(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)
Netherlands Softball Team wins Bronze in Canada Cup after loss vs. USA
SURREY, British Columbia (Canada) -
The Netherlands Softball Team has finished in third place of the Canada Cup International Softball Championship on a hot Sunday-afternoon (June 26) in Surrey.
In the Semi-Final against the USA, the Orange Team was shutout 7-0 in a 4½ inning mercy-rule game.
The Netherlands qualified for the Semi-Final by winning 7-5 against Chinese Taipei in the preceeding game on Sunday.
With the win, the USA reached the Final.
By winning the Bronze Medal, the Netherlands concluded a well-played tournament and won six of the nine games it played.
It marks the first time since 2006 that the Netherlands finishes in third place in the Canada Cup.
This was the eighth time that the Netherlands participated in the event, but the first time since 2009.
The Netherlands faced a quick deficit, as Team USA scored once in the first inning, then ralied for four runs in the second.
With one out in the bottom of the first inning, Orange-starter Marjolein Merkx gave up a single to Kiki Milloy, who went on to steal both second and third base.
She then scored on a sacrifice fly by Hannah Flippen.
The USA, ranked in first place on the world ranking list of the World Baseball Softball Confederation, added four more runs in the second inning.
With one out, Sharlize Palacios hit the ball into deep centerfield for a homerun.
Hereafter, Taylor Pleasants walked and scored on a single by Sami Reynolds.
The USA got another baserunner when next batter Kayla Kowalik also singled.
With two outs, Reynolds and Kowalik both scored when an error was made on a grounder by Charla Echols.
And that lifted the lead to 5-0.
Two more American runs were added in the third inning off of new pitcher Rebecca Soumeru.
After Sahvanna Jaquish had led off with a double, two great defensive plays followed.
First, short stop Britt Vonk made a great play on a hard grounder by Baylee Klingler and kept Jaquish at second base.
Hereafter, rightfielder Jessie van Aalst caught a line drive with her glove reaching over the fence, robbing Sharlize Palacios of a homerun.
But with two outs, next batter Taylor Pleasants drove the ball into deep leftfield for a 2-run homerun that made it a 7-0 score.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, MariŽlle Vleugels became the third Orange-pitcher and gave up no additional runs.
With two outs, she walked two batters, but a flyout ended the at bat.
In the meantime, the Orange offense was kept both scoreless and hitless by American pitcher Jailyn Ford.
In the five Dutch at bats, only four batters reached base and only one of them got into scoring position.
In the top of the first inning, the Netherlands initially started well when Britt Vonk led off with a walk, but a double play followed.
With one out in the third inning, Lizzie Clarijs walked, but was forced out on a grounder by Suka Van Gurp.
She later stole second base, but was left behind.
And with two outs in the top of the fifth, Charlotte Drijvers walked, but a line drive by Lizzie Clarijs was then caught by 3B Charla Echols.
That ended the game via the mercy-rule.
Playing for the Netherlands in this game were Britt Vonk (SS), Brenda Beers (CF), Jessie van Aalst (RF), Maxime van Dalen (1B), Cindy van der Zanden (DP), Damishah Charles (LF), Charlotte Drijvers (C), Lizzie Clarijs (3B), Suka Van Gurp (2B), Marjolein Merkx (SP), Rebecca Soumeru (RP) and MariŽlle Vleugels.