Dutch shutout by Japan!
CARACAS (Venezuela) - After the thrilling opening victory vs. Great Britain on Thursday, the Dutch National Softball Team was held scoreless by Olympic champion Japan on Friday, but played another good game and lost only 4-0.
On Saturday, the Dutch Team will play two games, meeting Argentina in the morning and Cuba in the afternoon.
At Estadio Independencia, Head Coach Craig Montvidas used the same starting line-up as he did yesterday vs. Great Britain, except for the pitching.
The Dutch Team registered four basehits off Makiko Fujiwara, including two by Nathalie Gosewehr, who was 2-for-3.
Britt Vonk added a double and Merel Oosterveld singled as pinch-hitter.
The difference in the game was the third inning, when Dutch starter Rebecca Soumeru then gave up a 3-run homerun to Haruna Sakamoto.
The inning started with a groundout, then Rei Nishiyama reached on an error and Eri Yamada walked.
Next, the lead runner was forced at third base on a grounder back to Rebecca by Satoko Mabuchi, but then Sakamoto followed with her homerun to give Japan a 3-0 lead.
Japan added its fourth run in the fourth inning off new pitcher Kirsten Scheele when Ayumi Karino singled with two outs, stole second and scored on a single by Rei Nishiyama.
The Dutch Team hit two basehits in the first inning, but didn't had the luck on its side then.
Nathalie Gosewehr led off with an infield-hit, but then was forced out on a following grounder by Meike Witteveen, who then was caught stealing moments later.
Next, Britt Vonk doubled, but the bases were empty and she would be left behind.
In the sixth inning, after 15 batters were retired in order, Nathalie Gosewehr registered the next Dutch basehit.
In the seventh, with two outs, Lindsey Meadows was hit by a pitch and then pinch-hitter Merel Oosterveld singled, but then a groundout ended the at bat and the game.
For Japan, this was its third win in a row and second consecutive shutout.
The line-up vs. Japan was as follows:
Pitcher-Rebecca Soumeru (3 innings), Kirsten Scheele (3 innings);
1st Base-Britt Vonk;
2nd Base-Meike Witteveen;
3rd Base-Virginie Anneveld;
Short Stop-Chantal Versluis;
Left Field-Nathalie Gosewehr;
Center Field-Saskia Kosterink;
Right Field-Areke Spel, Merel Oosterveld (pinch-hitter);
Designated Player-Lindsey Meadows.
Box Score Netherlands vs. Japan
An overview of Estadio Independencia, which also was the site of the Opening Ceremony
Coach Tracy Bunge throws batting practice
The stadium is situated in a nice scenery with mountains in the background
The coaches meet the umpires
Meike Witteveen running at first base in the first inning
Britt Vonk arrives at second base after her first inning double
Physical Therapist Sanne Oude Egberink sits front row in the dug-out
A meeting in the circle
Pitcher Rebecca Soumeru delivers a pitch
At right is 1B Britt Vonk
Ayumi Karino lets a pitch go by...
...and then makes contact; She singles in the fourth Japanese run in the fourth at bat
Nathalie Timmermans is the catcher
A look in the spacy Dutch dug-out
1B Britt Vonk retires a Japanese player
Centerfielder Saskia Kosterink catches a flyball
Lindsey Meadows makes contact
Winning pitcher Makiko Fujiwara
3B Virginie Anneveld keeps her eyes on the action
Rebecca Soumeru delivers another pitch
The Dutch security guards cheer 'their' team
Kirsten Scheele took over the pitching in the 4th inning
Pinch-runner Nadine Marinus leaves first base in the 7th inning
End of the game
The Dutch players applaud the specators for their cheering
Final score 4-0
After the game, the players met children and signed signatures
Here, Meike Witteveen and Virginie Anneveld in the front
and Lindsey Meadows and Merel Oosterveld in the back
Time to go back to the hotel
Lindsey Meadows and Merel Oosterveld are ready...
...and so are our six private security guards
One of them 'surrenders' to Nathalie Gosewehr and Solange Starrenburg
o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o
Also on Friday:
USA vs. New Zealand, 12-2
Team USA scored six runs in both the second and third inning to take an early 12-0 lead vs. New Zealand, which then scored twice in the fourth at bat on a 2-run homerun by Sheree Cartwright, but couldn't prevent a mercy-rule loss.
Eileen Canney went the distance for the USA, struckout five batters and gave up four basehits to the Kiwi's.
