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USA Tour - Day 11 - Thursday, March 10, 2011

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Dutch Team wins double-header

Nederlandse tekst

CLEARWATER, Florida (USA) - The Dutch National Softball Team today won a double-header on the eleventh day of their USA Tour. In the opener, the Dutch won 5-4 in an 8-inning contest against Saint Joseph's University, then a 5-0 shutout-win followed in the next game vs. Central Connecticut State University to increase the trip's record to 5-6.

In both games, the Dutch pitching dominated, as four pitchers struckout a total of 24 batters and gave up nine hits. Defensively, the team played solid again, but on the basepaths, there were some mistakes.

On Wednesday-evening, it started to rain in the Clearwater-area and overnight, a thunderstorm passed through. So this morning, the day began with showers, but towards the end of the morning the sky cleared, the sun returned and the temperature climbed towards 25 degrees Celsius. However, in the evening, not only the wind increased, but also there was a drop in temperature, resulting in a cool night at the field.

Both games tonight were covered live by Backstop Radio Pengue, a new internet-radio station that started in January. Elvin Englentina was the reporter on the scene and was assisted in the second game by players Laura Treurniet and NoŽmie Brandjes, who did a fine job. Besides announcing the game, Elvin also handled the scoreboard, as the scoreboard operator didn't show up. Laura and NoŽmie also assisted him with this. Backstop Radio Pengue probably also will cover Saturday's game against Robert Morris University live. A confirmation will appear on this site when the broadcast indeed will proceed.

The Dutch Team continues its USA Tour on Friday in the late afternoon against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, starting at 5:30 PM (local, 11:30 PM Dutch time). Earlier in the day, the team will make a boat-trip.

game vs. Saint Joseph's University
Saint Joseph's University was 10-5 before today's game. In its first weekend, February 18-20, the Hawks were 2-3 at the Coastal Carolina Tournament at Conway (South Carolina). Next, the team was 3-1 when it played four games at Chapel Hill (North Carolina) on February 25-26. On March 4-6, Saint Joseph's had a good outing at the USF Tournament in Clearwater and was 4-1. On March 8, the Hawks shutout Central Michigan 2-0, before facing the Dutch today. For Saint Joseph's, this was its fifth win in a row and seventh in the last eight games.

The Hawks are led by Terri Adams, who is in her fourth year as Head Coach. In 2009, she led the team to the championship game of the Atlantic 10 Conference. Terri Adams is a native of Allentown in Pennsylvania, where the Dutch Team played four games against the Philadelphia Force, which back then was one of the teams in the National Pro Fastpitch. Those games were played in 2008 as part of the preparations for the Olympic Games in Beijing (China).

After the Dutch Team was retired in order in the first at bat, St. Joseph's got it's first runner on base in their first inning, when Bernadette Moran reached on an error, but she then was caught stealing by catcher Anne Blaauwgeers. St. Joseph's then opened the score in the second inning. Dana Bieniek led off with a single, then advanced when next hitter Deanna Stinner walked and scored on a single by Lindsey Williams. Hereafter, Dutch starter Rebecca Soumeru recovered and struckout the next two hitters. The last strikeout also led to the third out, as Stinner was eliminated in a rundown in a double-steal situation that brought Williams to second base.

Rebecca Soumeru
Complete Game
11 StrikeOuts
The Hawks added its second run in the third inning. First, Rebecca Soumeru struckout the first two batters, but then gave up a double to Bernadette Moran, who scored when next hitter Monica Aguilar also doubled.

After Hawks-starter Erin Gallagher had retired the first nine Dutch batters in order, a scoring opportunity arose in the fourth at bat when the Orange got runners on second and third base with no outs! Fabienne van Uden led off with an infield-hit and then Meike Witteveen walked. The two advanced on a passed ball, but then Saskia Kosterink struckout. Next hitter Solange Starrenburg then got the squeeze-sign. Unfortunately, the bunt was missed, but the Dutch then ran themselves out of the inning, as both runners were eliminated! First, Fabienne was caught in a rundown between third and home, then was tagged out at third base, but in the meantime Meike had arrived there and then got stuck in a rundown herself and also was tagged out to end the inning and the scoring opportunity.

But in the sixth inning, the Dutch Team came alongside on three infield-hits. Merel Oosterveld led off with an infield-hit and stole both second and third base. After two flyouts, Merel scored when Fabienne van Uden also reached on an infield-hit. Fabienne then stole second base and scored from there when next hitter Meike Witteveen reached on the third infield-hit in this at bat. The inning ended when Meike was caught stealing.

Merel Oosterveld
2 Runs Scored
In the meantime, Rebecca Soumeru retired the side in the fourth and fifth inning and raised her strikeout-total to eight. After having retired nine batters in a row, she gave up a bad-hop infield-hit to Dana Bieniek with two outs in the sixth inning. Next hitter Deanna Stinner then hit the ball on the foul-line, resulting in the umpire ruling it foul and got into an argument with the Hawks-coach. On the next pitch, Stinner flied out to rightfielder Solange Starrenburg, ending the at bat.

