PARMA (Italy) - For the first time since 2003 and third time overall, Iber Lengua Terrasvogels captured the European CupWinners Cup on Saturday by winning the final game vs. SK Joudrs Praha (Czech Republic), 3-2.
On Saturday-morning, Joudrs dethroned Cupholder Sparks Haarlem by winning 8-7 in 12 innings in an almost 3 1/2 hour marathon.
Over at Legnano, Dornbirn Sharx won the European Cup in the evening by winning 1-0 vs. Carrousel from Russia.
Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers finished in fifth place.
Because of Terrasvogels winning the CupWinners Cup, two Dutch teams will participate again in this event next year.
Was the road to the final remarkable for Terrasvogels, you can say the same for Joudrs.
The Czech team closed the preliminary round with two wins and two losses and tied for third place with Neunkirchen Nightmares (Germany) in Pool A.
Joudrs got the third place, because is had turned a 6-1 deficit into an 7-6 victory in eight innings against the German squad.
The Czechs entered the second round with an 0-2 record, tied for fifth place.
It then beat Brasschaat Braves (Belgium), but lost 1-0 to Old Parma (Italy).
For the team from Prague, the 8-0 win vs. Terrasvogels to close the second round on Friday was important, but at that moment, it still wasn't sure of a spot in the final four.
That came a few hours later when Moskovia Marino (Russia) defeated Brasschaat 4-2.
Finishing in fourth place in the second round, Joudrs then eliminated Moskovia in the evening by winning 7-4 in eight innings.
This morning, the Czechs again went into extra innings to dethrone Sparks and reach the final.
Joudrs was a tough opponent, as it had underscored the day before by winning in extra innings vs. Moskovia, then doing the same this morning vs. Sparks.
But Terrasvogels set the tone early by getting the bases loaded in the first inning.
Nathalie Gosewehr led off with an infield-hit, then Christina Rolla followed with a 2-out single, which brought Nathalie to third base.
After Christina moved to second base on a fielder's choice, the bases were loaded when Joudrs-starter Jana Vacíková walked next batter Cambria Miranda intentionally.
No runs were scored then, as a flyout ended the at bat.
In the second inning, the Czech got a runner on third base with two outs, but then Terrasvogels-pitcher Aimee Murch struckout the next batter.
The Czech threatened again in the third bat bat.
With one out, Aneta Rynesová reached on a bunt-single, then advanced on a single by Dina Pfeiferová.
Rynesová then overran second base when the throw from leftfield went passed the base, while Pfeiferová also tried to advance, resulting in a run-down with the first being eliminated.
A grounder followed to end the inning.
Then, in the bottom of the third inning, it was Nathalie Gosewehr, who opened the score by speeding round the bases and leading off with an inside-the-park-homerun.
After the tournament, Nathalie was named Most Valuable Player of the event.
After Nathalie's homerun, three outs followed in leftfield, including one on a line drive by Linda Hoenderdos.
Joudrs came alongside in the fourth inning.
Aimee Murch hit lead-off hitter Eva Rendlová, who moved on a grounder and a single by Magdalena Loudová, before scoring on a squeeze by Petra Kriklanová.
In the next inning, Joudrs got runners in second and third inning with two outs, but then centerfielder Nathalie Gosewehr caught a line drive to end the inning.
The Czechs then took a 2-1 lead in the sixth at bat.
With one out, Magdalena Loudová reached third base on two errors, then scored on a 2-out single by Eva Rychtariková.
But was to be it for Joudrs.
In the home of the sixth, Terrasvogels answered with two runs and it were two players who came from the bench who produced.
Linda Hoenderdos led off with a single and advanced on sacrifice bunt by Christina Rolla.
A wild pitch brought her to third base, but she was unable to score when an error was made on a grounder by Cambria Miranda.
Next, Shannah van der Kaaij was brought in as pinch-hitter and reached on an infield-hit near first base, enabling Linda to score the tying run.
Cambria moved to second and then reached third when a throwing error followed the play.
Hereafter, Lyanne Horeman was brought in as pinch-hitter and she also did her job, by hitting a single down the third base line, enabling Cambria to score the go-ahead run.
In the seventh, pitcher Aimee Murch retired the side to seal the victory.
The inning started with a great catch by rightfielder Linda Hoenderdos, then another flyout followed, before Aimee made the last out herself, eliminating batter Tereza Jakesová on first base after a bunt.
Physical Therapist Nina van Huissteden and Assistant Coach Michael Laarman check the stats
But what's that sitting on Michael's shoulder? Hey, it's a wuppie
Nina tapes the broken toe of 3B Cambria Miranda before the game
The Terrasvogels-players prepare before the game...
