Dutch open EC with No-Hitter
VALENCIA (Spain) - The Dutch National Softball Team opened the 16th European Championships on Monday with an 11-0 shutout-victory vs. France.
In her first-ever EC-start, Dutch pitcher Femke van Dusschoten went the distance, threw a 5-inning No-Hitter and struckout seven batters.
In the morning, the staff-members of the Dutch Team went to the two playing fields early to scout the teams who played their games then.
In the afternoon, Team Manager Paul Boonstra and Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar went to the Sports Culture Building of Valencia for a reception with Cristóbal Gran, the Sports Consul of Valencia.
It was a brief, only 20 minutes lasting, meeting, where all delegations posed for a photo, while everyone was welcomed to Valencia and was wished the best of luck during the tournament.
By the way, not all teams were represented at the reception.
Later in the day, the Dutch Team itself played its first game.
But first, there was the busride from the hotel to the field, which lasted two minutes and 35 seconds...
Then, while the team prepared for the game, nine members of the Dutch squad participated in the official Opening Ceremony (ESF-regulations state that a minimum of nine persons have to represent their country, whether they are players or staff-members, but all have to be listed on the official team roster).
Participating were pitchers Dagmar Bloeming, Kirsten Scheele and Rebecca Soumeru, catcher Anne Blaauwgeers, Coach Tiffany McDonald, Team Manager Paul Boonstra, Business Manager Rich Hooff, Physical Therapist Anouk Fermont and Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar.
The four players carried the Dutch flag onto the field.
ESF-President André van Overbeek officially opened the Championships, to be followed by remarks by representatives of the organizing committee.
Also scheduled were the umpire's oath and players' oath, but while the teams left the field, they still weren't done.
In the meantime, Dutch umpire Carolien Stadhouders and a player of the Spanish team were guided towards home plate for the oaths, but instead of doing the oaths in front of all participating countries, they were done before the game between Spain and Great Britain, which followed the ceremony.
Another strange thing was the order of entrance. Instead of the players (who are the most important individuals during this event), the parade was first led by the ESF-officials and representatives, who were followed by the umpires and official scorers and then it was time for the players to enter the field.
Shouldn't it have been the other way around?
First the players, then the game officials and then the ESF-officials?
In the game against France (only the fifth in history between the two countries), pitcher Femke van Dusschoten started by walking lead-off hitter Amandine Metreau, but then settled down and retired seven batters in a row, including five with a strikeout.
Femke then walked Marion Bonaudo, who was to be the last French player to reach base, as the next seven batters were retired in order again, including two more strikeouts.
Femke got good support from her defense, including two rare plays.
In the fourth and fifth inning, a batter grounded towards 1B Britt Vonk, who touched the ball, but didn't field it.
In both times, 2B Petra van Heijst covered the play and completed it by throwing the ball to Britt in a rare 3-4-3 putout.
The Dutch opened the score with two runs in the first inning.
With one out, Meike Witteveen reached on an error, then scored when Britt Vonk followed with a double.
Britt later scored on a throwing error.
Two runs were added in the third inning.
Chantal Versluis led off with a bunt-single, stole second and scored on a single by Nathalie Gosewehr, who then scored herself on a single by Meike Witteveen.
The Dutch broke open the game completely with a 7-run rally in the fourth inning to reach the 7-run difference to end the game during or after the fifth inning.
In the seventh, Chantal Versluis hit a basesloaded 2-run double, scoring Areke Spel (walk) and Virginie Anneveld (single).
After a pitching change, with two outs and the bases loaded again (Petra van Heijst and Nathalie Gosewehr walked), Britt Vonk drove in two more runs with a single, then pinch-hitter Solange Starrenburg added a 2-run triple, before scoring herself on a pinch-hit double by Karin Tuk to make it 11-0.
On Tuesday, it will be an early rising, as the Dutch Team meets Russia at 9:00 in the morning. In the evening, the Dutch are playing against Austria, starting at 6:00 PM.
Box Score Game Netherlands vs. France
Schedule European Championships
|Pool A||Pool B|
|France vs. Germany||1-13 (5)||Czech Republic vs. Great Britain||3-4|
|Russia vs. Austria||7-0 (5)||Slovakia vs. Italy||0-22 (3)|
|Netherlands vs. France||11-0 (4 1/2)||Spain vs. Great Britain||2-6|
Head Coach Craig Montvidas and his assistants Nancy Evans and Tiffany McDonald
scouted several games in the morning
Dutch umpire Carolien Stadhouders was behind the plate in the Austria vs. Russia game
The Sports Culture Building in Valencia where representatives of the teams
attended a brief reception of the Municipality of Valencia
ESF-President André van Overbeek poses with Sports Consul Cristóbal Gran (left)
and representatives of the Organizing Committee of the European Championships
ESF-President André van Overbeek with Cristóbal Gran, the Sports Consul of Valencia
The representatives of the Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands,
Russia en Spain and those of the organization, the ESF and the umpires with the Sports Consul
Team Manager Paul Boonstra and Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar represented the Dutch Team
(photo: organizing committee European Championships)
Rebecca Soumeru, Dagmar Bloeming, Kirsten Scheele
and Anne Blaauwgeers represented the Dutch Team at the Opening Ceremony
The four players are joined by Team Manager Paul Boonstra and Business Manager Rich Hooff
Business Manager Rich Hooff and Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar are ready for the opening...
