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World Cup of Softball - Day 8 - Monday, July 20, 2009

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Dutch overpower Italy to close World Cup

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (USA) - The Dutch National Softball Team hit four homeruns on Monday-afternoon to overpower Italy and win 8-1 in a 6-inning game and finish in fifth place on the World Cup of Softball. Nathalie Gosewehr, Virginie Anneveld, Chantal Versluis and Saskia Kosterink all homered to lead the team to the victory behind the strong pitching of Rebecca Soumeru, who went the distance and gave up only four hits.
The Dutch Team got a lot of compliments about the games they played and the enthousiastic and approachable players and already received an invitation to come back to Oklahoma City for the next (fifth) World Cup of Softball in 2011. Later in the afternoon, Canada defeated Japan 4-1 to finish in third place. In the evening, the final was played between Australia and the USA, which won the event by winning 3-1.

The Dutch Team started and ended the game against Italy with a homerun and scored six runs in between to hand its European archrival another big loss. Italy remained winless in the tournament, losing all six games. Initially, it appeared that Italy would open the score in its first at bat, as it got the bases loaded with only one out. After lead-off hitter Stephanie Ray flied out, Sabrina Del Mastio and Ilaria Pino singled, then advanced on a wild pitch, before the bases got loaded when Daniela Castellani walked. But then Sara Avanzi popped the ball up, resulting in an infield-fly for the second out. The inning ended when short stop Chantal Versluis made a nice catch on a line drive by Cristina Rolla, leaving the bases loaded.

In its first at bat, the Dutch Team set the tone right away when Nathalie Gosewehr led off with a homerun on the seventh delivery by Italian starter Michela Musitelli. Italy got two more runners on base in the second inning when Andrea Montanari and Stephanie Ray reached on infield-hits, but again failed to score. In the home of the second inning, Virginie Anneveld drove the ball into leftfield, where leftfielder Stephanie Ray made a nice catch, but Virginie would take revenge two innings later.

From the third inning on, Dutch pitcher Rebecca Soumeru dominated, as she gave up no more basehits and allowed only three more Italian batters to reach base, two on a walk and the third on a throwing error by herself, which would result in the lone Italian run in the fourth inning. Rebecca struckout four batters and ended with a 4-hitter. In the home of the third, the Dutch Team doubled its lead. Chantal Versluis led off with a walk, moved on a single by Nathalie Gosewehr, stole third base and scored on a sacrifice fly by Nathalie Timmermans, who was the first batter off new pitcher Leslie Malerich. In the fourth inning, the experienced Italian American-born pitcher would be hit hard and gave up five hits and five runs. First, Virginie Anneveld led off with a homerun, then Karin Tuk followed with a single. Her pinch-runner Nadine Marinus then advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Solange Starrenburg and scored when next batter Chantal Versluis also homered. The scoring wasn't over yet, as Meike Witteveen reached on an infield-hit with two outs, then moved on a wild pitch and reached third base when a throwing error followed on a grounder by Britt Vonk, who then stole second base. The two speedy runners both scored when Nathalie Timmermans followed with a single to make it 7-1. In the top of the fourth, Italy had scored its only run. Cristina Rolla walked, moved on two sacrifice bunts, then scored when Rebecca Soumeru made a throwing error on a bunt by Veronica Fontana. With this, Italy narrowed the deficit to 2-1, but then the Dutch Team followed with its 5-run rally.

After a scoreless fifth inning off veteran pitcher Daniela Castellani, the Dutch Team reached the 7-run difference in the sixth at bat off Greta Cecchetti, the fourth Italian pitcher in this game. With two outs, Saskia Kosterink (who had entered the game the inning before) homered to make it 8-1 and end the game.

