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Updated: June 22, 2022
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2022 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Fred Versluis)

Netherlands Softball Team also wins second Canada Cup-game vs. Philippines

SURREY, British Columbia (Canada) - The Netherlands Softball Team recorded its second victory of the Canada Cup International Softball Championship at Softball City in Surrey. On Tuesday-afternoon (June 21), the team won 4-1 against the Philippines. In the evening, the Orange Team came into action again and then played against the Aussie Spirit Development Team (Australia). The recap of that game can be found here.

On Monday, the Orange Team opened with a convincing 7-2 victory against Mexico, which is in fourth place on the ranking list of the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC). The Philippines (which is ranked 13th) also won on the first day of the tournament. The team faced Calahoo Erins from Canada and won 3-2. On the WBSC-world ranking list, the Netherlands is in tenth place. The highest ranked European country is Italy, which is in seventh place. Italy is the defending European champion.

The game on a cloudy Tuesday-afternoon began with a little drizzle. The Orange Team got its first two batters on base in the top of the first inning off of starter Kelsey Alcantara. Britt Vonk led off with a single, then Brenda Beers reached on a fielder's choice-sacrifice bunt, but they were left behind. Cindy van der Zanden flied out, then Alcantara struckout the next two batters. With that, it was immediately clear what the strikezone was of the Home Plate Umpire.

The Philippines also got two baserunners in its first at bat off of Marjolein Merkx. The righthander walked lead-off hitter Angelu Gabriel, then hit Nicole Hammoude with two outs. They also were left behind.

Both teams got one runner in the next two at bats. For the Netherlands, Sterre den Duijn walked with two outs in the second inning, but stranded on first base. The Philippines was retired in order in the second inning. With one out in the third, Angelu Gabriel singled, but then short stop Britt Vonk made a nice double play on a grounder by Mary Joy Maguad. The next Orange-runner came in the top of the fourth inning when Dinet Oosting singled with two outs, but she was then caught stealing. On Monday, Oosting played in her 100th official international game for the Netherlands Team.

The bottom of the fourth inning began with another nice play from short stop Britt Vonk. Philippine lead-off hitter Alyssa Daniell hit a pop-fly into shallow left/centerfield. Vonk ran backwards, turned around, lost somewhat of her balance, but made a great catch in short centerfield. With two outs, Skylynne Ellazar hit a hard grounder towards Vonk. But due to some onevenness in the sandy dirt on the playing field, a bad hop followed and Ellazar reached on a single. She stranded on first base, as Marjolein Merkx closed with a strikeout.

And so, the pitching-duel continued in the fifth inning. Both pitchers had given up only two basehits so far. And both teams got into scoring position only once, both getting a runner on second base in the first inning.

The Netherlands came close to an opening-run with two outs in the top of the fifth inning when Annemiek Jansen drove the ball into deep rightfield. However, the ball went foul. Moments later, Jansen flied out to end the inning.

The RP Blu Girls, nickname of the Philippines Softball Team, got another baserunner with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. Francesca Altomonte then reached on an error, which was followed by a pitching-change. Lindsey Meadows took over from Marjolein Merkx and got an inning-ending grounder.

A successful sixth at bat then followed for the Orange Team, which opened the score and scored twice. With one out, pinch-hitter Jessie van Aalst hit the ball into centerfield for a single, which was the third Dutch basehit and the first since the fourth inning. Hereafter, Cindy van der Zanden also singled. With that, the team came into scoring position for the first time since the first inning. That led to a piching-change. Mary Ann Antolihao entered the circle and saw Maxime van Dalen hit the ball into centerfield. The ball was caught, but it enabled Van Aalst and Van der Zanden to advance to third and second base respectively. Moments later, they both scored on a bad-hop double down the rightfield-line by MariŽlle Vleugels.

...MariŽlle Vleugels delivered a deciding...
...2-run double in the 6th inning...
(© Photo: Fred Versluis)
After Lindsey Meadows had retired three Philippine batters in order in the bottom of the sixth, the Orange Team scored again in the top of the seventh. Damishah Charles led off with a single and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Sterre den Duijn. Charles then scored when Annemiek Jansen hit the ball into deep rightfield for an RBI-triple! On the throw back to the plate, Philippine-catcher Francesca Altomonte sustained an injury and had to leave the field. Shortly thereafter, Jansen scored the fourth Orange-run on a perfectly executed squeeze-bunt by the speedy Britt Vonk. The ball landed a few inches in front of the plate and Jansen, also a speedy runner, scored, while Vonk reached first base safely. With two outs, she moved to second base on a wild pitch, but stranded there. However, the Netherlands now led 4-0.

The Philippines also scored in its seventh at bat, but that happened only once, also thanks to a great catch by centerfielder Cindy van der Zanden. With one out, Arianne Vallestero hit a double. Next batter Taylor Keinath then hit the ball into deep right/centerfield. There, centerfielder Cindy van der Zanden sprinted towards the fence, reached and caught the ball over the fence, robbing the batter of a 2-run homerun! However, it enabled Vallestero's pinch-runner Alyssa Alano to move to third base, but there were two outs now. She then scored the first Philippine run on a single by Kobie Hura. That also was to be the lone run for the team, as new catcher Alaiza Talisik flied out and that ended the game.

And so, the Netherlands won 4-1 and Lindsey Meadows became the winning pitcher after already having earned a save in Monday's game.

This was the third victory in history against the Philippines, whom the Orange Team had met four earlier before today. After losing the first meeting during the 1982 World Championship in Taipei (Taiwan), the Netherlands won the next two games. These two games were both played in 2016, the first in the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City (USA), the second during the World Championship in Surrey, which also is the home of the Canada Cup. The last game between the two countries was played in Narashino (Japan) during the 2018 World Championship. There, the Netherlands suffered a surprise 5-4 loss, which then almost cost the team qualification for the Play-Offs.

Playing for the Netherlands in this game were Britt Vonk (SS), Brenda Beers (CF), Jessie van Aalst (PH/RF), Cindy van der Zanden (RF/CF), Maxime van Dalen (1B), MariŽlle Vleugels (DP), Eva Voortman (PR/OPO), Dinet Oosting (C), Lizzie Clarijs (3B), Damishah Charles (PH/3B), Sterre den Duijn (2B), Annemiek Jansen (LF), Marjolein Merkx (SP) and Lindsey Meadows (RP).

(June 21)

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