Dutch Team qualifies for Semi-Final & World Cup
Milestone for Saskia Kosterink
REDIPUGLIA / RONCHI DEI LEGIONARI / STARANZANO (Italy) -
On Thursday, August 4, the Dutch National Softball Team clinched a spot in the Semi-Final of the European Championship and qualified for participation in the World Championship to be held next year in Canada.
Also on Thursday, Saskia Kosterink played in her 100th official game for the Dutch Team.
The Orange shutout Russia 2-0 to reach the Semi-Final, then won 8-1 vs. France in the evening to close the Second Round.
The Dutch now will meet Italy in the Semi-Final on Friday-evening.
A Live play-by-play will be available again for the Semi-Final
Go here for the Play-by-Play of the Dutch vs. Italy game.
Go here for a complete look at the other games and their play-by-plays to be played on Friday.
A live stream also should be available of the game between the Netherlands and Italy.
Go here for the live stream
On Thursday-morning, the Dutch Team shutout Russia 2-0.
Both runs were scored in the fourth inning, as the Dutch Team initially was held hitless in the first three at bats.
In that span, only three players reached base.
In the first, Meike Witteveen was hit by a pitch, but was then forced out on a grounder by Britt Vonk, who then was caught stealing.
In the third, Areke Spel walked and stole second base, but was left behind.
In the fourth inning, the Dutch struck with two outs.
Saskia Kosterink then singled and stole second base, then scored the first run when virginie Anneveld followed with a single.
Moments later, Virginie scored the second run all the way from first base when Nathalie Gosewehr ended up on third base with a triple after the Russian rightfielder misjudged the ball and ended up short catching it.
In the fifth and sixth inning, a total of three runners stranded.
The Russians hit five basehits off Rebecca Soumeru, who went the distance and struckout six batters.
Only seven Russian players reached base and only two of them made it to second base, as the Dutch defense again played solid ball.
Another game, another pre-game preparation
And it was another fine day to play softball
Head Coach Craig Montvidas hits grounders with Nathalie Timmermans catching the balls
In the meantime, some players perform some additional hitting drills
The Official Scorers for the game vs. Russia, Marco Battistella and Erika Sojat
ESF-President André van Overbeek looks on from the VIP-area
The umpires for the game vs. Russia
1B José Sanchez (Sweden), HP Johann Garigliano (Italy) and 3B Martin Moravcik (Slovakia)
The coaches of Russia and the Netherlands meet the umpires
And then it's time to introduce the players...
...and line up for the National Anthems
Rebecca Soumeru struckout six and threw a 5-hitter vs. Russia
Russian starting pitcher Svetlana Lagutkina
Meike Witteveen is covered in dirt after being eliminated at 2nd base in the 1st inning
It looks like Britt Vonk reaches second base in time, but she is caught stealing to end the first inning
In the third inning, Areke Spel successfully steals second base, beating the tag of short stop Tatiana Sorokina
Chantal Versluis hitting in the third at bat
Rebecca Soumeru concentrates for her next pitch
Players cheer in the dug-out
Virginie Anneveld moments before hitting an RBI-single that gave the Dutch the lead in the fourth inning
Saskia Kosterink, who singled with two outs, scored on Virginie's single...
...and is greeted in the Dutch dug-out
Moments later, Virginie Anneveld scores the second run in the inning...
...when Nathalie Gosewehr hits a triple
Head Coach Craig Montvidas at third base
Catcher Karin Tuk and Pitching Coach Karen Marr have a chat
And another look in the Dutch dug-out
End of the game and that's victory number six
Head Coach Craig Montvidas talking with his sons Taylor and Quinn
Rebecca Soumeru signs autographs after the game
Lindsey Meadows with Katrina Stockford and Minna Kulokorpi, former teammates at Tex Town Tigers
Thumbs up for Peter van der Aart, Johan Snoeks and Johan Kluijskens, members of the Organizing Committee
for the World Softball Championship 2014, which might land in the Netherlands
In the evening, the Dutch Team closed the Second Round with an 8-1 win vs. France, which is coached by Dutchman André Prins.
The former coach of the Dutch Junior Team saw his team being silenced in the first four innings by pitchers Lindsey Meadows and Ginger de Weert, who combined on four perfect innings.
