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Updated: March 28, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Hilversum Hurricanes)

Amsterdam Pirates wins Midden-Nederland Cup

LOOSDRECHT (Neth.) - Amsterdam Pirates is the winner of the seventh edition of the Midden-Nederland Cup, which is organized annually by Hilversum Hurricanes. In the final round on Sunday (March 25), the Amsterdam-squad won twice to finish in first place. Amsterdam Pirates also won the event in 2014.

On Saturday, Amsterdam Pirates, which is led by Head Coach Tom Groot, also remained unbeaten by winning twice in the preliminary round of the tournament. With that, the team reached the Final Round and met other pool-winners Quick Amersfoort and Ireland.

The other participating teams from the Netherlands were Centrals, Domstad Dodgers, HCAW and UVV. They were joined by representative teams from Germany and Ireland.

Amsterdam Pirates, Centrals, Quick Amersfoort and UVV all play in the Silver League. HCAW also played in this second highest league last season, but relegated to the First Division after losing the deciding Play-Off against Quick Amersfoort, which therefore reached the Promotion Final. The team then won against Gophers and promoted to the Silver League. Hilversum Hurricanes and Domstad Dodgers also play in the First Division.

Final Standings
1. Amsterdam Pirates, 2. Quick Amersfoort, 3. Ireland, 4. UVV, 5. Hilversum Hurricanes, 6. Domstad Dodgers, 7. Germany, 8. Centrals, 9. HCAW.

(March 24-25)

Complete Schedule Exhibition Season & Regular Season

...Tournament-winner Amsterdam Pirates...
(© Photo: Hilversum Hurricanes)
Amsterdam Pirates played in Pool A and opened on Saturday with a big 17-2 win against HCAW. The Amsterdam-squad produced a lot of basehit and recorded a comfortable victory.

In its next game, Amsterdam faced UVV, which had won the tournament three times (2011, 2012, 2016). That was a suspenseful match-up that ended in a one-run difference, with Pirates winning 6-5. Amsterdam-pitcher Maja Kouwenhoven controled the game. When the final at bat of the game began, Amsterdam led 3-0. UVV then suddenly rallied off of reliever Mandy van der Maas. Some basehits and some defensive errors resulted in five runs and thus a 5-3 deficit. But in the home half of the at bat, Amsterdam recovered. With no outs, the team collected five consecutive basehits, scored three runs and won 6-5. Earlier in the day, UVV had opened with a big 17-0 win against HCAW.

In Pool B on Saturday, Ireland opened with a small 2-0 win against host Hilversum Hurricanes. The team then finished in first place by nipping Centrals, 3-2. Last year, Centrals won the tournament after winning the Final against Germany.

Pool C was won by Quick Amersfoort. The team started the event with a 5-5 tie against Domstad Dodgers, then shutout Germany 4-0.

In the first game of the Final Round on Sunday, Amsterdam Pirates played against Quick Amersfoort, the winner of Pool C. Maja Kouwenhoven again threw a good game, pitching five strong innings. Offensively, Amsterdam produced the hits when it was needed. Babette Kouwenhoven connected for a 2-run double with the bases loaded and hereafter Uchenna Jong Loy added a 2-run double with runners on second and third base. That resulted in a comfortable 10-5 win.

In its final game, Amsterdam Pirates faced the team of Ireland. However, some six Dutch players had joined the Irish squad as guest-players. They included Roos-Marijn Kramer, Isanthe Rouwenhorst, Kelsy Pieneman and Kitty Möhlmann. Pirates again was the strongest of the two teams and supported pitcher Mandy van der Maas with the necessary runs to win 6-3.

Quick Amersfoort finished in second place by shutting out Ireland, 9-0. Three-time winner UVV finished in fourth place, while host Hilversum Hurricanes finished fifth, its highest ranking ever in the seven editions of the event. Last years winner Centrals ended up in eighth place this time.

...The players of Hilversum Hurricanes show their new uniforms...
...they were made possible thanks to new sponsor MVV Print...
(© Photo: Hilversum Hurricanes)
For Amsterdam Pirates, the tournament-win is a good start of its exhibition season. Last year, the team finished in fourth place during the regular season of the Silver League to qualify for the Promotion Pool with five other teams. In this Promotion Pool, Amsterdam Pirates ended up fifth place. Hoofddorp Pioniers then finished in first place and De Glaskoning Twins in second. During the Season's Finals, Twins met Golden League-team DSS in the best-of-one Play-Off and lost 4-2. Hereafter, DSS shutout PIoniers 7-0 to secure its spot in this years Golden League. It also meant that Pioniers and Twins will play again in the Silver League this season.

Coming weekend, Amsterdam Pirates will participate in the Haarlem Series at the site of Onze Gezellen in Haarlem. Besides Amsterdam and host Onze Gezellen, Hoofddorp Pioniers and Golden League-team Terrasvogels will participate.

Centrals and UVV will participate coming weekend in the annual Keistad Tournament, organized by Quick Amersfoort.

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