Dutch close preliminaries with fourth shutout!
VALENCIA (Spain) - The Dutch National Softball Team on Wednesday ended the preliminary round of the European Championships in Spain with its fourth shutout-win in a row, defeating Germany 9-0 on only five basehits.
On Thursday, the Dutch will open the second round vs. Italy, which lost surprisingly big, 8-1 to the Czech Republic today, therefore finishing in third place in Pool B.
In the Dutch Pool, Germany and Russia also qualified for the second round.
The qualifiers from Pool B are Great Britain, Czech Republic and Italy.
Today, several executives arrived in Valencia, including the President of the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB) Ruud van Zetten and his wife Rienette, who returned from Aruba the day before, after attending the Kingdom Games there.
Gerben Hardeveld, who is a member of the board for the KNBSB, handling game officials, accompanied the Van Zetten's to Valencia.
Also arriving today was Totoni Sanna from Italy, who is the First Vice President of the European Softball Federation (ESF) and last week was in Oklahoma City, where he was the Head of Delegation for Italy during the World Cup of Softball.
Another arrival today was Eddy Van Straelen from Belgium, who is the Treasurer of the ESF.
In the afternoon, Don Porter, President of the International Softball Federation (ISF) arrived on the field en route from Taiwan, where he attended the World Games in Kaohsiung.
After being retired in order (including two strikeouts) in the opening at bat by German pitcher Lisa Jansen, the game against Germany started with a serious runthreat from the opponent in the home of the first inning, as the German squad got the bases loaded with no outs (!), but in the end failed to score, because of nice defensive plays by the Dutch.
Christina Müller-Höcker (who plays for Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers in the Dutch League) led off with a grounder, which ended in an error, then advanced on a passed ball.
Next batter Christine Bruckner then walked, followed by another error on a possible force play-grounder by Nina Hasenkamp that loaded the bases.
But then the Dutch defense recovered and turned things around in its favor.
Müller-Höcker was forced out at home on a comeback grounder by Friderike Meinck to pitcher Dagmar Bloeming and the same happened with Bruckner on a grounder by Arlene Quinn (ex-Tex Town Tigers) to 2B Petra van Heijst.
With the bases still loaded, but now with two outs, the inning ended when Christina Lipp flied out to short stop Chantal Versluis.
After escaping the first inning unharmed, the Dutch Team took charge of the game with a 5-run rally in the second at bat.
Nathalie Timmermans led off with a single and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Karin Tuk.
Next batter Solange Starrenburg was then walked intentionally to set up a force play, but a single by Petra van Heijst followed, leading to the first run, a throwing error and runners on second and third base.
The German coaching then decided to issue another intentional pass, this time for Nadine Marinus to load the bases, but again it didn't work in their favor.
A force play-grounder by Chantal Versluis ended in another throwing error and two runs to make it 3-0.
Hereafter, Nadine scored on a sacrifice bunt (squeeze) by Nathalie Gosewehr and Chantal scored the fifth run on an infield-hit by Anne Blaauwgeers.
Three runs were added in the third inning with two outs when Solange Starrenburg and Petra van Heijst (both walked by two different pitchers) scored on three errors.
A single by Chantal Versluis enabled Nadine Marinus (who reached on an error) to score.
In the fourth at bat, the Dutch Team scored another run, making it 9-0.
With two outs, Nathalie Timmermans walked and scored all the way from first base on a double into leftfield by Karin Tuk.
After its big scoring opportunity in the first inning, the German team reached base only four more times.
Dutch pitcher Dagmar Bloeming saw a batter reach on an error with two outs in the second inning, gave up an one-out double in the third and then (after retiring the next five batters) a lead-off single in the fifth inning to Julia de Jong, who then was caught stealing.
The next batter then also singled, but Dagmar ended the game with two strikeouts.
The righthander ended with six strikeouts and threw a 3-hitter.
