Dutch Team finishes in fourth place, despite late comeback
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma (USA) -
After trailing 6-0 after two innings, the Dutch National Softball Team staged a late, 7th inning 4-run comeback on Monday, July 2, to turn a 7-4 deficit into an 8-7 lead, but then Canada did the same.
In the home of the seventh, Canada first tied the score, then a 3-run, 2-out, walk-off homerun resulted in an 11-8 victory.
With the win Canada won the bronze medal, while the Orange had to settle for fourth place.
Three years ago, the Dutch Team ended its first participation in the World Cup of Softball with a fifth position.
Earlier in the day, Puerto Rico won 4-1 vs. Brazil to win its first game of the tournament and finish in fifth place.
On Monday-evening, the seventh edition of the event ended with the final between the USA and Australia.
Team USA shutout the Aussies 3-0 to win the event.
On Wednesday, July 4, ESPN America will broadcast the Border Battle IV Slowpitch Softball Game between the USA and Canada.
On Tuesday, the Dutch Team will fly from Oklahoma City to Seattle via Salt Lake City.
In Seattle, the Orange will have a mini-trainingcamp and have its final preparations for the World Championship, which opens July 13 in Whitehorse (Canada).
Canada struck early against Dutch starter Femke van Dusschoten.
After scoring once in the first inning, a 5-run second inning proofed to be decisive in the end.
The Dutch Team got three runs back in the third to make it a 6-3 score, but Canada added a run in the fourth.
The Orange made it a 3-run difference again by scoring a run in the fifth inning, then the squad rallied for four runs in the seventh inning in which Canada had to make a pitching change.
Leading 8-7, Dagmar Bloeming took over the pitching for the Dutch.
A single then tied the score and with runners on first and third base, Jennifer Yee belted a 3-run homerun to end the game.
What can you tell about the bronze medal game between the Dutch and Canada?
For sure, that it was a crazy game with a very unpredictable line score.
But also that it was a game in which the Dutch faced an early big deficit, but came back strongly to take over the lead, only to see it slip out their hands again moments later.
It also was a game in which the Dutch used five different rightfielders to set a record for most players on one position in one game.
By the way, it also was a game in which 19 changes (two teams combined) were made.
And it was a game in which Dutch Head Coach Craig Montvidas used 16 of his 17 players, leaving Rebecca Soumeru to be the lone player left over to use in the end (plus five players who were eligible to re-enter the game).
After Canadian starter Jenna Caira struckout three of the four batters she faced in the first inning (Meike Witteveen was hit by a pitch and stranded on third base), Canada opened the score moments later off Dutch starter Femke van Dusschoten.
With one out, Joey Lye reached on an error, the stole second base and scored on a 2-out single by Kaleigh Rafter.
In the second inning, Jenna Caira added two strikeouts, then her teammates rallied for five runs in the home half of the at bat to take for what appeared a commanding early lead.
All runs were scored with two outs.
The bases were then loaded on two walks and a single, then a single from powerhitter Jennifer Yee gave Canada two runs.
Another run was then scored on an error and Sheena Lawrick added a 2-run double to make it 6-0, before a flyout ended the at bat.
That the game, which was led by Dutch Umpire Bob Gieskens behind the plate, was far from over was underscored in the third Dutch at bat, when the Orange scored three (unearned) runs to narrow the deficit to 6-3.
With one out, Anne Blaauwgeers reached on an error, then the bases got loaded when Chantal Versluis (who in the lead-off spot this game) singled and Meike Witteveen walked.
Next, Anne scored when Britt Vonk grounded and then Saskia Kosterink followed with a 2-run double that made it 6-3.
In the fourth inning, Lindsey Meadows (who started the game in rightfield) singled, then was replaced by Areke Spel, who entered the game as pinch-runner, but was left at third base.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Areke took over in rightfield.
Melanie Matthews then led off with a walk and advanced on a grounder.
Hereafter, Jennifer Yee hit the ball towards rightfield, where Areke probably stepped in a small hole and injured her left ankle.
As the ball wasn't catched, Matthews was able to score and Yee reached third base.
Out of precaution, Areke was replaced by Merel Oosterveld, who went on to play in leftfield.
Yonina Sint Jago, who started the game in leftfield, moved to rightfield and therefore became the third player on that position in four innings.
After a walk, two outs followed, but Canada had enlarged its lead to 7-3.
In the fifth inning, the Orange scored another run.
With one out, Meike Witteveen was hit by a pitch (again), then moved to third base on a 2-out single by Saskia Kosterink and scored on a single by pinch-hitter Nathalie Timmermans.
Hereafter, a flyout followed and two runners stranded, but the run-difference was brought back to three.
Canada left two runners in the home of the fifth inning.
The team then got its lead-off hitter on base in the sixth, but three outs followed.
And then the seventh inning started and what an inning it was!
In this at bat, the Orange got two productive at bats from two pinch-hitters, resulting in three runs!
Meike Witteveen led off with a single (and reached base for the fourth time), then Britt Vonk walked.
Next, Saskia Kosterink hit her second double (she was 3-for-4) to bring in Meike and made it a 7-5 score.
The bases then got loaded when Nathalie Timmermans was hit by a pitch.
Nathalie had stayed in the game after her pinch-hit appearance in the fifth and took over the catching from Karin Tuk.
This led to a pitching change and Karissa Hovinga took over for Jenna Caira.
With the bases loaded and a new pitcher in the circle, Virginie Anneveld entered the game as pinch-hitter and delivered an RBI-single that made it 7-6 and left the bases loaded.
Merel Oosterveld then popped up for an infield-fly for the first out.
Hereafter, Nathalie Gosewehr also was brought into the game as a pinch-hitter and also produced.