In the top of the seventh, Solange singled with one out and stole second base (her teamleading eighth stolen base), then Virginie Anneveld drove the ball into centerfield, but there Maria Ficca made a nice catch and then a groundout ended the inning. In the bottom half of the at bat, Rebecca Soumeru continued her dominance by striking out three batters.

Fabienne van Uden
3 hits, triple,
1 Run, 2 RBI's
As the score was tied at 2-2, the game went into extra innings. The Dutch Team got ahead in the eighth inning by scoring three runs. First, tie-break runner Areke Spel scored on a single by Merel Oosterveld, who then advanced on a grounder by pinch-hitter Dinet Oosting and scored when Anne Blaauwgeers singled into centerfield. Fabienne van Uden then drove the ball into right-centerfield for an RBI-triple to make it 5-2. The inning ended when Meike Witteveen lined into a double play.

The fifth run proved to be the insurance run, as the Hawks answered with two runs of their own in its eighth at bat. With the tie-break runner on second base, Rebecca Soumeru gave up an RBI-double to Alaina Loguidice. With one out, Bernadette Moran singled into centerfield where Merel Oosterveld got the ball quickly to hold Loguidice on third base and prevent a run. The bases got loaded when the next hitter walked (while it looked that there were at least two pitches in the strike zone). A run was then scored on a following grounder to make it 5-4 to set up a thrilling end. To create a force play, next hitter Deanna Stinner was walked intentionally. Hereafter, pinch-hitter Shannon Kramer grounded to rookie short stop NoŽmie Brandjes, who then briefly looked around for the opportunities but then retired the batter at first base to end an exciting game.

Box Score game Netherlands vs. Saint Joseph's University

Reporter Elvin Englentina at work in Clearwater for Backtop Radio Pengue
(photo taken by Rich Hooff)

Fabienne van Uden connects in the fourth inning...

...and reaches first base with an infield-hit

Saskia Kosterink follows in the batter's box

game vs. Central Connecticut State University
In it's next game, the Dutch Team faced the Blue Devils, the team of Central Connecticut State University. Before tonight's game, the Blue Devils were 5-5 with one tie. Their season started with an 8-0 loss vs. the University of South Florida on February 24 at Tampa, then the team was 1-3 at the USF Tournament at the same location. Next, a double-header split followed on March 3 vs. Coppin State at Baltimore (Maryland). On March 4-5, Central Connecticut was at Hampton (Virginia) for the Hampton Tournament where it won three games and played one tie, before the team returned to Florida for the next series of games.

For the second year, Jeff Franquet is the Head Coach of the Blue Devils after having led Georgian Court University for three seasons. There, he led the team in 2007 and 2009 to the championship in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament. In 2009, Franquet was the Head Coach of the professional Philadelphia Force in the National Pro Fastpitch, which was the last season for this team.

Somewhat over half an hour after completing the first game, the Dutch Team started their next match-up vs. Central Connecticut. After two scoreless innings, the Dutch struck in the third at bat and did it with power, hitting two homeruns!

But the team also reached base in the previous at bats. In the first, Chantal Versluis singled with two outs and stole second, but stranded there. In the second, Solange Starrenburg reached on an infield-hit with one out, but then Dinet Oosting lined into a double play.

Nadine Marinus, Nathalie Gosewehr
Then, in the third at bat, three runs were scored. Nadine Marinus led off with a homerun on the first pitch she saw, then MarisŤla de Wind walked. Then, on the next delivery by pitcher Elizabeth Montemurro, Nathalie Gosewehr also homered to make it a 3-0 score. For Nathalie, this was her second homerun of the trip.

Starting for the Dutch Team as pitcher was Lindsey Meadows, who threw a strong game, like Rebecca Soumeru did in the opener. After hitting the lead-off hitter with a pitch in the first inning (who later left first base too early), Lindsey Lindsey retired the next seven batters in a row, including the last six with a strikeout. Then, the first player of the Blue Devils reached base on an error, but was caught stealing by catcher Solange Starrenburg. In the next at bat, Lindsey added two more strikeouts, but also gave up her first basehit, a bunt-single by Rebecca Mussatti, who later stranded on third base.

Lindsey Meadows
9 StrikeOuts
In the meantime, the wind started to pick up some force and the temperature dropped, but the Dutch Team created some heat of their own by adding another run in the fourth at bat. With one out, Solange Starrenburg walked and stole second base, then scored on a 2-out single by Nadine Marinus to make it 4-0.

In the fifth inning, the Blue Devils got two runners on base. With one out, Erica Koehler appeared to strikeout, but the umpire ruled it a foul ball and then she singled on the next pitch. A walk followed, but then Lindsey Meadows registered her ninth strikeout. Hereafter, Ginger de Weert was brought in as reliever and ended the inning, meaning both runners stranded. She then retired the side in the next at bat.

The Dutch Team added its fifth run in the fifth inning on two doubles. With one out, Nathalie Gosewehr doubled, advanced on a grounder by Meike Witteveen, then scored on a double by Chantal Versluis.

With a 5-0 lead, Femke van Dusschoten became the third pitcher for the Dutch squad in the seventh inning and struckout the side to seal the victory.

Box Score game Netherlands vs. Central Connecticut State University

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Last Update: March 11, 2011
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