...and do some stretching
It was another hot day in Parma with a bright blue sky
The coaches meet with the umpire crew
The teams line-up before the game
Aimee Murch (23) and the infielders meet before the game starts
Terrasvogels-pitcher Aimee Murch, who won her fifth game of the event
Italian Home Plate Umpire Gianluca Magnani calls a strike on a pitch by Aimee
In the first inning, Nathalie Gosewehr leads off with an infield-hit
Next, Olga Kleinlooh fouls off a pitch, but flies out
Joudsr-pitcher Jana Vacíková, who earlier in the day threw 12 innings vs. Sparks
Photographer Robert-Jan de Vries was on the field again today
With two outs, the bases are loaded in the first inning when Christina Rolla
singles and Cambria Miranda is walked intentionally, but a flyout follows
Facility Manager Martin de Jonker acts as noisemaker during the final
In the second inning, Femke Haage almost hits the ball over the infield,
but 2B Lenka Jaklová makes a nice catch
Two Czech runners near second base in the third inning,
but the lead runner is eliminated
Nathalie Gosewehr speeds home in the third inning for an inside-the-park-homerun
After scoring, she is greeted by her teammates
Joudrs comes alongside in the fourth on a squeeze by Petra Kriklanová
Eva Rendlová just scored the run
With two outs in the fifth inning, catcher Iris Kolman drives runner Dina Pfeiferová
back to third base, while Tereza Jakesová in the back advances to second base,
but hereafter the third out follows
Despite her broken toe, Cambria Miranda was back at third base
Trailing 2-1, Linda Hoenderdos singles to lead off the sixth inning
At first base, she is greeted by Head Coach Leigh Podlesny
The Czechs have a talk
With two outs and runners on first and third base, Shannah van der Kaaij is put
in as pinch-hitter and connects for an infield-hit to score Linda Hoenderdos,
tying the score at 2-2
Hereafter, Lyanne Horeman becomes the next pinch-hitter and produces the
game-winning RBI by hitting a single that scores Cambria Miranda for a 3-2 lead
On Lyanne's single, Shannah van der Kaaij dives into third base head-first
After her RBI-single, Lyanne Horeman advances to second base on the
throw to third base where Shannah just arrived
Pitcher Aimee Murch keeps protected from the heat
Solange Starrenburg cheers her teammates
The inning ends when next batter Femke Haage flies out
With one out in the top of the seventh, Head Coach Leigh Podlesny has a talk
Home Plate Umpire Gianluca Magnani makes a note of her trip to the pitcher
Italian 1B Umpire Fabio Capitoni leaves no doubt, as he calls out Tereza Jakesová
in the seventh inning for the final out of the game
Time to celebrate! Terrasvogels wins the CupWinners Cup!
The final score: Terrasvogels wins 3-2
The players of Joudrs congratulate the Terrasvogels-players
Almost immediately after the game, Cambria Miranda (17) takes off her right spike
to give her broken toe some much-needed comfort
Head Coach Leigh Podlesny talks with the team afterwards
Leigh: ,,We didn't lead in any category, batting, hitting, defense,
but we had the best team and that's what count!''
The players celebrate the victory
And here, they are joined by the staffmembers
Back row: Nina van Huissteden (physical therapist), Femke van Dusschoten, Cambria Miranda,
Christina Rolla, Aimee Murch, Solange Starrenburg, Olga Kleinlooh, Annemiek van Riessen,
Lyanne Horeman, Dana Horeman, Leigh Podlesny (head coach) and Michael Laarman (assistant coach)
Front row: Shannah van der Kaaij, Femke Haage, Nathalie Gosewehr, Linda Hoenderdos,
Iris Kolman and Martin de Jonker (facility manager)
The team cheers, while Coach Michael Laarman is on the phone with Jaco van Ekeris
While the awards are being prepared and Riccardo Schiroli makes some announcements...
...coaches Leigh Podlesny and Michael Laarman enjoy a championship beer
Belgian Tony Ilegems, who was the Umpire-in-Chief during the event,
with members of the Technical Commission
Nel says hello to Jean
Aad Klein poses with winning pitcher Aimee Murch
Femke van Dusschoten, who unfortunately was not eligible to play, but did a great job
in the dug-out cheering her teammates, with Aimee Murch and Christina Rolla
The dignitaries, who handed out the awards during the Closing Ceremony
Five of the Official Scorers, who were assigned to the event
The entrance of Sparks Haarlem during the Closing Ceremony
And the entrance of Terrasvogels with the winning score in the background
Also in the stadium to cheer our team was our waiter (standing in the middle at the back)
from the hotel where we stayed, Hotel Parma & Congressi
Daria Shemberova of Moskovia (Russia) poses with Mike Jennings, the Chairman of
the Technical Committee, who hands out the trophy for Best Hitter
Nathalie Gosewehr is applauded while approaching the Trophy Table...
...where she gets the award for Most Valuable Player...
...then is cheered by her teammates after returning...
...and poses with the trophy
Sparks Haarlem receives the bronze medals
The players of Terrasvogels sing along during the playing of the Dutch national anthem
And celebrate when they receive the CupWinners Cup
The team with the trophies
Bronze medal winners Sparks Haarlem
The silver team of SK Joudrs Praha
The umpires who were assigned to the tournament:
Left to right: Tony Ilegems (Belgium, Umpire-in-Chief), Art Balser (Croatia),
Bob Gieskens (Netherlands), Rita Ceuppens (Belgium), Albert Tolen (Netherlands),
Giuseppe Laudani (Italy), Galip Sonmez (Germany), Fabio Capitoni (Italy),
Viacheslav Volkov (Russia), Gianluca Magnani (Italy) and Ralf-Jürgen Rex (Germany)
Coaches Michael Laarman and Leigh Podlesny with the trophies
Terrasvogels' groundskeeper Aad Klein with the CupWinners Cup
And then we have to wait for the bus to go back to the hotel
In the evening, the team enjoyed a nice dinner in Parma...
...and drinks champaigne to celebrate the victory
Henk Hoenderdos checks his list with what everyone ordered for dinner
Back in the hotel, Loek Gosewehr had to fullfill a promise...
...as his hair was shaved by his daughter and MVP Nathalie