Day 5: Dutch open with loss, but come back fine|
ALLENTOWN (Pennsylvania, USA) - The Dutch National Softball Team started the second American Tour with a 6-4 loss against the professional team of the Philadelphia Force, but it could have gone the other way.
It was a game with two faces. In the first three innings, some defensive mishaps led to additional runners and eventually runs. On the other hand, trailing 6-0, the Dutch team came back great, scoring four runs in the last four innnings, including two on solo-homeruns by Debby Connor and Saskia Kosterink, to narrow the deficit to 6-4. With this, it put the pressure on the Force and ended the game with four good innings.
Despite the loss, Dutch Head Coach Liz Kelly was satisfied.
,,Yes, overall I'm satisfied, there were a lot of positive things, like the way we came back'', she said afterwards. ,,We did a good job to come back. We made good adjustments at the plate to come back. Players who were put into the game later also did a good job. But we have to be more agressive early in the game.''
The Philadelphia Force made some fine defensive plays to support their pitchers. ,,They made the routine plays'', Coach Kelly said.
As this was Opening Night for the Philadelphia Force and the National Pro Fastpitch-season, players and coaches of the two teams were introduced before the game.
After the playing of the national anthems, Force-owner Tom Kleinman welcomed the Dutch National Team and even had a Dutch-language address to them from a relative of his.
Hereafter, to honor the Dutch guests, Dutch Business Manager Caroline Theunissen was asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Chantal Versluis and Dana Horeman before the game
Noémi Boekel, Kristi de Vries, Petra van Heijst, Marloes Fellinger
and Jolanda Kroesen together before the game
Kim Kluijskens is introduced
Philadelphia Force Mascot 'Belle'
The Umpire Crew: John Cambridge (1B), Joe Massaro (HP) and Tom Meyer (3B).
Chantal Versluis (left) and Petra van Heijst hold the Dutch flag
during the playing of the national anthem
Philadelphia Force Owner Tom Kleinman welcomes the Dutch Team to Allentown
The 'Star Spangled Banner', the American national anthem, is being sung before the game
Dutch National Team Business Manager Caroline Theunissen throws out
the ceremonial first pitch before the game
Box Score Game One vs. Philadelphia Force
The Dutch Team got a runner into scoring position right away in the first inning when Sandra Gouverneur's comeback-grounder was misplayed, enabling her to reach second base, but unfortunately, she stranded there.
Philadelphia reacted by opening the score in its first. Chelsea Spencer led off with a double, then scored when speedy Trena Peel tripled with one out, but hereafter Dutch starter Dagmar Bloeming struckout powerhitters Jenna Hall and Kellie Wilkerson.
In the third inning, Marjan Smit registered the first Dutch basehit, an one-out single off starter Amy Harre, but again, a run didn't follow.
Philadelphia then rallied for five runs in the third inning, which increased their lead to 6-0 and eventually proofed to be decisive for the game.
Lead-off batter Chelsea Spencer reached on an error and Sharonda McDonald followed with an infield-hit to put two runners on.
Next, Trena Peel hit a 3-run homerun. Hereafter, Jenna Hall singled, then Kellie Wilkerson also homered, despite an effort to catch the ball by leftfielder Marloes Fellinger, who ran into the fence.
Dagmar Bloeming was relieved by Rebecca Soumeru, who would allow only three more batters to reach base in the last four innings, including two on a single.
Marjan Smit hits the first Dutch basehit in the 3rd inning
Dutch starter Dagmar Bloeming throws with Sharonda McDonald batting
Trena Peel is welcomed at home after her 3-run homerun in the 3rd inning
The turn-around in the game came in the fourth inning when Debby Connor hit a towering homerun with two outs.
Two innings later, Saskia Kosterink led off with a homerun to make it 6-2. Unfortunately, there were no runners on base when the two Dutch homeruns were hit, while the two Philadelphia-homers accounted for five runs.
But the Dutch team was far from beaten, as it continued its comeback.
After Saskia's homerun, Kim Kluijskens and pinch-hitter Petra van Heijst singled, resulting in a pitching change.
Margo Pruis took over from starter Amy Harre, who saw both runners advance on a grounder by Debby Connor, then a run was scored on a perfect squeeze-bunt by Marloes Fellinger.
In the seventh inning, Nathalie Timmermans, who had just entered the game at third base, led off with a walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Ellen Venker.
With one out, rookie Britt Vonk was brought in as a pinch-hitter. In her first National Team-at bat, she grounded towards third base, but there a throwing error to second base followed, enabling Ellen to score the fourth Dutch run.
Philadelphia's lead was then probably saved by a great diving catch on foul territory by 3B Amy Hudson on a pop-up by Saskia Kosterink for the second putout, followed by a flyout to end the game.
After the game, players of both teams went to the picknick-area besides leftfield to hand out signatures to spectators, followed by some team-pictures.
OK, the first game was lost, but it ended with four strong Dutch innings. So anything can happen in Game Two on Friday. By the way, all games can be followed with a live play-by-play and when all connections are working properly, even a live stream, on the website of the Philadelphia Force.
Debby Connor on her way to her teammates after hitting
a mammoth homerun in the fourth inning
Chantal Versluis (left), Rebecca Soumeru and Belle sign autographs after the game
Nathalie Timmermans, Kim Kluijskens and Marjan Smit are ready to receive autograph collectors
Marloes Fellinger, Britt Vonk, Dana Horeman and Anouk Mels during the autograph session
Jolanda Kroesen put her signature on a piece of paper
Noémi Boekel (left) and Kristi de Vries decide to put their signature on the head of Saskia Kosterink
Homerun-hitters Debby Connor and Saskia Kosterink show their muscles
The teams of the Netherlands and Philadelphia Force pose after Game One
The Dutch National Team poses with the Lady Tigers
Go back to the schedule of the 2nd USA Tour