Box Score Game Netherlands vs. Germany
Schedule European Championships
|Pool A||Pool B|
|Austria vs. Germany||0-3||Great Britain vs. Italy||0-1 (8)|
|Russia vs. France||18-3 (4)||Czech Republic vs. Slovakia||9-0 (4 1/2)|
|Germany vs. Netherlands||0-9 (5)||Italy vs. Czech Republic||1-8 (5)|
|Slovakia vs. Spain||1-4|
The dignitaries who arrived today in Valencia:
ISF-President Don Porter (center back row) seats with ESF's First Vice President
Totoni Sanna (left) and ESF-President André van Overbeek (right)
In front are sitting KNBSB-President Ruud van Zetten, KNBSB-Board Member Gerben Hardeveld,
Rienette van Zetten and ESF-Treasurer Eddy Van Straelen
The Umpire-crew for the Netherlands vs. Germany game
1B Fabian Capitoni (Italy), HP Nicalas Crulli (France) and 3B Jess Sandhu (Great Britain)
The coach-umpire meeting before the game
The teams line up to present themselves to the spectators
The Dutch bats and helmets are ready
And so are the Dutch fans
Dagmar Bloeming, who went the distance and threw a 3-hitter
German pitchers Lisa Jansen and Anna Neuser
Nathalie Gosewehr leads off for the Dutch, but grounds out
The Dutch players look on in the first inning
Head Coach Craig Montvidas has a talk when Germany loads the bases in the first
Christine Bruckner is the second German player to be forced out at home
in the first inning, in which Germany stranded three runners
Catcher Karin Tuk has the ball in time, umpire Nicalas Crulli is ready to make the call
Handshakes after the Dutch defense didn't gave up runs in the first inning
after the early runscoring threat by Germany
Nathalie Timmermans leads off the 2nd inning with a single...
...then, after Solange Starrenburg walks intentionally, Petra van Heijst follows with a single...
...to bring in Nathalie for the first Dutch run
A throwing error towards home followed, bringing runners on second and third base
Head Coach Craig Montvidas has a talk with runners
Solange Starrenburg and Petra van Heijst
After the bases are loaded by an intentional walk, Chantal Versluis grounds towards short...
...but a throwing error towards home enables Solange to score the next run
Leading 4-0 and with Chantal running on third base, Anne Blaauwgeers
singles to bring in the fifth run in the second Dutch at bat
Anne Blaauwgeers, Femke van Dusschoten and Chantal Versluis
follow the action in the third inning
...and so do Team Manager Paul Boonstra and Business Manager Rich Hooff
Head Coach Craig Montvidas (and Karin Tuk's father Jaap in the back)
take some shades against the burning sun
In the third inning, Petra van Heijst scores the seventh run on a throwing error
Hereafter, Chantal Versluis singles to bring in Nadine Marinus
to increase the lead to 8-0
Petra van Heijst, who scored moments earlier, shows a beautiful smile
Time for a snack for the mothers of Solange Starrenburg (Monique), Anne Blaauwgeers (Rineke),
Saskia Kosterink (Trudy), Chantal Versluis (Karin), Britt Vonk (Tanja)
and Kirsten Scheele (Joke); second from left is Anne's twin-sister Maaike
The family of Areke Spel, Femke van Dusschoten and Karin Tuk
also take a refreshment
Karin Tuk brings in the ninth Dutch run in the fourth inning
with a 2-out double
Nathalie Timmermans on her way to home scoring on Karin's double
Pitcher Dagmar Bloeming struckout six batters and gave up three hits
Petra van Heijst hitting in the fifth inning
with in the background some nice palmtrees of the Río Turia Park
A shot of Field 2 in the Río Turia from rightfield
The players look on in the last at bat of the game
Nadine Marinus flied out in the fifth inning
With two outs in the fifth, Chantal Versluis comes to bat...
...and pops up a foul ball towards first base...
...resulting in nice roll-over by Saskia Kosterink's father Ed (who just took the previous photo)
Dagmar Bloeming's father Ronald checks if the chair is okay
Two more photos of pitcher Dagmar Bloeming
3B Nathalie Timmermans and 1B Nadine Marinus congratulate
winning pitcher Dagmar Bloeming
The Dutch and German players shake hands after the end of the game
Time to have a talk with the family-members
(thanks to Fred Versluis and Ed Kosterink for submitting several photos)