In this game, Saskia Kosterink played in her 100th official game for the Dutch National Team, joining a select group of players, which is led by recordholder Sandra Gouverneur, who has played in 158 games.
The score was opened in the first inning when Chantal Versluis, who played in her 50th international game on Wednesday vs. Great Britain, led off with a single and scored all the way from first base on a double by Meike Witteveen, who was 3-for-3.
Moments later, Meike advanced on a single by Britt Vonk and then appeared to reach home plate safely with a head-first slide on what would have been a sacrifice fly by Saskia Kosterink, but was called out by the Spanish Home Plate Umpire.
A 4-run rally then followed in the second at bat.
Merel Oosterveld led off with a bunt-single and advanced on an error, then moved to third on a bunt-single by Fabienne van Uden and scored when an error followed.
After Fabienne had advanced on a sac-bunt by Anne Blaauwgeers, she scored on a sac-fly by Chantal Versluis.
Next, Meike Witteveen doubled and scored on a triple by Britt Vonk, who then scored herself when an error was made on a grounder by Saskia Kosterink to make it 5-0.
In the third, two runs were added.
Virginie Anneveld reached on an error and scored on a double by Nathalie Gosewehr, who then scored (after a pitching change) on a grounder by Fabienne van Uden.
Dutch starter Lindsey Meadows retired all nine batters she faced, including three strikeouts, then Ginger de Weert retired the side in the fourth.
With a 7-run lead, three more outs were needed to end the game.
But then, the Perfect Game ended in the top of the fifth when a lead-off single was registered and later the first French run.
But in the home of the fifth, the 7-run lead was regained when Nathalie Gosewehr led off with a walk and scored on a sac-fly by Fabienne van Uden.
After the game, Saskia's 100th game was celebrated by the team, family, friends and supporters, who enlightened the festivities with a 'home-made' cake with candles and balloons.
The players relax in the shadow near the field in Staranzano
Head Coach Craig Montvidas announces the starting line-up
The umpires for the game vs. France
3B Jan Hora (Czech Republic), HP Juan Maestre (Spain) and 1B Alex Kaverin (Russia)
Head Coach Craig Montvidas hits grounders before the game
The teams are lined up for the National Anthems
André Prins, the Dutch Head Coach of France
Lindsey Meadows, who started for the Dutch Team
Lindsey Meadows struckout three and pitched three perfect innings
French starting pitcher Sarah Benchali
French coach André Prins has a discussion with Spanish HP Umpire José Maestre
A look in the Dutch dug-out
Saskia Kosterink flied into a double play in the first inning
Virginie Anneveld walked in the first at bat
Saskia Kosterink tonight played in her 100th game for the Dutch Team
Anne Blaauwgeers was the catcher for the Dutch squad
Merel Oosterveld led off the second inning with a bunt-single and scored
French coach André Prins has a meeting with his players
Fabienne van Uden running at third base in the second inning
She later scores the third Dutch run
Meike Witteveen doubled and scored in the second inning
Meike scored on a triple by Britt Vonk, who later also scored herself
Britt Vonk slides into third base after hitting her RBI-triple
3B Marie De Riols receives the ball too late
Czech umpire Jan Hora calls Saskia Kosterink out at second base
Saskia advanced to second base after a throwing error, that enabled Britt to score a run
The French second baseman has the best name in softball: Carrie Pitcher
Head Coach Craig Montvidas and Pitching Coach Karen Marr have a talk with catcher Anne Blaauwgeers...
...while Coach Karen Marr has some hitting tips for Saskia Kosterink
French 3B Marie De Riols is attended after she dislocated her shoulder in a defensive action in the 3rd inning
Fabienne van Uden hitting in the third inning
3B Virginie Anneveld, pitcher Ginger de Weert and 1B Saskia Kosterink
signal that there is one out in the fourth inning
Ginger de Weert took over the pitching in the fourth inning for Lindsey Meadows
In the fifth inning, some dark rain clouds were building in the back, but the rain didn't come
End of the game, the Dutch win their seventh game and are on to the semi-final
The Dutch and French players exchange high-fives
The 100th international game of Saskia Kosterink is celebrated after the game
There was some lightning after the game, but there was no rain on another hot day