Dutch Team wins another one; Rebecca Soumeru throws first pitch at Phillies
CLEARWATER, Florida (USA) -
The Dutch National Softball Team attended the Major League Spring Training game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays in Clearwater on the afternoon of Saturday, March 12.
Before the start of this game, the team was introduced on the field and the ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by our pitcher Rebecca Soumeru, representing the Dutch Team, which of course was a great honor!
Hereafter, the team had a Meet & Greet with softball-youth and continued its series of games of their USA Tour in the evening with a game against Robert Morris University.
The Dutch Team won 4-3 to register its third win in a row and fourth in the last five games.
The Dutch Team will close its USA Tour with two games on Sunday.
Starting at 12:30 PM (5:30 PM Dutch time), they will face the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, to be followed with the game vs. Quinnipiac University, which is scheduled to start at 3:00 PM (8 PM Dutch time).
Yes, the difference in time on Sunday will be five hours (!), as the daylight saving time becomes effective in the USA in the Saturday-Sunday night.
After breakfast, the team left the hotel around 11:30 AM for the 30-minute drive to Bright House Field, the Spring Training-site of the Philadelphia Phillies.
There, the squad watched the game against the Tampa Bay Rays, who won 6-2.
The game was highlighted by three homeruns, but of course there was another highlight moments before the game when Rebecca Soumeru entered the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
She joined Dr. Phillip Marone and Travis Blair, who also participated in the first pitch ceremony.
With this, Rebecca became the first Dutch citizen to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the start of a Major League baseball-game!
OK, Dutch-born former Major League-pitcher Bert Blyleven had done it before, but left the Netherlands at age two when his parents moved to the States.
In January, Blyleven, who went on to pitch 22 seasons in the Major League (the majority of that with the Minnesota Twins), was elected into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
Bright House Field is the home of the Clearwater Treshers, the Single-A Advanced team of the Phillies-organization, and was opened on October 16, 2002.
The beautiful stadium has a capacity of 8500.
Most seats were filled on this sunny afternoon (yes, there were some sunburns) for the match-up between the two World Series-finalists of 2008.
Back then, the Phillies won the World Series by winning the Series against the Rays, 4-1.
2008 was the first season when the team played under its new nickname 'Rays', as they were founded as Tampa Bay Devil Rays and made their debut in the Major League in 1998.
On the other hand, the Philadelphia Phillies played their first season in 1883 and are the oldest club with the same name and in the same city in the history of professional American sports.
Besides winning in 2008, the Phillies also won the World Series in 1980.
After completion of last season, Tampa Bay improved its offensive strenghth by adding Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez, while the Phillies got stronger in their pitching when Cliff Lee returned.
Damon played several years for the Boston Red Sox and became famous for his long hair, but he had to cut that when he signed a contract with the New York Yankees.
Last year, Damon played for the Detroit Tigers before coming to Tampa Bay.
Ramirez also played for Boston and therefore was reunited with his former teammate Damon.
Last season, Ramirez played for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Cliff Lee played in the World Series last season for the Texas Rangers, but came to the Phillies, where he already had played before.
In today's game, the Phillies led 1-0 when Ben Zobrist (2-run) and Johnny Damon (solo) hit back-to-back homeruns in the third inning.
In the fourth at bat, Dan Johnson added a 2-run homerun to make it 5-1.
The Rays went on to win the game 6-2.
The team is ready to enter Brick House Field
The starting line-ups are listed near the entrance of the stadium
Inside, players immediately have talks with everyone
The players on the field in front of the dug-out of the Phillies
The players of the Phillies prepare before the game
Rebecca Soumeru throws the first pitch
Rebecca Soumeru on the fielding during the first pitch ceremony
Rebecca returns to the team with the baseball she used for the first pitch
Rebecca shows her trophy to teammates
The Dutch National Team is introduced before the start of the Major League-game
Of course, players pose with some of the Phillies
Here, Femke van Dusschoten poses with pitcher Brad Lidge
Philadelphia Phillies-player Matt Miller receives one of our team-brochures from Business Manager Rich Hooff...
(photo taken by Marisèla de Wind)
...and then is an interested reader of the information of the Dutch Team
(photo taken by Marisèla de Wind)
Despite the very sunny afternoon, pitcher Eva Voortman wears a cap and jacket to protect herself
An overview of beautiful Brick House Field
And another view
Johnny Damon hitting for the Tampa Bay Rays
After the game, the team went to Eddie C. Moore Sports Complex, which is located next to Bright House Field.
There, the Dutch Team had a Meet & Greet with American youth softballplayers, who are participating in the USF Series 12 & Under Elite Challenge at the complex this weekend.
The meeting was initiated by the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), which invited the Dutch Team to participate in the Meet & Greet.
Of course, this was more good PR for our squad, which again is building a good and popular name for itself, as it did in previous years during the Canada Cup, World Cup of Softball, European Championship and World Championship.
The players of the Dutch Team meet youthplayers who participate in a tournament
The schedule of the youth tournament.
