Day 25: Small loss for Dutch in Akron-opener|
AKRON (Ohio, USA) - The Dutch National Softball Team suffered a small 6-4 loss in the opener of its 4-game series against Akron Racers on Wednesday-evening, which was Day 25 of this trip. Earlier today, a scheduled condition session was scrubbed, due to rain.
The Dutch team played a good game with some fine defensive outfield-plays, like two running catches on foul territory by leftfielder Marloes Fellinger and a nice running catch by rightfielder Jolanda Kroesen.
Akron on the other hand committed four defensive errors, but took an early lead in the game on some extra basehits. The Racers had nine basehits (one more than the Dutch), but six of them went for extra bases, including three homeruns.
The Dutch again came back strongly, as it had done in previous games, but in the end was left empty-handed.
Before the game, Otto Orf threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Announced as a legendary soccer player, Orf was a professional goalkeeper for 21 years, primarily in the indoor-leagues.
Orf played in the American Indoor Soccer Assocation for the Columbus Capitals (1985-1986) and Fort Wayne Flames (1986-1989), before becoming a player for the Cleveland Crunch, where he was the goalkeeper from 1989-2005 and won the national championship title three times.
orf also played outdoor soccer for teams in Buffalo, Toronto, San Diego and Orlando in the period 1984-1990.
He participated with the national American indoor soccer team in the World Indoor Championships in Zurich (Switzerland) in 1995 and the Futsal World Cup in Segovia (Spain) in 1996, playing in eleven national team-games.
Currently, Orf is the owner and director of HandsOnSoccer, which organizes youth soccer camps.
On Thursday-evening, the Dutch Team will face Akron in Game Two.
The lockerroom in Firestone Stadium
A view from behind home plate
The press box of Firestone Stadium. In the middle is Official Scorer Irv Brandel
Wheelie, the mascot of the Akron Racers
Another view of the historic Firestone Stadium
Take a seat: Saskia Kosterink and Debby Connor
Players in the dug-out just before introductions
Tonight's umpire crew:
Doug Ruhe (1B), Terri Rosenwald (HP) and Kevin Lehman (3B)
Coach Mary-Ann Hatt (at right) tonight handed in the line-up sheet
The Dutch players are introduced before the game
Starting 3B Noémi Boekel is being announced
The Dutch players line-up before the game
Giveaways are being exchanged before the game
Here, Kristi de Vries gets one
Kim Kluijskens and Jolanda Kroesen show the Akron-gifts
The Dutch team faces the flag for the national anthem
Former indoor soccer goalkeeper Otto Orf throws out the ceremonial first pitch
Box Score Game 1 vs. Akron Racers
Akron's starting pitcher Angela Tincher struckout eight batters and gave up four basehits in five innings.
Tincher, who this season was 38-10 and struckout 679, while pitching for Virginia Tech, recently signed a multi-year contract with the Akron Racers, the first in its 10-year history.
Two months ago, Tincher was the first pitcher in 185 pre-Olympic games to beat Team USA. She not only shutout the American Olympic Team (2-0), but also almost threw a Perfect Game, allowing only one batter to reach base on a walk.
Britt Vonk registered the first Dutch hit tonight, an infield-hit in the second inning, and advanced when an error was made on a grounder by Noémi Boekel, but both stranded.
In the third, Ellen Venker led off with an infield-hit, but she also was left at third base.
Akron opened the score with two runs in the first inning off Dutch starter Rebecca Soumeru.
With one out, speedy Kellie Middleton tripled, but was caught in a rundown on a grounder by next batter Veronica Wootson, who later scored on a double by Krsiten Butler. The latter scored the second run in a fielder's choice situation.
After stranding two runners in the second, Akron added a run in the third inning off Anouk Mels, who had taken over the previous inning with one out. In this at bat, with two outs, Kate Robinson homered.
Trailing 3-1, the Dutch got one run back in the fourth inning.
With one out, Kim Kluijskens reached on a nice bunt-single, then the bases were loaded when Britt Vonk walked and Noémi Boekel singled.
Kim then scored on a sacrifice fly by Anouk Mels, but the other two were left, as a strikeout ended the at bat.
Akron got the run back in its fourth on a single and sac-fly, then added two more runs in the fifth at bat on homeruns by Kristen Butler and Sudan Ogden.
The first came off Anouk, who was then relieved by Dagmar Bloeming, who gave up the second homerun with two outs, but then retired the side in the sixth inning.
Now trailing 6-1, the Dutch team scored its second run in the sixth inning off reliever Jamee Juarez, who once played together with Dutch pitcher Kristi de Vries at Ohio State University.
Kim Kluijskens led off with a single and moved on a double by Britt Vonk.
The latter was then called out on interference on a grounder by Noémi Boekel.
Kim, who had to return to third base on the play, later scored on a grounder by Petra van Heijst.
In the seventh, the Dutch scored two more runs when the Akron-defense commited two errors.
With one out, Saskia Kosterink singled, advanced on a single by Marloes Fellinger and scored on an error, which brought Marloes to third base.
Moments later, Marloes scored on another error, but the team ended up two runs short.
Debby Connor leads off the game for the Dutch
Dutch pitcher Anouk Mels took over in the 2nd inning
Dutch 2B Marjan Smit is ready for action
Go back to the schedule of the 2nd USA Tour