Nathalie Timmermans homers again
After scoring at least 10 runs in the last five games, the Netherlands National Softball Team today won by a smaller margin on Day 11 of the Florida-trip.
The Orange won 3-1 vs. the University of Utah, breaking a 1-1 tie in the second inning on a single by Chantal Versluis, who was 3-for-3.
The Dutch added an insurance run in the seventh inning when Nathalie Timmermans hit her third homerun in three days.
Starter Ginger de Weert held Utah to only one hit in four innings, then Lindsey Meadows completed the game.
The Dutch Team continues its series of games on Wednesday with a double-header in Clearwater.
The Orange first meets the University of Maine, starting at 5:00 PM local (10 PM Dutch time), then plays vs. Bryant University, starting at 7:15 PM local time (00:15 AM Dutch time).
Today's opponent is one of the teams playing in the strong Pacific-12 Conference (Division I, NCAA), which is the same division the University of California at Berkeley is playing and that of course is the team of Dutch infielder Britt Vonk.
The two teams will meet each other in a 3-game series on May 1-3 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Before today's game, Utah had played 17 and won nine of them.
The team opened its season at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona, where two of the five games were won.
Utah won 9-1 vs. Western Michigan and 10-3 vs. Portland State.
Next, Utah participated in the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 14-16.
This time, they won their first four games, before ending the event with a loss.
Utah won vs. Toledo (8-3), UTEP (4-3), Long Beach State (11-3) and Seattle University (9-1), but ended up short against Hawaii (11-7).
Back home in Salt Lake City, the team won 6-2 vs. Ole Miss and lost 8-5 vs. Utah State.
The team then traveled to Florida for the South Florida Tournament in Clearwater and Tampa on March 7-9.
Utah began with two shutout-wins, beating Chattanooga (2-0) and Seton Hall (4-0), but then lost the next three games in a row.
After today's game, Utah ended its stay in Florida.
The team now will travel to the west coast of the USA, as it opens the Pac-12 season next Friday in Seattle, Washington, against the University of Washington.
The Dutch Team again came on the board quickly, opening the score in the first at bat.
With one out, Chantal Versluis singled and stole second base.
She then advanced on a sacrice bunt by Jessie van Aalst and scored on a following double by Saskia Kosterink.
Utah came alongside immediately in its first at bat off of Dutch starter Ginger de Weert.
Lead-off hitter Chalese Hadley walked and moved on a passed ball, then scored with two outs when an error was made on a grounder by Mariah Ramirez.
After the opening at bat, Ginger allowed only one more batter to reach base in the next three innings.
After retiring six batters in a row, she gave up a 2-out single to Kristen Stewart in the third inning, but then retired the next four batters again.
The Dutch Team was retired in order in the second inning, but then regained the lead in the third.
Nathalie Timmermans led off with a walk and moved when next hitter Merel Oosterveld also walked.
The two then came both in scoring position on a wild pitch.
With one out, Nathalie scored the go-ahead run on a single by Chantal Versluis, but Merel got in a rundown between second and third base and was tagged out.
However, the Dutch had a 2-1 lead and that minimal margin was enough in this game.
In the next three innings, the Dutch reached base several times, but the Utah-defense turned two double plays.
An insurance run was then added in the seventh inning when Nathalie Timmermans homered with two outs to make it 3-1.
It was Nathalie's third homerun in three days (or third in the last four games).
The last player to have hit three homeruns on three consecutive days also was Nathalie, who accomplished the feat during the World Championship of 2012 in Canada.
She then homered against the Czech Republic, Venezuela and South Africa, which were three consecutive games.
Earlier in 2012, Nathalie did the same in three consecutive games during the USA Tour.
Lindsey Meadows took over the Dutch pitching in the fifth inning.
She gave up a 2-out single in the fifth inning, but that didn't harm her.
In the sixth, Utah got runners runners on first and second base, while having one out.
This time, a force out at third base and flyout ended the at bat.
In the seventh, Utah stranded two more runners, as the solid Dutch defense prevented them from scoring to save the lead.
Box Score University of Utah vs. Netherlands
Head Coach Craig Montvidas is performing a muscle test with Physical Therapist Lisette Hagen
Lisette was all smiles during the test
Coach Tracy Bunge is back with the team arriving on Monday
Head Coaches Craig Montvidas and Amy Hogue meet the umpire crew
Chantal Versluis singles in the 1st inning; Bella Secaira is the catcher
Next hitter Jessie van Aalst lets a high pitch go by
Moments later, Chantal steals 2nd base; 2B Kristen Stewart has no play
Saskia Kosterink then follows with a double...
...that enables Chantal to score the first Dutch run
Chantal gets high-fives from Ginger de Weert and Jessie van Aalst
Saskia on 2nd base after her double, behind her short stop Bridget Castro and LF Kendal Bergman
Karin Tuk is the next hitter...
...but Saskia is then caught stealing and tagged out by 3B Taylor Jordan
Ginger de Weert is the starting pitcher for the Dutch Team
Nathalie Timmermans has a close call in the 3rd inning
Moments later, Nathalie slides into 3rd base after a wild pitch
Ginger de Weert allows only one hit in four innings
Eva Voortman is pinch-runner in the 4th inning...
...but is eliminated when Areke Spel lines into a double play
An overview of the field
Today's game was attended by Robert and Lisa Pittman, who traveled to Florida from Oklahoma City
In 2009 and 2012, the Pittman's were the liaisons for the Dutch Team during the
World Cup of Softball and did a great job hosting the Orange squad
Nathalie Timmermans grounds out in the 5th inning
Coach Berend Mannessen oversees the field
Saskia Kosterink after her single in the 6th inning
Mariah Ramirez singles for Utah in the bottom of the 6th inning
Nathalie Timmermans connects well in the 7th inning...
...and hits her third homerun in three days
Merel Oosterveld puts down an infield-hit
Lindsey Meadows throws the final three innings
The final out is made
End of the game
Head Coach Craig Montvidas looks back to the game
The team poses with today's umpires