...and so are Physical Therapist Anouk Fermont and Assistant Coach Tiffany McDonald
The Dutch delegation enters the field...
...and walks towards its assigned spot on the field...
...passing and greeting the Dutch fans
Team Manager Paul Boonstra and Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar during the opening
The 'teamguides' all wore a shirt like this to promote the return of softball into the 2016 Olympics
The Dutch teamguide...
...and the Spanish
The Dutch Team arrived on their spot in the infield for the Opening Ceremony
The officials of the European Softball Federation during the Opening Ceremony
At left is President André van Overbeek, in the middle is Umpire Commissioner Marlies Struyvé
The umpires of the European Championships
Sixth from left is Dutch umpire Carolien Stadhouders
The 'guides' who led the teams onto the main field during the Opening Ceremony
ESF-President André van Overbeek addresses the teams and spectators
Dutch Umpire Carolien Stadhouders read the Umpire's Oath prior to the game of Spain
after completion of the Opening Ceremony
This is where it is all about: The European Championships 2009!
The Umpires for the Netherlands vs. France game
3B Pavel Ovchinnikov (Russia), HP Jess Sandhu (Great Britain) and 1B Radomir Tuma (Czech Republic)
The Dutch Team just before the start outside their 'dug-out'
By the way, there were no fences to mark the dug-out area on the first day of the event
Players get ready before the game in the 'dug-out'
The Dutch fans also are ready
The Head Coaches meet with the umpire-crew
The players of the Netherlands and France exchange gifts
The state-of-the-art scoreboard on Field 2
Pitcher Femke van Dusschoten, who threw a No-Hitter in her
French pitchers Christelle Berthomieux and Sarah Benchali
Fans of French pitcher Christelle Berthomieux show their admiration
Another shot of Dutch pitcher Femke van Dusschoten
Femke van Dusschoten delivers to a French batter
Part of the Dutch families attending the opening game
Another shot of the Dutch supporters
Britt Vonk doubles in the first inning to bring in the first run
Meike Witteveen, who had reached on an error, scores the first Dutch run
on the double by Britt
Next, Britt scores the second run on a throwing error
Chantal Versluis after stealing second base in the third inning
Moments later, Chantal scores on a single by Nathalie Gosewehr
Areke Spel watches how Nathalie Gosewehr
then also scores a run in the third inning
Nathalie Gosewehr scores the fourth Dutch run and second in the third inning
Meike Witteveen, who batted in Nathalie, steals second base in the third inning
Meike's steal, as seen from centerfield
Saskia Kosterink's father Ed and Kirsten Scheele's father Rinie discuss the inning
Assistant Coach and Video Scout Tiffany McDonald behind the camera in centerfield
Anne Blaauwgeers, Nathalie Timmermans and Petra van Heijst
follow the action, while Saskia Kosterink is batting
Dagmar Bloeming, Karin Tuk and Solange Starrenburg look on from the dug-out
Concentration for SS Chantal Versluis and 3B Virginie Anneveld
2B Petra van Heijst eliminates a French batter
Areke Spel running at third base in the fourth inning,
before scoring on a double by Chantal Versluis
Chantal Versluis running at second base after hitting her 2-run double in the fourth
Petra van Heijst (who walked) takes her stance, while running at third base
in the fourth inning, after having advanced on Chantal's double
Pinch-hitter Solange Starrenburg is ready to hit a 2-run triple in her first EC-at bat
Britt Vonk (who hit a 2-run single) is one of two runners to score on Solange's triple
Head Coach Craig Montvidas welcomes Solange Starrenburg
at third base, after she hit a 2-out, 2-run, pinch-hit triple in the fourth inning
Solange Starrenburg at third after her pinch-hit triple
Karin Tuk follows with a pinch-hit, RBI-double in her first EC-at bat
Nadine Marinus at first base after walking as pinch-hitter in the fourth at bat
End of the game, the Dutch Team wins 11-0
Luckily, the scoreboard could keep up with the scoring
(thanks to Fred Versluis and Ed Kosterink for submitting several photos)