roster & staff 2012
Dutch win big after much rain
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (USA) -
It was a day full of rain and waiting for the Dutch National Softball Team on Friday, but in the end, the scheduled game against Murray State University could be played.
The Dutch Team went on to win 12-4 on four homeruns, equaling a team-record.
The day started with heavy rain, the outskirts of severe thunderstorms in the area, resulting in today's scheduled games being delayed until further notice.
With the tarp on the playing field, the first scheduled game between Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Louisville was the first to be delayed.
In the meantime, Knox County, where Knoxville is located, got under a tornado warning in the early afternoon.
It was reported that a funnel cloud was seen north of the softball stadium, which resulted in the stadium being evacuated.
After the warning was over, the weather cleared, the sun came out and the game between MTSU and Louisville started at 2:15 PM (8:15 PM Dutch time), one hour and 45 minutes later than scheduled.
Louisville went on to win 10-1 in five innings, but moments after the game ended, it was reported that there was a tornado-warning in Louisville, which is located in neighboring state Kentucky.
It is not the first time that the Dutch Team experiences tornado-warnings in recent years.
On June 21, 2008, when the team was in Akron (Ohio) to play the fourth and final game against the professional Akron Racers during the American NPF Tour, there were heavy thunderstorms with a tornado watch, resulting in the game to be cancelled.
On July 16, 2009, during the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City (Oklahoma), there also was a tornado-warning.
Team Manager Paul Boonstra and Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar saw a tornado-funnel being formed while they were on their way to the stadium, then were inside the stadium when it started to rain heavily with a lot of lightning.
The stadium was then evacuated, with everyone taking shelter in the basement, where Paul and Marco were in the company of then-Assistant Coaches Nancy Evans and Tiffany McDonald, as well as Dutch umpire Rob Veldkamp and some 200 other persons.
There was an electricity black-out, but later the Dutch Team was able to play against Team USA.
Two days later, the stadium in Oklahoma City had to be evacuated again because of a severe thunderstorm with the Dutch players taking shelter in their bus for 40 minutes.
After that, the game between the USA and Japan resumed and the Dutch Team continued its warming-up for its following game against Japan.
Eleven players of the team currently in Knoxville were also with the Dutch Team in Oklahoma City in 2009, so a tornado-warning is no new experience to them.
Four of these players, Dagmar Bloeming, Petra van Heijst, Saskia Kosterink and Rebecca Soumeru, also were with the team during the tornado-watch in 2008.
Complete Schedule USA Tour
Game vs. Murray State University
Because of the heavy rain, the game of the Dutch Team against Murray State University initially was postponed early in the afternoon with no new starting time being announced.
When the weather improved somewhat, the starting time was moved from from 3 PM (9 PM Dutch) to 4:45 PM (10:45 PM Dutch).
And when the rain finally stopped, the game even was able to start earlier at 4:25 (10:25).
And so, the third game of the Dutch Team during the tournament in Knoxville finally went underway.
The Orange had a strong start, scoring four runs right away in the first inning.
Lead-off hitter Fabienne van Uden first reached base on a walk, advanced on a grounder by Meike Witteveen and then scored when Nathalie Gosewehr followed with a single.
After the latter was caught stealing, Saskia Kosterink and Virginie Anneveld both singled and then, with two outs, Petra van Heijst drove the ball over the leftfield-fence for a 3-run homerun to make it 4-0.
During batting practice, Petra had broken her own bat and so she used a new bat and that worked out fine!
The Racers answered with one run off starter MariŽlle Vleugels in its first at bat.
The rookie-pitcher, who made her official debut in the National Team, walked lead-off hitter Megan Glosser, who then stole second base and scored after advancing on two following grounders.
After completion of the first inning, it started to rain again.
And so, the tarp was put back onto the field and the game was interrupted.
Moments later, a second tornado-warning was issued for Knox County, meaning the stadium was evacuated again and everyone had to take shelter.
During the warning, the Dutch Team stayed in the lockerroom under the stadium and never was in danger.
After a delay of almost three hours, the game resumed at 7:25 PM local (1:25 AM Dutch time).
The Dutch Team immediately picked up the game where it had left it by adding a run in the second inning when Merel Oosterveld hit a homerun with one out to make it 5-1.
Despite the long delay, MariŽlle Vleugels returned to the circle and retired the side, starting with a strikeout.
Hereafter, the Dutch Team dominated and went on to win the game convincingly 12-4 in five innings.
After Merel Oosterveld had homered in the second inning after the long delay, the Dutch squad added seven more runs in the next three innings, highlighted by two more homeruns, the second by Petra van Heijst and another one by Saskia Kosterink.
In the third inning, the Orange scored two runs.
Saskia Kosterink led off with a single, but was then forced out on a grounder by Virginie Anneveld, who moments later stole second base.
After next batter Petra van Heijst was walked, a pitching change was made by Murray State.
