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USA Tour - Day 6 - Saturday, March 5, 2011

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Dutch Team comes from behind to win vs. Louisiana

Nederlandse tekst

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (USA) - On Saturday-morning, the Dutch National Softball Team came from behind to win 4-3 vs. the University of Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks in their first game of the Tennessee Classic Softball Tournament, which is part of this years USA Tour. Later today, the Dutch Team was to play against Furman University, but that game was cancelled due to rain and will not be made up.

On Sunday, the Dutch Team meets Georgia Southern University at 11 AM (5 PM Dutch time), then faces the University of Tennessee at 3 PM (9 PM Dutch time). Both games can be followed again live through Gametracker, while a live video-stream will be available for the game against Tennessee. You can the links for these play-by-plays at the bottom of this page. They will be activated shortly before the game starts.

Due to the expected rain, the schedule and starting times for Saturday's games were changed. That meant that the Dutch Team had another early rise on Saturday-morning, as the game vs. Louisiana was moved to start at 9 AM in the morning. Today, it was cloudy in Knoxville with a temperature of 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius). Because of the early game start, breakfast was scheduled for 6:30 AM. At that time, there was little rain and weather forecasts spoke of approaching thunderstorms. Around 7 o'clock, the groundskeepers in the stadium gave a 'go-ahead' for the game. At the stadium, Physical Therapist Sanne Oude Egberink was very happy with her own medical room, but didn't expect it to have to use is so soon, as was the case in the first game.

Before today's game, the Warhawks were 10-9. The team started their season with a 5-1 record during the Mardi Grass Classic, which was organized at their home field in Monroe, Louisiana. Next, the team was 2-3 at the New Mexico State Tournament at Las Cruces, New Mexico, followed by an 1-4 record at the Baylor Tournament at Waco, Texas. Before coming to Tennessee, the Warhawks won 5-4 vs. Alcorn State University at Lorman, Mississippi on Wednesday. Yesterday, Louisiana played its first two games in the Tennessee Classic. They opened with a big 12-3 win vs. Furman University, scoring eight runs in the third inning. Next, they lost 3-1 to host Tennessee.

At Sherri Lee Parker Stadium in Knoxville, the Dutch Team was more productive then Louisiana in the first three innings, but was unable to score. In the first inning, Solange Starrenburg walked with one out, then stole both second and third base. However, while sliding into third base with a perfect headfirst, 3B Samantha Riojos stepped on Solange's fingers with her spikes. At the medical room, Sanne looked at Solange's finger, but as it kept bleeding, the stadium doctor was also called and it was concluded that Solange needed a few stitches, so she went to the hospital with Business Manager Rich Hooff. At the hospital, Solange and Rich were a special attraction in their bright orange sweatshirt and that led to several talks. There was a talk with a Vietnam-veteran of the 101st Airborne Division, who explained the nickname Volunteers which is carried by most sports teams in Tennessee. The name comes from the fact that Tennessee always has contributed the most volunteers during wars, starting with the American Civil War between the north and the south (yes, the title of the popular mini-series of several years ago North & South, starring Patrick Swayze). The man then tells that his hobby is making lenses and that he is a big fan of Christiaan Huygens (''How do you pronounce his name in the Netherlands?''). In the meantime, Solange had to wait more than an hour for X-ray photos to be taken and that all had to do with an emergency situation, as someone was brought in with a gunshot wound to his stomach. After the X-rays were finally taken, Dr. Brown examined them some 20 minutes later and informed Solange that she had to rest the wound for 24 hours, but after that she was cleared to play again in the next games. So, luckily no serious damage to Solange's finger.

Who was Christiaan Huygens?
Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695) was a prominent Dutch mathematician, astronomer, physicist, horologist and writer. He was one of the leading figures in the 17th century scientific community and made several discoveries in the field of astronomy, mathematics and physics.

The work of Huygens included the discovery and telescopic studies of the rings of Saturn and the discovery of its moon Titan. He invented the pendulum clock, but also furter developed the telescope, as he made lenses for telescopes, which were the best of his time. But he also invented special balance springs for carriages and lanterns.

Saskia Kosterink took over as pinch-runner at third base for Solange, then Areke Spel walked with two outs, but both stranded. In the second inning, Virginie Anneveld doubled with one out and Fabienne van Uden singled with two outs (and later stole second base), but again the two runners were left behind. In the third, Areke Spel walked again with two outs, but this time was caught stealing. So, in the first three innings, the Dutch had five baserunners, while the Louisiana-team had only one runner off of starting pitcher Femke van Dusschoten, who faced only nine batters in the three innings she pitched. After starting with a strikeout in the first inning, Femke walked next hitter Jessica Olguin, but then a double play ended the at bat. Femke then retired the side in both the second and third inning.

