UTRECHT / AMSTERDAM / NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - The Dutch National Softball Team closed its winter indoor practice sessions on Sunday, March 1 at Nieuwegein. In March, the team will continue with its strength and conditioning program, then start the outdoor practice sessions on April 1.
During the last two weeks, the team again played some intersquad games and continued performing several drills and situations.
Also, umpires came by to not only prepare themselves for the upcoming season, but also to give the team additional information regarding umpire signals, different situations and updates on game rules and of course to contribute in the intersquad games making the calls from behind the plate and on the bases.
Therefore, players and staff of the Dutch Team thanks umpires Bob Gieskens, Hans Hornstra, Wout van der Horst, Jac van Riel, Carolien Stadhouders, Albert Tolen and Arjan de Wever for their participation in several of the indoor practices and for their advices.
On Sunday, March 1, at Utrecht, the indoor sessions ended with a meeting between some of the staff members and the players' parents and of course with the last practice session.
Also, the coaches of the Dutch big league-teams were invited to come over, look on and have discussions.
As mentioned, the team will continue its strength and conditioning program in March, working with their schedule at the Papendal Sports Complex, the home of the Netherlands Olympic Committee.
NOC*NSF Strength and Conditioning Specialists Patrick van Balkom and Jim McCarthy will be available again to work with the players in March.
On April 1, the team will start the outdoor practice sessions, which all will be done on the complex of Nieuwegein Diamonds in Nieuwegein.
In May, the first games are scheduled to be played in the Holland Tour 2009.
NOC*NSF Strength and Conditioning Specialist Patrick van Balkom looks on
as the players perform a conditioning drill during a practice in Utrecht
After another drill is completed, pitcher Rebecca Soumeru puts away her things
Physical Therapist Sanne Oude Egberink gives Chantal Versluis a check-up on her arm
Head Coach Craig Montvidas has another meeting with his players
Time for a hitting drill, the helmets are waiting
Physical Therapist Sanne Oude Egberink handles the videocamera during a hitting session
In Amsterdam, umpires Bob Gieskens, Wout van der Horst and Carolien Stadhouders
participated in the practice. Here, the team gets some additional explanation concerning
the signal umpires use when calling an illegal pitch (extended left arm).
Areke Spel is ready to hit in an intersquad game with Karin Tuk doing the catching.
Umpire Wout van der Horst makes the calls
Umpire Bob Gieskens holds a close eye on the action at third base, where
Annemiek van Riessen is the runner, while Nadine Marinus is playing at third base
Over at first base, Carolien Stadhouders is watching the situations.
Here, she stands behind Nathalie Gosewehr, who plays at second base.
In the back is Rob capturing the action on video.
Former National Team Pitching Coach Bram van der Werf visited one of the practices in Amsterdam.
Bram van der Werf was the Pitching Coach for the national squad from 1979-1987 serving under four
different Head Coaches (Nol Houtkamp, Teus Morren, Don Wedman, Diane Schumacher).
Besides that, Van der Werf instructed pitchers on the National Junior Squad from 1975-1995.
Areke Spel concentrates while playing at first base with umpire Bob Gieskens in the back
Kirsten Scheele is doing the pitching with Merel Oosterveld playing at short
Nadine Marinus is batting with Anne Blaauwgeers doing the catching
and Carolien Stadhouders officiating behind the plate
As the umpires rotated during the game, Wout van der Horst makes the calls at first in this photo
Out or safe? Rebecca Soumeru, playing short stop in this situation,
appears to be on time tagging out a sliding Anne Blaauwgeers, but the umpire judges otherwise
A fully concentrated Chantal Versluis ready for action at short
Veteran umpire Albert Jung looks on during the practice session in Amsterdam
The three umpires, who participated in a practice session in Amsterdam
Wout van der Horst, Carolien Stadhouders and Bob Gieskens
Before the last indoor session in Amsterdam on Wednesday, February 25,
Head Coach Craig Montvidas starts, as always, with a team-meeting
The players are briefed with the latest developments concerning the team
An overview of the action in Sporthallen Zuid in Amsterdam
Ginger de Weert tosses a ball to Karin Tuk during a hitting drill
Former National Team Outfielder Jolanda Kroesen, who participated in the
Olympic Games last year with the Dutch squad, watched part of the final practices
in Amsterdam. Is she thinking of a comeback....?
The bats are waiting for more action
Saskia Kosterink is preparing for her part in the intersquad game
Is it working?
Michael Laarman, the Assistant Coach of Terrasvogels, handles the videocamera in Amsterdam
Judith Diepeveen, playing at short, throws to first base, with 2B Nathalie Gosewehr moving into position
Pitcher Dagmar Bloeming playing in an unfamiliar spot, leftfield
As he wasn't chosen for the World Baseball Classic-roster, Dutch National Team Catcher
Tjerk Smeets had time to visit the practice-session in Amsterdam
As their colleagues did the week before, Umpires Hans Hornstra (center), Albert Tolen and
Jac van Riel (at right) gave additional information concerning umpiring signals and rules