New pitcher Chelsey Sullivan was greeted with 2-run triple by Dinet Oosting, that made it 7-1.
Next, MarisŤla de Wind walked and stole second base, then (with two outs), Fabienne van Uden was awarded first base on catcher's interference to load the bases.
But the three runners were left behind when a strikeout ended the at bat.
Trailing 7-1, Murray State came back with three runs in the home of the third off new pitcher Ginger de Weert.
After the first batter was hit by a pitch, a strikeout, fielding error and walk followed to load the bases.
A 2-run double by Alexa Becker and sacrifice fly by Leslie Bridges then accounted for the three runs, before a grounder ended the inning.
In the fourth inning, the Dutch Team got the three runs back immediately, using the long ball.
With one out, Saskia Kosterink homered, then Virginie Anneveld singled.
Next, Petra van Heijst hit her second homerun of the game to make it a 10-4 lead.
The Dutch Team added two more runs in the fifth at bat.
With one out, Fabienne van Uden singled and Meike Witteveen doubled.
Fabienne then scored on a wild pitch and Meike crossed home plate thanks to a grounder by Nathalie Gosewehr.
Murray State added a single in the fourth, but didn't add more in the remainder of the game.
In the fifth, Rebecca Soumeru became the third Dutch pitcher and retired the side to end the game.
A game, which lasted four hours and 19 minutes, including two hours and 43 minutes of delay!
It was a special day for Petra van Heijst, who became the first Dutch player to hit two homeruns in one game in exactly four years!
On March 2, 2008, during the American Tour to California and Hawaii, Saskia Kosterink homered twice in one inning against the Chaminade University of Honolulu Silverswords at Waipahu (Hawaii).
On Marco's photo at right, Saskia is greeted after hitting her first homerun in that game.
The four homeruns hit today equal a team-record.
On February 16, 2008, Nina van Huissteden, Jolanda Kroesen, Marloes Fellinger and Petra van Heijst all homered in the opening game of the first USA Tour vs. the St. Mary's College Gaels in Moraga (California).
The feat was repeated on July 20, 2009 during the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City (Oklahoma) against Italy when Nathalie Gosewehr, Virginie Anneveld, Chantal Versluis and Saskia Kosterink all homered.
Oh, some other facts.
- For Petra, today's homerun came 1476 days after she hit her last homerun in the Dutch squad, which was a grand slam in the above mentioned game against St. Mary's.
- For Merel, this was her first Dutch Team-homerun in almost a year, as he hit one on March 5, 2011 at the same site in Knoxville vs. the University of Louisiana.
- For Saskia, this was her first homerun, since hitting her towering walk-off, 2-run homerun that ended the final of the European Championship last year in Italy on August 6.
Back in history
Left: The four homerun-hitters (Nina, Jolanda, Marloes, Petra) in the 2008 game vs. St. Mary's in California
Right: the homerun-quartet (Virginie, Saskia, Nathalie, Chantal) in the 2009 game vs. Italy in Oklahoma City
(photos by Marco Stoovelaar)
The Racers, who are from the city of Murray in Kentucky, opened their season on February 19 with two big victories, winning 10-0 and 11-6 in Oxford (Mississippi).
Last week, the team was 2-2 at the Holiday Inn University Plaza Hilltopper Spring Classic in Bowling Green (Kentucky).
So, before facing the Dutch squad, Murray State was 4-2.
In September 2008, Jay Pyron was named as the first Head Coach of the Racers, a year before Murray State University's softball-program started in 2009.
Before coming to Murray State, Pyron was an Assistant and Hitting Coach at several other colleges, high schools and clubteams.
In 2003, Jay Pyron was the coach of one of the American teams that participated in the annual Indoor Cup-tournament in Schiedam (Netherlands).
Box Score Netherlands vs. Murray State University Racers
The team can finally start the warming-up for today's game
But after one inning, rain interrupts the game...
...and the tarp is placed back into the field
The waiting starts
It is getting darker, but Nathalie Gosewehr stays warm by throwing some balls
Coach Maaike Zijlstra and Head Coach Craig Montvidas in the dugout
,,Will this game continue?''
It is getting darker...
...then the rains comes again
Then, a tornado-warning is issued and the stadium has to be evacuated
Taking shelter and waiting in the lockerroom in the basement of the stadium
Lindsey Meadows, MarisŤla de Wind, Dinet Oosting, MariŽlle Vleugels,
Femke van Dusschoten, Merel Oosterveld, Meike Witteveen and Yonina Sint Jago
After the tornado-warming has been lifted, it's waiting for words when to resume the game
Lindsey Meadows, Areke Spel and Physical Therapist Ingrid Holstege
Ready to resume the game!
Saskia Kosterink and Nathalie Gosewehr with the stadium in the background
During the waiting, the team poses for a photo
Then waits again
Ready to play again!
Back in action
Standing at left is Petra van Heijst, who became the first player in exactly four years
to hit two homeruns in one game