American catcher homers twice
The Netherlands National Softball Team opened the World Championship tonight (Friday, August 15) with a 10-0 shutout-loss against the United States.
The Dutch Team produced only two basehits in the 3½ inning game, while Team USA collected nine.
Two of them were homeruns by Amanda Chidester, the American catcher, one of them being a grand slam.
The Orange squad faces Chinese Taipei in its second game on Saturday, August 16, starting at 3 PM.
It was a beautiful sight tonight at the Nol Houtkamp Sportpark in Haarlem.
A nice stadium, filled with more than 3.100 spectactors.
A dream had come true for the organizers, who had worked hard the last four years to first bring the World Championship to the Netherlands and then accomplish something special.
The first World Championship organized in Europe is now under way.
Initially, tonight's game had to start at 8 PM, but it started 59 minutes later instead.
The reason for this was that the start of the Opening Ceremony had to be moved forward, due to another game on Field #2 which was still in progress.
That game, between New Zealand and Russia (which lasted two hours and five minutes), began almost an hour later due to the length of the games which were played before that on Field #2.
And so, the Opening Ceremony began more than an hour later than scheduled.
During the Opening Ceremony, The Haarlem Barbees & Barflies put on a nice singing show.
After the introduction of the 16 participating teams, Haarlem Mayor Bernt Schneiders, Organizing Committee President Peter van der Aart and ISF-President Dale McMann addressed the players, officials and spectators in brief speeches.
The World Championship then was officially opened when Nol Houtkamp threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
The 85-year old Nol Houtkamp holds the record of being the Head Coach of the Netherlands National Team for 14 consecutive seasons (1969-1983) and is member of the ISF Hall of Fame, the ESF Hall of Fame and the Dutch Hall of Fame.
The teams of the Netherlands and the USA then got some 40 minutes to prepare for their game.
The Haarlem Barbees & Barflies then did a nice perfomance of singing the Dutch and American national anthems.
And then, at 8:59 PM, the game between the USA and the Netherlands got underway.
The Dutch offense was unable to be realy productive off of American pitcher Jessica Moore.
Only twice, a batter reached base, but both times with a basehit.
In the second inning, Virginie Anneveld reached on an infield-hit and in the fourth inning, Britt Vonk drove the ball into deep centerfield for a double.
Virginie moved to second base after her single on a grounder by Areke Spel, but then stranded.
Britt advanced to third base on a grounder by Saskia Kosterink and then was left behind.
But there are also some positive notes, as no Dutch player struckout and all players got good contact with the pitches of Jessica Moore.
The Orange squad might have open the score in the second inning.
After Virginie Anneveld had moved to second base, Nathalie Gosewehr followed with a hard line drive, but it was caught by 2B Lauren Gibson.
When the ball would have got through, Virginie surely would have scored to give the Dutch an 1-0 lead.
But now the inning ended and then the momentum switched to the American team.
In the home of the second inning, Dutch starter Femke van Dusschoten, who had retired three batters in a row in the first at bat after a lead-off walk, gave up two runs.
With one out, she hit Lauren Gibson with a pitch and then catcher Amanda Chidester followed with a 2-run homerun.
After the Dutch Team was retired in order in the top of the third inning, the Americans staged an 8-run rally, which put the game out of reach for the Orange squad.
The inning began with an error, followed by a basehit and a sacrifice bunt.
A passed ball then led to a run and the bases got loaded when two walks followed.
Hereafter, Ginger de Weert took over the pitching and gave up an RBI-single to Lauren Gibson, then Amanda Chidester followed with a line drive homerun into leftfield.
It not only was her second fourbagger of the game, it also was a grand slam that lifted the lead to 8-0.
Back-to-back doubles by Kellie Fox and Haylie McCleney followed to bring in another run and then a single by Raven Chavanne made it a 10-0 score.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Dutch got close to its first run after Britt Vonk's double and advance to third base, but another grounder then ended the game via the 10-run mercy-rule.
On Day 1, we had one big surprise as Botswana won 5-3 vs. Great Britain.
Box Score Netherlands vs. USA
(above photos made by Fred Versluis)