Orange has another 4-homerun game
The Netherlands National Softball Team continued its series of games in Florida on Monday, March 10 with a double-header against Florida Tech.
The games were played in Melbourne on the east coast of Florida and so, the team made a 3-hour ride to get there from Clearwater.
In the opener, the Dutch Team won 12-2 and collected 16 basehits, led by Jessie van Aalst, who was 4-for-5 with two doubles, scored four runs and had two runs batted in.
Areke Spel contributed with a 3-run homerun.
The Dutch pitching was dominant with Dagmar Bloeming striking out nine batters in four innings, then Femke van Dusschoten adding three more in the remainder of the game.
In Game 2, the Dutch won 10-2 in five innings, thanks to a productive first and second inning in which eight runs were scored.
In this game, the team again hit four homeruns, which came off the bats of Nathalie Timmermans, Chantal Versluis, Jessie van Aalst and Dinet Oosting.
It marked the second day in a row that the Dutch Team hit four homeruns in one game and the second time in its last three games.
In 2012, the team homered four times in two consecutive games during its USA Tour.
Also today, Coach Tracy Bunge arrived in Clearwater in the morning, but wasn't yet with the team in Melbourne.
Britt Vonk left the team again.
She left Florida at 3 AM for the red-eye return flight to San Francisco, where she will re-join the team of the University of California at Berkeley.
In the evening, Shareday Christina also left the team.
She flew back to Baltimore, Maryland to join her teammates again of Morgan State University.
The team will play a single game on Tuesday, meeting the University of Utah, starting at 11 AM local time (4 PM Dutch time).
Before today's games, Florida Tech (or officially the Florida Institute of Technology) had played 26 games, winning 18 of them.
After its first two games rained out, the team was off to a good start.
The team was 3-0 at the FIT Softball Tournament, winning vs. Fort Valley State (twice) and Webber International.
The Panthers then were 5-0 at the Eckerd College Spring Invitational Tournament in Clearwater, where it defeated Armstrong Atlantic, Shorter, Lee, Lindenwood and West Florida.
A few days later, Florida Tech won vs. Valdosta State, which then broke the 9-game winning streak by winning 10-0 in game 2 of the double-header.
Next, a double-header was lost against Flagler.
Hereafter, three of the next five games were won again, beating Tampa once and taking revenge vs. Flagler by winning twice.
On March 2 and 4, the Panthers played four games during the Dot Richardson Spring Games at Clermont, Florida.
There, the team won vs. Notre Dame College, University of Findlay and Chestnut Hill.
By the way, this series of games is named after Dot Richardson, who played for a longtime in the American National Softball Team.
She was a great short stop and faced the Dutch Team several times during international events.
Last Friday, Florida Tech lost to Eckerd, but then won twice against that squad on Saturday, before facing the Dutch today.
Looking ahead to the games against the Dutch, Head Coach Val Silvestrini said: ,,This will be a unique opportunity for our team to face a different culture and one of the best softball teams in Europe''.
The Panthers faced a national team earlier when it participated in the Argentinean International Cup in Buenos Aires in 2011.
There, the team played against the Junior and Senior team of host Argentina in several games.
Game One vs. Florida Tech
In the opener, the Dutch Team won 12-2 and collected 16 basehits and was led by Jessie van Aalst, who was 4-for-5 with two doubles, scored four runs and had two runs batted in.
Areke Spel contributed with a 3-run homerun.
The Dutch pitching as dominant with Dagmar Bloeming striking out nine batters in four innings, then Femke van Dusschoten adding two more in the remainder of the game.
The Dutch Team was off to a good start, scoring twice in the first at bat off of starter Rachel Ionata.
With one out, Chantal Versluis doubled and then scored when Jessie van Aalst followed with a single.
Moments later, Jessie stole second base and scored on a single by next batter Saskia Kosterink.
The latter was then forced out on a hit to rightfield by Karin Tuk.
Areke Spel added a single, but two runners were then left behind.
The Orange added its third run in the second inning.
Shareday Christina led off with a walk, then moved to third base when a throwing error was made on a sacrifice bunt by Nikki Harte.