Note the announcement of the daylight saving time
Team captain Saskia Kosterink talks with some of the players
Saskia Kosterink (left) and Solange Starrenburg share experiences with the youthplayers
Meike Witteveen also takes time to listen and talk with a player
game vs. Robert Morris University
Before tonight's game, the Colonials, the team of Robert Morris University, already played two games today, who were part of the Under Armour Invitational Tournament.
The Colonials started with a 6-1 victory vs. the University of Toledo, but then the team was shutout 2-0 by Boston University in its next contest.
With this, the team-record became 6-7.
The Colonials started their season on February 25-27 by going 2-3 at The Green and White Tournament at Charlotte (North Carolina).
Next, the team was 3-3 on March 7-9 at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee (Florida), before starting the Under Armour Invitational with a win and a loss on Friday, followed by today's two games.
The team is led by Craig Coleman, who is in his 21st season as Head Coach of the Colonials.
Coleman, who also is the Director of Athletics for RMU since May 1, 2005, led the squad to six tournament titles and four Conference championships.
Before becoming the coach of RMU in 1991, Coach Coleman was active for sixteen seasons in summer softball, including the Pittsburgh Patriots Traveling Team.
Some one-and-a-half-hour before the scheduled start of tonight's game, the starting time changed, with a possibility of even starting one hour earlier.
Because of this, De Telegraaf-photographer Henk Seppen and Backstop Radio Pengue-reporter Elvin Englentina of course also had to be informed of the time change.
That was done succesfully and in time by Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar, who contacted both.
Unfortunately, Elvin encountered internet-connection problems at the playing site, meaning the live broadcast by Backstop Radio Pengue had to be cancelled.
But Elvin promised he will be back this season to cover some more softball-games to make this up.
In the end, the game started 30 minutes earlier and the Dutch were off to a good start right away.
With one out in the first inning, Fabienne van Uden singled and stole second base.
The bases were then loaded when Nathalie Gosewehr and Saskia Kosterink both walked.
Fabienne then scored the first run when Karin Tuk grounded out, but Nathalie and Saskia were both left behind.
The Dutch took more distance in the fourth inning by scoring three runs off Annie Dubovec, who went the distance and might be pitching somewhere in the Netherlands this coming summer.
With one out, Nadine Marinus doubled and Anne Blaauwgeers walked.
Again, the bases were loaded when Chantal Versluis also walked.
Hereafter, two runs were scored when a hit by Merel Oosterveld was misplayed.
A sacrifice fly on a line drive by Fabienne van Uden then made it a 4-0 score.
Dutch starter Femke van Dusschoten encountered no problems in the three innings she pitched, giving up only one basehit.
In the fourth, Laura Treurniet took over in her first appearance since last Monday after being sideline with a groin-injury.
In this at bat, Laura walked two batters, gave up two hits and also saw the Colonials score three runs, but the good thing was that she was back into action.
The bases got loaded quickly when Britta Grafton led off with a single, Chelsea Siar then walked and Cassie Show followed with another single.
A run was then scored when next batter Kavla Crooks grounded out.
A walk for Katrina Gallagher then re-loaded the bases and Jessica Calderone followed with a 2-run single that suddenly made it a 4-3 score.
But the inning ended with a groundout to 1B Nadine Marinus.
In both the fifth and sixth inning, the Dutch Team got another runner on base, but both were eliminated.
In the fifth, Saskia Kosterink led off with a single and then was caught stealing for the first out.
In the next at bat, Chantal Versluis singled with two outs and then was called out for leaving first base too early.
Back in the second inning, a similar situation occured.
With one out, Anne Blaauwgeers was hit by a pitch, then was called for leaving first base too early as the same time that Chantal struckout.
But the strikeout of course was reversed, as it was a 'no pitch' situation when Anne was called out.
On the next pitch, Chantal singled, but later was left behind.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Lindsey Meadows took over the pitching for the Dutch Team and she faced only nine batters in the remaining three innings, striking out six of them.
After having retired the first five in a row, she gave up a single to Kavla Crooks, but she was caught stealing moments later.
In the seventh, Lindsey retired the side to finish the game and earn a save.
For the Dutch Team, this was the third win in a row and fourth in the last five games.
Box Score game Netherlands vs. Robert Morris University
Complete Schedule USA Tour
Dutch starter Femke van Dusschoten
Playing at 3B is Virginie Anneveld and at 1B Nadine Marinus
Anne Blaauwgeers on base in the second inning after being hit by a pitch
Moments later, she steals second base, but is called out for leaving first base too early
Nadine Marinus on second base in the 4th inning after hitting a double
Saskia Kosterink had two basehits tonight
Karin Tuk swings
Short stop Chantal Versluis tags out runner Kavla Crooks in the sixth inning
(photo copyright Henk Seppen)
Leftfielder Nathalie Gosewehr returns the ball to the infield
(photo copyright Henk Seppen)
3B Virginie Anneveld is ready to eliminate a batter
(photo copyright Henk Seppen)
Pitchers Laura Treurniet and Lindsey Meadows
(photos copyright Henk Seppen)
(thanks again to Joanne Schuler for making today's photos,
but also a special thanks to photographer Henk Seppen (De Telegraaf) for providing some of his photos)