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Updated: April 21, 2018
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Copyright © 1997-2018
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Fred Versluis, Robert Meijboom & Marco Stoovelaar)

Olympia Haarlem wins double-header against Sparks Haarlem

HAARLEM (Neth.) - FysioExpert Olympia Haarlem won twice against Sparks Haarlem on Saturday (April 21), 2-1 and 4-2. Last year, the two teams faced each other in the best-of-three Holland Series. Olympia swept Sparks in two games to capture the Dutch Championship-title.

Last season, Sparks Haarlem lost both games of a double-header twice. The last was against Terrasvogels on May 27. Two weeks earlier, the team had lost twice to Olympia Haarlem, which last season won four of its six games played against Sparks Haarlem. This year, all teams face each other eight times in the regular season.

As Sparks Haarlem is still bothered by several injuries, some players from the club's second team were with the main-squad again today. Also back with the team was veteran righthander Kirsten Scheele, who pitched in both games. Last week, she was not available to be with the team on Opening Day when Sparks Haarlem won twice against DSS.

Olympia Haarlem opened its season a week ago with a split against Roef!.

It almost was an unique day in the highest softball-league, as Terrasvogels trailed again in its second game against Roef! after having lost the first match-up. However, Terrasvogels avoided a double loss and won 4-2. In case Terrasvogels also would have lost the second game, the traditional top-two teams in Dutch softball both would have lost twice on the same day. And that didn't happen often if it happened at all.

(April 21)

Complete Schedule

Game 1

Sparks Haarlem got an early opportunity to open the score, but failed to do so. Hereafter, the team was silenced by Olympia Haarlem-starter Alyson Spinas-Valainis and scored only in the seventh inning. At that moment, Olympia Haarlem already led 2-0 and hold onto the lead.

In the top of the first inning, Sparks Haarlem appeared to open the score immediately off of Spinas, as it got runners on second and third base with no outs. Kingsley Avery led off with a walk and then moved to third base when Spinas threw the ball high over first base after a comeback-grounder from Maaike Blaauwgeers, who stole second base moments later. With runners on second and third base, it was not opted to bring in a run with a squeeze. Instead, Spinas recovered strongly and struckout the next three hitters to get out of this jam.

In the remainder of the game, Sparks Haarlem would reached base only five more times and got into scoring position only two more times. Starting with the first strikeout in the first inning, Spinas retired six consecutive hitters and 12 of the next 13.

Her teammates supported her with two runs and that proved to be enough for the American righthander.

...Alyson Spinas...
...winning pitcher...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
After Sparks Haarlem had left two runners behind in the top of the first inning, Olympia Haarlem opened the score in its first at bat off of starter Ginger de Weert. Brenda Beers led off with a walk and stole second base. With two outs, she scored on a single by Mariëlle Vleugels.

In the second inning, the home team got another runner in scoring position. Lead-off hitter Shareday Christina reached on an error and moved on a sacrifice bunt by Rachel van Veen, but was left behind. Defensively, Christina played an unique game. She was the short stop, but had no putout or assist in the entire game, which is very rare.

Olympia Haarlem doubled its lead in the fourth inning. With one out former Sparks-player Virginie Anneveld doubled, moved on a grounder by Shareday Christina and scored on a single by Rachel van Veen.

Olympia Haarlem was retired in order in its final two at bats. In the fifth by Ginger de Weert. In its last inning by veteran Kirsten Scheele, who was added to the roster of Sparks Haarlem for today's double-header.

Sparks Haarlem scored its lone run in the top of the seventh. A week ago, the team turned a deficit into a win in the last at bat, but that didn't happen today.

Maxime van Dalen led off with a triple, but two quick outs followed. She then scored on a single by Anne Blaauwgeers, who accounted for two of her team's four basehits. The inning and the game ended with a comeback-grounder from Tammie Lijbers. This time, Alyson Spinas made a good throw to first base to seal the win.

...Left: Ginger de Weert was the starting pitcher for Sparks Haarlem...
...Right: SoftbalDino-director Hans Vleugels checks his camera's for the live-stream during a time-out...
...In front of him Sparks Haarlem-outfielders Maaike Blaauwgeers, Kingsley Avery and Roberta Pasca...

