Orange come back from behind in opener
The Netherlands National Softball Team played two games on Wednesday, March 5 and won both.
In the opener, the Orange put on a good display, registering a come-from-behind victory.
The squad trailed 5-0 after two innings against the team of Saint John's University, but then started to come back from the third inning on to win 9-6.
Karin Tuk belted a 3-run homerun in the third inning to put the Orange back on track, then the score was tied in the fourth at bat.
The Dutch then turned the game around in its favor by scoring twice in both the sixth and seventh inning en route to the victory.
The game was the first of two scheduled for today.
Next, the team of Head Coach Craig Montvidas met the University of Toledo in an evening-game and won won 4-1.
This game was played almost entirely in rain, which already had began towards the end of the first game.
The Dutch Team will have the day off on Thursday and then will attend the Major League Spring Training-game between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees at Bright House Field in Clearwater.
Recently signed Japanese Masahiro Tanaka is the scheduled starting pitcher for the Yankees.
Kyle Kendrick is scheduled to start for the Phillies.
However, it is not clear whether the visit to the game or the game itself will go on, as more rain is expected for Thursday.
The Orange Team will return to the field on Friday to play a double-header against Hillsborough Community College in Tampa.
These games were added a few days ago to the schedule, which now has listed 25 games in 20 days.
Game vs. Saint John's University
Three years ago, on March 8, 2011, the Dutch and Red Storm met each other for the first time.
For the record, the game back then was played on the same site as today, Field #8 of the Eddie C. Moore Complex in Clearwater.
In 2011, the Orange squad won 12-5 and then collected 17 basehits, including three by Nathalie Gosewehr, Karin Tuk and Chantal Versluis.
One of the three hits registered by Nathalie and Karin back then were homeruns.
Four of the Red Storm-players in today's game also played against the Dutch three years ago, being 1B Jackie Reed, CF Kelsey Moyer and pitchers Ashley Beza and Aleshia Link.
Before today's game, Saint John's was 5-9.
The team from New York City did some traveling before today's game.
On February 7-8-9, it participated in the FAU 'Kick-Off' Classic in Boca Raton (Florida).
Of the five games played, the team on twice, beating Ohio State (6-3) and Florida Atlantic (3-2).
A few days later, the team participated in the Arkansas Invitational in Fayetteville (Arkansas) and won two of the four games played.
The Red Storm won 11-4 vs. UMKC and 4-3 against Jackson State.
From Arkansas, it was on to Georgia where Saint John's participated in the Sixth Annual Bulldog Invitational in Athens.
It was a tough series for the team, winning only one of the five games played, beating Georgia 13-3.
And from Georgia, it was back to Florida, where Saint John's will participate in the USF-Under Armour Showcase in Clearwater starting on Friday.
Looking ahead to the game against the reigning European champion, Red Storm-catcher Erin Burner said on the team's website: ,,It should be a good experience.
I'm excited to play against them and use the game to get ready for the weekend at the USF-Under Armour Showcase''.
,,It'll be fun to play against someone from another country'', added Tori Free, who was today's starting pitcher.
,,It's going to be interesting to see the different style of play that they have.''
Last year, Tori Free was a Big East Conference Third Team selection.
Head Coach Amy Kvilhaug: ,,Playing the best softball team out of the Netherlands is another chance for us to prepare with Big East play coming up.
It will also be great for us to compete against a team with such a high level of international experience.''
The Dutch Team faced a 5-0 deficit after two innings, but then came back into the game.
Karin Tuk belted a 3-run homerun in the third inning, then two runs were added in the fourth to tie the score at 5-5.
The Orange then turn the game around in its favor by scoring two more runs in the sixth inning to take a 7-5 lead!
The Dutch Team had a shaky start, as the defense committed four errors in the first at bat, which led to four runs off of starting pitcher Eva Voortman.
Only one of the runs was earned.
Saint John's then added another run in the second inning on a double by Jackie Reed, which gave the home team an apparently comfortable 5-0 lead.
But that all changed from the third inning on.
In the first inning, Jessie van Aalst and Karin Tuk both walked with two outs, but were left behind.
In the second, Areke Spel led off with a walk, but also stranded.
The Orange then struck in the third at bat.
With one out, Merel Oosterveld singled and Jessie van Aalst reached on an error.
Hereafter, Karin Tuk connected well and hit a 3-run homerun to narrow the deficit to 5-3.
In the fourth inning, the Dutch came alongside.
Nathalie Gosewehr led off with a single and then Anne Blaauwgeers walked.
Merel Oosterveld followed with an RBI-single to make it 5-4.
Next, Anne was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a grounder by Jessie van Aalst, but then a grounder by Karin Tuk enabled Merel to score the tying run, 5-5.