With runners on first and third base, a double-steal situation produced the third run.
Dutch starter Dagmar Bloeming gave up a lead-off single in the first inning, but then a caught stealing and strikeout followed.
The Panthers got two runners on base hereafter, but Dagmar then ended with a strikeout.
In the second inning, the Panthers got one run back, but also stranded three runners.
Dagmar began with two strikeouts, then walked Kaci Kelley and gave up two singles that loaded the bases.
A walk for Audrey Gangloff then resulted in the first run, but again Dagmar ended the threat with a strikeout, meaning the bases were left loaded.
Dagmar then retired the side in the home of the third inning, adding two strikeouts to lift her total to seven.
The Dutch Team then rallied for three runs in the fourth inning.
Nikki Harte led off with a walk and advanced on two wild pitches.
With one out, Chantal Versluis walked, then Nikki scored when a throwing error followed a stolen base by Chantal.
Jessie van Aalst followed with an RBI-double, then scored herself moments later on a throwing error trying to steal third base.
Florida Tech scored its second run in the home of the fourth.
After Dagmar Bloeming began with her eighth strikeout, she gave up a single to Kaci Kelley, who was then replaced by pinch-runner Elaine Brown, then advanced on a grounder and an infield-hit by Brigit Godfrey (which was her third hit), before scoring in a double-steal situation.
But Dagmar then closed with her ninth strikeout.
In the fifth inning, Femke van Dusschoten took over the pitching for the Dutch.
She walked two batters with one out, but then a strikeout and groundout followed to end the inning.
The Orange increased its lead to 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.
With one out, Jessie van Aalst singled and stole second base.
Next, Saskia Kosterink lined down the leftfield-line for an apparent double with the ball curving to the Florida-bullpen.
There, the ball was picked up by the Florida-player, who protected the catcher, thinking it was a foul ball.
The umpires got together, as this was a case of 'player interference'.
Saskia was then awarded second base and Jessie home plate with Saskia being credited with an RBI-double, which she would also have when the ball was not picked up.
After Areke Spel walked, With two outs, Saskia scored the next run on a pinch-hit single by Nathalie Timmermans.
The Orange scored four more runs in the top of the seventh inning, which were all unearned.
Lead-off hitter Nathalie Gosewehr reached on an error, then Jessie van Aalst followed with her second double, which was her fourth basehit of the game.
Nathalie was then thrown out at the plate trying to score on a grounder by Saskia Kosterink.
An error on a grounder by Karin Tuk then enabled Jessie to score her fourth run and Areke Spel then followed with a 3-run homerun to make it a 12-2 score.
Box Score Florida Tech vs. Netherlands (Game One)
Logistics Manager Peter Schuler, Head Coach Craig Montvidas and Coach Berend Mannessen
have a chat before the game
Head Coaches Craig Montvidas and Val Silvestrini meet with
Umpires Tim Dolen (HP) and Andy Thomas before the first game
Head Coach Craig Montvidas addresses the team before the introductions
Here, Jessie van Aalst is introduced
The team lines up for the playing of the National Anthem
The team of Florida Tech also lines up for the 'Star Spangled Banner'
Saskia Kosterink hits an RBI-single in the 1st inning
Florida Tech-starter Rachel Ionata with Karin Tuk running at 1st base
Playing at first base is Hailey Leonard
Areke Spel leaves the box after hitting a single in the 1st inning
Nicole Miller is the catcher, Tom Dolen the umpire; Dinet Oosting is on deck
Berend Mannessen coaching at first base
Starter Dagmar Bloeming strikes out 9 batters
Shareday Christina running at 3rd base and Nikki Harte
at 1st base in the second inning
Moments later, Nikki Harte steals 2nd base
Short stop Brigit Godfrey gets the ball too late, 2B Sarah Hayes covers
Shareday slides by catcher Nicole Miller to score in the double-steal-stuation with Nikki
Standing at right is next hitter Nathalie Gosewehr
A look in the Dutch dug-out
2B Nikki Harte and 1B Jessie van Aalst
Shareday Christina played at 3rd base in this game
Karin Tuk singles in the third inning
Dinet Oosting flies out in the third inning
Jessie van Aalst scores the sixth Dutch run in the 4th inning on an error
Standing at left is Saskia Kosterink
Femke van Dusschoten takes over the pitching in the 5th inning
Areke Spel is greeted after her 3-run homerun in the 7th inning
Game Two vs. Florida Tech
After Game One lasted almost three hours, the two teams were back on the field about 30 minutes later for the next match-up.