In the fourth inning, Nathalie Timmermans doubled with one out, but she also would be left behind. Then, in the home of the fourth inning, it suddenly went very quickly and Louisiana took a 3-0 lead in its only productive at bat. Rookie Laura Treurniet took over the pitching, saw the lead-off hitter reach on an error, then being eliminated while trying to steal second base. But then the Warhawks hit five basehits in a row. Jessica Olguin singled, then scored on a triple by Roxane Cassel, who is the team's RBI-leader with 18. Next, Janel Salanoa (who is second best with 13 RBI's) also single to bring in another run. A following single by Melissa Rivera increased the lead to 3-0. Katie Girardi followed with the fifth basehit in a row. After the two baserunners advanced on a sacrice bunt, Laura recovered and concluded the inning with a nice strikeout.

Merel Oosterveld, Saskia Kosterink, Karin Tuk
And so the Dutch Team started the fifth inning, trailing 3-0. But this at bat belonged to the Dutch offense, as three homeruns were hit, including two back-to-back. Fabienne van Uden led off with a single, then Merel Oosterveld homered to make it 3-2. Next hitter Saskia Kosterink also drove the ball over the leftfield-fence for another homerun to tie the score! This led to a pitching change, as starting pitcher Stephanie Routzon was replaced by Jessica Chastka. She was greeted with a line drive out by Chantal Versluis, then a pop-fly for Areke Spel followed, but then next hitter Karin Tuk homered into rightfield to give the Dutch a 4-3 lead.

In the home of the fifth, and now leading 4-3, Lindsey Meadows became the third Dutch pitcher and faced a team from her homestate Louisiana, as she was born in Baton Rouge in that southern state. Lindsey retired all nine batters she faced and struckout five batters, including the last three to earn a save, as the win was credited to Laura, who became the pitcher-of-record when the Dutch Team rallied for four runs in the fifth inning.

The three homeruns were the most in one game, since the Dutch Team hit four on July 20, 2009 vs. Italy during the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City and on February 16, 2008 vs. St. Mary's College in California during another USA Tour. In the game against Italy, Saskia Kosterink also hit one of the homeruns.

Box Score game Netherlands vs. University of Louisiana-Monroe

Following the Netherlands vs. Louisiana match-up, three other games were played in the Tennessee Classic. After losing to the Dutch squad, the University of Louisiana recovered and won 10-5 vs. Georgia Southern University. Janel Salanoa homered for Louisiana, which is led by Rosemary Holloway-Hill, who is in her 26th season as Head Coach of the team.

In the next game, the University of Tennessee defeated Furman University, 6-4. With the score tied at 4-4, Shelby Burchell hit a 2-run homerun for Tennessee in the sixth inning to give her team a deciding lead.

Next, Tennessee shutout Georgia Southern 8-0. In this game, Kat Dotson and Shelby Burchell both hit their second homerun of the day.

In the six games played since Friday, a total of 15 homeruns were hit.

Before facing the Dutch squad, the Furman University Paladins were 2-10. In the weekend of February 11-13, Furman opened its season at the Palmetto State Showdown in Columbia, South Carolina. There, the team lost all four games played. After losing twice vs. Gardner-Webb, Furman won a double-header at home vs. Oakland University on February 24, which were to be their lone two victories. At the USC Upstate Tournament in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Furman lost twice, as it did in its first two games in Tennessee. Furman is lead by Head Coach Dana Jenkins, who is in her eighth season and led the team in 2007 to the Southern Conference championship.

It was not the first time that the Dutch Team faced Furman University. Almost 13 years ago, on Tuesday, April 14, 1998, the Dutch Team met Furman at its home site in Greenville, South Carolina, during an USA Tour that brought the team also to California. Maaike Zijlstra, the current Pitching Coach of the Dutch National Junior Team, was the starting pitcher back then. Sandra Baart and Miranda van der Voort also pitched in the game, which was won by the Dutch Team 4-1 in nine innings to conclude their 13-game USA Tour of 1998. Coincidentally, back then current Head Coach Craig Montvidas also was the Head Coach of the Dutch National Team.

The game against Furman already was to start later than scheduled due to the length of the preceeding games, but in the end wasn't played at all. Late in the afternoon, it started to drizzle and the game was cancelled due to the rain. The game will not be made up, as the team of Furman University was scheduled to leave Knoxville later in the evening.

Instead, the team spent part of the evening in a mall, before having dinner and the return to the hotel. And that was a welcome break for everyone.

Back in Florida, Peter Schuler confirmed that an additional game was added to the schedule of the coming days in Clearwater, as the Dutch Team will meet Central Michigan University on Tuesday-morning, starting at 11 AM. Later in the day, the Dutch will play its already scheduled game vs. St. John's University at 6 PM.

Gametracker Netherlands vs. University of Louisiana
Gametracker Netherlands vs. Furman University
Gametracker Netherlands vs. Georgia Southern University
Gametracker Netherlands vs. University of Tennessee
Video-feed Netherlands vs. University of Tennessee

Complete Schedule USA Tour

Business Manager Rich Hooff and Coach Nathalie Franssen look on from the dug-out before the game

The players are being introduced...

...then listen to the National Anthems of the Netherlands and the USA

(photos made by Sanne Oude Egberink)

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

Last Update: March 6, 2011
Copyright Photos © 2008-2011 Marco Stoovelaar / Sanne Oude Egberink.
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