Dutch Team beaten by Australia in exhibition opener
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (USA) -
The Dutch National Softball Team got into action for the first time today and met Australia in its first of two exhibition games against them to prepare for the upcoming World Cup of Softball, which opens on Thursday.
The Dutch Team led twice early in the game, but lost 8-5 after having tied the score at 4-4 in the fifth inning.
On another hot day, the Dutch Team opened the score in the first at bat.
With two outs, Britt Vonk walked, then scored when Saskia Kosterink followed with a double.
Australia came alongside immediately.
Dutch starter Femke van Dusschoten walked lead-off hitter Stacey Porter.
The veteran player then stole second base, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored when an error was made on a grounder by former Belgian Brenda De Blaes.
The Dutch squad re-took the lead in the second inning, again with two outs.
Nathalie Timmermans then drilled a pitch off starter Zara Mee over the leftfield-fence for a homerun.
But again, Australie tied the score in its next at bat.
And they also did it with a homerun, as Verity Long-Droppert hit one with one out.
In the third inning, Stacey Porter led off and reached when her grounded was misplayed.
After advancing on an one-out single by Brenda De Blaes, she scored on a sac-fly by Chelsea Forkin.
Australia added another run in the fourth at bat.
Jodie Stevenson led off with a single and stole second base, then moved when Michelle Cox singled with one out, but when an outfield-error followed, she was able to score and make it 4-2.
For the Dutch Team, Chantal Versluis singled with one out in the third inning, but was caught stealing.
In the fourth, Saskia Kosterink led off with a walk, but was forced out.
But in the fifth, the Orange came back strongly.
First, Nathalie Timmermans was hit by a pitch and was replaced by pinch-runner Merel Oosterveld.
An error then followed on a grounder by Meike Witteveen, but the lead runner was forced out on a grounder by Nathalie Gosewehr.
A double steal followed and the two runners scored when Britt Vonk tripled with two outs.
A strikeout then ended the inning, but the Dutch had tied the score, 4-4.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Australia struck with four runs off Lindsey Meadows.
Five basehits and an error then accounted for the rally and gave Australia an 8-4 lead.
In the sixth, Yonina Sint Jago singled for the Dutch with one out, but stranded.
The Orange then managed to get one run back in the seventh inning.
Meike Witteveen was hit by a pitch, moved on a single by Nathalie Gosewehr and stole third base.
She then scored on a grounder by Britt Vonk.
Except for Anne Blaauwgeers and Areke Spel all players on the Dutch roster played in today's game.
Dutch umpire Bob Gieskens was behind the plate in this match-up.
On Wednesday, the team will play its second and last exhibition game against Australia, then opens against Canada on Thursday on Day 1 of the World Cup of Softball.
Box Score Exhibition Game vs. Australia
Complete Schedule World Cup of Softball
Bob Gieskens (right) was today's Home Plate Umpire and Ron Houison from Australia was the Field Umpire
Head Coach Craig Montvidas with Coach Berend Mannessen
Ready to play ball!
Coach Tracy Bunge hangs up the Dutch banner
Nathalie Gosewehr led off for the Dutch Team
Chantal Versluis followed in the batter's box
Britt Vonk, who walked, scored the first Dutch run in the 1st inning on a double by Saskia Kosterink
Head Coach Craig Montvidas keeps his eye on the batter
Nathalie Timmermans connects in the second inning...
...and hits a homerun that puts the Dutch ahead 2-1
Nathalie is welcomed by her teammates
Meike Witteveen at bat
Femke van Dusschoten started for the Dutch Team
Femke van Dusschoten during her wind-up; in centerfield is Saskia Kosterink
Nathalie Gosewehr back in the batter's box
Britt Vonk walked and tripled in today's game
Dagmar Bloeming took over the pitching in the third inning
Virginie Anneveld at bat in the 4th inning with Saskia Kosterink at first base
Yonina Sint Jago grounds out in the fourth inning
Nathalie Timmermans checks the signs
Jodie Stevenson steals second base in the 4th inning, sliding passed Chantal Versluis
Chantal Versluis concentrates at short
...and so is Britt Vonk playing at first base
Lindsey Meadows came on in the fourth inning
Britt Vonk keeps her head cool
Yonina Sint Jago follows the action
Meike Witteveen steals third base in the fifth inning
Britt Vonk turns for a bunt, but would hit a 2-run triple in the 5th to tie the score
Nathalie Gosewehr scores the tying run in the fifth inning
Femke van Dusschoten with Pitching Coach Karen Marr
Lindsey Meadows delivers in the fifth Australian at bat
Meike Witteveen playing at second base
Petra van Heijst took over at third base in the sixth inning
Rebecca Soumeru retired the side in the sixth inning
Another stolen third base for Meike Witteveen, this time in the 7th inning
An overview of Field #2 of the ASA Hall of Fame Complex
End of the game