New Zealand used four pitchers, who gave up nine hits, including triples by Natasha Watley and Kaitlin Cochran.
Chelsea Bramlett contributed with three runs batted in.
Dutch umpire Carolien Stadhouders (or Karolein Starholper as she is mentioned in the official box scores) was one of the umpires in this game.
Chinese Taipei vs. Canada, 2-5
Taipei took an 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Canada came alongside in the third, then took the lead by scoring twice in the fourth inning.
Canada collected 10 basehits, including three by Erin Cumpstone.
Jennifer Yee and Kaleigh Rafter homered for the Canadians.
Botswana vs. Dominican Republic, 0-6
Botswana, which represents the African continent, started the Championship on Thursday with big losses vs. China (12-0) and New Zealand (8-1), but today lost only 6-0 to the Dominican Republic, which registered its first win of the event after having lost to Venezuela (1-0) and the Czech Republic (8-4).
Starting pitcher Oteng Keogotsitse gave up three runs in the first inning, then held the Dominicans scoreless, before giving up three more runs in the sixth at bat.
Winning pitcher Hannat Penna went the distance and gave up only four hits.
The Dominicans also registered only six hits, but that included a double by Erika Pérez and a triple by Geraldine Felix.
Cuba vs. South Africa, 10-1
Cuba collected eleven basehits, including three by Yaleisa Soto Linares, while Maritza Toledo Soca had four RBI's and Lidibet Castellón Aleman scored three runs in a 5-inning victory vs. South Africa, which produced only four hits.
Cuba took charge of the game quickly, scoring five runs in the first and four in the second at bat.
Dutch umpire Peter Vonk was assigned to this game.
New Zealand vs. Czech Republic, 5-6
The Czech Republic registered a surprise 6-5 victory in eight innings vs. New Zealand on Friday to claim its second win, after having beaten the Dominican Republic 8-4 yesterday.
After three scoreless innings, the Czechs took a 2-0 lead by scoring runs in the fourth and sixth inning, but then New Zealand rallied for three runs in the home of the sixth to take a 3-2 lead.
The Czech team reacted with two runs in the top of the seventh, but New Zealand tied the score in its seventh at bat.
In the tie-break, the Czechs again scored two runs to make it 6-4 in their favor.
New Zealand was able to add only one more run in the home of the eighth, leaving the team empty-handed.
The Czech team got 10 hits, including a double and triple by Eva Rendlová, who also scored twice.
New Zealand had only five basehits, including two by Brooke Luckhart, who also had three RBI's.
Chinese Taipei vs. Great Britain, 3-0
Taipei scored two runs in the third inning and added another one in the fifth to shutout Great Britain.
The British team had five basehits, including two by Stacie Townsend and Laura Thompson.
Taipei collected seven basehits.
China vs. Australia, 0-2
Australia, which had opened with a loss vs. host Venezuela, today shutout China 2-0, thanks to runs in the first and sixth inning.
Winning pitcher Justine Smethurst gave up only three hits, while Australia registered six off Wang Lan, including two by Danielle Stewart, who also scored and had an RBI.
Venezuela vs. USA, 0-7
Monica Abbott struckout eight batters and gave up only one basehit in Team USA's 7-0 shutout vs. Venezuela, whose captain Maria Soto accounted for the lone basehit.
The American squad hit ten basehits off Johana Gomez in this game, which was temporarily halted because of rain.
After three scoreless innings, the USA scored twice in the fourth.
With Kaitlin Cochran on base and Tammy Williams at bat, the game was delayed by rain for five minutes.
When the game resumed, Williams hit the first pitch into centerfield for a single, but an error followed.
Cochran scored, Williams advanced to third on the error and was waved home while the relay was in motion.
Williams slid into the catcher, who looked to have possession of the ball in time, but New Zealand-home plate umpire Nicole Ogier ruled her safe.
Kim Wright, the American Head Coach of Venezuela, argued the controversial call, but had no success.
The USA then rallied for five more runs in the fifth, but again Kim Wright argued a call at the plate.
Natasha Watley and Caitlin Lowe both scored on a single by Alissa Haber, then Wright argued the umpire's decision on calling Lowe safe at the plate.
A triple by Andrea Duran, single by Kaitlin Cochran and double by Ashley Charters increased the lead to 7-0, enough for a mercy-rule run-difference.
Canada vs. Argentina
This game was canceled because of rain and was re-scheduled to be played on Saturday-evening.