Day 27: Empty-handed again|
AKRON (Ohio, USA) - Once more, the Dutch National Softball Team played a good game, but in the end, it was the opponent which left the field as the winner.
On Friday-evening, Akron Racers won 7-4 in Game Three of the 4-game series between the two teams. The series will be completed on Saturday-evening. On Sunday, the Dutch team will travel to Cleveland for the flight back home to the Netherlands.
Day 27 of this trip started with an additional practice and conditioning session in the morning.
The entire team went to Field # 2 of Firestone Stadium to have an extra batting session, while Conditioning and Strenghth Coach Rob Oskam conducted a conditioning session.
In the afternoon, Media Officer and New York Yankee-fan Marco Stoovelaar and Coach Rob Walgien visited the grave of Yankee-great Thurman Munson at Sunset Hills Burial Park in nearby Canton.
Thurman Munson, the catcher and captain of the New York Yankees, died on August 2, 1979 when he tried to land his personal airplane at Akron-Canton Airport.
Munson was born in Akron, but grew up in Canton.
Munson was one of the leading players for the New York Yankees, being named American League Rookie of the Year in 1970 and Most Valuable Player in 1976.
He played from 1969-1979 for the Yankees, with whom he won the World Series in 1976, 1977 and 1978, the glory years of the famous team, which was then packed with a lot of wellknown players like Chris Chambliss, Willie Randolph, Graig Nettles, Lou Piniella, Bobby Murcer and Reggie Jackson and managed by Billy Martin.
Munson hit 113 homeruns and finishing with a .292 batting average.
As he was frequently homesick, Munson took flying lessons to be with his family on off-days.
On August 2, 1979, he was practicing takeoffs and landings when his plane fall short of the runway. Munson was only 32 years old.
In the evening, the Dutch Softball Team came back again strongly and was inches short of tying the score, but in the end lost, 7-4.
The grave of Yankee-catcher and captain Thurman Munson in Canton
A bright, blue sky above historic Firestone Stadium
Head Coach Liz Kelly and Assistant Coach Mary-Ann Hatt before the game
Physical Therapist Rob Oskam returns to the dug-out after completion of the warming-up
Tonight's Umpire Crew:
Marc Droulliard (3B), Kevin Lehman (HP) and Rick Wynn (1B)
Coach Mary-Ann Hatt hands in the line-up during the umpire's meeting
The Dutch players in the dug-out are ready for the game
Coaches Mary-Ann Hatt and Rob Walgien
Jolanda Kroesen (left) and Petra van Heijst are introduced
The Dutch team lines up for the national anthem
Gina Pappano sings the American national anthem
Box Score Game 3 vs. Akron Racers
Despite getting the first two batters on base, the Dutch team didn't score in the opening at bat.
Saskia Kosterink led off with an infield-hit, then a bunt by Kim Kluijskens resulted in a high and errant throw to second base, trying the force Saskia, but everyone was safe. No error was scored, so Kim was credited with a sacrifice bunt.
But hereafter, two strikeouts and a force out ended the at bat.
In the home of the first, Akron struck right away.
With one out, Dutch starter Judith van Kampen gave up a single, then a 2-run homerun to Kate Robinson to open the score.
In the second inning, Petra van Heijst hit the first of her two singles, but was left behind.
In the Akron-second, catcher Nina van Huissteden threw out runner Veronica Wootson, who tried the steal second base. Nina caught three runners stealing tonight.
In the third Dutch at bat, Debby Connor appeared to beat the throw on her grounder to second base, but was called out at first base. Later in the game, there was another close call at first when Marjan Smit was called out.
Akron added a run in its third at bat.
Norrelle Dickson (walk) then scored on a sac-fly by Kristen Butler, but a strikeout-caught stealing doubleplay ended the inning.
Petra van Heijst singles in the second inning, she was 2-for-3
Dutch starting pitcher Judith van Kampen
Nina van Huissteden at bat for the Dutch Team
Dutch short stop Petra van Heijst has just tagged out Veronica Wootson, who tried
to steal second base. While it appears that 3B umpire Marc Droulliard
gives the safe-signal, he just had called Wootson out
In the fourth inning, the Dutch stranded two runners, then Akron scored a run again in its fourth.
Jessica Toocheck then led off with a triple, resulting in a pitching change.
Rebecca Soumeru gave up an RBI-single to Jherica Williams, which made it 4-0, but she was later caught stealing.
The Dutch team started to come back in the fifth inning.
With two outs, Kim Kluijskens doubled, then scored when Debby Connor followed with a single.
After a pitching change, the inning ended with a groundout.
In the home of the fifth inning, Akron increased its lead to 7-1 when Kristen Butler hit a 3-run homerun. Butler also had homered in the first game.
Hereafter, Dagmar Bloeming was brought in to relief Rebecca Soumeru and had another good outing, as she retired all five batters she faced, including two with a strikeout.
A lot of spectators showed up again tonight for Game 2
In the front, two scouts of Chinese Taipei are seated
Scouts from Canada and the USA also visited the Dutch games
Britt Vonk just rounded second base in the sixth inning
Akron's mascot Wheelie dances on the visiting dug-out
A view on the field from behind home plate
In the sixth inning, the Dutch team rallied for three runs to narrow the deficit to 7-4.
With one out, Britt Vonk reached on a bunt-single, then Petra van Heijst followed with her second hit of the evening.
After a strikeout, the bases were loaded when pinch-hitter Nathalie Timmermans walked.
An error on a grounder by Saskia Kosterink enabled Britt to score and left the bases loaded.
Next, Kim Kluijskens (who also had two hits) singled, scoring two more runs and make it 7-4.
With Saskia and Kim on base, next batter Debby Connor drilled the ball info deep centerfield, but missed a 3-run score-tying homerun by inches, as centerfielder Kim Hamilton made a nice catch just above the fence to end the inning.
The Dutch team didn't got another scoring opportunity and was left empty-handed again. But once more, the team played another good game.
Saskia Kosterink and Dagmar Bloeming change shoes after the game
Dutch Coach Mary-Ann Hatt with wellknown American coach Margo Jonker,
who in 2006 was the Pitching Coach of the Dutch Team during the World Championships in Beijing
Dutch Head Coach Liz Kelly poses with her American colleague Margo Jonker after the game
Dutch pitcher Kristi de Vries with Akron-pitcher Jamee Juarez
Both played together at Ohio State University
The two started against each other yesterday in Game Two of this series
Go back to the schedule of the 2nd USA Tour