Dutch Team adds two convincing victories
REDIPUGLIA / RONCHI DEI LEGIONARI (Italy) -
The Dutch National Softball Team on Monday added two solid and convincing victories on Day 2 of the European Championship in Italy.
In the morning, the Dutch Team faced Belgium and won 9-0, in the evening, the Dutch shutout Spain 10-0.
Both games ended through the mercy-rule.
On Tuesday, the Dutch Team closes the preliminary round against Denmark, which on Monday was beaten 11-1 by Ukraine.
A Live play-by-play will be available again for the Dutch vs. Denmark game.
Go here for the Play-by-Play of the Dutch game.
Go here for a complete look at the other games and their play-by-plays to be played on Tuesday.
Netherlands vs. Belgium
In the 25th official game (and first since 2005) between the Netherlands and Belgium (which is often nicknamed 'derby of the low countries') since they first met on August 28, 1979, the Dutch Team needed two innings to adjust to the pitches of the Belgian pitcher.
In these first two at bats, only one run was scored.
That was registered in the first inning when Nathalie Gosewehr led off with a double and scored when Meike Witteveen followed with a single.
In the third inning, the second run followed.
With two outs, Chantal Versluis doubled, then scored when a throwing error was made on a grounder by Saskia Kosterink by Belgian 3B Sandy Lauwers, who plays in the Dutch big league for Twins and therefore is a teammate of Dutch National Team-player Fabienne van Uden.
In the fourth, the Dutch broke open the game with a 7-run rally to take a commanding 9-0 lead.
Areke Spel led off with a double and added a triple in her second at bat in this inning.
Areke advanced to third base on a wild pitch, then scored on a grounder by Karin Tuk.
Next, the bases got loaded when Fabienne van Uden and Merel Oosterveld singled and Nathalie Gosewehr walked.
A 2-run single by Meike Witteveen, squeeze-sacrifice bunt by Chantal Versluis, single by Saskia Kosterink (after a pitching change), double by Virginie Anneveld and the triple by Areke Spel then increased the lead.
Pitcher Dagmar Bloeming struckout eight batters and gave up only one basehit, which was a 2-out single by Sandy Lauwers in the third inning, but she then was caught stealing.
Dagmar allowed only two batters to reach base, the other one through a walk.
The 9-0 victory was the biggest against Belgium, since the Dutch won 12-2 in 2001.
It also was the 12th shutout-win against the southern neightbours of the Dutch in the last 13 games and the 20th vs. Belgium overall.
The day started cloudy, but the sky cleared later
Family-members of Karin Tuk, Solange Starrenburg and Nathalie Timmermans
are ready to cheer the Dutch Team again, wearing specially made shirts by Yoorna
Official Scorers Valentino Targato and Luigi Vescovi
Players of the Dutch Team look on while pre-game preparations are concluded
The umpires for the game vs. Belgium
3B Johann Garigliano (Italy), HP Franck Lautier (France) and 1B Martin Moravcik (Slovakia)
The umpire-coach meeting
And the line-up for the National Anthems
This Belgian Red Devil has found a spot in the Dutch dug-out
Dagmar Bloeming threw a 4-inning one-hitter and struckout eight
Head Coach Craig Montvidas coaching at third base
Tine De Jongh, who started the game for Belgium
Nathalie Gosewehr led off the game with a double
Saskia Kosterink hitting in the first inning
Dagmar Bloeming, Britt Vonk and Anne Blaauwgeers make noise
Dagmar Bloeming makes more noise
Catcher Karin Tuk looks at the signs
Dagmar Bloeming concentrates for another pitch
Head Coach Craig Montvidas has a talk with Chantal Versluis in the 3rd inning
Saskia Kosterink running at 3rd base in the third inning
Areke Spel slides into third base in the fourth inning after a wild pitch
Fabienne van Uden looks at the pitcher in the fourth inning
Femke Van Hofwegen, who took over the pitching for Belgium in the fourth inning
The second win is in the books
Head Coach Craig Montvidas addresses the team after the game
Family members relax after the game
Netherlands vs. Spain
After the game against Belgium, the Dutch Team returned to the hotel, where it had dinner.
The team then returned to the field later in the afternoon for the game against Spain.
The Dutch Team met Spain also last in 2005 and today's was the eleventh against this country since August 30, 1979 which was played during the first European Championship.
The 10-0 win the biggest vs. Spain in 14 years and equaled the score registered in that year, 1997.