After completion of the game, the World Cup of Softball Awards were handed out to the respective team-captains by Ron Radigonda, the Executive Director of the Amateur Softball Association (ASA). The Dutch Team then posed for a photo facing the field, then turned around to give spectators the chance also to make a teamphoto. This move was appreciated very much, as the team received a nice applause. Afterwards, it also was underscored how popular the Dutch Team had become during this tournament, as a lot of softball-fans came down to the field to ask for autographs on souvenir programs, banners, shirts, etc. and takes photos. The players signed everything and it took more than 30 minutes, before the signing session was over. The players and staff of the Dutch Team got a lot of compliments, not only for the good games the Team played, but also for enthousiastic players and their approachability and contact with the spectators. The Team really enjoyed being in Oklahoma City and looks forward to come back! Through this, the entire team wants to thank the organization of the World Cup of Softball for their hospitality. Another word of thanks goes to Robert Pittman, our host in Oklahoma City. Robert, thank you for your assistance and being with us. We really appreciate what you have done for us during our stay here.

After returning to the hotel, the Team had lunch in a nearby restaurant. Later, everyone returned to the stadium for attending the final game between the USA and Australia. Before entering the stadium, the Team visited the ASA National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum and did some shopping there.

In the evening, Team USA and Team Australia played an attractive game, which was won by the American squad, 3-1. Will the Dutch Team traveling back home tomorrow, the USA and Australia will fly to Japan to participate in the Japan Cup. Later this month, the American team also will travel to Venezuela to participate in the Pan American Games Qualifier, which also will be a qualifying tournament for next years World Championships, to be held in Oklahoma City. The Dutch Team will face its own World Championship Qualifying Tournament in a few days, as the European Championships in Valencia (Spain) holds that status. The top-3 in Spain will qualify for the Championships.

Dutch Umpire Rob Veldkamp also was not active today, due to his ankle-injury. This out of precaution, as he will be one of the umpires in August on the new ISF World Championships Girls Under 16 in Prague (Czech Republic).

other scores on Monday
Canada vs. Japan, 4-1 (Canada finishes in third place, Japan in fourth)
USA vs. Australia, 3-1 (USA wins World Cup of Softball, Australia finishes in second place)

Box Score Game Netherlands vs. Italy
Schedule World Cup of Softball

First Moonlanding 40 years ago
Today, July 20, history was written 40 years ago, as the first human beings landed on the Moon. On July 16, the immense Saturn V rocket carrying Apollo 11 lifted off from Cape Kennedy in Florida for the first trip to land man on the Moon. Aboard the Apollo 11 were Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin. Almost four days later, on Sunday, July 20, the Lunar Lander 'Eagle', carrying astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin, landed on the Moon in an area known as Mare Tranquilitatis (Sea of Tranquility). Collins remained in the Command Module 'Columbia'. Some hours later (it was then early morning on July 21 Dutch time), Neil Armstrong went outside and became the first man to walk on the Moon, saying the historic words ,,One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind''. Aldrin followed him 20 minutes later.

Almost 22 hours after landing on the Moon, Armstrong and Aldrin took off with the Eagle and returned to Columbia, which then returned to Earth and splashed down on July 24 ending a mission that lasted eight days, three hours and 18 minutes.

Netherlands vs. Italy

The Umpire-crew for the Netherlands vs. Italy game
1B Bonnie Gostola (Canada), 2B John Orlowski (USA),
HP Motoichi Ueda (Japan), 3B Katrina Kershaw (USA)

Britt Vonk seeks some cooling on another hot day in Oklahoma City

The players are ready to play another game

Head Coach Craig Montvidas waits for the things to come in the game vs. Italy

Head Coaches Craig Montvidas and Maria Centrone meet with the umpires

The Dutch Team lines up for the playing of the national anthem...

...and then the players are introduced, in this case Nadine Marinus

And here, Solange Starrenburg greets her teammates

Rebecca Soumeru, who went the distance and threw a 4-hitter

Two of the four Italian pitchers, at left starter Michela Musitelli and
at right Leslie Malerich, who gave up five runs and five hits, including two homeruns

Ilaria Pino singles in the first inning...

...but with the bases loaded, Cristina Rolla lines out to short stop Chantal Versluis

In the home of the first inning, lead-off hitter Nathalie Gosewehr connects...

