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Canada Cup - Day 6 - Monday, July 6, 2009

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Dutch defeat Venezuela; evening game canceled!

SURREY, British Columbia (Canada) - The Dutch National Softball Team on Monday-afternoon registered its first victory in the Canada Cup Tournament, beating Venezuela 3-1 in a strong played game by the young, but very talented Dutch squad. In the evening, the Dutch Team was to meet Australia to end the first part of the first round. However, late in the afternoon it started to rain, resulting in the game between Australia and Venezuela to be halted for a long time. Eventually, it resumed (Venezuela defeated Australia 4-3 in 8 innings), but that also had results for the remainder of the schedule. Also to be played was the game between Canada and the USA, to be followed by the game between the Dutch and Australia. The organization then decided that it wanted to try to play the Canada vs. USA game in the evening, resulting in the game between the Netherlands and Australia to be postponed. The Dutch game therefore was re-scheduled for Tuesday-morning, starting at 8 AM (!), meaning the team will be transported to the field at 6 AM (!), so it will be an early breakfast for everyone. The Canada vs. USA game indeed was being played in the evening, with the Americans shutting out the host 10-0. On Tuesday-evening, the Dutch Team meets Canada again, as all teams will meet each other again in the next days to complete the preliminary round robin in the International Pool, to be followed by the second (elimination) round. In the meantime, the family of catcher Anne Blaauwgeers also has arrived in Canada and they came at the right moment. There weren't that much spectators attending today's game, but the ones who were in the stadium saw a great game and a great Dutch Team. The spectators who weren't in the stadium missed a lot!

With the victory, the Dutch Team not only won its first game after losing their first two match-ups, it also presented itself to the international softball-scene. During last year Olympic Games in Beijing (China), the Dutch were shutout 8-0 by Venezuela, whose pitcher Mariangee Bogado then threw an one-hitter with Marloes Fellinger being the lone Dutch player to hit a basehit in that match-up. Mariangee Bogado threw the opening game of the Canada Cup vs. host Canada and then was the winning pitcher, as Venezuela won 1-0 in eight innings. In today's game, seven players of the Venezuelan starting line-up of last years game in Beijing were in today's starting line-up with most players almost batting in the same batting order. On the Dutch side, only three players in the starting line-up played against Venezuela in Beijing, being Saskia Kosterink, Britt Vonk and Petra van Heijst.

But today, it was the Dutch team that dominated the game, playing very strongly defensively and getting a great game from pitcher Rebecca Soumeru (pictured right), who went the distance and gave up only four basehits, while striking out six batters and issueing only one walk. The Dutch defense (which played an errorless game) played an important part, led by centerfielder Saskia Kosterink (pictured right), who made two huge catches, a leaping one catching the ball above the fence and a diving catch.

Dutch Head Coach Craig Montvidas had made several changes to his starting line-up, as Anne Blaauwgeers (designated player), Solange Starrenburg (rightfield) and Nadine Marinus (first base) all playing in their first game of the event, while Karin Tuk (catcher) made her first start.

The Dutch set the tone in the first at bat by scoring two runs and take an early lead in the game. With one out, speedy Anne Blaauwgeers reached second base on a throwing error by Venezuelan pitcher Johana Gomez. Next, Saskia Kosterink, walked. Hereafter, Karin Tuk singled to bring in Anne. A force play-grounder by Solange Starrenburg followed, resulting in Karin being forced out at second base, but then Saskia scored the second run when Virginie Anneveld singled.

In the next four innings, the Dutch Team got on base in three of these at bats, but was unable to go beyond first base, as the Venezuelan defense eliminated three runners on force play-grounders and turned a double play in the fifth at bat. In its first five innings, Venezuela was silenced by Dutch pitcher Rebecca Soumeru, who was supported by great defensive plays and detailed scouting by Coaches Nancy Evans and Tiffany McDonald. In the first inning, 2B Petra van Heijst and SS Britt Vonk made fine catches on line drives. In the second inning, Rebecca struckout two batters, including one that ended the at bat. In the third, Venezuela came back with one run. Lead-off hitter Mayles Rodriguez was hit by a pitch, advanced on two grounders, then scored on a single by Yaicey Sojo, but a groundout to 3B Virginie Anneveld then ended the inning. In the fourth, Venezuela got two baserunners. Denisse Fuenmayor led off with a walk, but then centerfielder Saskia Kosterink (pictured left) made a great leaping catch on a hit by Rubilena Rojas, catching the ball above the fence, preventing it from becoming a 2-run homerun! A strikeout and a single followed, but pitcher Rebecca Soumeru then ended the at bat herself, by fielding a grounder by Mayles Rodriguez and eliminating her at first base.

Leading 2-1, the Dutch Team added an insurance run in the sixth inning. Karin Tuk led off with a walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Meike Witteveen, who then advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Solange Starrenburg. Meike then made it 3-1 by scoring on a single by next batter Virginie Anneveld (pictured right), her second in the game, which she did on her 20th birthday. In the seventh inning, Nathalie Gosewehr led off with a single, but then the Venezuelan defense turned a double play on a grounder by Britt Vonk.

In its last three at bats, Venezuela got only one baserunner off the dominating Rebecca Soumeru. She retired the side in the fifth inning, then gave up an one-out single to Denisse Fuenmayor in the sixth, but followed with a strikeout and groundout. In the seventh inning, the Dutch Team underscored its strength today. First, centerfielder Saskia Kosterink made a wonderful diving catch on a drive by veteran player Jineth Pimentel and then Rebecca struckout the next two batters, including a called strikeout with two outs, to end the game. Rebecca retired 12 of the last 14 batters she faced and 11 of the last 12.

scores International Pool Monday
Venezuela vs. Australia 4-3 (8); USA vs. Canada 10-0 (4)

Box Score Game Netherlands vs. Venezuela

Schedule Canada Cup

Coach Nancy Evans goes over the scouting with pitcher Rebecca Soumeru
and catcher Karin Tuk

Solange Starrenburg is introduced before the game

Lining up for the playing of the national anthem

Anne Blaauwgeers looks on from the on-deck circle

Moments later, Anne arrives at first base with a walk

Britt Vonk slides into second base with a stolen base in the second inning

Petra van Heijst is ready to connect

Rebecca Soumeru, who threw a great game

Playing in rightfield today was Solange Starrenburg

Areke Spel follows the action from the dug-out

Centerfielder Saskia Kosterink, who made two great catches,
makes another catch here on a deep fly ball to end the sixth inning

Anne Blaauwgeers batting in the seventh inning
She registered her first basehit two innings before

Pinch-hitter Hernanza Ruiz is called out on strikes to end the game

Celebration time. The first victory is in the books!

The scoreboard tells it all: The Netherlands defeats Venezuela, 3-1

(all photos taken by Hans Blaauwgeers, thanks for submitting them)

For suggestions, questions or requests mail to Media Officer/Webmaster Marco Stoovelaar: stoov@dutchsoftballteam.com

Last Update: July 6, 2009
Copyright Photos © 2008-2009 Hans Blaauwgeers.
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