Orange fails to hold onto 2-0 lead
The Netherlands National Softball Team suffered its first loss of their Florida-trip on Saturday-evening, March 15, as opponent University of South Florida came from behind to win 3-2 in the last inning.
The Orange squad took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on a single by Jessie van Aalst, then left three runners in scoring position in the next four innings.
The Bulls got one run back in the sixth, but left the bases loaded, then scored twice with no outs in the home of the seventh inning to win 3-2 and end the 9-game winning streak of the Dutch.
The Dutch Team plays a double-header on Sunday, meeting Baylor University and Central Connecticut State University.
The first game starts at 11:15 AM local time (4:15 PM Dutch time).
Today, the Dutch Team faced the Bulls, the team of the University off South Florida, which already had played 31 games since February 6.
23 of those games were won.
The Bulls are led by wellknown coach Ken Eriksen, who also is the Head Coach of the National Team of the USA.
Eriksen became Head Coach of the Bulls in 1997 and since then has won more than 760 games.
In 2001, Eriksen was named Assistant Coach of the USA National Team, then Head Coach in 2011.
USF, which has one of the strongest softball programs in the country, opened its season on February 6 with a double-header split during the USF-Wilson DeMarini Tournament at home in Tampa.
The team closed the event with a 1-2 record with two games being cancelled.
Next, the team hosted the USF Tournament on February 14-16 and won three of the five games played, beating Wright State (8-6), Pittsburgh (5-1) and Illinois (2-1).
The Bulls then moved to Clearwater for the NFCA Lead-Off Classic on February 21-23, where four of the five games were won.
Back at home in Tampa, USF won all six games played during the Under Armour Invitational, giving up only five runs and scoring 47 themselves.
The team won vs. Stanford (3-2), Central Arkansas (10-1), St. Bonaventure (8-0), Loyola Marymount (10-0), Villanova (8-0) and Maine (8-2).
Hereafter, a double-header victory followed vs. Maine and Western Michigan, winning 8-0 and 7-0 respectively.
This was followed by a 2-2 record during the Under Armour Showcase on their home site in Tampa on February 7 and 9.
After a day off, four victories followed on March 11 and 12.
On Friday, USF opened the Michele Smith Spring Break Tournament at home with a 3-0 loss vs. Baylor, but then won 3-0 vs. UMass in the next game to raise their record to 23-8.
Game vs. University of South Florida
Today's game was the third between the Dutch and the Bulls.
The last game was played two years ago during the USA Tour of the Orange squad.
On the same site, Field #8 of the Eddie C. Moore Sports Complex, the Dutch then won 8-1.
Before the game, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Michele Smith, who won the Gold Medal with Team USA on the Olympic Games of 1996 in Atlanta (USA) and 2000 in Sydney (Australia).
She also was a member of the USA squads that captured the World Championship-titles in 1994, 1998 and 2002.
The last years, Michele is a Softball Analyst for ESPN.
Today's game was part of the Spring Break Tournament, which is named after Michele Smith.
Both teams collected six basehits, but Florida registered five of them in the final two at bats, resulting in the 3-2 victory.
In the first five innings, the Dutch Team controlled the game.
The team got one big scoring opportunity with two outs in the third inning and then scored twice.
South Florida collected only one basehit off of starting pitcher Lindsey Meadows, who allowed only one more batter to reach base.
The Dutch Team reached base right away in the first inning when Anne Blaauwgeers walked with one out, but then Merel Oosterveld lined into a double play.
In the second inning, Karin Tuk singled with one out, but stranded.
The Orange squad then struck with two runs in the third at bat off Puerto Rican pitcher Karla Claudio.
With one out, Nathalie Gosewehr singled, then stole second base with two outs.
Virginie Anneveld then walked and the two runners advanced on a passed ball.
The bases got loaded when Merel Oosterveld also walked.
Next, Jessie van Aalst drilled the ball into centerfield for a single to give the Dutch a 2-0 lead.
With the Dutch leading and runners at first and second base, the inning ended when Karin Tuk flied out.
In the fourth inning, Marisèla de Wind singled with one out, but then was caught stealing moments later.
