Terrasvogels qualifies for CWC-final...|
PARMA (Italy) - On Friday, Iber Lengua Terrasvogels clinched a spot in the all-deciding final by winning the semi-final vs. Sparks Haarlem 4-2 in the evening.
In the morning, Terrasvogels was shutout 8-0 by SK Joudrs Praha (Czech Republic).
Sparks Haarlem remained unbeaten by winning 2-0 vs. host Old Parma (Italy), but then was handed its first loss in the evening, meaning it has to play in the second semi-final on Saturday-morning to qualify for the final.
Friday also marked the return to the line-up of Cambria Miranda, Christina Rolla and Annemiek van Riessen.
Friday-morning's game vs. the Czech team is one to be forgotten quickly.
Terrasvogels was unable to get into the game, which started at 8:30 AM, but luckily the outcome had no influence on the standings, as the team would finish in second place, whatever the final score.
The Czechs on the other hand needed the win to advance to the top-four, which they did.
Joudrs rallied for five runs in the first inning when it registered six consecutive basehits, including a 2-run double by Lenka Jaklová, off starter Shannah van der Kaaij.
Two runs were added in the second inning when Dina Pfeiferová led off with an inside-the-park-homerun and Lenka Jaklová added another RBI-double.
By the way, both Pfeiferová and Jaklová participated with the Czech national team in the European Championships in Valencia (Spain), where it finished in third place to qualify for next years World Championships in Oklahoma City (USA).
In the third inning, Annemiek van Riessen (who had recovered from her illness of the day before) took over the pitching for Shannah van der Kaaij.
This was Annemiek's first pitching appearance since throwing in a game during the 2006 season.
Her last full season as pitcher was 2002, when she threw in 17 games for then-big league team Onze Gezellen.
In her comeback as pitcher, Annemiek did fine, giving up only one run, which came in the third inning, lifting the lead to 8-0.
Again, there were some fine defensive plays in this game, like a play at the plate where catcher Olga Kleinlooh tagged out sliding runner Dina Pfeiferová, who tried to score on a single.
In the fifth inning, there was a nice play at third base where runner Petra Kriklanová was thrown out after a strong throw from rightfielder Solange Starrenburg.
At the plate, Terrasvogels produced five basehits, including two by Shannah van der Kaaij, who also become the lone player to reach third base when she advanced on a double by Solange in the second inning.
Nina van Huissteden played again and even started the game as the designated player, then played at first base in the last four innings.
As the game ended prematurely because of the 7-run difference mercy-rule, the team had to wait some 45 minutes to return to the hotel.
The bus was waiting at the field, but the driver was nowhere to find.
In the evening, Joudrs Praha defeated Moskovia (Russia) 7-4 in eight innings.
Trailing 2-1, Moskovia tied the score in the seventh inning, but then Joudrs scored five runs in the eighth inning to get back on top.
With the win, Joudrs qualified itself for the second semi-final on Saturday-morning.
Against Sparks Haarlem, Terrasvogels (and its opponent) saw the return to the line-up of both Cambria Miranda and Christina Rolla.
The latter was able to play again after her injury the day before, but Cambria still had a broken toe.
Despite that, she wanted to play and she did a great job, scoring the first run, batting in the fourth and making some fine defenisive plays, like catching a foul pop-up near the third base dug-out.
That something special was in the making, already became clear in the first inning.
Kim Kluijskens led off for Sparks in the first inning with a single, but when she tried to stretch it into a double, she was thrown out at second base after a strong throw from rightfielder Linda Hoenderdos (who also returned to her regular position).
In the top of the second inning, Terrasvogels struck with three runs, as the Sparks-defense committed two costly errors.
Cambria Miranda led off with a single into leftfield, where an error followed, enabling her to race to third base.
Next batter Solange Starrenburg then reached on another error, putting runners on second and third base, as Cambria could not advance on the error.
Hereafter, Cambria did score when she beat the throw to home on a fielder's choice-grounder by Annemiek van Riessen to make it 1-0.
Solange then scored on a passed ball and Annemiek followed with the third run by scoring on a 2-out double by Nathalie Gosewehr.
In the bottom of the second inning, Sparks reacted with a run.
With two outs, Saskia Kosterink drove the ball into deep centerfield for a triple, then scored when Judith Diepeveen followed with a single.
Terrasvogels got the run back immediately in the top of the third inning.
With one out, Christina Rolla hit the ball into rightfield, where it ended up for a 3-base error.
Christina then scored on a grounder by next batter Cambria.
In the fourth inning, Sparks brought the deficit back to 4-2.
With one out, Debby Connor lined a single into rightfield, then scored when Saskia Kosterink hit another deep triple, this time again with two outs.
But Saskia was left behind, as a foul pop-up ended the inning.
Sparks got another scoring opportunity in the fifth inning when it got it first two batters on base, but then three putouts followed, all made by 3B Cambria Miranda.
In the fifth inning, Sparks had to change pitchers.
Starter Dagmar Bloeming gave up a lead-off single to Nathalie Gosewehr, then a sacrifice bunt to next batter Olga Kleinlooh.
But with an one-ball-two-strike count on batter Linda Hoenderdos, Sparks-coach Juny Francisca was credited with his first trip, when 3B Noémi Boekel entered the dug-out, returned to the field and started talking with Dagmar Bloeming.
Next, Francisca walked to the third base foul-line and got credited with his second trip when he called Dagmar to come to him, meaning he had to change pitchers.
Rebecca Soumeru took over and saw her first delivery end in a line drive hit by Linda, but caught by short stop Chantal Versluis.
Rebecca retired eight of the nine batters she faced, except for Femke Haage, who hit an one-out single in the seventh inning.
Sparks outhit Terrasvogels 9-5, but also committed four errors, while Terrasvogels was errorless.
In the home of the seventh inning, Terrasvogels-hurler Aimee Murch got two flyouts, then gave up a single to Kim Kluijskens.
But the game then ended when next batter Chantal Versluis flied out to centerfielder Nathalie Gosewehr.
Terrasvogels had qualified for a spot in the final!
,,Woohooh'', reacted Head Coach Leigh Podlesny afterwards and her scream of joy said enough.
,,The difference in tonight's game was attitude. We were focused on winning this game.
And what's more important, we were being able to demonstrate to handle with injuries mentally.''
The team performs its yell before the start of the game vs. Joudrs
Coach Michael Laarman checks the latest statistics
Shannah van der Kaaij started the game for Terrasvogels
In the first inning, the Czech opponent rallied for five runs
Joudrs-pitcher Lucie Zappová, who threw a 5-hitter
Nina van Huissteden took over at first base in the second inning
Shannah van der Kaaij is on her way to score in the second inning,
but has to return to third base, as the hit is ruled a ground-rule double
Solange Starrenburg standing at second base after hitting the ground-rule double
Annemiek van Riessen came on in relief in the third inning
Players of Terrasvogels and Joudrs shake hands afterwards
Dutch Umpire Albert Tolen was behind the plate of the game between Moskovia and Joudrs
later in the day; Joudrs won after extra innings to advance to the second semi-final
Dagmar Bloeming started for Sparks in the evening vs. Terrasvogels
Cambria Miranda (17) was back in the line-up, despite her broken toe;
She scored a run and batted in another
Aimee Murch went the distance for Terrasvogels in the semi-final
Game over! Terrasvogels wins 4-2 and advances to the final;
Sparks Haarlem has to play the second semi-final in order to qualify for the final