Another productive afternoon
ROSMALEN (Neth.) - The Dutch National Softball Team had another productive day in the Holland Tour on Sunday in the double-header against Dutch Major League-team Gryphons, played on the beautiful complex of this club in Rosmalen.
After a 2-0 shutout-victory in the opener, the squad of Head Coach Craig Montvidas won big in Game Two, 16-1.
With the two victories, the record in the Holland Tour is now 8-0.
In the eight games played so far, the Dutch team scored 76 runs and gave up only nine, while outhitting the opponents 81-21.
Defensively, only three errors were made.
The Dutch Team has a strong offense, plays agressively, takes extra bases when possible, plays solid defense and has fine pitching to show the spectators attractive softball during the Holland Tour.
The next games in the Holland Tour will be played next Wednesday, May 20, when it will meet the Dutch National Junior Team for the second time in this series, which serves as the preparation for the three international events in July: Canada Cup in Surrey (Canada), World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City (USA) and the European Championships in Valencia (Spain).
The first game of the double-header against the Dutch Juniors will start at 6:00 PM.
The games will be played again on the site of Nieuwegein Diamonds in Nieuwegein.
Schedule Holland Tour
The players and staff of the Dutch National Softball Team thank Umpires Harm de Fonkert and Patrick Reus and Official Scorer Linda Steijger for their contributions in the two games against Gryphons.
For the two umpires this was their second assignment in the Holland Tour. Both also officiated in the openers against Euro Stars.
Another thank you for Wout Isbouts, who was the Public Address Announcer during both games.
The team prepares before the game
Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar and Team Manager Paul Boonstra
check out what's available in the clubhouse of Gryphons
Today's umpires Patrick Reus (left) and Harm de Fonkert
Thumb's up for the Dutch National Softball Team
Official Scorer Linda Steijger makes notes in the scorebox
Catcher Karin Tuk in the bullpen before the game
Chantal Versluis (23) and Nathalie Timmermans (26) look on during infield practice
Outfielder Merel Oosterveld makes a catch during pre-game preparations
And so does outfielder Solange Starrenburg
Playing at second base, Meike Witteveen is ready to throw home
Head Coach Craig Montvidas hits another one during the in/outfield-practice
The pre-game is completed, players high five each other
Game One: Netherlands vs. Gryphons, 2-0
While it had rained heavily at some spots in the country the night before and despite an overcast, today's games could be played without problems.
The weather cleared during the day and even the sun came out to make it another fine day to play softball.
In the opening game against Gryphons, pitchers Daisy Verstappen and Femke van Dusschoten threw a combined 5-hit shutout.
For the latter, this was her first game in the national squad after being added to the roster a week ago.
The Dutch Team started well, as lead-off hitter Meike Witteveen accounted for the first run of the game on the second delivery from American starting pitcher Kate Robinson.
The speedy Meike hit the ball into deep leftfield, rounded the bases and was waved home to succesfully complete an inside-the-park-homerun.
With one out, Virginie Anneveld doubled and advanced to third base on a passed ball, but stranded there, shortly after starter Kate Robinson was relieved by Gaby Hutten.
The second run was scored in the fourth inning.
Solange Starrenburg led off with a triple off Marjolein Merkx, the third pitcher for Gryphons in the game.
Hereafter, she was relieved by Kate Robinson, who had moved to first base after having pitched the first 2/3 inning of the game.
After striking out a batter, the American, who plays professionally in the National Pro Fastpitch and will return back to the USA in a few days, gave up an RBI-single to Merel Oosterveld, which made it 2-0.
Kate Robinson was then relieved again by Marjolein Merkx, who also is one of the pitchers of the Dutch National Junior Team.
Dutch starter Daisy Verstappen gave up a double to Kate Robinson with two outs in the first inning, which was followed by a single by Claudia Kranendonk.
Robinson tried to score, but a nice throw from leftfielder Judith Diepeveen to catcher Karin Tuk resulted in a putout at the plate and the end of the at bat.
Gryphons got its first two batters on base in the second inning, but the two were left behind at second and third base after some fine defensive plays and a strikeout.
In the third, veteran player Gaby Hutten, who made her big league-debut in 1996 while playing for HCAW, doubled with one out, but her pinch-runner was left at second base.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Femke van Dusschoten took over the pitching to make her debut and gave up a lead-off single to Kate Robinson, who underscored her offensive strenghth in today's games and her importance for Gryphons in the regular season so far.
But Robinson was caught stealing and the defense did the rest.
In the fifth and final inning of the game, Femke struckout the first two batters, then a pop-fly ended the game.
Box Score Game 1 Netherlands vs. Gryphons
Meike Witteveen leads off the game by hitting the ball into leftfield
Seconds later, Meike slides in head first to complete an inside-the-park-homerun
Catcher Claudia Kranendonk has no play
A view from centerfield with Gryphons-starter Kate Robinson delivering to Virginie Anneveld
Annemiek van Riessen connects in the first inning
Coach Nancy Evans and Head Coach Craig Montvidas look on
while starting pitcher Daisy Verstappen makes her wind-up
Concentrated at first base, Annemiek van Riessen
Daisy Verstappen makes another delivery
Ready to field at short stop, Petra van Heijst
Rebecca Soumeru and Britt Vonk look on from the dug-out
Solange Starrenburg running at second base in the second inning
Head Coach Craig Montvidas during a time-out
Petra van Heijst connects in the fourth at bat
Debuting pitcher Femke van Dusschoten took over in the fourth
Karin Tuk singles in the fifth inning
Game Two: Netherlands vs. Centrals, 16-1
In Game Two, the Dutch Team collected 15 basehits, including three by Britt Vonk (including a triple), Saskia Kosterink (including a double and triple) and Virginie Anneveld to win comfortably, 16-1.
