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World Championship - Day 7 - Saturday, June 26, 2010

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Dutch one-runs Argentina and shuts out Cuba!

Nederlandse tekst

CARACAS (Venezuela) - The Dutch National Softball Team on Saturday played two strong games to win two vital match-ups on Day 4 of the World Championship in Venezuela. The team started Saturday with another thriller, but again held its head cool and went on to win 4-3 vs. Argentina after having scored four runs in the first inning. In the evening, the Dutch played against Cuba and shut them out 3-0 in a game that started more than two hours later than scheduled, due to heavy rain. The game was attended by Dutch ISF Vice-President for Europe André van Overbeek, as well as Dutch KNBSB-boardmember Caroline Theunissen, who arrived today.

game vs. Argentina

The Dutch Team decided the game at Estadio Rinconada with a 4-run rally in the first inning and that was all the team needed, but hereafter, six tense innings followed with another suspenseful ending!

Initially, Argentina opened the score in the first at bat when their second batter, Nadia Heis, reached on a throwing error, then Dutch starter Kirsten Scheele gave up a double and single, resulting in the run, but in the end, the Dutch defense prevented more runs.

In the home of the first inning, Nathalie Gosewehr led off with a walk, then Meike Witteveen reached on a bunt-single. Next, Britt Vonk doubled to bring in the tying run. With runners on second and third base, Saskia Kosterink singled, enabling speedy runners Meike and Britt both to score and give the Dutch a 3-1 lead. After next batter Nathalie Timmermans struckout, Solange Starrenburg (who played in her 25th international game) followed with an RBI-single to increase the lead tot 4-1 and this would be a very important run!

After Solange's single, Argentina changed pitchers with starter Maria Olheiser being replaced by Carla Villalva, who allowed only foure more Dutch players to reach base in the remainder of the game! Saskia Kosterink walked in the second inning, Fabienne van Uden singled in the fourth, Britt Vonk walked in the fifth and pinch-hitter Anne Blaauwgeers reached on a bunt-single in the sixth at bat. The new Argentinian pitcher threw so slowly that the Dutch batters were far too early with their swing, resulting in several pop-flies. While the batters adjusted to the slow pitching, they were unable to add more runs.

Trailing 4-1, Argentina got two runs back in the fourth inning off new pitcher Rebecca Soumeru (who appeared in her 75th international game), who threw the fourth and fifth inning. Both runs were credited to Kirsten Scheele, who was relieved by Rebecca after giving two basehits. Next, a force play followed on third base, but with runners on first and second base, Tatiana Tavella singled to load the bases. A double play-grounder by Natalia Jiménez then followed, which gave Argentina a run, but while trying to complete the double play a throwing error followed, resulting in an additional run and a 4-3 score! By the way, the batter-runner was then eliminated when she tried to advance on the error to second base.

As was the case against Great Britain, tension builded up during the game and another thriller seventh inning followed! Dagmar Bloeming, who took over the pitching in the sixth inning, gave up a lead-off single, but the runner was then forced out at second base on a following grounder. A single and walk then loaded the bases with only one out! This time, it was Dagmar who held her head cool, as she struckout the next two batters to end the inning and the game!

By the way, for the Argentinians, their three runs were the first-ever they scored against a Dutch National Team. In three previous meetings, they were outscored 29-0.

Afterwards, the Argentinian Head Coach said: ,,The change of pitcher was made too late, we should have acted sooner in order to prevent ideal opportunities for a team that is undoubtedly a power in European softball''.

The line-up vs. Argentina was as follows:
Pitcher-Kirsten Scheele (3 innings), Rebecca Soumeru (2 innings), Dagmar Bloeming (2 innings); Catcher-Nathalie Timmermans, Anne Blaauwgeers (pinch-hitter); 1st Base-Britt Vonk; 2nd Base-Meike Witteveen; 3nd Base-Virginie Anneveld; Short Stop-Chantal Versluis; Left Field-Nathalie Gosewehr; Center Field-Saskia Kosterink; Right Field-Solange Starrenburg; Designated Player-Fabienne van Uden.

Box Score Netherlands vs. Argentina

Yes, a new tradition is born!
Another photo of Team Manager Paul Boonstra with a stadium in the background
(photo taken by Virginie Anneveld)

A view of the brand new Estadio La Rinconada

The team prepares for the game

The big dug-out, where Physical Therapist Sanne Oude Egberink does some treatment

Coach Tracy Bunge again throws batting practice

Physical Therapist Sanne Oude Egberink at left with pitcher Kirsten Scheele;
In the back, catcher Nathalie Timmermans has a talk with Coach Nancy Evans

Physical Therapist Sanne Oude Egberink with Business Manager Rich Hooff

More fans for the Dutch Team

The team is ready to meet the players of Argentina before the game

Starting pitcher Kirsten Scheele in her wind-up

Physical Therapist Sanne Oude Egberink checks 1B Britt Vonk...