Here probable game-ending grounder to third base was misplayed and that enabled the two lead runners to score and put the Dutch ahead 8-7!
The bases were then re-loaded when another error followed on a grounder by Anne Blaauwgeers.
But the Dutch Team left three runners as an infield-fly and groundout followed.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Virginie Anneveld (who batted for Yonina Sint Jago) and Nathalie Gosewehr (who batted for Petra van Heijst) remained in the game.
Virginie took over at third base for Petra, who started at that position, while Nathalie became the new (and fourth) rightfielder.
Also, Dagmar Bloeming took over the pitching for Femke van Dusschoten.
For Canada, Kelsey Harberl (who earlier also entered as a pinch-hitter) led off and was hit by a pitch, then replaced by pinch-runner Carey-Leigh Thomas.
Next, Megan Timpf singled.
Hereafter, Nathalie Gosewehr moved from rightfield to her familiar position in leftfield, while Merel Oosterveld switched from left to right and thus became the fifth player at that position in this game.
Dagmar then struckout Victoria Hayward and got Melanie Matthews to flyout, so another upset appeared to be in the making.
But unfortunately, things didn't went the Orange way.
Joey Lye followed with a bunt-single, enabling Thomas to score the tying run.
With runners at first and third base, it was opted to pitch to Jennifer Yee, who then hit a 3-run, walk-off homerun over the centerfield-fence that gave Canada an 11-8 win and the bronze medal!
And with this, the tournament ended in a fourth place for the Dutch squad, which will now go en route to Seattle for a mini-camp.
In Seattle, the team will practice on Thursday, but also has two double-headers scheduled, to be played on Friday and Saturday.
Next Monday, the team flies to Whitehorse (Canada), the site of the World Championship.
And so, with the last game in the books, it was time for the Dutch to say goodbye.
The players and staff thank everyone for another fine stay in Oklahoma City.
We also would like to thank Kathleen McGarvey, who was with the team this week as Physical Therapist to suppert Ingrid Holstege.
We also thank the bat-girl, who was with the team during the event.
Then, we thank everyone involved within the organisation of the World Cup of Softball for another great job done in these past days.
Just like three years ago, the Dutch Team felt at home and loves to return to Oklahoma City again in the near future.
Another word of thanks is handed out to Robert Pittman and his family for looking after the team during its stay as the team's host and liaison.
Furthermore, we would like to thank the umpires, official scorers and the field crew.
And of course, all the fans in Oklahoma City!
We will be back!
Box Score Game vs. Canada
Complete Schedule World Cup of Softball
Coach Berend Mannessen watches the 5th-6th place game from behind the outfield
Team Manager Paul Boonstra with his Brazilian colleague Paolo Tanaka
The umpires for the Bronze Medal Game: Reynaldo Mora (Puerto Rico, 2B),
Diane Carden (USA, 1B), Bob Gieskens (Netherlands, HP) and Fernando Silva (Brazil, 3B)
Rebecca Soumeru, the only Dutch player who didn't play today, is introduced
Coaches Berend Mannessen, Craig Montvidas and Tracy Bunge
Chantal Versluis lead off the game for the Dutch squad
Bob Gieskens is the Home Plate Umpire, Kaleigh Rafter is the catcher
Meike Witteveen slides under the glove of short stop Joey Lye, stealing 2nd base in the 1st inning
2B Jennifer Yee and umpire Reynaldo Mora look into the action
Puerto Rican umpire Reynaldo Mora sees how Physical Therapist Ingrid Holstege uses
the 'magical spray' after Meike Witteveen has reached second base
Barbara and Al Bunge, the parents of Coach Tracy Bunge,
who have become loyal fans of the Dutch Team
Femke van Dusschoten started for the Dutch
Yonina Sint Jago was the starting leftfielder
And Petra van Heijst played at third base in this game; Joey Lye is the runner
Outfielders Victoria Hayward and Jennifer Gilbert go after the 2-run double by Saskia Kosterink
in the third inning, that narrowed the deficit to 6-3
Anne Blaauwgeers played at first base today
Femke van Dusschoten checks the signs
Areke Spel at 2nd base in the 4th inning after taking over as pinch-runner
Moments later, Areke successfully steals third base, but was left there
Physical Therapist Ingrid Holstege attends to Areke Spel after she
hurt her left-ankle going after a flyball in the fourth inning
With Saskia Kosterink at 1st base, Nathalie Timmermans enters the game as pinch-hitter
In the fifth inning, Canada leads 7-4
And here we have Berend Mannessen, who keeps track of the scorecard
Meike Witteveen on first base after leading off the 7th inning with a single
Players look on from the dug-out
Nathalie Timmermans gets a hand from Coach Tracy Bunge
after getting on base with a hit batter to load the bases in the 7th inning
Players cheer and make noises in the 7th at bat
Nathalie Timmermans scores the go-ahead run on an error; the Orange lead 8-7!
In the bottom of the 7th inning, leading 8-7, the Dutch infield has a talk
Dagmar Bloeming took over the pitching in the bottom of the 7th
Victoria Hayward strikes out for the first out in the at bat
Joey Lye puts down a bunt-single to bring in the tying run;
Next batter Jennifer Yee hits a 3-run homerun
Head Coach Craig Montvidas receives the 4th place trophy from Ron Radigonda, Executive Director of USA Softball
The team during the bronze medal award ceremony after the game
The team poses after the game
Presents and thank yous for the Dutch bat-girl
Coach Berend Mannessen poses for the tournament board...
...and with the statues in front of the ASA Hall of Fame
Players in the Dutch stand in the stadium where shirts (and other items) were sold
Team USA won the final vs. Australia, 3-0