...Left: Rookie Roberta Pasca running at second base for Sparks Haarlem in the 3rd inning...
...Right: Anne Blaauwgeers is caught stealing in the 5th inning and is tagged by former teammate Virgini Anneveld...
...Following the action are short stop Shareday Christina, Umpire Britt Nielandt and Head Coach Peter van Dalen...

...Left: Close call at first base; Bobbi Scheurkogel is eliminated by 2B Onaisha Franka after a bunt in the 5th inning...
...Right: Winning pitcher Alyson Spinas-Valainis pitches to Kimberly Jones (who fouls out) in the 6th inning...
...Catcher is Dinet Oosting, Home Plate Umpire is Arjan de Wever...
(© Photos: Fred Versluis)

...Left: Winning pitcher Alyson Spinas-Valainis...
...Right: Brenda Beers running at 2nd base for Olympia Haarlem in the first inning...

...Left: Shareday Christina was the short stop for Olympia Haarlem, but had no putouts and assists...
...Right: 1B Maranca Ham and RF Jessie van Aalst are ready for action for Olympia Haarlem...
(© Photos: Robert Meijboom)

FysioExpert Olympia Haarlem - Sparks Haarlem 2-1
Sparks Haarlem0000001-141
FysioExpert Olympia Haarlem100100X-241
pitchers Sparks Haarleminn.SOBBHRER
Ginger de Weert, L (1-1)521422

Kirsten Scheele11----

pitcher Olympia Haarleminn.SOBBHRER
Alyson Spinas-Valainis, W (2-0)762411
Box Score
Team Rosters
Umpires: HP-Arjan de Wever, 1B-Britt Nielandt.
Official Scorer-Marco Stoovelaar.
Play-by-Play Scorer-Harumi Ueda.
Public Address Announcer-Eric de Vries.
Scoreboard Operator-Robert Meijboom.
Starting Time-2:00 PM.
Time Played-1:41 hrs.
Site-Nol Houtkamp Sportpark, Haarlem.

Game Notes:
Weather conditions at game time: Sunny, 18,7° C (65,7° F); wind direction northeast;
wind speed 14 kmh (8,7 mph); wind force 3 Bft; humidity 58%.

Game 2

After having left two runners in scoring position in the top of the first inning in the opener, Sparks Haarlem now opened the score in its first at bat off of starter Mariëlle Vleugels. With two outs, Kimberly Jones walked and scored when Maxime van Dalen drilled the ball into leftfield, just out of reach for leftfielder Bobbi Scheurkogel, for a triple. Van Dalen stranded on third base when a pop-fly by Feline Poot was caught by rightfielder Jessie van Aalst just behind second base on the infield-border.

Olympia Haarlem answered with two unearned runs in its first at bat off of Kirsten Scheele. Brenda Beers and Jessie van Aalst led off with singles to put runners at the corners. Van Aalst then stole second base and Beers was then caught off-guard at third base and got in a rundown trying to steal the plate. Beers ran towards the plate where she appeared to be tagged out, but Belgian Home Plate Umpire Britt Nielandt ruled her safe, which was the correct call, as the tag missed the runner. With that, Beers scored the tying run. Hereafter, Van Aalst moved to third base on a grounder by Dinet Oosting and scored the go-ahead run with two outs on a single by Virginie Anneveld. Next hitter Rachel van Veen also singled, but Scheele then closed with a strikeout.

Sparks Haarlem came alongside in the top of the third inning. With one out, Kingsley Avery walked. The New Zealander then advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Maaike Blaauwgeers and scored the tying run when Kimberly Jones followed with a single. Jones moved to second base when an outfield-error was made, but then was left behind.

In the next four innings, Sparks Haarlem got several more baserunners, but the defense of Olympia Haarlem avoided giving up more runs.

On the other hand, Olympia Haarlem also left some baserunners in scoring position, but then struck again in the sixth inning.

After Sparks Haarlem had tied the score in the top of the third, Olympia Haarlem got a runner on second base in the home half of the inning. With one out, Dinet Oosting singled and moved on a grounder, but was left behind.

In the top of the fourth inning, there were some nice defensive plays from Olympia Haarlem. Feline Poot led off for Sparks Haarlem with a hard line drive, but short stop Rachel van Veen made a great catch, sticking out her glove. Hereafter, Onaisha Franka walked. Next hitter Anne Blaauwgeers hit the ball down the rightfield-line. There, it looked like it had a chance of dropping on the ground, but rightfielder Jessie van Aalst made a fine catch. As Franka was off the base, she was unable to get back in time and so, Van Aalst completed a double play, throwing the ball to 1B Maranca Ham.