...but Britt continues with Nadia Heis (who reached on a throwing error) running for Argentina

Maria Olheiser connects for Argentina moments later

Concentration for Head Coach Craig Montvidas in the first Dutch at bat

Nathalie Gosewehr leads off the first inning with a walk and later scores the tying run

Meike Witteveen leaves 2nd base in the first at bat...

...then is on third base, moments away from scoring the go-ahead run

Saskia Kosterink at first base in the 1st inning, after hitting a 2-run single
Saskia then scores the fourth run on a single by Solange Starrenburg

Fabienne van Uden singles in the fourth inning

Britt Vonk playing at first base

Pinch-hitter Anne Blaauwgeers at 2nd base in the sixth inning after having reached on a bunt-single

End of the game, the Dutch Team wins 4-3

game vs. Cuba

With the win against Cuba, the Dutch Team moved into second place in Pool A. The game was the fifth in history against Cuba and was the first won by the Dutch. 20 years ago, during the World Championship of 1990 in Normal, Illinois (USA), the Dutch Team was shutout 4-0 in their first-ever match-up. Last week, Cuba won all three games played during the Venezuelan International Series, which was part of the preparations for the World Championship.

Before today's game, Cuba opened with a 6-0 loss vs. Canada, but then won big yesterday vs. South Africa, 10-1. Today, Cuba started with an 1-0 loss vs. Japan in a game which was interrupted more than two hours because of rain.

Because of the rain, the game between the Dutch and Cuba also started two hours later than scheduled. In the meantime, the team of course already was in the stadium. While waiting for the game between Cuba and Japan to resume, there was some special entertainment by the Dutch Team going on. The team's own six security guards had invited their complete batallion to watch the game and root for the Dutch Team. While the field was prepared the Dutch players performed severak dances on the field, while the security guards and military personnel did a wave in the stance!

After completion of the game between the Netherlands and Cuba, this made headlines. ,,Holanda conquistó al publico y blanqueó a Cuba'', was the headline, which translates into ,,Dutch conquer spectactors and blanks Cuba''. The story continued as follows: ,,Before this game, the players of the Dutch team went out on the field just a few minutes before the game between Cuba and Japan – delayed by the rain - was restarted, and made a demonstration of their dancing skills to the rhythm of the music, which the whole crowd enjoyed. The Dutch performed their own version of the Franco and Oscarcito’s ''Batea un Home Run'', which was part of the opening ceremony. The Europeans then spent some time with the crowd: They took pictures, signed autographs, and won over the hearts of a group of people that attended the Bicentenario this Saturday''.
So, the Dutch Team again is becoming the most popular of an international event!

When the game began, Cuban starting pitcher Anisley López initially dominated, as she retired the first 13 batters in a row! But then the Dutch broke the Perfect Game and the scoreless tie in the fifth inning. With one out, Lindsey Meadows hit the first Dutch basehit and was replaced by pinch-runner Merel Oosterveld, then Areke Spel also singled. Merel raced to third base, but a throwing error followed, enabling Areke to advance to second base. Next, Virginie Anneveld grounded towards the pitcher, resulting in Merel being thrown out at the plate. With runners on first and third base, Nathalie Timmermans singled into rightfield to bring in the first Dutch run and then Chantal Versluis followed with another RBI-single to make it 2-0.

In the seventh inning, Chantal Versluis hit a 2-out homerun to add an insurance run and make it 3-0. It was a historical homerun, as it was the first ever being hit in the new Estadio La Rinconada!

Lindsey Meadows went the distance for the Dutch, struckout ten batters and gave up seven basehits.

Cuba got several scoring opportunities, but Lindsey and the Dutch defense prevented them from scoring runs. In the third at bat, there were runners on second and third base with one out, but then Lindsey struckout the next two batters. In the fifth, the righthander started with two strikeouts, then gave up two singles to put runners on second and third base, but again ended with a strikeout. In the sixth, Cuba got the bases loaded with two outs, but this time short stop Chantal Versluis accounted for the last out. Then in the seventh, Cuba had runners on first and second with two outs and this time 3B Virginie Anneveld handled the ball well and eliminated the batter to end the game.

The line-up vs. Cuba was as follows:
Pitcher-Lindsey Meadows; Catcher-Nathalie Timmermans; 1st Base-Britt Vonk; 2nd Base-Meike Witteveen; 3nd Base-Virginie Anneveld; Short Stop-Chantal Versluis; Left Field-Nathalie Gosewehr; Center Field-Saskia Kosterink; Right Field-Areke Spel (5 innings), Solange Starrenburg (2 innings).

Box Score Netherlands vs. Cuba

A look at the wet field...