In the sixth inning, while the rain started to pick up some, the Dutch Team scored twice to take a 7-5 lead.
With one out, Anne Blaauwgeers singled, advanced on a grounder by Merel Oosterveld and scored the go-ahead run on a single by Jessie van Aalst.
The latter then stole second base and scored on a following single by Karin Tuk, who had five runs batted in.
Saint John's got one run back in its sixth at bat on an RBI-triple by Brittany Garcia off of Lindsey Meadows, who had taken over the pitching in the third inning and completed the game.
The Dutch Team then added two insurance runs in the seventh inning.
With one out, Areke Spel doubled and moved on a single by Chantal Versluis.
A grounder by Shareday Christina and an error then produced the runs to lift the lead to 9-6.
Box Score Saint John's University Red Storm vs. Netherlands
The team enjoys dinner before the first game
Coach Berend Mannessen takes an extra french fries
Anne Blaauwgeers leads off with a grounder...
...then plays at first base defensively
Karin Tuk is doing the catching, Lexi Robles is the batter
Eva Voortman is the starting pitcher for the Dutch
Trailing 4-0 after a rough first inning with four errors, Head Coach Craig Montvidas
talks with his players
Areke Spel leads off the 2nd inning with a walk
Shareday Christina hitting in the 2nd at bat
Eva Voortman pitching in the home of the 2nd inning
Short stop Shareday Christina moves into position, while runner Erin Burner
is on her way to score the 5th run on a double by Jackie Reed in the 2nd inning
Anne Blaauwgeers turns for a bunt in the 3rd inning...
...just as Merel Oosterveld moments later
Merel reaches on a single, then steals 2nd base; Standing at right is Coach Berend Mannessen
Playing at 1st base is Jackie Reed
Next hitter Jessie van Aalst connects and reaches on an error
Hereafter, Karin Tuk hits a 3-run homerun
Karin is greeted by her teammates
Virginie Anneveld pops out in the 3rd inning
Lindsey Meadows throws the last five innings
Ashley Beza pitches the 5th inning for Saint John's
The score is tied at 5-5 in the fifth inning
Chantal Versluis singles in the 7th inning
Head Coach Craig Montvidas follows the action
Of course, the Dutch shows the flag of sponsor Sandd also during the trip to Florida
Anne Blaauwgeers played at first base
Shareday Christina moved to 2nd base in the last 2 innings
It started to rain heavier from the sixth inning on
Game vs. University of Toledo
The team of the University of Toledo was 5-10 before the match-up against the Dutch.
The team from Toledo, Ohio, opened its season on February 14, participating in the UNLV 'Easton Desert Classic' in Las Vegas, Nevada.
There, it lost its first three games, then defeated Utah Valley 3-1, but also ended up in the final game of the event.
A few days later, Toledo was a participant in the Frost Classic in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
This time, the Rockets won two of their five games played, winning vs. Austin Peay (7-2) and Middle Tennessee (4-3).
Hereafter, the team traveled to Florida to play in the Under Armour Invitational in Clearwater, starting on February 28.
Again, five games were played and like the tournament before, the Rockets won twice.
This time, they won vs. Central Connecticut (3-2) and Kennesaw State (10-5).
On March 16, Central Connecticut meets the Dutch squad.
The Orange opened the score right away in the first inning.
Chantal Versluis led off with a double, was awarded third base on an illegal pitch, then scored on a 2-out single by Saskia Kosterink.
In the next three innings, the Dutch were held scoreless.
Dinet Oosting reached on an error with one out in the second inning, but was caught stealing.
In the the third, Merel Oosterveld led off with a double, but later was eliminated at the plate.
After being retired in order in the fourth inning, the Dutch Team added a run in the fifth.
With one out, Shareday Christina walked, then Merel Oosterveld reached on an infield-hit.
After the two advanced on a wild pitch, the bases were loaded when Chantal Versluis walked.
A single by Anne Blaauwgeers then made it 2-0, but three runners were left behind.
Two errors led to a run for Toledo in the fifth inning, but the Dutch answered with two runs in the sixth at bat.
Nathalie Timmermans led off with a single and Areke Spel reached on an error.
The two advanced on a grounder by Dinet Oosting, then scored on a single by Shareday Christina to make it 4-1.
The Dutch Team got strong pitching in this game from Dagmar Bloeming and Ginger de Weert.
Dagmar started and went five innings, striking out eight batters and allowing only three hits.
Ginger then took over in the sixth inning and struckout the first five consecutive batters.
After giving a double, she then struckout another batter and earned a save.
And that means that a total of 14 Toledo-batters struckout.
Box Score University of Toledo Rockets vs. Netherlands
Game 2 is won 4-1
(due to the darkness, there are no additional photos of this game)