Strong comeback for Orange squad
The Netherlands Softball Team played its sixth game of the Illinois-trip on Monday-evening.
In the beautiful stadion of the Chicago Bandits in Rosement, the opponent was Indiana Slammers, which took an early lead.
But the Orange Team showed character, came back strongly and registered a come-from-behind 6-5 victory.
Special for this game, Indiana Slammers had added a player to its roster.
That was Miranda Elish, who recently was named Gatorade Indiana Softball Player of the Year.
As pitcher of Crown Point High School, she finished this season with a 24-0 record for the Bulldogs and struckout 225 batters in 133 innings.
She also is on the roster of Beverly Bandits, which will meet the Dutch Team twice next week.
Indiana Slammers is a strong team which had won 166 games since 2008 and lost only 33.
The team was the winner in 2009, 2010 and 2012 of the John Radtke Memorial Classic, the tournament in which the Dutch Team participated last weekend.
Indiana Slammers won the USSSA Women's Illinois State championship six times since 2009.
The lone exception was 2013, but in that year, the team won the NSA Women's World Series.
Peter Schuler made the recap beneath of Day 7 of the Illinois-trip.
A narrow escape.
And that refers to the game, but that was preceeded by a long day.
Early in the morning, Head Coach Craig Montvidas and players Saskia Kosterink, Nikki Harte and Femke van Dusschoten went to the Bandits Camp to assist with learning a lot of kids the fundamentals of softball.
The rest of the team used the morning to do their laundry and prepare for the daily 'press conference', which is given by the players.
Three players are representing a World Championship-team and have to tell something about their expectations.
Thereafter, the 'media' (other players and staff) can ask questions.
Lindsey Meadows, Marisèla de Wind and Areke Spel represented the USA and that became a very humoristic meeting.
Tomorrow the next group: Chinese Taipei.
Then it was time to change into the uniforms and off to Chili's for a late lunch to prepare for the game.
En route to the stadium (normally some 25 minutes drive), we got acquainted with a nice Chicago-traffic jam.
Luckily, there was no long delay, and so we arrived more or less on time in the stadium.
The Indiana Slammers already has started their preparations.
Wether this all had something to do with it, we will never now, but our opponent started the first inning very well!
When our girls awoke from this 'nightmare', the scoreboard listed a 5-0 score!
And we had agreed to play 9 innings...
Towards the end of the inning, pitcher Lindsey Meadows recovered completely and closed with two strikeouts.
An inning that's quickly to be forget, but also one to learn from.
And so, the Dutch Team could start a comeback.
We can report already that the Slammers were held scoreless in the next eight innings!
Lindsey ended with four strikeouts, walked three and gave up seven hits.
In the sixth inning, Ginger de Weert took over the pitching (5-5 score) and she also had the Slammers under control (one strikeout, 4 hits).
OK, back to the comeback.
In the second inning, 'Timmie' (Nathalie Timmermans) immediately drove the ball out of the stadium: 5-1.
In the third inning, 'Goos' (Nathalie Gosewehr) led of with a double, Chantal Versluis walked and then 'Timmie' again drove the ball towards the fence: 5-3.
In the fifth inning, the speedy Dutch runners gained optimal from some defensive errors in the Slammers-defense and came alongside: 5-5.
An inning later, it again was Chantal who crossed home plate, after having led off with a double, followed by an error and a wild pitch: 6-5.
In the ninth inning, the Slammers got close one more time, when it hit a triple with one out.
No squeeze was played and moments later, Ginger de Weert and Dinet Oosting accounted for the final two outs.
And so, out girls experienced a narrow escape, but were complimented with their successful comeback.
Quick back to the bus and back 'home'.
Tuesday will have almost the same schedule, but then we will meet probably the strongest opponent of the trip, the Chicago Bandits.
Box Score Netherlands vs. Indiana Slammers
Preparation in the nice stadium of the Chicago Bandits
Photos of the players appeared on the big scoreboard
Jessie van Aalst is caught stealing. Or isn't she?
Chantal Versluis in action
This batters of Slammers reaches first base safely
RF Eva Voortman calls for the catch; CF Marisèla de Wind covers
Back safely at first base?
Every minute, a plane flew over the stadium
Chantal Versluis scores the 4th run for the Orange
Dinet Oosting reaches second base safely...
...as the ball is not under control
Both teams on the photo together
(photos made by Joanne Schuler)
Another shot of the joint photo, this made by Indiana Slammers
(Copyright © Indiana Slammers)