Dutch have fine outing vs. Japan
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (USA) - Today was a day with several different faces, which ended with a fine outing by the Dutch National Softball Team against Olympic champion Japan.
But there also was another moment of taking shelter because of an approaching thunderstorm, which happened during the rematch of the Olympic final between the USA and Japan.
In the afternoon, we had relaxing moments in the cozy Bricktown-area.
But the day started with moments of reflection, moments of the hard reality, as the team paid a visit to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.
At the Memorial, players and staff were impressed by what they saw on the site where in 1995 a huge explosion took place that took the lives of 168 people, including several children.
What makes an impact in the Memorial Museum is a recording of a telephone conversation just before the actual explosion, which is being replayed while visitors are in a recreated office room.
Another impressive moment of the tour is the Memorial Room with photos of the 168 men, women and children who died on that morning in 1995, decorated with memorabilia.
|The Oklahoma City Bombing|
The Oklahoma City Bombing occurred on April 19, 1995 when a truck driven by Timothy McVeigh exploded and destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Building claiming the lives of 168 victims (including 19 children) and injuring more than 680.
McVeigh parked a truck with explosives around 9:00 AM in a zone which was situated under the building's day-care center.
The truck detonated at 9:02 in front of the north side of the nine-story Murrah Building of which one third was destroyed.
The blast destroyed or damaged 324 buildings.
The Murrah Building was demolished on May 23, 1995.
McVeigh's motivation for his act was the federal government's handling of the Waco Siege in 1993.
Within 90 minutes of the explosion at the federal building, McVeigh's escape car was stopped for driving without a licence plate and he was arrested for unlawfully carrying a weapon.
McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001.|
On April 19, 2000, President Bill Clinton dedicated the memorial.
On the area where the Alfred P. Murrah Building once stood is now the Field of Empty Chairs, which is a tribute to the 168 Americans who were killed.
The nine rows represent the nine floors of the former Murrah Building.
Each person's chair is positioned in the row that corresponds to the floor on which they worked or were visiting.
The five westernmost Empty Chairs honor those who were killed outside the building.
On 5th Street, which ran through the area by the building, is now the Reflecting Pool.
An American elm tree, now called the Survivor Tree, stands in front of the former Journal Record Building, where the city's weekday business newspaper was published.
This building, which was also damaged, now houses the Memorial Museum.
After visiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial, the Team went to Bricktown neighborhood, which is located on the original site where Oklahoma City was once founded and used to be a major warehouse district.
Nowadays, Bricktown is a growing entertainment district in downtown Oklahoma City.
Located there is AT&T Bricktown Ballpark, the home of the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Triple-A baseball team of the Texas Rangers.
In front of one of the entrances of the stadium is a big statue of Johnny Bench, the former catcher of the Cincinnati Reds, one of several former Major League-players who were born or lived in Oklahoma City.
Another one is Mickey Mantle, the hitting legend of the New York Yankees, who has a statue in front of the main entrance.
Besides statues of Mantle and Bench, there are also sculptures of Oklahoman Major Leaguers Carl Hubbell, John 'Pepper' Martin, Bobby Murcer, Wilber Rogan, Allie Reynolds, Lloyd Waner and Paul Waner.
Near the stadium is an attractive area with the Bricktown Canal (you can make a boatride on it), bordered by restaurants (including one once owned by former Major Leaguer Mickey Mantle) and bars and other attractions, such as a monument, movie theatre, shops, music venues and hotels.
There, the team had its lunch, before traveling back to the hotel.
On their way back, bus-driver Phil McSpadden drove us around the campus of Oklahoma City University where he is the softball-coach.
In the afternoon, Team Manager Paul Boonstra and Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar went to the stadium early to attend the speech of Saskia Kosterink and Australian Danielle Stewart for the BackSoftball-campaign for reinstatement of softball on the Olympic Program for 2016.
As they were early, the two briefly visited the ASA National Hall of Fame, which is located on the stadium's complex.
Before the game between the USA and Japan, Saskia and Danielle addressed the sold-out stadium, telling the more than 6000 spectators of the current situation of softball, the work that is being done to get the Olympic status back for softball and that the sport needs everyone's support.
At the stadium, all personnel (including ushers and officials) today wore pink shirts in support of a breast cancer awareness campaign.
