UTRECHT / AMSTERDAM / ENSCHEDE (Neth.) - On Tuesday, January 13, the preliminary selection of the Dutch Nation Softball Team started its indoor practices in Utrecht.
The team conducts three practices weekly with Tuesday's practices being scheduled for Utrecht, Wednesday's in Amsterdam and on Sunday's in Enschede.
Starting on February 15, Sunday's practices will shift to Nieuwegein.
The last indoor practice is scheduled for March 1, with the first outdoor practice being listed for April 1.
All outdoor practices will be held on the site of Nieuwegein Diamonds at Nieuwegein.
Last year, the team held most indoor and outdoor practices on the site of Amsterdam Pirates in Amsterdam.
On December 11, 28 players were named to the preliminary roster and were invited for a team-meeting, to be followed by the indoor practices.
Before the start of the first indoor session, five players had to withdraw, as it was not possible for them to combine their regular work with the scheduled hours of the weekly practices.
This doesn't mean the end of their international career, as they remain eligible for selection in the future.
On January 17, Head Coach Craig Montvidas added catcher Anne Blaauwgeers, bringing the total to 24 players currently on the roster.
In the meantime, 15 exhibition games have been tentatively scheduled for the Holland Tour 2009.
The games are scheduled for Wednesday-evenings (seven) and Sunday-afternoons (eight), except of course when regular season games have to be made up on these days.
All games on Wednesday-evening are scheduled to be played on the site of Nieuwegein Diamonds in Nieuwegein. The first will be played on Wednesday, May 6.
The Sunday-games will be played on different locations, with the first game to be played on May 3.
In five Sunday-games, the Dutch National Team will play against teams from the Dutch Major League. Three of these games have been confirmed with the Dutch National Team playing against Euro Stars, Gryphons and Twins.
The last game is scheduled for Sunday, June 21, which was to be two days before the start of the 11th Haarlem Softball Week. However, that event had to be canceled on February 19.
Complete schedule Holland Tour 2009
2009 schedule Dutch National Team
Head Coach Craig Montvidas has talk with the team before starting practice
Judith Diepeveen, Virginie Anneveld, Britt Vonk and Merel Oosterveld listen
Head Coach Craig Montvidas goes over the details with Patrick van Balkom of NOC*NSF
(Dutch Olympic Committee), who handles the conditioning training during the indoor sessions
Pitchers Dagmar Bloeming (bottom) and Shannah van der Kaaij (top) during a
conditioning drill. At right is conditioning trainer Patrick van Balkom
Meike Witteveen, Virginie Anneveld, Britt Vonk, Nadine Marinus, Saskia Kosterink,
Chantal Versluis, Karin Tuk and Daisy Verstappen during warming-up drills
Anne Blaauwgeers and Judith Diepeveen perform a conditioning drill
In the background are Chantal Versluis and Areke Spel
Saskia Kosterink, who is an ISF Athlete Ambassador, is ready to hit
...And so is Rebecca Soumeru
Nadine Marinus and Nathalie Gosewehr at work at a hitting station
Head Coach Craig Montvidas throws at another hitting station
During an outfield-drill, Solange Starrenburg makes a diving catch
The practices ends with another meeting