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Updated: August 14, 2019
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Copyright © 1997-2019
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2019 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)

Netherlands Under-19 Team shuts out Ireland in good game

IRVINE, California (USA) - The Netherlands Under-19 Softball Team shutout Ireland 6-0 on Tuesday (August 13) in the Placement Round for 13th to 16th place of the U19 World Cup.

In the Preliminary Round, the Orange Team was shutout in each of the three games it played. On Sunday, the Netherlands opened with a fine game against Canada, but lost 2-0. Later on the day, the team was shutout 7-0 by New Zealand. On Monday, the team lost 9-0 and was left hitless against Chinese Taipei in a 4½ inning game.

But today, on a sunny afternoon (26 degrees Celsius), the Netherlands played a fine game, both offensively and defensively, collecting eight basehits. In the previous three games combined, the team recorded only four hits.

Margot van Eijl went the distance for the Orange Team and did very well. The righthander threw a 5-hitter, while striking out six batters and walking only one.

Last year, during the U19 European Championship in Staranzano (Italy), the Netherlands lost 6-4 to Ireland, which then was the big suprise of the tournament. Ireland went on to reach the Final, but then lost 7-3 to Italy, but with their performance, the team qualified for this years World Cup.

On Wednesday, the Netherlands plays against Botswana. On Tuesday-morning, Botswana led 6-2 against South Africa halfway the fourth inning. South Africa then scored three runs, but Botswana added a run in the top of the seventh to make it a 7-5 lead in its favor. However, in the bottom of the seventh, the defense of Botswana made four errors (all three outfielders made one), which enable South Africa to score three runs and win the game with an 8-7 score. Bu the way, South Africa committed seven errors in the game, while Botswana made six.

(August 13)

The Netherlands had a productive start, scoring twice in the first inning. From there, the team expanded its lead.

In the top of the first inning, off of starter Summer Rocha, Nicky Uytendaal and Marijn Crouwel both walked with one out for the Netherlands. The first run was then scored when a sacrifice bunt by Sterre den Duijn ended in a throwing error. That brought Crouwel to third base and (after Den Duijn had stole second base) she scored the second run on a single down the leftfield-line by Tess Remmers. Two grounders ended the at bat and Remmers stranded on second base, but the Orange Team led 2-0.

In the bottom of the first inning, Summer Rocha singled with one out off of starter Margot van Eijl, but she stranded on first base.

The Netherlands added a run in the second at bat. With one out, Nina Oomes singled and moved on a grounder by Yindi Beekveldt, then scored on a single by Nicky Uytendaal.

Ireland also reached base again in the bottom of the second. Abbileigh Wikston led off with a single. but Van Eijl followed with a strikeout. Hereafter, 1B Nicky Uytendaal, who stood halfway the foul-line, made a great catch on a bunt by Bridget Keary. With two outs, Alexis Clancy was hit by a pitch, but Van Eijl closed with another strikeout.

In the top of the third, Alexis Clancy became the new pitcher for Ireland, but she gave up two more Dutch runs. Sterre den Duijn led off with a triple to deep centerfield, just missing a homerun by a few inches. She scored when next batter Tess Remmers reached on an error. With one out, an error also was made on a force play-grounder by Lieke Süskind, who played in her first game of the tournament. A attempt for a double-steal followed, but Remmers was eliminated at third base. Süskind did reach second base, then moved to third on a wild pitch shortly thereafter. Moments later, she scored when Michelle Schuur reached on the third Irish error in this at bat. After Schuur had stolen second base, the inning ended with a strikeout, but the Orange lead had been increased to 5-0.

After both teams were retired in order in the fourth inning, the Netherlands appeared to be productive again in the fifth, but instead left three runners behind. Tess Remmers, pinch-hitter Reganied Franka and Lieke Süskind (bunt) all singled to load the bases. Franka batted for Isa Smit, who sustained a minor injury while diving to a hard grounder at second base in the bottom of the second inning. However, Alexis Clancy then struckout the next two batters and a grounder ended the at bat.

Earlier this month, Franka and Amy Felix (who entered in the bottom of the fourth as new rightfielder) won the European title with the Netherlands Under-16 Team in Zagreb (Croatia). On August 3, the Netherlands shutout Italy 2-0 in the Final of the tenth U16 European Championship. With that, the Orange Team captured its second consecutive title and fourth overall.

Margot van Eijl retired the side again in the fifth, then the Orange Team got another scoring opportunity in the top of the sixth. Nicky Uytendaal led off with a walk, advanced on a wild pitch, then reached third base on a grounder by Marijn Crouwel. Next batter Sterre den Duijn then also walked. Moments later, Den Duijn stole second base, but the pitch ended in a wild pitch. That enabled Uytendaal to score, while Den Duijn took third base, where she was left behind.

In the bottom of the sixth, Ireland got its second runner in scoring position when Maura Keary led off with a double. With two outs, the first Irish runner reached third base when Elizabeth Doolan singled. But the two runners were left behind when a flyout ended the at bat.

In the bottom of the seventh, Ireland got its final chance to do some scoring. Eimear Cunningham led off with a single and Alexis Clancy walked with one out. Margot van Eijl followed with her sixth strikeout, then a foul-fly ended the game.

Ireland - Netherlands 0-6
pitcher Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Margot van Eijl, W (1-2)7615--

pitchers Irelandinn.SOBBHRER
Summer Rocha, L (0-2)2-2332

Alexis Clancy553532
Umpires: HP-Florian Lautenschläger (Germany), 1B-Marni Bodnarchuk (Canada), 2B-Sara Dielen (Belgium), 3B-Sarah Eve Jacob (Canada).
Clock Operator-Ayaka Kato (Japan).
Official Scorers-Rafael Valle (Puerto Rico), Tracy Wicks (USA), Stephanie Winkler (Germany).
Technical Commissioners-Anna Battigelli (Italy), Steven McCown (USA).
Starting Time-3:00 PM.
Time Played-1:59 hrs.
Site-Field #3, Bill Barber Park, Irvine, California (USA).

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