This time, the Dutch won 10-2, needing only five innings and collected four more homeruns.
The Orange took a commanding 8-0 lead in the first two innings.
The first three runs were scored quickly.
Chantal Versluis led off with a triple on the first delivery by Rachel Pence.
Chantal then scored on a single by following hitter Merel Oosterveld.
The latter then advanced on an error and a wild pitch, then scored when Nathalie Timmermans homered to make it 3-0.
A 5-run rally followed in the second at bat, which included two more homeruns.
Dinet Oosting led off with a single, then Nikki Harte singled and Chantal Versluis followed with a 3-run shot over the left-centerfield fence.
Merel Oosterveld followed with a single, then Jessie van Aalst drove the ball over the centerfield-fence for a 2-run homerun that made it 8-0.
For Chantal, it was her first homerun since she homered twice on July 7, 2012 in an exhibition game against Washington LadyHawks Gold in Seattle.
For Jessie, it was her first homerun as a player of the National Team.
The run-production wasn't over yet, as Dinet Oosting led off the third inning with a homerun, which was the fourth in the first three innings.
It marked the second day in a row that the Dutch hit four homeruns in one game.
However, it was the quickest that the team got four homeruns in one game.
The previous record was four homeruns in the first four innings, which was set on March 2, 2012.
On that date, the Dutch played vs. Murray State during that years USA Tour.
Petra van Heijst then homered in the first at bat, Merel Oosterveld homered in the second inning, then Saskia Kosterink and Van Heijst both homered in the fourth.
After Dinet's homerun, starter Rachel Pence was relieved by Rachel Ionata, who was the starter in Game One and then delivered 135 pitches.
The tenth Dutch run was added in the fifth inning with two outs.
Eva Voortman led off with a single, then Dinet Oosting singled.
However, Saskia Kosterink then lined into a double play.
Moments later, Dinet scored on a double by Nikki Harte.
2B Sarah Hayes tried to catch the ball over her shoulder, but just was out of reach and so, Nikki ended up on second base with good baserunning and Saskia raised the lead to 10-0.
Saskia had entered the game moments before, replacing Shareday Christina, who taken out of the game, as she had to leave for the airport for her return-flight back to Baltimore.
Florida Tech got on the board in the fifth inning off of reliever Ginger de Weert, who came on in the fourth inning.
Lindsey Meadows started and threw three hitless innings, while striking out four.
After hitting a batter with a pitch with two outs in the first inning, Lindsey retired the next seven batters in a row.
In the fourth inning, Ginger de Weert retired the side and appeared to get unharmed out of the fifth inning also.
She walked the lead-off batter, then gave up a single, but followed with two strikeouts.
However, Kelsey Donahue then reached on an error, which led to the first run.
Singles by Elaine Brown and Ember Wells followed to bring in another run and load the bases.
But Ginger then ended the inning with a strikeout, which also ended the game through the mercy-rule.
Box Score Florida Tech vs. Netherlands (Game Two)
Nathalie Timmermans hits a 2-run homerun in the 1st inning
Lindsey Meadows starts this game for the Orange; Nathalie Timmermans is the catcher
Jessica Callahan is the hitter, Andy Thomas the umpire
Chantal Versluis approaches home plate after her 3-run homerun in the 2nd inning
Moments later, Jessie van Aalst hit her first National Team-homerun
And in the 3rd inning, Dinet Oosting leads off with the fourth Dutch homerun in this game
Shareday Christina connects in the 3rd inning, but grounds out
Ginger de Weert takes over the pitching in the 4th inning
Virginie Anneveld is playing at 3rd base this game
End of the game
Areke Spel and Anne Blaauwgeers celebrate the double victory