After the BackSoftball-speech, a military fly-over was part of the pre-game activities and then the game between Japan and the USA got underway under fine weather conditions, but that would change in about an hour!
During the game, it started to darken and a storm was approaching the area.
In the meantime, the Dutch Team also had arrived in the stadium and was preparing for its game against Japan, which was to follow the USA-Japan match-up.
After some lightning was already visible, the game between the Americans and Japanese was halted finally in the fifth inning, as a storm-warning was issued.
Everyone was to take shelter, with spectators being ordered to get to their cars.
The teams were rushed into the team-buses, which were standing behind the outfield.
Luckily, the storm wasn't as severe as a few days before, but it did rain and there were some winds.
It initially was thought that it would take a while to resume the USA-Japan game and it also was decided that our game was to be played tonight, with a possible starting time of 11:00 PM.
The lightning didn't last that long and after about 30 minutes everyone could leave the bus again and spectators started to come back to the stadium.
The game between the USA and Japan resumed after a 53-minute delay and the Americans took revenge for losing the Olympic final in Beijing less than a year before by winning 6-1.
Dutch umpire Rob Veldkamp initially was working at second base in this game, but while running from the field when everyone was ordered to take shelter, he twisted his ankle and was replaced by his Australian colleague when the game resumed.
In their game against Japan, the Dutch Team got on base right away in the first inning, as Britt Vonk reached on an infield-hit with one out, but then was caught stealing moments later.
In their first at bat, Japan scored twice.
Misato Kawano led off with a triple off starter Kirsten Scheele, who then walked next batter Naoko Matsumoto.
The first then scored on a wild pitch, which enabled the second runner to advance to second base.
She later scored on a sacrifice fly.
Japan added two runs in the second inning.
After a double and a walk, Kirsten gave up an RBI-single to Kasumi Mizoe and was relieved by Dagmar Bloeming.
She was supported by a nice rundown, which eliminated the runner from third base, then saw short stop Chantal Versluis make a great catch on a line drive by Kasumi Karino.
Next, Misato Kawano hit her second triple of the game to score Mizoe, but that was to be all for the Olympic champion.
In the next four innings, Dagmar would held Japan scoreless and gave up only three more hits.
In the fourth, Dagmar was supported with another fine defensive play.
With one out and runners on first and second base, Kasumi Karino grounded to short stop Chantal Versluis, who then forced out runner Kasumi Mizoe.
Next, Chantal threw the ball to first base to complete a double play, but instead hit the helmet of a non-sliding Mizoe.
As a result, batter Karino was called out for interference by the runner, completing the double play after all.
The Dutch Team got several scoring opportunities, but stranded eight runners.
Trailing 2-0, the Dutch got runners on first and third in the second inning with one out when Nathalie Timmermans led off with a double and moved on a sacrifice bunt by Areke Spel and an error on a grounder by Virginie Anneveld, but then two strikeouts followed.
The same happened in the third at bat, now trailing 4-0.
Nathalie Goswehr led off with a single, moved on a sacrifice bunt by Meike Witteveen and a single by Britt Vonk, but again two strikeouts followed.
In the fourth inning, Areke Spel led off with a homerun to make it 4-1.
Hereafter, Britt Vonk would hit her third basehit in the game with two outs in the fifth, but was left behind.
In the sixth, another runner stranded.
In the seventh, Nathalie Gosewehr walked with one out and moved to third base after a hits batter and force play-grounder, but stranded at third base.
But depite leaving eight runners, the Dutch Team played another good game and held Japan to only four runs, forcing them to go all seven innings!
other scores on Saturday
Canada vs. Italy, 6-4 (remainder of earlier game)
USA vs. Canada, 14-0 (4 inn.)
USA vs. Japan, 6-1
Box Score Game Netherlands vs. Japan
Schedule World Cup of Softball
Visit to Oklahoma City National Memorial
The Dutch Team showed their sympathy by making this note
The Gates of Time (with the time of the explosion) border the Reflection Pool
The Field of Empty Chairs is located on the site of the former Alfred P. Murrah Building
The Journal Record Building, which was damaged heavily, now houses the Memorial Museum
At right is the Survivor Tree
The players place their hands in the water of the Reflection Pool, then put them to
the covering of one of the Gates of Time
By doing so, someone makes an everlasting connection with the Memorial, as the imprint
of the hand will remain in the covering for ever
While being at the Memorial, the Team also was asked to pose for a photo
with a young softball-fan and of course we did
Visit to Bricktown
Are Chantal Versluis and Rebecca Soumeru to fight a buffalo?