...and the beautiful stadium

The groundscrew prepares the field for the Cuba vs. Japan game to continue

The Dutch players first look on

Other Dutch players wait in the dressing room and watched some World Championship Soccer

Later, ISF-President Don Porter has a talk with Head Coach Craig Montvidas,
Coach Tracy Bunge and Team-captain and ISF Athlete Ambassador Saskia Kosterink

And then it's time for the Dutch players to start dancing

The military personnel reacts to the Dutch dances

The official website of the Dutch Softball Team is read all around the world!
The teamphoto that opens the site was shown on the big scoreboard, while the team danced

The game between Japan and Cuba was halted during day-light...

...and was completed when it was dark!

The field remained muddy for the remainder of the day
Also when the Dutch played Cuba

Nathalie Gosewehr hits a foul ball

The view from the dug-out

Winning pitcher Lindsey Meadows

Celebration time!

The players thank the spectators again after the game

o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o

Also on Saturday:

Australia vs. Czech Republic, 6-0
Australia shutout the Czech Republic to start the series of games on Saturday, but really decided the game with a 4-run fifth inning. At that moment, the Aussies were leading 2-0 after having scored runs in the second and fourth inning. Aimee Murch, who throws in the Dutch big league for Iber Lengua Terrasvogels, was the winning pitcher and was supported with ten basehits by her teammates. Stacey Porter and Tracey Mosley homered for Australia against the Czechs, who had won their first two games. In this match-up, they produced only four hits.

Japan vs. Cuba, 1-0
With Japan leading 1-0 in the third inning, this game was interrupted by heavy rain. It took some 2 1/2 hours for the groundscrew to get the field back in playing condition. When the game resumed, Japan was unable to add more runs against Cuba, which played a good game, but nevertheless lost 1-0. With the win, Japan remained unbeaten and won its fourth game.

New Zealand vs. China, 0-11
China needed only four innings to hand New Zealand a big loss, highlighted by a 6-run third inning. China collected nine basehits, including a homerun by Luo Ying, while the Kiwis hit only two basehits.

Botswana vs. USA, 0-20
Reigning world champion USA defeated small Botswana 20-0 in three innings, scoring 16 runs in the third at bat! After having scored three runs in the first and one in the second, Botswana was doing fine so far in its first two innings. But the American offense started a huge rally in the third inning, which couldn't be stopped, as the poor Botswanian defense simply was unable to get the batters out. In the inning, ten basehits and two errors resulted in 16 runs, increasing the lead to 20-0 to reach the 15-run difference mercy-rule for three innings. Chelsea Bramlett, Ashley Charters and Lauren Lappin all had three of the 14 basehits. The latter two collected four runs batted in, while Bramlett had three. Bramlett and Lappin scored three runs. Jennie Finch threw all three innings for Team USA and struckout five batters. However, Botswana did have something to celebrate, as they got one batter to reach base, which happened in the second inning when, with one out, Malebogo Mamaphane reached on catcher's interference and then even advanced to second base on a passed ball. For the Americans, this was their fourth win in a row.

Canada vs. Great Britain, 7-0
This game initially was scheduled to be played after completion of the Japan vs. Cuba game and should have started at 3:00 PM, as was the match-up between Australia vs. the Dominican Republic in the other stadium. However, because of the rain, these two games were moved to a later time to make room for the next scheduled games between the Dutch and Cuba and between Botswana vs. USA. Because of the re-scheduling, Great Britain again had to play at the Estadio Las Mayas, a practice field where it already had played two games before, including the one vs. the Netherlands. The British team had no answer to the pitches of Ashley Lanz, while Canada opened the score in the first inning by scoring three runs. Starting pitcher Stacie Townsend gave up an RBI-single to Melanie Matthews, then a passed ball and a wild pitch accounted for the next runs. In the fourth inning, Jennifer Yee hit added an inside-the-park-homerun, her third homerun in the last three games.

Australia vs. Dominican Republic, 6-0
Australia registered its third victory and moved into a tie for second place in Pool B with shutout vs. the Dominican Republic.

South Africa vs. Chinese Taipei, 1-8
Mui-Chuan Chiang singled in two runs in the first inning for Taipei, then Chiu-Ching Li added a homerun in the fifth and Yin-Sha Lo contributed with a 2-run homerun in the sixth inning. South Africa scored its lone run in the fourth at bat.

Venezuela vs. Czech Republic, 5-1
Mariangee Bogado dominated as pitcher for Venezuela, throwing a No-Hitter in six innings, but she then gave up three consecutive singles in the seventh, leading to the lone Czech run. Venezuela scored three runs in the third inning, highlighted by a 2-run double by Geraldine Puertas, then scored two more runs in the fourth to take a 5-0 lead.

Canada vs. Argentina, 12-0
Canada scored 10 runs in the first inning and saw Caitlin Lever hit two singles in this at bat, she also scored twice and had three RBI's. Kaleigh Rafter singled and doubled in the first at bat and also had three RBI's. Winning pitcher Jenna Caira gave up only three hits in the four innings that were needed for this game.

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Last Update: June 26, 2010
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