In the fifth, Nathalie Gosewehr led off with a single off of new pitcher Susan Wysocki, moved on a sacrifice bunt by Eva Voortman (who played in rightfield today) and a grounder, but then stranded at third base.
Dutch starter Lindsey Meadows retired the side in the first inning, then gave up a 2-out double to Monica Santos in the next inning.
But that also led to the third out, as Santos tried to stretch her hit into a triple, but was thrown out at third base from rightfielder Eva Voortman to 2B Merel Oosterveld to Virginie Anneveld, who had just entered the game defensively at 3rd base.
Virginie took the spot in the batting order of Anne Blaauwgeers, who started the game at 1st base.
After Virginie's insertion, starting 3B Dinet Oosting moved to first base.
After the second inning, Lindsey Meadows retired nine of the next ten batters she faced, four of them with a strikeout.
In the fifth, 3B Virginie Anneveld caught a hard line drive from lead-off hitter Karla Claudio.
For the Dutch Team, Jessie van Aalst led off the sixth inning with a walk, but would strand at third base.
Ginger de Weert took over the Orange pitching in the bottom of the sixth at bat.
With one out, the Bulls got the bases loaded via a walk and two singles.
Next batter Veronica Gajownik then hit a hard line drive towards left field where Jessie van Aalst made a nice catch.
The home team then got on the scoreboard when Morgan Litchfield walked hereafter.
But with the bases still loaded, Ginger ended the at bat with a strikeout.
In the seventh inning, Nathalie Gosewehr hit her third basehit in the game with one out and advanced on a grounder.
Virginie Anneveld then walked, but both runners were left behind.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, the Bulls struck with three consecutive basehits.
Kassandra Moeller led off with a walk and advanced on a wild pitch and a bunt-single by Dani Wayt.
Pinch-hitter Ashli Goff then singled down the rightfield-line to bring in the tying run, 2-2 and brought Wayt to third base.
Allie Patierno then followed with a walk-off single to bring in the winning run and end the game.
Patierno reached base three times (she walked twice) and scored the first run in the sixth inning.
,,The Dutch are one of the top teams in the world right now, they’ve got a very good pitching staff and hit the ball real well'', reacted USF Head Coach Ken Eriksen said afterwards on their website.
Box Score University of South Florida vs. Netherlands
The players prepare, while Coaches Craig Montvidas and Berend Mannessen look on
Dagmar Bloeming welcomes you in the Orange Shop
Coaches Ken Eriksen, Tracy Bunge and Craig Montvidas
meet with umpires Jeff Carter (3B), Rick Tumbleston (1B) and Steve Hanney (HP)
The Dutch players wait for the playing of the National Anthem
The Dutch players listen to the 'Wilhelmus', the Netherlands National Anthem
And here, the USF-players listen to the American National Anthem, the 'Star Spangled Banner'
Michele Smith throws out the ceremonial first pitch
While Anne Blaauwgeers leaves first base, Merel Oosterveld
lines into a double play in the first inning
Lindsey Meadows gives up only one basehit and throws five strong innings
Veronica Gajownik hitting for USF in the first inning
Karin Tuk is the catcher, Steve Hanney the umpire
Jessie van Aalst pops out in the 2nd inning
In the next at bat, she singles to give the Dutch a 2-0 lead
Head Coach Ken Eriksen just had a talk with his players
3B Virginie Anneveld tags out Monica Santos in the 2nd inning
Nathalie Gosewehr leads off the 3rd inning with the first of her three singles
Kaitlyn Santo is the catcher
Moments later, she steals 2nd base, short stop Veronica Gajownik cannot prevent that
An overview of the field
Merel Oosterveld hitting in the 5th inning
Coach Tracy Bunge talks with runner Jessie van Aalst
and hitter Dinet Oosting in the 6th inning...
...while USF Head Coach Ken Eriksen talks with his pitcher Susan Wysocki
Moments later, Jessie advances to 3rd base on a grounder by Dinet
Ginger de Weert takes over the pitching in the 6th inning
Dinet Oosting is playing at first base
Kassandra Moeller leads off the 7th inning for USF with a walk