Orange avoids early start on Sunday
On Saturday, July 5, the Netherland Softball Team plays its first three games.
These games were played at the 10th annual John Radtke Memorial Women's Fastpitch Classic in Elgin.
The first opponent is Wisconsin Lightning from Salem (Wisconsin).
Founded in 2004, the purpose of this organization is the development of youth athletics, but also to participate with a competitive team in premier fastpitch tournaments around the country.
The second game today was played against Pekin Lettes from Pekin (Illinois).
This is the oldest continuous softball team in the USA since 1930.
Pekin Lettes celebrates its 85th season in 2014 of which the last 56 are played in Pekin.
The tournament-day ends against Hooters from Springfield (Illinois).
Peter Schuler, the Team Manager of the Orange squad during the Illinois-trip reports the following from the first day of play:
Today the first full day with softball.
And an intense one.
The team leaves around 9:30 AM towards Elgin, some 25 kilometers westwards.
Nice surroundings here by the way.
After arrival at the Elgin Sports Complex, we had to look for awhile where we had to play, as there are more than 10 softball-fields here.
The first game was played against Wisconsin Lightning.
Femke van Dusschoten got the ball and held the opponent three innings scoreless: five strikeouts, one walk, one hit.
Inning 4 and 5 were for Rebecca Soumeru, who didn't allow a runner: 3 strikeouts, no walks, no hits.
Offensively, the Dutch Team extended its lead simply to 8-0 in five innings, highlighted by homeruns by Britt Vonk and Karin Tuk.
They're still searching that last ball....
A total of 12 hits, with Saskia Kosterink and Karin both hitting 3-for-3.
Chantal versluis was hit on her foot and didn't play the rest of the day.
Box Score Netherlands vs. Wisconsin Lightning
The second game followed immediately and was played against Pekin Lettes.
The pressure was high for the Dutch Team, as this game started at 2 PM (local time) and at 3 PM, the Dutch Soccer Team was to start its game against Costa Rica at the World Cup Soccer in Brazil.
And so, a quick game was needed in order to have the opportunity to see part of the game in a nearby sports café combined with dinner.
Ginger de Weert 'took' two innings (3 strikeouts, no walks, 2 hits) en Eva Voortman (5 strikeouts, 2 hits) completed the game fine.
The lone run of the opponent was scored due to an infield-error.
Offensively, we were productive again with 12 hits, including homeruns by Merel Oosterveld, Karin Tuk and Anne Blaauwgeers (which were all hit in the second inning).
Box Score Netherlands vs. Pekin Lettes
After completion of the game, we quickly collected our things and went on to watch the other Orange.
We arrived at the start of the second half and then then nailbiting started.
Also in 'Walnut Speak Easy' (the name of the restaurant), there was a big cheering when the Netherlands went on to the semi-final (take a look on our Facebook-page).
Friends of Virginie Anneveld came by with a birthday-cake for everyone (she is having her birthday on Sunday).
After dinner, it was quickly back to the field for the meeting with Hooters, which was listed as the best team of the tournament.
Just as was the case with the soccer-team, this also became a nailbiter, but our girls avoided extra innings.
Britt Vonk led off the game with a homerun and a few moments later, Nathalie Timmermans scored the second run.
Hooters indeed was a strong team.
The team got a run back (2-1) off of Dagmar Bloeming (4 strikeouts, 2 walks, 6 hits), who was bothered somewhat by the soft gravel and deep hole in front of the plate.
In the third inning, Virginie Anneveld homered with Nathalie Timmermans on base and that made it 4-1 in our favor.
Hooters immediately came back thanks to good hitting and an error: 4-3.
In the fourth inning, Britt Vonk made 5-3, but a powerful 2-run homerun off of Lindsey Meadows (6 strikeouts, 4 hits) resulted in a tie score.
It took until the top of the seventh inning for the Dutch to re-take the lead when Nathalie Timmermans hit a towering homerun and thereafter, Lindsey sealed the win with three strikeouts.
Box Score Netherlands vs. Hooters
With the victory vs. Hooters, the team avoided an early start of its its first game on Sunday-morning at EIGHT PM!
Now, the team has to play at 12 PM.
When we keep winning, we also will play at 2 and 4 PM.
A loss means that we can go back to the hotel.
The fifth of July was a long day, but with a very good feeling we entered the lobby of our hotel at 11:30 in the evening.
The Dutch Team and Wisconsin Lightning pose together
Anne Blaauwgeers homers in the 2nd inning of the 2nd game
Merel Oosterveld also homers moments later
And so does Karin Tuk
Eva Voortman closes the 2nd game
Having dinner after the 2nd game at 'Walnut Speak Easy'
Tension during the penalty-shots of the Dutch Soccer Team
The birthday-cake for Virginie Anneveld, who celebrates her birthday on Sunday
Britt Vonk leads off the 3rd game with a homerun
Dagmar Bloeming starts against Hooters for the Orange squad
(photos made by Joanne Schuler)