Dutch Women Softball Team

2008

USA Tour II - Day 20

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USA Tour II - Day 20 - Friday, June 13 - World Softball Day
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Day 20: A sunny day in Illinois

SOUTH BELOIT / ROSCOE (Illinois, USA) / BELOIT (Wisconsin, USA) - After the heavy thunderstorms and tornado warnings of the last days, the area today enjoyed a beautiful and sunny day. Nevertheless, the local newspaper, Beloit Daily News, reported today that Rock County, the area which includes Rockford, Beloit and 'our home city' South Beloit, prepares for flood levels not seen in 100 years. The Rock River, which runs by the stadium of the Rockford Thunder, had surpassed its 9-foot flood stage by early Thursday and is expected to crest on Sunday. On Thursday, a baseball and football field in City Park in Beloit flooded, as did a portion of a downtown-street. The Single-A game between the Beloit Snappers and Cedar Rapids Kernels, to be played Thursday-evening, was canceled due to heavy thunderstorms and possible tornadoes in the area. So far, the Dutch National Team is on the safe side of the city.

In the morning, the team had a conditioning session with Conditioning and Strenghth Coach Rob Oskam, which was held in Turtle Ball Park in Beloit. After returning, most players had the opportunity to watch the soccer game of the Dutch National Soccer Team against France (broadcasted by ESPN), which was the second game for Head Coach Marco van Basten's squad on the European Championships. In Bern (Switzerland), the Dutch won 4-1 and clinched a spot in the next round.

But then it was time to focus again on their own game, as the second meeting with the Rockford Thunder was scheduled for tonight. On a sunny and warm afternoon/evening, the Dutch played a good game, but lost 3-2, thanks to a 3-run rally in the fourth inning.

World Softball Day
Today was the fourth consecutive World Softball Day, created by the International Softball Federation (ISF) to stimultate softball worldwide.
The date, June 13, coincides with the date in 1991 that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) approved women's fastpitch softball as an Olympic sport, effective with the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta (USA).


Celebration Time!
In the afternoon, most of the players watched the Dutch Soccer Team beat France 4-1


Head Coach Liz Kelly announces the starting line-up


Assistant Coach Mary-Ann Hatt fills in the line-up sheets


Players are warming up in the outfield. Almost time to play ball!


Business Manager Caroline Theunissen prepares another watermelon


Debby Connor hits one during pre-game drills


Head Coach Liz Kelly talks to Lydia Rypcinski, who will cover softball in Beijing
for the Olympic News Service


After batting practice, the team has a break to eat some fruit and sandwiches


The infielders are taking the field


Shortly before game time, the players are readying themselves in the dug-out


Tonight's umpire-crew:
Doug Almon (1B), Ed Vodvarka (HP) and Frank Spina (3B)


The two teams are facing the flags for the national anthems

Box Score Game 2 vs. Rockford Thunder

In the second game between the Dutch National Softball Team and the professional Rockford Thunder, the Dutch was the better team, but ended up empty-handed. The Dutch reached base 13 times, while Rockford had eight baserunners. The difference was that the Dutch left eight runners behind and Rockford only four. The difference also was one big hit, a 2-run homerun.

In the first inning, Kim Kluijskens walked with one out, but later stranded on third base. In the next at bat, another runner was left on third base. Pinch-runner Britt Vonk, who ran after Nathalie Timmermans had singled, advanced to third base on an one-out grounder, but then a strikeout ended the at bat.

Rockford got a big scoring opportunity in the third inning when it got the bases loaded. Dutch starter Rebecca Soumeru had retired six of the first seven batters she faced, but saw two batters reach base with one out in the third. After a groundout, the bases were loaded by intentionally walking Lindsey Gardner, who was 2-for-2 yesterday-evenining and is currently the lead hitter of Rockford. The decision proofed to be right, as next batter Tonya Callahan grounded into a force play to end the inning.


Dutch starter Rebecca Soumeru

In the fourth, the Dutch got three baserunners, but Rockford also turned a double play and prevented runs to be scored. In the home of the fourth, Rockford opened the score. Savannah Brown led off with a single, then Shanna Diller hit her second double of the evening, which resulted in an 1-0 score. Starter Rebecca Soumeru, who had a good outing, was then relieved by Dagmar Bloeming, who saw Diller move on a sac-bunt, which was followed by a flyout. But then pinch-hitter Stephanie Best hit the first pitch she saw over the centerfield-fence for a 2-run homerun.

In the fifth Rockford-at bat, Dutch leftfielder Saskia Kosterink made a great catch on a fly by Tonya Callahan. After catching the ball, Saskia couldn't stop running and tumbled over the fence, but immediately showed she had still control over the ball. 3B Umpire Frank Spina reacted with the out-signal, ending the inning.


A view from centerfield
From left: P Rebecca Soumeru, CF Chantal Versluis, SS Sandra Gouverneur and 3B Dana Horeman

The Dutch team reacted with a productive sixth inning, but left three runners. Chantal Versluis led off with a bunt-single, then Rockford-short stop Stephanie Best made an error on the two following grounders by Kim Kluijskens and Saskia Kosterink, resulting in a basesloaded situation. Chantal then scored the first Dutch run when Marloes Fellinger walked and Kim scored the next run on a single by Nathalie Timmermans. Unfortunately, a strikeout and force out at home followed. With the bases loaded, Cassidy Scoggings, the winning pitcher of Game One, was brought in to relief Megan Brown and faced pinch-hitter Debby Connor, who grounded out, ending the at bat. In the seventh inning, the Dutch got two more runners, when pinch-hitter Lynn Geertman led off with a single and Kim Kluijskens was hit by a pitch with one out, but no more runs were added.

After giving up the homerun in the fourth inning, Dutch pitcher Dagmar Bloeming recovered fine and retired the next (and last) seven batters in a row, including strikeouts on the last two batters.

It was another good performance by the Dutch team, but again, the game ended in a small-margin loss. There were some fine defensive plays, like the already mentioned catch by leftfielder Saskia Kosterink, but also a nice catch by centerfielder Chantal Versluis in the second inning, a line drive caught by short stop Sandra Gouverneur and grounders handled by pitchers Rebecca Soumeru and Dagmar Bloeming and 3B Dana Horeman. The Dutch team is getting closer and closer to a victory, it's in the making, your webmaster knows it for sure.


Game over. Time to pack and go back to the hotel

Go back to the schedule of the 2nd USA Tour

For suggestions, questions or requests mail to Media Officer/Webmaster Marco Stoovelaar: stoov@dutchsoftballteam.com

Last Update: June 13, 2008
Copyright Photos © 2008 Marco Stoovelaar.
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