Dutch Team ready to go outside!
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The Dutch National Softball Team played its 10th and last indoor intersquad game on Friday, February 26 as it ends its version of the 'Cactus League'.
No cactusses here, no sunshine either, as is the case in Arizona (USA), where Major League Baseball Teams play games in the Cactus League, or in Florida, where their series of exhibition games are played in the Grapefruit League.
The Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues are part of the Major League Spring Training to prepare for the upcoming season.
And as the Dutch Softbal Team prepares for its international season in the winter months, we have our own version of intersquad and exhibition games and we call it the 'Tulip League'.
In the month of March, the Dutch Softball Team will conduct its Friday-practices on other locations than the Amsterdam-based Sporthallen Zuid and plans to go outside, weather permitting.
As of now, no additional games are scheduled.
In case, the weather is not cooperating, the Team probably will go inside again, but in March, no games are scheduled, as the players also will start preparations for the upcoming season with their club teams and therefore have exhibition games scheduled with them in the weekend.
On Friday, it was another good and productive game, but also an attractive game, as there were several fine actions.
Today, Team Grey won 9-5 after trailing 2-0 in the first inning and breaking a 3-3 tie in the second at bat.
In the opening at bat, Team Black took a 2-0 lead.
Runner Kim Donkers advanced on an infield-hit by Meike Witteveen.
The latter was then forced out on a great play by short stop Chantal Versluis on a line drive-grounder by Fabienne van Uden, but that enabled Kim to score the first run.
Next, Fabienne stole both second and third base and scored on a double by Areke Spel.
Team Grey answered with three runs in its first at bat.
Runner Maaike Blaauwgeers moved to third base on a single by Nathalie Gosewehr, then scored on a grounder by Anne Blaauwgeers.
Next, Chantal Versluis hit a 2-run homerun to give her team a 3-2 lead.
Team Black came alongside in the second inning when Areke Spel scored on a grounder by Merel Oosterveld, but in the home part of the second inning, Team Grey re-took the lead when Solange Starrenburg scored on a sacrifice bunt/fielder's choice by Nadine Marinus.
Team Grey rallied for three more runs in the third inning when Chantal Versluis hit her second homerun of the game, this time a 3-run shot with Nathalie Gosewehr and Anne Blaauwgeers on base.
Team Black got one run back in the fifth inning when Merel Oosterveld scored on a single by Kim Donkers.
Team Grey appeared to add a run in its fifth when Solange Starrenburg hit a line drive, but 2B Meike Witteveen made a great catch to retire Solange and end the inning.
They then did score an extra run in the next at bat when Solange Starrenburg scored on a grounder by Petra van Heijst.
Team Grey made it 9-4 in the seventh inning when Anne Blaauwgeers scored on a single by Anouk van den Heuvel.
In the eighth inning, Team Black was able to score its fifth run when Kim Donkers scored on a bunt-single by Fabienne van Uden.
With her two homeruns today, Chantal Versluis brings her indoor total to three, as she also homered last Friday.
During the indoor-season, Saskia Kosterink also homered three times, including two in one game.
A total of nine homeruns were hit during the 10 indoor intersquad games: three by Chantal Versluis and Saskia Kosterink (two on December 4 and one on January 22, two by Areke Spel (November 13 and February 12) and one by Solange Starrenburg (November 13).
The players and staff of the Dutch Softball Team thank today's umpires Bob Gieskens and Albert Jung for their participation in the intersquad game.
OK, some umpire-facts.
Albert Jung officiated in his fourth indoor game today and Bob Gieskens in his second.
A total of eight umpires participated in the intersquad games during the Tulip League.
The other six are
Bianca Dweelaard (2 games), Gerrit-Jan van der Hoeven (3), Jac van Riel (2), Carolien Stadhouders (3), Boyd Suk (2) and Rick Tuk (2).
We thank all of them, as they all took days of from their regular jobs to be with the Dutch Team on Friday-afternoons.
Of course, we also thank Umpire Commissioner Bert Loggen for his cooperation.
Head Coach Craig Montvidas talks with players during a conditioning drill
Solange Starrenburg and Anouk van den Heuvel at work during a conditioning test
And so are Virginie Anneveld and Nadine Marinus
Is it a plane? Is it a rocket? No, it's a Bird....!
(OK, some explanation. Pictured is Merel Oosterveld;
'Merel' is also the Dutch name of a bird and 'Bird' is Merel's nickname)
Flex Coach Nathalie Franssen (left) attended today's practice
As did former Dutch Junior Baseball Team coach Peter van Dalen (at right),
who currently is one of the coaches of the Junior-softball-squad of Alcmaria Victrix
Today's umpires Bob Gieskens and Albert Jung
Head Coach Craig Montvidas has a pregame-talk with Team Black...
...and then also has a meeting with Team Grey
Pitchers Rebecca Soumeru and Dagmar Bloeming
Pitchers Femke van Dusschoten and Kirsten Scheele
Fabienne van Uden successfully steals third base in the first inning
Umpire Bob Gieskens leaves no doubt what his decision is, as 3B Anouk van den Heuvel makes the tag
That's not my pitch! Virginie Anneveld checks her swing
Players from Team Grey look on, while Nathalie Gosewehr is batting
2B Meike Witteveen is ready to field
Behind, umpire Bob Gieskens is keeping his eye on the runner on second base
In centerfield, Coach Nancy Evans talks with pitcher Rebecca Soumeru
Chantal Versluis is greeted after hitting her first homerun
Karin Tuk running on first base for Team Black
Getting into action on second base is Petra van Heijst
A concentrated Anouk van den Heuvel has her glove ready at third base
Chantal Versluis takes her helmet off after hitting her second homerun (3 runs);
In the middle, Nathalie Gosewehr and Anne Blaauwgeers scored in front of her;
Petra van Heijst and Solange Starrenburg just greeted the trio
Head Coach Craig Montvidas listen to players during a meeting after completion of an inning
After each inning, the team went over the details of the activities in the preceeding at bat
Short stop Chantal Versluis playing at first base
and First Baseman Nadine Marinus playing at second base
Nathalie Gosewehr running at second base
Virginie Anneveld and Karin Tuk have a talk
Solange Starrenburg hitting for Team Grey
Karin Tuk is the catcher; Bob Gieskens the umpire
Outfielder Fabienne van Uden also played some innings on an unfamiliar position: first base
Physical Therapist Anouk Fermont is all smiles, as there are no major injuries in the team