Two national teams from Europe are participating at the XI World Cup of Softball in Oklahoma: the Czech Republic and the Netherlands. After the event, both teams will continue their international journey and move on to Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, where the Women’s World Championship will be held from July 15 - 24.
On June 5 both European teams had their first games at the World Cup, where a total of 13 teams competed: Australia, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, USA, USA Elite, Venezuela.
Australia 7, Netherlands 2
The Australian offense worked almost perfectly, scoring in every single inning but the first one. Dutch coach Francisca Juni let three pitchers take part in the game - Ginger de Weert, Rebecca Soumeru and Ilona Andringa - but the Dutch pitchers were not as successful as the three Australian pitchers, who allowed only four hits and two runs only.
The Dutch played good defense though - they only recorded a single error in the game. Their batters were able to get on base from the first inning on. They finally managed to score in the top of the sixth when Shareday Christina was hit by a pitch, followed by Soclania van Gurp, who tripled to right field. Jessie van Aalst secured another run for the Dutch team when she singled to center field, and van Gurp scored. The Dutchies got in touch with the Australians with the score 2:4.
The Australians secured their win right away at the bottom of the same inning after a few hits and a two-run homerun by Erin Thras.
Czech Republic 13, USA
The American team quickly fulfilled their role as favorites in this game. University selection players scored nine times in the second inning, the Czechs allowed some of the points with a bunch of errors and wild pitches. The Czech Republic recorded two runs in the fourth inning when the players finally pulled a few hits in a row. That was not good enough though, the American team kept scoring and the game finished prematurely after the fourth inning.
The second day brought another two tough games. The Netherlands played against the strong Australian team, while the Czech Republic faced the latest World Champion – Japan.
Netherlands 9, Australia 1
The Dutch started off well with the first batter of the game – Britt Vonk having scored after a sneaky bunt, successful steal and a single to left field by Chantal Versluis. This was the 100th game for Versluis in the Dutch National Team. Despite a number of hits in the following innings, the Netherlands remained scoreless after the first run. Team Australia tied the game in the bottom of the first. The Australians’ show began in the fourth when eight runs were scored – the Dutch couldn’t find the right pitches to stop the Australian offensive pressure. The game ended on a mercy rule in the fifth inning 9:1.
Japan 8, Czech
The second game of the tournament for the Czechs was a huge challenge. Sadly, they were not able to hit throughout the whole game and only recorded a single hit by Eliška Mlýnková. On the other hand, The Japanese managed to hit three homeruns, including a two-run walk-off homerun by Daikuya.
The World Cup of Softball continues until July 10. All the games are live broadcast here .
European teams’ schedule (add link):
10:30 am (CT) Netherlands – Venezuela
3:00 pm (CT) Czech Republic – Mexico
8:30 am (CT) Czech Republic - Puerto Rico
10:30 am (CT) Czech Republic - New Zealand
1:00 pm (CT) Philippines – Netherlands
3:00 pm (CT) China – Netherlands
12:00 pm (CT) Canada – Czech Republic
2:30 pm (CT) USA – Netherlands
7:00 pm (CT) Netherlands – Puerto Rico