Like in the game against Belgium, the Dutch Team also hit 10 hits against Spain.
And like the game against Belgium, the Dutch needed two innings to take more distance.
Chantal Versluis led off the first inning with a triple and scored on a sac-fly by Meike Witteveen.
After the bases were left loaded in the second inning, the Dutch rallied for six runs in the third inning.
With one out, Britt Vonk and Areke Spel singled.
A sac-fly by Virginie Annveld, single by Nathalie Gosewehr and double by Solange Starrenburg then accounted for three runs.
Next, Nathalie Timmermans followed with a 2-run homerun.
Anne Blaauwgeers then walked (she walked three times) and scored on a double by Chantal Versluis to make it 7-0.
The last three runs were added in the fourth at bat on a sac-fly by Solange and basesloaded walks for Chantal and Meike.
After Solange's sac-fly there were two outs with a runner on third base, but then the Spanish coach opted to walk Nathalie Timmermans intentionally.
The bases were then loaded when Anne received a 'normal' walk.
Chantal then walked in a run and, after a pitching change, Meike also walked to make it 10-0 and end the game through the mercy-rule.
Lindsey Meadows struckout seven batters and gave up only one basehit.
After a lead-off walk in the first inning, Lindsey retired the next 10 batters in a row, but then Spanish centerfielder Aroia Cano hit the ball over the infield, which was almost being caught by a leaping 2B Meike Witteveen to register the lone basehit.
A nice double play then ended the inning.
Another defensive highlight was a great running catch in foul territory by rightfielder Areke Spel in the second inning.
Dutch Umpire Commissioners Bert Loggen and Rob Kerkman were in Ronchi dei Legionari for a meeting
Here they join some of the officials of this European Championship
Left to right: Irene Michielan (Local TC), Cornelie Chwojka (Chief Technical Commissioner), Bert Loggen,
Rob Kerkman, Geri Lindberg (Umpire Commissioner) and Bob Kessler (Chief Technical Commissioner)
The field is ready for another game
And so are the Dutch batting gloves
Head Coach Craig Montvidas hits grounders with Britt Vonk at his side
The umpires for the game against Spain
3B José Sanchez (Sweden), HP Martin Moravcik (Slovakia) and Gianluca Magnani (Italy)
The game is about to begin
But first the umpire-coach meeting...
...the player introductions...
...and the National Anthems
Pitching Coach Karen Marr asks Umpire Gianluca Magnani for an explanation
after the Italian had called an illegal pitch in the first inning
Lindsey Meadows struckout seven batters and gave up only one hit
Dark rainclouds in the background in the first inning, but they didn't reach the playing site
In front are short stop Chantal Versluis and Spanish runner Elisa Aguilar
Spanish starting pitcher Constanza Busso
While it appears that Virginie Anneveld successfully steals second base in the 2nd inning,
she is called out by Umpire José Sanchez after short stop Elisa Aguilar made the tag
Catcher Nathalie Timmermans has a look at the signs
Pitcher Lindsey Meadows has prepared her nails for this game
Solange Starrenburg doubles in a run in the 3rd inning
Moments later, Nathalie Timmermans (26) is greeted after hitting a 2-run homerun
Dutch officials Bert Loggen, Rob Kerkman and Marlies Struyvé with Umpire Rob Veldkamp
Bert, Rob and Marlies were in Ronchi dei Legionari for a meeting
Anne Blaauwgeers rounds third base, scoring all the way from first base
on a double by Chantal Versluis in the third inning
Ane Barandíaran, who took over the Spanish pitching in the third inning after Chantal's double
Chantal Versluis at 3rd base after advancing on a passed ball
A look in the dug-out
Rosa Blanes Bartual, the third Spanish pitcher in this game
End of the game, victory number three is in the books
The players stretch after the game...
...while the field is prepared for the next game
Eh, does Nathalie Gosewehr has a sister?
Or is this the sister of Areke Spel?
Virginie Anneveld, Solange Starrenburg and Fabienne van Uden
check their text-messages after the game
Karin Tuk with Head Coach Craig Montvidas
Nathalie Timmermans checks the photos her father Herman took with her mother Joke looking on
More text-message checks is done by Chantal Versluis, Virginie Anneveld and Anne Blaauwgeers...
...and by Dagmar Bloeming, Britt Vonk, Meike Witteveen,
Rebecca Soumeru and Solange Starrenburg