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Updated: June 29, 2021
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(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Fred Versluis)

Netherlands Softball Team closes First Round European Championship with big shutout
Nederlands

CERVIGNANO DEL FRIULI (Italy) - The Netherlands Women's Softball Team shutout Lithuania 16-0 in a 2½ inning mercy-rule game on Tuesday (June 29) to close the First Round of the 22nd edition of the European Championship Women's Softball in Italy. On Wednesday, Day 4 of the event, the Second Round begins, which is the next step towards the Play-Off Round and the all-deciding Final, which will be played on Saturday-evening.

The Orange Team opened the tournament on Sunday-morning with a 16-0, mercy-rule, shutout against Austria. On Monday-evening, the team recorded a 9-6 victory in what was an unpexted suspenseful and close game against Germany.

With today's win, the Netherlands remained unbeaten in Group B after already securing first place with Monday-evening's win.

The Orange Team now will continue in Group F in the Second Round. On Wednesday, the team will play its first two games in this Group in Castions di Strada. In the first game, at 10 AM, the Netherlands meets France, which finished in second place in Group D. The final ranking in this Group was decided today after Spain remained unbeaten by winning 4-1 against Ukraine. With that, France ended up in second place. Later on the day, at 5:30 PM, the next opponent for the Netherlands will be Israel, which became the unbeaten winner in Group C after winning 13-3 against Denmark this afternoon.

On Thursday-morning (10 AM), the Orange Team closes Group F against Russia, which tonight finished in second place in Group A. Russia secured second place by winning 11-0 against Poland, which therefore ended in third place. Reigning champion Italy remained unbeaten in the Group and will continue the Second Round in Group E.

Groups E and F are the two Groups in which teams will play for first through eighth place. These Groups are formed by the two best teams from each of the four Groups from the First Round. The teams in third and fourth place in Groups A, B, C and D will now continue in Groups G and H to play for ninth through seventeenth place.

The three best teams from the Group E and F will advance to Group X (six teams), which is the Play-Off Round. Depending on the ranking in Group F, the Netherlands will play its first game in Group X on Thursday-evening.

Besides winning the European title, there are several other qualifications at stake in this year's tournament. The European champion also will qualify for participation in the 2022 World Games, the three best teams will qualify for the 2023 WBSC Women's World Cup and the six best teams will qualify for the second edition of the Super6, which will be organized again next year.

(June 29)

Other scores of Day 3:
Hungary vs. Bulgaria 2-8; Ukraine vs. Spain 1-4; Slovakia vs. France 0-13 (4 inn.); Croatia vs. Czech Republic 0-8 (5 inn.); Denmark vs. Israel 3-13 (5 inn.);
Bulgaria vs. Italy 0-27 (3 inn.); Germany vs. Austria 7-3; Russia vs. Poland 11-0 (4 inn.); Italy vs. Hungary 19-0 (2½ inn.).

Final Standings First Round:
Group A: 1. Italy, 2. Russia, 3. Poland, 4. Bulgaria, 5. Hungary. Group B: 1. Netherlands, 2. Germany, 3. Austria, 4. Lithuania.
Group C: 1. Israel, 2. Czech Republic, 3. Croatia, 4. Denmark. Group D: 1. Spain, 2. France, 3. Ukraine, 4. Slovakia.

Group-alignments Second Round:
1st - 8th place:
Group E: Czech Republic (C2), Germany (B2), Italy (A1), Spain (D1). Group F: France (D2), Israel (C1), Netherlands (B1), Russia (A2).

9th - 17th place:
Group G: Denmark (C4), Hungary (A5), Lithuania (B4), Poland (A3), Ukraine (D3). Group H: Austria (B3), Bulgaria (A4), Croatia (C3), Slovakia (D4).



...Dinet Oosting...
...third homerun...
(© Photo: Fred Versluis)
On a very hot afternoon, the Netherlands faced Lithuania in its final game of the First Round. The Orange Team recorded a 16-0 shutout-victory, which is the same score as during the 2017 European Championship in Bollate (Italy) when the two countries met for the first time in history.