The Team poses in front of Bricktown Ballpark
The statue of Johnny Bench, the former catcher of the Cincinnati Reds
The row of sculptures of (left to right) Allie Reynolds, Bobby Murcer,
John 'Pepper' Martin, Carl Hubbell, Paul Waner, Lloyd Waner and Wilber Rogan
Physical Therapist Anouk Fermont, Team Manager Paul Boonstra, Nathalie Timmermans,
Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar and Petra van Heijst in front of Mickey Mantle's statue
(photo taken by Craig Montvidas)
Team Manager Paul Boonstra, Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar and Head Coach Craig Montvidas
at the statue of Yankee-great Mickey Mantle in front of Bricktown Ballpark
(photo taken by Petra van Heijst)
There are several restaurants and bars in the Bricktown-area
Virginie Anneveld, Anne Blaauwgeers, Meike Witteveen,
Nadine Marinus and Petra van Heijst look around for a place to have lunch
A photo with the stadium in the background
Solange Starrenburg has a relaxing moment...
...and so has Karin Tuk
A look at Mickey Mantle's Restaurant in Bricktown across the stadium
The historic City Hall (Municipal Building) in downtown Oklahoma City
Jim Wade Baseball Stadium at the campus of Oklahoma City University
ASA Hall of Fame and Museum
Plaques of Hall of Fame inductees include current ISF-President Don Porter
(second from top at right)
'Play at Home', a sculpture in front of the National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum
USA vs. Japan
Athlete Ambassadors Saskia Kosterink and Danielle Stewart (Australia) address
the crowd in Hall of Fame Stadium regarding the BackSoftball-campaign before
the game between the USA and Japan
Saskia and Danielle are also posing for Michelle Smith, one of the ESPN-announcers, but
also the Chairman of the Athlete Ambassadors, who support the BackSoftball-campaign of the ISF
The umpire crew for the USA vs. Japan game line up for the national anthems
A military fly-over was part of the pre-game activities
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett threw the ceremonial first pitch before the USA-Japan game
The Umpire-crew for the USA vs. Japan game
2B Rob Veldkamp (Netherlands), 1B Andrea Marlone (Italy), HP Katrina Kershaw (USA)
and 3B Hiroyuki Tsuchie (Japan); Rob was replaced by Kevin Broomhall (Australia) due to injury
Pubblic Address Announcer Chad Gilbert announces the starting line-ups
Dutch umpire Rob Veldkamp (studying for '007'?) officiating at second base
In front of him is short stop Natasha Watley
During the game, it started to darken again as rain and lightning was approaching
Team USA celebrates a catch in the outfield where Rob Veldkamp just made a call
The sun sets, but the rain is coming
While Dutch pitcher Kirsten Scheele warms up in the bullpen,
the rain and thunder come closer
Next, everyone is ordered to leave the field for the lightning
The Dutch Team takes shelter in the team bus in the area behind outfield
40 minutes later, it was clear to enter the field again and the Dutch Team continues it's
warming-up, while the game between the USA and Japan was to resume shortly
A look into the crowded scoring/announcing-box
Official Scorer Cassie Gage, who did ALL games of the tournament (alone)
The Dutch players watched the remainder of the USA vs. Japan game from the outfield
End of the game, USA defeats Japan 6-1 in a rematch of last years Olympic final
Netherlands vs. Japan
The Umpire-crew for the Netherlands vs. Japan game
2B Kevin Broomhall (Australia), 1B Bonnie Gostola (Canada),
HP John Orlowski (USA) and 3B Motoichi Ueda (Japan)
Dutch pitchers Kirsten Scheele and Dagmar Bloeming
Britt Vonk was 3-for-4 in this game and reached base four times
A concentrated Meike Witteveen playing at second base
3B Virginie Anneveld also shows concentration
Nathalie Timmermans doubled to lead off the second inning
Nathalie Gosewehr led off with a single in the third inning and reached third base twice
Areke Spel leading off in the fourth inning...
...and then greeted by her teammates after hitting a homerun