(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Fred Versluis)
Netherlands Softball Team closes First Round Canada Cup with shutout-win
SURREY, British Columbia (Canada) -
The Netherlands Softball Team closed the First Round of the Canada Cup International Softball Championship on Thursday-afternoon (June 23) with a convincing 6-0 shutout-victory against Calahoo Erins, a club-team from Canada.
With that, the Orange Team recorded its fourth win in five games played so far.
On Monday, the Orange Team opened with a convincing 7-2 victory against Mexico.
On Tuesday-afternoon, 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.
On Wednesday-evening, 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!
After completion of Wednesday's games, the Netherlands already had secured second place, due to Calahoo's 9-3 loss against the Aussie Spirit Development Team.
In the first game of the Play-Off Round on Friday, the Orange Team will now meet Triple Crown Colorado from the USA.
That team ended in first place in the Red Pool, ahead of the National Team of the USA.
Both teams won their final game in the preliminary round tonight.
Colorado won 9-3 against South Korea, the USA outscored Australia, 9-1.
With that, the two teams shared first place, but as Colorado had won the head-to-head game against the USA (5-4), it ended up in first place.
That also means that the USA now will meet Canada in its first game in the Play-Offs.
In the game on Thursday, the Netherlands played against one of strongest softball-teams from the province of Alberta, Calahoo Erins.
This team comes from Calahoo, a hamlet northwest of Edmonton, and was founded in 1988.
In its first three years, the team won the National Championship-title twice (1988, 1990), then had to wait 28 years for its next title in 2018 and captured the Canadian title again in the following year.
In both 2020 and 2021, the Canadian National Fastpitch Championship Tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 1988, Calahoo Erins was the champion of Alberta 27 times.
On a sunny afternoon, both teams got a runner on first base in the first inning, but didn't score.
With two outs in the top of the first inning, Jessie van Aalst reached on a bad-hop single for the Netherlands, but stranded on first base.
For the Canadian squad, also with two outs, Cassie Matlock singled and stole second base, but also was left behind.
The Orange Team then opened the score in the top of the second inning.
With one out, Dinet Oosting and Annemiek Jansen hit back-to-back doubles, which led to the first run.
After having reached second base, Jansen continued to third base when an error was made on the throw to the plate, but she was left behind.
Calahoo got its second runner in scoring position in the bottom of the second inning.
With one out, Camille Czarnecki singled and Katriana Bain walked.
But thereafter, Orange-starter Marjolein Merkx struckout the next two batters.
The Netherlands took more distance in the top of the third inning off of Calahoo-starter Alexis Lucyshyn by scoring two more runs.
Britt Vonk led off with a double, stole third base, then scored when that was followed by an error.
Next batter Brenda Beers drilled the ball into deep rightfield for a homerun that lifted the lead to 3-0.
Hereafter, two more runners got into scoring position.
Jessie van Aalst reached on a bunt-single.
With one out, she advanced on a wild pitch, then Laura Wissink walked.
Moments later, Van Aalst moved to third base when Dinet Oosting flied out.
Wissink then stole second base, but the two runners were left behind.
In the bottom of the third inning, Marjolein Merkx retired the side, striking out two batters.
...2-for-3, homerun, 3 RBI's...
(© Photo: Fred Versluis)
Two errors led to two more Orange-runs in the top of the fourth.
After lead-off hitter Sterre den Duijn had struckout, Damishah Charles reached first base when a throwing error was made on her bunt.
Britt Vonk followed with an infield-hit, but when that was followed by another throwing error, Charles scored and Vonk ended up on third base.
That led to a pitching-change and Alexandra DuBois entered the circle.
DuBois was the original listed pitcher in the starting line-up, but designated player Alexis Lucyshyn started instead.
DuBois saw Vonk score the fifth Orange-run on a sacricfice bunt (squeeze) by Brenda Beers.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Netherlands also made a pitching-change, as Rebecca Soumeru replaced Marjolein Merkx.
The righthander got two quick outs, then gave up a single to Camille Czarnecki, which was her second in the game and only the third for Calahoo.
With Julia Suchan as pinch-runner at first base, Soumeru walked next batter Katriana Bain.
But a grounder ended the at bat and so, Calahoo was kept scoreless.
Soumeru retired the side in the fifth, including two strikeouts.
She also had an one-two-three sixth inning.
The Orange Team was kept scoreless in the fifth and sixth inning.
The team was retired in order in the fifth.
With one out in the sixth, pinch-hitter Suka Van Gurp hit a single.
However, next batter Damishah Charles struckout, then the inning ended moments later when Van Gurp was caught stealing.
But in the top of the seventh, the Netherlands added its sixth run in this game.
Britt Vonk led off with a single, stole second base, then scored on a following single by Brenda Beers.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Canadian opponent got its final baserunner.
With one out, Katriana Bain reached on a single, but the game then ended when the Orange-defense turned a double play on a grounder by Kristin Walz.
Playing for the Netherlands in this game were Britt Vonk (2B/SS), Brenda Beers (CF), Jessie van Aalst (RF), Maxime van Dalen (1B), Laura Wissink (DP), Dinet Oosting (C), Lorraine Kieft (C), Annemiek Jansen (LF), Sterre den Duijn (SS), Suka Van Gurp (PH/2B), Damishah Charles (3B), Marjolein Merkx (SP) and Rebecca Soumeru (RP).