Orange held scoreless
On Day 8 of the Illinois-trip, Tuesday, July 8, a game was scheduled against Chicago Bandits, one of the teams from the professional National Pro Fastpitch.
A team which has wellknown pitcher Monica Abbott on its roster.
The Dutch offense was unable produce tonight and got only five basehits.
All six pitchers threw for the Orange squad.
The Bandits were more productive, batted two homeruns, held the Orange scoreless and won 9-0.
Despite the loss, this was a very useful game!
'For-the-record', this marked the 12th time that the Netherlands Softball Team played a game against a professional team from the NPF.
During the second American Tour of 2008 (the NPF-Tour), as part of the preparations for the Olympic Games in Beijing (China), the Orange played eleven games.
Those games against Philadelphia Force (4x), Rockford Thunder (4x) and Akron Racers (3x) even were officialy part back then of the NPF-competition.
A fourth game was scheduled against Akron, but that was cancelled due to a tornado-warning.
Players Dagmar Bloeming, Saskia Kosterink, Rebecca Soumeru, Nathalie Timmermans, Chantal Versluis and Britt Vonk also were there with the team in 2008.
Peter Schuler, the Team Manager of the Dutch Team during the Illinois-trip, made the following recap of Day 8.
We knew in advance that this Bandits-team was a strong one.
They had won twice from Team USA.
But, I'm jumping ahead of the facts again.
In the morning, Coach Tracy Bunge and players Rebecca Soumeru, Marisèla de Wind and Karin Tuk, together with Peter Schuler, went to the stadium to assist at the Youth Camp of the Bandits.
Some 50 children of all ages had come to the stadium to learn more about the softball-fundamentals.
It was nice weather and the three hours went by quickly.
Back to the hote to attend the 'press conference' of Chinese Taipei, which was done by Saskia Kosterink, Ginger de Weert and Nathalie Gosewehr.
It was another beautiful show.
Then, time to change clothes and go to Portillo's to have dinner in the atmosphere of a real American diner.
And, then back into the vans, off to the Bandits Stadium in Rosemont.
This time, we did the complete game-preparations, including an extensive batting practice at the field.
All other pre-game activities also were arranged, like a ceremonial first pitch, the introduction of the teams, the playing of the national anthems, etc.
All perfectly organized by the Bandits.
And then: the game.
Alle pitchers were scheduled to throw one inning.
Focus on three outs.
Dagmar Bloeming was the starter and gave up one run, thanks to a missed fly ball in the infield and an infield-hit.
So, no earned run.
Ginger de Weert had a touch inning.
Initially, there appeared no problems with two outs, but then three hits were hit, followed by a towering 3-run homerun by Megan Wiggins and suddenly we faced a 6-0 deficit.
Femke van Dusschoten was the third pitcher in the circle and encountered no big problems.
Rebecca Soumeru also appeared to succeed, as we turned a nice double play, but then gave up another homerun, hit by Kirsten Verdun: 7-0.
Then, it was Eva Voortman's turn, who, after a walk, gave up a line drive triple, followed by a single: 9-0.
Lindsey Meadows then closed the game and held the Bandits scoreless.
Offensively, we were unable to produce off of two Bandits-pitchers.
Merel Oosterveld and Areke Spel both had two hits and there was another one hit by Saskia Kosterink.
We weren't productive ourselves and we learned that professional teams, like the Bandits, had a big roster with very good players, who all can hit and often very agressive!
These are very useful games and we will play some more during this trip.
We can only become better from these games!
Wednesday will be an intensive day, as we will change hotels.
Around 10 AM, we have loaded everything in our vans and will travel to Bloomington, where we will arrive in hotel on time to watch the Netherlands against Argentina (World Cup Soccer).
In the evening, we have a double-header against Bloomington Hearts.
Another strong opponent.
Box Score Netherlands vs. Chicago Bandits
(photos made by Joanne Schuler)