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Updated: June 24, 2022
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2022 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story & Photo by Marco Stoovelaar)

Netherlands Softball Team suffers first loss in Canada Cup-tournament

SURREY, British Columbia (Canada) - After having won its first three games, the Netherlands Softball Team suffered its first loss of the Canada Cup International Softball Championship on Day 3 of the tournament at Softball City in Surrey. On Wednesday-evening (June 22), the Orange Team was outscored by host Canada and lost 11-3 in a 5-inning game that ended with a walk-off grand slam!

Before the start of the event, the Netherlands already played four exhibition games against Canada, which is in third place of the world-ranking list of the WBSC. Canada also won all these games. After tonight's game, Canada now has won 36 of the 41 games played against the Netherlands. One game ended in a tie. The Orange Team recorded its last win against Canada in 2012 during the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (USA) with a 7-6 score. Thereafter, the next eleven games were lost.

On Monday, the Orange Team opened with a convincing 7-2 victory against Mexico. On Tuesday-afternoon (June 21), the team first won 4-1 against the Philippines. In the evening, the Orange Team won again, this time with an 8-1 score against the Aussie Spirit Development Team from Australia.

As Canada also was unbeaten, tonight's game would be decisive for first place in the Black Pool. With this result, Canada will finish in first place and the Netherlands will finish in second place.

On Thursday, the Orange Team closes the preliminary round against Calahoo Erins. On Wednesday-afternoon, this club-team from Canada surprisingly lost 9-3 to the Aussie Development Team, which had been winless. This loss was in favor of the Netherlands in the contention for first and second place.

There also have been some surprising results in the Red Pool. The USA, number one on the WBSC-list, lost 5-4 to TC Colorado on Tuesday. This American club-team also won against Chinese Taipei and Australia. But on Wednesday-evening, Colorado lost 1-0 against the Czech Republic. The National Team of Australia was winless in its first three games, but on Wedneday, it recorded a 4-0 shutout-win against South Korea.

By finishing in second place in the Black Pool, the Netherlands will play its next game in the Play-Offs against the first-placed team in the Red Pool. After today's games, the USA and Colorado share first place. In case both teams win (or loose) on Thursday, they will remain in first place. Colorado then will be the Pool-winner, based on the head-to-head result, and then will be the next opponent of the Netherlands.

Canada had a productive evening against the Netherlands, collecting eleven basehits, including four homeruns to record a convincing victory. The Netherlands recorded only four basehits in tonight's game, that was played on a sold-out Field #1 of Softball City.

Canada hit its first two homeruns in the first inning off of starter Rebecca Soumeru. The righthander walked lead-off hitter Kelsey Harshman, then gave up a homerun to next batter Erika Polidori. With one out, Kianna Jones also homered to put Canada ahead, 3-0.

The Netherlands reached base for the first time in the second inning. With one out, Cindy van der Zanden singled and with two outs, Annemiek Jansen did the same. But Canadian starter Jorde Chartrand then closed with a strikeout.

Canada then again scored three runs in the bottom of the second. Grace Messmer and Natalie Wideman opened the at bat with singles. With one out, both scored when Kelsey Harshman homered.

Trailing 6-0, the Orange Team scored its first run in the top of the third. With one out and Britt Vonk (fielder's choice) on first base, a grounder by Eva Voortman ended in an error. Next batter Jessie van Aalst drove the ball into centerfield, but there Kelsey Lalor made a diving catch. With two outs, the bases got loaded when Maxime van Dalen walked, which led to a pitching-change. Ruby Anderson took over, but she walked Cindy van der Zanden, which enabled Vonk to score. But the other three runners were left behind.

In the bottom of the third inning, Lindsey Meadows became the next Orange-pitcher. She got runners on first and third base with one out, but gave up no runs, as a pop-fly and groundout followed.

...Annemiek Jansen...
...2-for-3, run scored...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The Netherlands cut the deficit in half in the top of the fourth inning by scoring twice. Annemiek Jansen led off with her second single in the game, then Lizzie Clarijs walked. After Suka Van Gurp struckout, Britt Vonk delivered an RBI-double that brought in Jansen. Moments later, Clarijs scored on a grounder by Eva Voortman, which made it a 6-3 score and brought in the third Canadian pitcher. With Vonk on third base, Morgan Rackel took over and she got an inning-ending flyout from Jessie van Aalst.

Canada got one run back in the bottom of the fourth. When Lindsey Meadows walked the first two batters, MariŽlle Vleugels was inserted as new pitcher for the Netherlands. She got two quick outs, but then Kelsey Lalor hit the ball into leftfield for a single. Pinch-runner Emma Dorval, who was at second base, was sent to the plate where a close play followed. It initially appeared that Dorval was be tagged in time by catcher Charlotte Drijvers, but she beat the tag and was safe. Vleugels closed with a strikeout.

In the top of the fifth, the Netherlands got what would be its last baserunner. With two outs, Charlotte Drijvers was hit by a pitch, then her temporary runner Dinet Oosting stranded on first base.

And so, the bottom of the fifth began with Canada leading 7-3. Grace Messmer (who was 3-for-3) and Natalie Wideman began with singles, just as they had done in the second inning. The two moved on a sacrifice bunt by Callum Pilgrim, who herself reached first base safely when an error was made. That brought Kelsey Harshman in the batter's box, who already had hit a 3-run homerun in the second inning. At one moment during this at bat, there was some confusion and discussion about the count, whether it was a strikeout or not. But instead of a strikeout, the count was 2-2 and the next delivery to Harsham ended over the fence for a walk-off, grand slam homerun, as it increased the lead to 11-3.

Playing for the Netherlands in this game were Britt Vonk (SS), Brenda Beers (CF), Eva Voortman (DP), Jessie van Aalst (RF), Damishah Charles (LF), Maxime van Dalen (1B), Laura Wissink (RF), Cindy van der Zanden (CF), Dinet Oosting (1B), Charlotte Drijvers (C), Annemiek Jansen (LF), Sterre den Duijn (SS), Lizzie Clarijs (3B), Suka Van Gurp (2B), Rebecca Soumeru (SP), Lindsey Meadows (RP) and MariŽlle Vleugels (RP).

(June 22)

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