Today's game was played in Cervignano del Friuli, which is one of many historic (small) places in this area of Italy, close to the Adriatic Sea. The area where Cervignano is located is inhabited since 181 B.C. when the settlement of Aquileia was founded. Since at least 912, the name Cerveniana (or Cirvignanum) can be found in old documents.

At the site of Baseball and Softball Club Tigers, which was opened in 2016, the Netherlands raliied for nine runs in the bottom of the first inning to set the tone in the game against Lithuania.

Ugne Kucinskaite, who threw the entire game for Lithuania, walked lead-off hitter Britt Vonk, who stole second base moments later and advanced to third base on a wild pitch, before next batter Brenda Beers also walked. Another wild pitch followed, which enabled Vonk to score. Beers advanced to third base and also scored when a throwing error followed. Hereafter, Jessie van Aalst also walked. She then stole second base and scored the next run on a single by Maxime van Dalen, who later moved to third base on a passed ball. Cindy van der Zanden then became the fourth batter that walked. After she also had stolen second base, Van Dalen scored on a wild pitch, then Van der Zanden scored the next run on a single by MariŰlle Vleugels. And so, the Netherlands had scored five runs before the first out was made. With one out, some power followed, as Lizzie Clarijs and Suka Van Gurp delivered back-to-back RBI-doubles and Britt Vonk followed with an RBI-triple. Vonk then scored the ninth run in the inning on a grounder by Wies Ligtvoet. Pinch-hitter Annemiek Jansen then connected for a double, but she was left behind.

Seven runs were added in the second inning, which again saw some powerful offense from the Orange-batters. Cindy van der Zanden led off with a double and scored on a single by MariŰlle Vleugels, then Dinet Oosting followed with her third homerun in three days. Lizzie Clarijs then reached on an infield-hit and Suka Van Gurp walked. Hereafter, Lindsey Meadows connected for a runscoring, pinch-hit single. Wies Ligtvoet walked to load the bases and Annemiek Jansen followed with a 2-run single. And that lifted the lead to 16-0 and there was still no out in this at bat. But three quick outs followed hereafter.

Lithuania reached base only once off of Kirsten Scheele, who threw all three innings for the Netherlands. With two outs in the top of the first inning, the experienced righthander gave up a single to Nomeda NeverauskaitÚ. Scheele closed with a strikeout. She then also struckout the side in both the second and third inning. And that ended the game after only 55 minutes.

With that, Lithuania remained winless in the First Round. The team opened on Sunday with a 17-1 loss in four innings against Germany, then was also shutout 16-0 by Austria in 2½ inning on Monday. The team collected three hits against Germany, but was held hitless by the Austrian pitching. Nomeda NeverauskaitÚ also had one of the three basehits in the first game.


Netherlands - Lithuania 16-0 (2½ inn.)
1234567RHE
Lithuania000 -012
Netherlands97X -16120
pitcher Lithuaniainn.SOBBHRER
Ugne Kucinskaite, L (0-1)2-6121616

pitcher Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Kirsten Scheele, W (2-0)38-1--

Homerun: Netherlands: Dinet Oosting (3)(2nd,2-run,0 outs,off Kucinskaite).
Box Score
Play-by-Play
Umpires:
HP-Galip S÷nmez (Germany), 1B-Franck Lautier (France), 3B-┴kos Farkas (Hungary).
Official Scorer-Luciano Luciani (Italy).
Play-by-Play Scorer-Stefano Burlini (Italy).
Technical Commissioner-Anna Di Luca (Italy).
Umpire-in-Chief-Hans Hornstra (Netherlands).
Starting Time-12:30 PM.
Time Played-0:55 hrs.
Site-Campo Comunale, Cervignano del Friuli (Italy) (site Baseball Softball Club Tigers Cervignano).

Game Notes:
646th international game of the Netherlands Women's Softball Team.
Second game in history between the Netherlands and Lithuania.
Second victory in history of the Netherlands against Lithuania.
Weather conditions at game time:
Sunny, 31° C (87,8° F); wind direction south-southeast; wind speed 13 kmh (8,1 mph); wind force 2 Bft; humidity 50%.



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