Dutch Team eliminated after one-run loss vs. Australia!
CARACAS (Venezuela) - The Dutch National Softbal Team on Wednesday played another good game and was close in eliminating Australia, the number 3 of the world, on the first day of the play-offs of World Championship in Venezuela.
After Australia scored three runs in the first at bat, the Dutch fought back and played for what they were worth (and that's a lot!).
The team again showed character, but in the end lost only 3-2 to be eliminated.
Despite this, the team will leave this Championship with its heads up, as it can look back to a great tournament with strong performances.
Like last year in Canada and in the USA, the Dutch Team again underscored that it is capable of taking on the best teams of the world!
It will only be a matter of time for the Dutch Softball Team to climb another spot on the ladder of the world ranking in the near future.
With today's loss, the team ended the World Championship with a tie for seventh place which it will share with Chinese Taipei, that also was eliminated after a heartbreaker, losing 1-0 in eight innings vs. China.
Earlier in the day, Japan shutout Venezuela 2-0 and the USA won big vs. Canada, 16-1.
With this, Japan and USA will meet on Thursday in the game that will produce the first finalist.
Venezuela will meet China and Australia is playing against Canada in the next two elimination games.
The Orange team started the day with a game preparation in the swimming pool of the hotel.
Physical Therapist Sanne Oude Egberink had compiled a special condition session to loosen up the muscles.
The highlight of this 'practice' was the action of some players to 'include' Head Coach Craig Montvidas during the practice in the swimming pool, all dressed up.
By the way, it was noticed that Australia also had a secret swimming pool practice.
The Game Preparation
Physical Therapist Sanne Oude Egberink shows the proper movements
Sanne encourages the players
Business Manager Rich Hooff conducts his own practice
Or is he scouting the Australian team, which does its preparations in the back
Head Coach Craig Montvidas and Physical Therapist Sanne Oude Egberink 'participate' in the practice
Later, Business Manager Rich Hooff and Head Coach Craig Montvidas
show their skills as catcher and batter
The game vs. Australia
The game against Australia started an hour later than scheduled, because of the length of the previous games.
Australia struck right away in the first at bat, when it scored the three runs it needed for the victory.
Brenda De Blaes led off with a walk, then advanced on a grounder and scored on a single by Stacey Porter.
Next, a double by Tracey Moseley gave Australia runners on second and third base.
Dutch starter Lindsey Meadows then struckout the next batter, but then Jodie Bowering hit the ball in left-centerfield for a single, that enabled the two runners to score and to give Australia a 3-0 lead.
Hereafter, Lindsey Meadows, who threw a great game, recovered and gave up only three more basehits in the remainder of the game.
The Dutch Team fought back greatly and scored twice in the third inning, but unfortunately, the team was unable to turn the game around, as it lacked the necessary hitting off Justine Smethurst, who gave up four Dutch basehits.
In the third inning, Virginie Anneveld led off with a single, but then two strikeouts followed.
The Dutch Team then scored twice.
First, Nathalie Gosewehr reached on an error to put runners on first and third base.
Another error followed on a grounder by Meike Witteveen, which resulted in the first Dutch run.
Hereafter, Britt Vonk followed with an infield-hit that enabled Nathalie to score the second run, but then the third out in the at bat followed.
The Dutch Team got another scoring opportunity in the sixth inning.
Lead-off hitter Saskia Kosterink appeared to reach first base safely on a close play, as the first base player appeared to be off the base on the throw.
However, the umpire ruled Saskia out.
Next, Areke Spel (who played in her 50th international game) singled and Solange Starrenburg reached on an error, which otherwise might have given the Dutch another run in case Saskia would have been rule safe.
But now, there were runners on first and second base with one out.
The two runners advanced on a grounder by Virginie Anneveld (who was 2-for-3), but then the third out followed, stranding the two runners.
Moments later the game ended.
Of course, there was disappointment within the Dutch Team, as it was close in advancing to the next round.
But the team can look back to a good tournament and again showed the international softball-world that the Dutch Softball Team really is a contender on the world stage!
The line-up vs. Australia was as follows:
1st Base-Nadine Marinus, Fabienne van Uden (pinch-hitter), Merel Oosterveld (pinch-hitter);
2nd Base-Meike Witteveen;
3nd Base-Virginie Anneveld;
Short Stop-Britt Vonk;
Left Field-Nathalie Gosewehr;
Center Field-Saskia Kosterink;
Right Field-Solange Starrenburg;
Designated Player-Areke Spel.
Box Score Netherlands vs. Australia
Team Manager Paul Boonstra with Venezuelan Minister of Sports Victoria Mata
A look in the dug-out
Nathalie Gosewehr at bat
Coach Nancy Evans speaks with the infielders and the battery
Solange Starrenburg at bat
Virginie Anneveld running on first base
And here, Meike Witteveen running at first base
A message on the scoreboard, which thanks President Chávez
for his support of the national team
Areke Spel takes off from first base
End of the game
o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o - o
Also on Wednesday:
Japan vs. Venezuela, 2-0
Japan shutout Venezuela 2-0 to advance to the game on Thursday that will decide the first finalist.
Venezuela will continue its final round on Thursday facing the winner of the China vs. Chinese Taipei game.
In the first play-off game of today, Japan scored both runs in the fourth at bat.
Japan hit only two basehits off Mariangee Bogado, who threw a pitching duel against Mika Someya, who gave up three basehits and struckout eight batters.
In the fourth inning, Japan scored its two runs without hitting a basehit.
Ayumi Karino was hit by a pitch, then stole second base.
Next, Eri Yamada reached on an error and a grounder led to the first run.
The bases were loaded when Bogado walked Haruna Sakamoto and hit Mizado Kawano with a pitch.
The second Japanese run was then scored on a sacrifice fly by Emi Matsuoka, but that also led to a double play.
Canada vs. USA, 1-16
The USA registered a huge win against their northern neighbours and therefore will meet Japan on Thursday in the game that will decided the first finalist of this championship.
On the other hand, Canada will play on Thursday against the winner of the game between the Dutch and Australia.
The Americans scored four runs in the first and third inning, then added a single run in the fourth, but rallied for seven runs in the fifth at bat.
Team USA collected 16 basehits off of three pitchers, including four by Natasha Watley (4-for-5), who scored three runs and had three RBI's.
Jessica Mendoza went 3-for-3, scored twice and had four runs batted in, while Kaitlin Cochran was 3-for-4 and Jennie Finch hit a homerun.
Winning pitcher Monica Abbott struckout five and gave up only three hits.
Dutch umpire Peter Vonk was a member of the 6-man umpire crew in this game.
Chinese Taipei vs. China, 0-1
China won the Asian match-up on the first day of the play-offs vs. Chinese Taipei 1-0 and scored the lone run in the eighth inning!
Yuan Wang scored the only run in the game and was batted in by Guo Jia.
China outhit Taipei 8-4.
China now will meet Venezuela on Thursday in their next play-off game.
Because of this result, Chinese Taipei became the first team to be eliminated in this play-off and finished this event in a tie for seventh place with the losing team of the Netherlands vs. Australia match-up.
Dutch umpire Carolien Stadhouders was a member of the 6-man umpire crew in this game.