Day 16: Day of decisions|
BEIJING (China) - Wednesday was a day of decisions in the softball-tournament, as the semi-finals were played, as well as the bronze medal-game. As expected, the USA and Japan will face off against each other in the Grand Final on Thursday.
In the first semi-final game, the game between Japan and the USA was an interesting and attractive pitching duel between Yukiko Ueno and Monica Abbott.
While both teams got scoring opportunities, neither did score, resulting in extra innings after the regular seven at bats.
In the ninth inning, tie-break runner Natasha Watley scored on a single by Caitlin Lowe, then Jessica Mendoza walked and Crystl Bustos followed with a toweing 3-run homerun (which almost left the stadium) to give the USA a 4-0 lead.
In the home of the ninth, Japan was able to score only once, meaning the USA clinched a spot in the final and Japan had to play and extra game in the evening.
The second semi-final, in which Dutch umpire Rob Veldkamp officiated at second base, was another attractive match-up, this time between Australia and Canada.
Australia took a 2-0 lead by scoring a run in the second inning on a homerun by Sandy Lewis, who then added a sacrifice fly in the third.
In the home of the third, Canada rallied for three runs to take 3-2 lead. First, a run was scored on a basesloaded walk, then Alison Bradley added a 2-run single.
Australia came alongside immediately, as Danielle Stewart homered in the fourth at bat.
In the sixth inning, Kerry Wyborn hit a 2-run single to give Australia a 5-3 lead, resulting in qualification for the bronze medal game, while Canada was eliminated.
In the evening, Australia won the bronze medal, as Japan won 4-3 in 12 innings in the third spectacular game of the day.
With Japan leading 2-1, Australia tied the score in the seventh inning when Kerry Wyborn hit a 2-out homerun.
Both teams then scored in the eleventh at bat.
Australia first took 3-2 lead on a 2-out single by Natalie Ward, but Japan came alongside on an one-out single by Satoko Mabuchi.
The decision then fell in the home of the 12th.
With the bases loaded, Rei Nishiyama singled to bring Japan to the final on Thursday-evening.
Italian umpire Gianluca Magnani was behind the plate in this game.
Also in the evening, the Women Hockey Team clinched a spot in the all-deciding final by winning 5-2 vs. Argentina.
Some players and staffmembers of the Dutch Olympic Softball and Baseball Teams attended the game, as did His Royal Highness Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, NOS*NSF President Erica Terpstra and famous Argentinian former soccer-player Diego Armando Maradona.
The latter had to be accompanied in and out the stadium and was guarded off, as everyone of course wanted to see and impossible take photos of the famous soccer-player.
By the way, yesterday, the Dutch Women Waterpolo Team also reached the final of their tournament by winning 8-7 vs. Hungary.
Later on Wednesday-evening, Churandy Martina won the second medal in history for the Netherlands Antilles, as he finished in second place on the 200 meter behind Usain Bolt of Jamaica, who set a world record.
Initially, Martina won the Silver Medal, but two hours after completing the race, he was disqualified. The American team had filed a protest that Martina had left the track and the jury agreed with that. The Silver and Bronze Medals now went to two American runners.
A lot of spectators watched the semi-final between USA and Japan
Starting pitchers Yukiko Ueno (Japan) and Monica Abbott (USA)
A view at the stands with officials and dignitaries behind home plate
Crystl Bustos en route to home plate after her 3-run homerun in the 9th inning
The umpire-crew goes over the details with the managers of Australia and Canada
The umpires are (left to right) Ali Jia (China), Rob Veldkamp, Traci Stoelting (USA) and Lori Bish (USA)
Dutch umpire Rob Veldkamp was at second base in the second semi-final
Coaches Rob Walgien and Mary-Ann Hatt attended the semi-finals
And so did player Nathalie Timmermans
The enthusiastic Australian spectators saw their team reach the bronze medal-game
ISF-President Don Porter (left) and Secretary-General Andrew Loechner (right) watched the semi-finals
Rob Veldkamp calls Australian runner Simmone Morrow out at second base
to end the sixth inning
An artistic display at the entrance of the Fengtai Softball Field
On our way to the Hockey Stadium we passed some futuristic office buildings
The Hockey Stadium was filled with a lot of (Dutch) spectators
Legendary Argentine soccer-player Diego Armando Maradona (encircled) listens to the national anthem
KNBSB-President Ruud van Zetten (upper right) oversees the action with
soccer-player Diego Armando Maradona (left), H.R.H. Crown Prince Willem-Alexander (right),
André Bolhuis (former President Dutch Hockey Federation) and NOC*NSF President Erica Terpstra
(both center) in attendance
Also in attendance were some players of the Dutch Softball and Baseball teams
Recognizable are Tjerk Smeets, Jolanda Kroesen, Marloes Fellinger, Marjan Smit,
Kristi de Vries, Sandra Gouverneur, Rebecca Soumeru and Saskia Kosterink
Baseball-players Sharnol Adriana, Bryan Engelhardt, Yurendell de Caster,
Shairon Martis and Eugene Kingsale
Celebration time. Marilyn Agliotti has just given the Dutch team a 3-0 lead
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander applauds the Dutch Hockey Team after it had reached the final
Also in attendance: succesfull judo-coach Cor van der Geest and judo's Physical Therapist Maarten Koper
Go back to the schedule of the Olympic Games