who had been the Bench Coach. Bart Hanegraaff, the team's Strength & Conditioning Coach, as well as Hitting Coach, took over at first base, while Karen Marr remained Pitching Coach.

After the sudden mid-event decision, the team won a crucial game against Chinese Taipei and later outscored South Africa to qualify for the Play-Offs. The Netherlands finished in eighth place.

The coaching-staff and roster for the upcoming Super 6 Baseball Softball, which opens on September 18, have yet to be announced.

(September 7)

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