...Virginie Anneveld...
...2-for-3, triple... scored, RBI...
(© Ph: Marco Stoovelaar)
In the bottom of the fourth, Olympia Haarlem got another scoring opportunity and could have done so. With one out, Emma Wójcik singled. Hereafter, a sacrifice bunt by Maranca Ham ended in a throwing error from pitcher Kirsten Scheele and runners on second and third base. Next hitter Bobbi Scheurkogel flied out to leftfield. This could have been a sacrifice fly and a run, but Wójcik was off the base when the ball was caught. Therefore, she first had to return to third base, but then didn't get another chance to score. The inning ended when rookie-rightfielder Kendra van Vliet caught a line drive from Brenda Beers. Van Vliet was one of the added players from the club's second team.

In the fifth, four consecutive hitters reached base for Sparks Haarlem. Tammie Lijbers led off with a single, but was forced out on a grounder by Kendra van Vliet, who then was forced out on a grounder by Kingsley Avery. Hereafter, Maaike Blaauwgeers singled. However, two runners were left behind.

In the sixth, Sparks Haarlem again had no break and left another runner in scoring position. Maxime van Dalen led off with a single. A pitching change followed, as Alyson Spinas-Valainis took over from Mariëlle Vleugels. Van Dalen's pinch-runner Kehli Washington advanced on a bunt-single by Feline Poot, then a bunt by Onaisha Franka ended in a force out at third base. With runners on first and second base, short stop Rachel van Veen caught another line drive, this time hit by Anne Blaauwgeers. A flyout ended the at bat.

In the bottom of the sixth, Olympia Haarlem broke the 2-2 tie off of Ginger de Weert, who had taken over the pitching in the previous inning. Her former teammate Virginie Anneveld led off and drilled the ball deep down the leftfield-line. As the ball stayed up in the air somewhat too high, it stayed in the field, but Anneveld reached third base with a triple. She scored on a single by Rachel van Veen, who herself moved on a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt by Emma Wójcik, then scored on a single by Maranca Ham to make it a 4-2 score. The inning ended with a nice defensive play by 2B Onaisha Franka on a hard grounder by Brenda Beers.

In the top of the seventh inning, Alyson Spinas retired the side to earn her third victory of the young season.

...Kimberly Jones (left) scores on a triple by Maxime van Dalen (right) who slides past 3B Virginie Anneveld in the 1st inning...

...Left: Kirsten Scheele was the starting pitcher for Sparks Haarlem in Game 2...
...Right: Catcher Tammie Lijbers tries to tag out Brenda Beers in a double-steal situation in the 1st inning, but misses...

...Left: Kingsley Avery makes contact for Sparks Haarlem in the 5th inning...
...Right: Rookie Kendra van Vliet was the rightfielder for Sparks Haarlem in this game...
(© Photos: Fred Versluis)

FysioExpert Olympia Haarlem - Sparks Haarlem 4-2
Sparks Haarlem1010000-262
FysioExpert Olympia Haarlem200002X-490
pitchers Sparks Haarleminn.SOBBHRER
Kirsten Scheele42-62-

Ginger de Weert, L (1-2)2-1322

pitchers Olympia Haarleminn.SOBBHRER
Amber Krijgsman- (*)-----

Mariëlle Vleugels513522

Alyson Spinas-Valainis, W (3-0)21-1--
(*) - Krijgsman was announced as starting pitcher, but was replaced by Vleugels when top 1st inning began
Box Score
Team Rosters
Umpires: HP-Britt Nielandt, 1B-Arjan de Wever.
Official Scorer-Marco Stoovelaar.
Play-by-Play Scorer-Harumi Ueda.
Public Address Announcer-Eric de Vries.
Scoreboard Operator-Huub Rustman.
Starting Time-4:10 PM.
Time Played-1:42 hrs.
Site-Nol Houtkamp Sportpark, Haarlem.

Game Notes:
Weather conditions at game time: Sunny, 19,7° C (67,5° F); wind direction east;
wind speed 14 kmh (8,7 mph); wind force 3 Bft; humidity 42%.

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Copyright © 1997-2018 Marco Stoovelaar / Grand Slam * Stats & News.