Britt had four RBI's in this game, while Nathalie Gosewehr scored three runs.
For some of the younger players of opponent Gryphons, it was a busy weekend.
These juniors first played with the main squad in two games on Saturday in the regular season in the Dutch big league, then played in two games for the junior team prior to today's double-header and then joined the main team again for the match-ups against the Dutch Team.
But by participating in six games in two days, these talented youngsters showed that they are willing to play.
Gryphons is led by two experienced coaches.
Head Coach is Mary-Ann Hatt, who was a member of the coachingstaff of the Dutch National Team the last four years and herself played a longtime in the Dutch big league.
Assisting Mary-Ann is Vera Van De Ven, probably the best Belgian pitcher ever, who has had a long career herself, including several European Championships and other events pitching for the Belgian National Team.
After having pitched for General Motors in the Belgian big league, Vera made her debut in the Dutch Major League in 1985, playing in 22 games for Nuenen.
21 years later, in 2006, Vera made her comeback in the Dutch League, pitching for Euro Stars, where she was teammates with current Dutch National Team-players Karin Tuk and Areke Spel.
In 2007, she appeared in ten more games with Euro Stars and then also had Dutch pitcher Daisy Verstappen as teammate.
The Dutch Team opened with three runs in the first inning off Kate Robinson, who again was the starting pitcher.
Chantal Versluis led off with a single off the glove of rookie 2B Sophie Mollee, then speedster Britt Vonk reached on an infield-hit.
A single by Saskia Kosterink and a passed ball then resulted in the first two runs.
Moments later, Saskia scored on a single by Nathalie Timmermans, who played in her first game for the national squad after returning from the USA, where she studied and played the last months.
The next run was added in the second inning.
Kate Robinson hit lead-off hitter Nathalie Gosewehr with a pitch and she later scored after advancing on a sacrifice bunt, wild pitch and passed ball.
In both the third and fourth inning, the Dutch Team rallied for six runs, bringing to bat a total of 21 batters.
Eleven of them stepped up to the plate in the third in which Saskia Kosterink started the rally with an one-out double.
Basehits by Areke Spel, Nadine Marinus and Britt Vonk, a double by Chantal Versluis and two errors then accounted for the six runs.
In the fourth, there were three extra basehits that produced the six runs.
First, with the bases loaded, Nadine Marinus batted in two runs with a double down the first base-line.
After the bases were re-loaded again, Britt Vonk hit a baseclearing, 3-run triple, then scored herself when next batter Saskia Kosterink also tripled to increase the lead to 16-0.
Dutch pitchers Ginger de Weert and Virginie Anneveld gave up seven hits.
Ginger, who also made her debut in the national team today, saw Gryphons load the bases in the third inning, but the three runners would all be left behind.
In the fourth, Virginie took over and gave up a lead-off double to Kate Robinson, who later scored the lone Gryphons-run on a single by Illiandra Figaroa.
With the bases loaded and no outs, no more runs were given up, as Virginie saw three batters flyout to end the inning, then retired the side in the fifth to end the game.
Afterwards, the team enjoyed a meal in the clubhouse.
The players and staff of the Dutch National Team thank Gryphons for its hospitality during today's games and their contributions in the national squad's preparations for the international season.
Box Score Game 2 Netherlands vs. Gryphons
Nadine Marinus played at first base in the second game
And Nathalie Timmermans played at third base
Starter Ginger de Weert in her first outing for the national team
Chantal Versluis listens to the advice of Coach Nancy Evans
Nathalie Timmermans singles in a run in the first at bat
Nathalie Gosewehr running at second base in the second inning
Next, Nathalie scores on a passed ball; covering pitcher Kate Robinson is too late with the tag
Home Plate Umpire Harm de Fonkert keeps an eye on the action
Kirsten Scheele, Annemiek van Riessen, Merel Oosterveld, Solange Starrenburg,
Judith Diepeveen, Karin Tuk and Meike Witteveen
return to the dug-out after a between-innings warm-up
Veteran pitcher Gaby Hutten in action for Gryphons
Saskia Kosterink looks at the signs, while running at second base
Virginie Anneveld scores after a throwing error in the third inning
Catcher Claudia Kranendonk stands in the way, forcing Virginie to go around her to touch home plate
Anne Blaauwgeers takes her stands while running at third base
Experienced umpire Harm de Fonkert overlooks the field
Former Belgian National Team Pitcher and Gryphons Coach Vera Van De Ven
has a talk with pitcher Marjolein Merkx
Gryphons' Head Coach Mary-Ann Hatt has a talk with Dutch Head Coach Craig Montvidas
Nathalie Timmermans scores another Dutch run
Head Coach Craig Montvidas looks at a Dutch batter
Virginie Anneveld took over the pitching in the fourth inning
Head Coach Craig Montvidas has a talk with the Dutch defense
Catcher Anne Blaauwgeers preparing between innings
Physical Therapist Anouk Fermont has her hands free
High fives after the completion of today's double-header
A meal in the clubhouse of Gryphons completed the day
(thanks again to Fred Versluis for submitting several photos)