...for a homerun and rounds the bases...

...before being welcomed by her teammates...

...and then takes a refreshment with smiling eyes

The first inning ends when Areke Spel flies out

Rebecca Soumeru strikes out her first batter in the second inning

In the Dutch second at bat, Virginie Anneveld's lead-off line drive is caught

Japanese Home Plate Umpire Motoichi Ueda cleans the plate

Chantal Versluis and Nathalie Gosewehr are
on second and first base in the third inning when...

...Meike Witteveen turns for a bunt, but she is called out
as she apparently touched the batted ball on fair territory

Head Coach Craig Montvidas asks for an explanation, but the call isn't reversed

After the bases got loaded in the third when Britt Vonk walks, Nathalie Timmermans greets
new pitcher Leslie Malerich with a sacrifice fly...

...enabling Chantal Versluis to score the second Dutch run

In the fourth inning, Italy scores its lone run when Veronica Fontana reaches on a throwing error

In the home of the fourth, Virginie Anneveld leads off with a mighty swing...

...resulting in a homerun and congratulations from Head Coach Craig Montvidas...

...and her teammates at the plate

Hereafter, Nadine Marinus takes over as pinch-runner for Karin Tuk
and will score moments later when...

Chantal Versluis also connects for a homerun

Centerfielder Andrea Montanari can only see the ball sail out of the stadium

Chantal rounds the bases...

...and is greeted by Head Coach Craig Montvidas...

...and her teammates

Whether it had to do with some lowflying objects (three homeruns at this moment)
a big AWACS-plane flew over moments later

The scoring in the fourth inning continued
First, Meike Witteveen singled and advanced on a wild pitch

Next, Meike moves to third and Britt Vonk steals second base
Meike and Britt then both score...

...when Nathalie Timmermans follows with a single to make it 7-1

Here, Britt scores the seventh run on Nathalie's single

With two outs in the sixth inning, Saskia Kosterink also makes
full contact for the fourth homerun in this game

While Saskia rounds the bases, 2B Sabrina Del Mastio signals to her teammates that
there are two outs, but Saskia's run means a 7-run difference and the end of the game

Saskia on her way to home plate...

...where she is greeted by her teammates

Ron Radigonda, the Executive Director of the ASA, hands a tournament memorabilia to
Saskia Kosterink, one of the three teamcaptains of the Dutch squad

The Team applauds and thanks the spectators in Oklahoma City...

...then poses for a teamphoto...

...and another one facing the stands, enabling fans to also take some teamphotos

The powerfull Dutch quartet in this game show their muscles:
Virginie Anneveld, Saskia Kosterink, Nathalie Gosewehr and Chantal Versluis

The popularity of the Dutch players is shown after the game when a lot of
softball-fans enter the field for autographs or photos

Dutch Head Coach Craig Montvidas answers questions of James Corley,
reporter of The Oklahoman newspaper

Back at the hotel, the team remains in uniform...

...to have lunch in a nearby restaurant

USA vs. Australia

After returning to the stadium, the Team poses at the 'Play at Home' statue
in front of the ASA National Hall of Fame and Museum and visit the exhibitions

The ceremonial first pitch is thrown before the final

Coaches Tiffany McDonald (left) and Nancy Evans (right)
with Physical Therapist Anouk Fermont during the final in the stadium

One of the camera-crews of ESPN, which broadcast all American games live
A total of eight camera's were set up, including two handheld-camera's

The Dutch players attended the final in the Players Area

American fans show their admiration of their team
When these fans turn around facing the field, the letters on their head will read ESPN USA

Young Team USA-fans with their supporting banners

One of the eight ESPN-camera's

More than 6000 spectators watched the final game between USA and Australia

'Andy' also was back in the stadium to gain attention for the US Air Force

Team USA wins the fourth edition of the World Cup of Softball

ASA Executive Director Ron Radigonda hands a medal to pitcher Jennie Finch

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Last Update: August 4, 2009
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