Dutch Team opens World Cup of Softball with win
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (USA) -
The Dutch National Softball Team opened the seventh edition of the World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma City on Thursday, June 28 with a 7-6 come-from-behind victory against Canada.
The Dutch Team trailed twice (3-1 and 6-3), but tied the score both times, then scored what would be the winning run in the top of the seventh inning.
On Friday, the Dutch Team plays two games.
First vs. Brazil, then against Puerto Rico.
Today's game had some crucial moments.
Like the 2-out, 2-run single by Virginie Anneveld that tied the score in the third inning.
Or the 2-out single by Karin Tuk that tied the score for the second time in the fifth at bat.
Or the throwing error following a stolen base by Saskia Kosterink that enabled her to score what would be the winning run.
Or the pick-off by Chantal Versluis with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth inning.
After the Dutch Team was retired in order in the first inning, Canada struck immediately off starter Rebecca Soumeru in the second half of the at bat.
Melanie Matthews drilled Rebecca's first pitch over the fence for a lead-off homerun.
With two outs, she gave up a single and walked the next batter, then an outfield-error led to the second Canadian run.
Then Orange got one run back in the second inning when Virginie Anneveld doubled with one out, then scored on a 2-out single by Karin Tuk.
Nathalie Timmermans followed with a double, but runners stranded at second and third base.
Canada then added another run in home half of the second inning to make it a 2-run difference again, but also left a runner behind on third base.
The Dutch Team then had another crucial at bat in the third.
With one out, Meike Witteveen singled and Britt Vonk doubled, but then a strikeout accounted for the second out.
Virginie Anneveld next delivered a 2-run single that made it a 3-3 score and a new ballgame!
But again, Canada was productive in the home half, scored three runs and made it a 3-run difference this time.
With two outs, Kelsey Harberl singled and Heather Ebert followed with a homerun that made it 5-3 in Canadian favor.
Joey Lye (who was 4-for-4) then singled and scored on a double by Megan Timpf to increase the lead to 6-3.
But that run was to be the last scored by Canada, which got seven more runners in the next four innings, but was unable to add more runs.
Canada-starter Jenna Caira struckout three batters (and walked one) in the fourth, but then the Dutch Team got back strongly to tie the score again in the fifth inning.
With one out, Britt Vonk was hit by a pitch (which was another crucial moment), then a groundout followed.
With Britt on second base, Virginie Anneveld drilled her second double of the game to bring in a run.
This led to a pitching change, as Jenna Caira, who struckout 11 batters, was replaced by Jocelyn Cater, who was greeted warmly.
Next, Virginie scored on a by Areke Spel (yes, another crucial moment) and Karin Tuk followed with her second 2-out single that tied the score at 6-6.
And so, we had another new ballgame for the second time!
In the fifth inning, Kelsey Harberl led off for Canada with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Carey-Leigh Thomas, who advanced on a grounder and single by Joey Lye.
The latter then stole second base and then Nathalie Timmermans picked off Thomas at third base, which was one of the most important plays in the game.
Hereafter, Dagmar Bloeming to take over for Rebecca Soumeru and struckout Megan Timpf to end the inning in another crucial moment.
In the sixth inning, Meike Witteveen singled with two outs and stole second base, but stranded there.
And then another crucial moment followed.
In the home of the sixth, Dagmar Bloeming got two quick outs.
But then an error followed on a grounder by Jennifer Yee.
Canada then got the bases loaded thanks to a single and a walk and appeared to re-take the lead.
But then Kelsey Harberl, who was 2-for-3 at that moment, popped up the ball and short stop Chantal Versluis caught it to end the inning and leaving three Canadian runners behind.
And so we entered the seventh inning with a 3-3 score.
Ready for another crucial situation?
Saskia Kosterink led off with a single, then Virginie Anneveld, who was 3-for-3 before this at bat, struckout.
Moments later, Saskia advanced to second base on a grounder by Yonina Sint Jago.
And then, daring coaching followed, as Saskia went on to steal third base with two outs.
She not only successfully stole third base, it also led to an errant throw by the Canadian catcher that enabled Saskia to score and put the Dutch ahead 7-6.
This time, Canada could not come back.
Dagmar Bloeming became with a strikeout, then gave up a single to Joey Lye, who advanced on a groundout.
But then Melanie Matthews popped up the ball to catcher Nathalie Timmermans to end the game.
The Dutch Team had come from behind and opened the World Cup of Softball with a spectacular win!
And so, the Dutch Team registered only its fourth victory in history (one game ended in a tie) against Canada in the 30th game between the two countries.
The last time the Orange and Canada met was during the World Championship of 2010 and Canada then won 6-1 after having won an exhibition game before the tournament with a 12-0 score!
In the World Championship, Canada went on to reach the Bronze Medal Game, losing 12-3 to Japan.
Earlier today, Brazil opened the event with a 2-1 win in eight innings against Puerto Rico, which in the evening was shutout 8-0 in five innings by the USA.
In between, Brazil lost big 11-1 in six innings vs. Australia.
Box Score Game vs. Canada
Complete Schedule World Cup of Softball
A view of the field from the press box
Today's umpiring crew
Reynaldo Mora (Puerto Rico, 2B), Mike LaTona (USA, 1B), Fernando Silva (Brazil, HP), Sue Sawyer (USA, 3B)
The team lines up for the national anthem
Ready to play ball!
Meike Witteveen hitting 2nd in the first inning
Melanie Matthews is greeted after her lead-off homerun in the first at bat
Rebecca Soumeru started for the Dutch squad
Head Coach Craig Montvidas talks with the team after the first inning
Virginie Anneveld connects well in the second inning...
...and reaches second base with a double; Jennifer Yee is the Canadian 2B
Areke Spel looks at a pitch
Karin Tuk on 1st base after her 2-out, RBI-single in the 2nd inning
In front of her is 1B Sheena Lawrick
Nathalie Timmermans follows in the batter's box...
...and also hits a double...
...that brings Karin to 3rd base, where she gets advice from Head Coach Craig Montvidas
Megan Timpf is the 3B
An overview of the field
Nathalie Timmermans was behind the plate
Victoria Hayward is the batter; Fernando Silva is the umpire
Head Coach Craig Montvidas in discussion with umpires Mike LaTona and Sue Sawyer
Meike Witteveen singles in the third inning
Britt Vonk follows with a double...
...and brings Meike to third base
Time for a Canadian talk
Meike at 3rd base, moments before she and Britt score on a single by Virginie Anneveld
that tied the score (3-3)
Dagmar Bloeming took over the pitching in the 5th inning
Coaches Tracy Bunge, Karen Marr and Craig Montvidas
Dagmar is ready for another delivery
Chantal Versluis hitting in the sixth inning
Jennifer Yee running at 1st base for Canada in the 6th inning with Britt Vonk in front of her
A view into the Dutch dug-out
Saskia Kosterink leads off the 7th inning with a single
Yonina Sint Jago grounds out, bringing Saskia to second base
The Dutch bat-girl
Karin Tuk hitting in the 7th inning with two outs
Moments later, Saskis steals 3rd base and scores the winning run on a throwing error
The scoreboard shows that the Orange is leading 7-6
The Dutch Team opens the tournament with a win
Head Coach Craig Montvidas reviews the game
Final Score: Netherlands 7, Canada 6
The players put their signatures on a USA Softball flag