Day 21: A day with two faces|
SOUTH BELOIT / ROSCOE (Illinois, USA) - Day 21 of our American Tour was one with two faces, both in weather conditions and on the field.
The day started with a bright, blue sky and a warm sun, but ended with dark clouds and rain.
On the field, in the first game of the double-header, the Dutch played below average and was not only shutout, but also no-hit by Rockford Thunder, which won 8-0.
In Game Two, it was a complete other story. The Dutch Team dominated, led by veteran pitcher Anouk Mels, collected nine basehits and won 3-0.
The win was the first of this trip and broke a 7-game losing streak.
With the victory, the 4-game series against Rockford Thunder was completed. The games were visited by family-members of Coach Linda Wells.
On Sunday, the team has the day off and then will go to Chicago to attend the Major League Baseball-game between the Chicago White Sox and Colorado Rockies.
On Monday, the team will travel to Akron (Ohio) for the last 4-game series of this trip and then will meet Akron Racers.
The entrance of Players Park, the fill-in home of the Rockford Thunder
Nathalie Timmermans hits during batting practice
Britt Vonk and Anouk Mels, the youngest and oldest player
on the Dutch roster, prepare to hit
The umpire-crew for today's double-header:
Eric Mandley (1B + HP), Jeff Brice (HP + 3B) and Doug Almon (3B + 1B)
The Dutch team listens to the national anthem
Box Score Game 3 vs. Rockford Thunder
The first game of the double-header, which originally was scheduled to be played last Wednesday (but was then canceled due to weather conditions), was played under fine and warm conditions, but also was one to forget quickly.
The Dutch team reached base only three times and was no-hit by Allison Kine, who threw her first professional No-Hitter.
After retiring the first seven batters in order, Kine walked Kristi de Vries, who was then force out on a grounder by next batter Dana Horeman.
Moments later, Dana stole second base, diving in safely head-first, but the inning ended as batter Saskia Kosterink was called out on interference by Home Plate Umpire Jeff Brice.
Starting with the interference, Allison Kine retired nine batters in order again, before walking Saskia Kosterink in the sixth inning, but she then was caught stealing.
Dutch starter Kristi de Vries gave up two runs in the first inning on two hits and an error, then gave up a lead-off homerun to Stephanie Best in the fourth inning.
Hereafter, Kristi was relieved by Judith van Kampen, who gave up two additional runs in the fourth.
Back-to-back homeruns by Erin Evans (who went 4-for-4) and Lindsey Gardner in the sixth increased Rockford's lead to 8-0.
Defensively, the outfielders had a lot to do, with centerfielder Chantal Versluis making four catches.
Dana Horeman dives into second base head-first safely,
but batter Saskia Kosterink is called out for interference
Game One is being played under a blue sky and a warm sun
George Presburg and his son Dennis enjoy themselves during the break between games
Petra van Heijst (left) and Noémi Boekel sign a T-shirt
Dark clouds are approaching the field between games
Box Score Game 4 vs. Rockford Thunder
Game Two was completely different, as the Dutch team played a strong game and handed Rockford Thunder, the current number two in the National Pro Fastpitch, a 3-0 shutout-loss.
Veteran pitcher Anouk Mels dominated, struckout seven and gave up only four basehits, while only two Rockford-runners reached second base.
The Dutch team took charge of the game right away in the first at bat in which it also started to rain. And at some moments heavily, but the game wasn't interrupted. It stopped raining in the fourth inning.
Debby Connor led off the game with a double, advanced on a sac-bunt by Saskia Kosterink and scored when Marloes Fellinger followed with a single.
Next, Jolanda Kroesen followed with a double, then Marloes scored on a sac-fly by Kim Kluijskens to make it 2-0.
In the first inning, it started to rain heavily
Despite the rain, die-hard Thunder-fans remain seated in centerfield
Centerfielder Saskia Kosterink is ready for action
Dutch pitcher Anouk Mels delivers a pitch
In the second and third inning, Ellen Venker and Saskia Kosterink both singled, then Saskia and Marloes Fellinger hit back-to-back singles with two outs in the fifth, but no runs were scored then.
In the sixth, Kim Kluijskens led off with a double and Britt Vonk walked, but both stranded.
Finally, in the seventh inning, an insurance run was added to make it 3-0.
With one out, Saskia Kosterink reached second base on an outfield-error, then scored on a 2-out single by Jolanda Kroesen.
Defensively, pitcher Anouk Mels was supported with some nice plays, including outfield-catches. Eleven of the 21 putouts were fly-outs.
Big smiles for winning pitcher Anouk Mels after the game
Coach Linda Wells introduces her grandmother to the team
Coach Linda Wells with her family, including her parents and grandmother
The Dutch team poses with the family of Coach Linda Wells
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