Terrasvogels opens with shutout-loss...|
PRAGUE (Czech Republic) - Terrasvogels opened the European Cup Tournament on Monday-afternoon with a 4-0 shutout-loss, but also lost 2B Nicole Wessels with severe back-problems. On the brighter side, Nicole sustained no serious injury and was on her feet again in the evening.
The day started of course with breakfast. In the 'upper room' of our hotel, we were welcomed by Mario Lanza-like music. Lanza was an American tenor, who became an (singing) actor.
After breakfast, there was a team-meeting and then it was on to the field for the opening game against AMGA Legnano from Italy.
At the field, the team prepared on the grass and in the batting cages and then it was time to play.
The game started well for Terrasvogels.
With one out, Petra van Heijst registered the first basehit, stole second base and advanced on a grounder by Dana Horeman, but stranded at third base when next batter Jami Birk flied out.
In the home of the first, Legnano-batter Kate Judd led off with a bunt-single, who reached first base on a close play, but then short stop Petra van Heijst turned a great double play on a grounder up the middle by next batter Simmone Morrow.
A grounder to 2B Nicole Wessels ended the at bat.
In the second inning, Solange Starrenburg led off with a single, but was caught stealing with one out.
In the home of the second, things turned Legnano's way.
Ilaria Pino led off with a walk, moved on a grounder by 2B Nicole Wessels and scored on an error.
After a sacrifice bunt, pinch-runner Alice Albe scored the second run on an error, but then a grounder to 3B Dana Horeman accounted for the third out.
While the team left the field, 2B Nicole Wessels was suddenly on the ground with an injury.
As she was attended by Physical Therapist Natalie Landsaat and the Doctor of Legnano, it became clear that Nicole was in pain and couldn't turn.
Nicole was taken by ambulance to a hospital for a medical check-up and the game resumed after a 22 minute delay.
Legnano added a run in the third inning when Christina Rolla hit a 2-out homerun, then made it 4-0 in the fifth at bat on back-to-back doubles by Kate Judd and Simmone Morrow with two outs.
All runs were scored off Dagmar Bloeming, who gave up only four basehits. Kirsten Scheele threw the sixth inning for Terrasvogels, which also had four basehits.
In the third inning, Blake Hoorelbeke led off with a single, but stranded at first base.
In the fifth, Linda Hoenderdos led off with a double into centerfield, then Blake Hoorelbeke walked with one out.
The two advanced on a grounder by Femke Haage (who replaced Nicole and by the way made a nice play on a grounder in the fourth inning).
With runners on second and third, Legnano decided to bring in Aimee Murch as reliever for starting pitcher Daniela Castellani, who ended the inning with a foul-fly.
In the sixth, Petra van Heijst led off with a walk, but Legnano then turned a double play.
In the seventh, Terrasvogels got its fifth lead-off batter on base, this time when Solange Starrenburg walked.
But a force play-grounder and two strikeouts ended the game.
,,Unfortunately, it took us half a game to get into a style of play we're used to'', Head Coach Glen Roff stated afterwards.
,,We didn't get any breaks. But there also were a lot of positive things. We went through their number 2 pitcher and got them worried.
They changed pitchers and we got a good look at their number 1 pitcher. We then started to settle down, but we now have to follow that through.''
Glen Roff continued: ,,It's a real shame what happened to Nicole. I hope she will be able to do something again in a couple of days. No, the injury didn't affect us, it was an unfortunate incident, Femke took over well and made a nice play.
They had a few hits, but they were good hits. We made a couple of errors. We were competitive, but it didn't show.''
After returning to the hotel, the game went back to the field somewhat over an hour later for the Official Opening.
While waiting for the bus, Nicole Wessels joined the team back from the hospital and was able to do some walking again.
In the hospital it was diagnosed that she had no serious injuries, but the source of the sudden collapse couldn't be found, despite having had some some tests and X-rays.
It was clear that the sudden and sharp pain came from her lower back and she now just has to rest and try to be mobile again to recover, but her status will be day-to-day for the remainder of this tournament.
The Opening Ceremony at Svoboda Park, which was attended by Prague's Mayor Pavel Bem, was held short, as there is no artificial light at the field and one game was still scheduled to be played.
In the evening, Fiorino Forlė, the team from Italy where Glen Roff has been coach, defeated host SK Joudrs Praha, 5-1.
When the team returned, Terrasvogels' Facility Manager Martin de Jonker became a Prague City Guide, as he had to tell the bus driver the way to our hotel.
And so, the first day of competition ended.
The team arrives at the field for the opening game against Legnano
The coaches of Terrasvogels and Legnano meet with the umpires
Legnano and Terrasvogels line up for the game and the national anthems
Nicole Wessels lies down after being stricken by a back-injury
The team awaits word of what's wrong with Nicole
Nicole is carried into an ambulance to be examined in the hospital
Petra van Heijst registered the first Terrasvogels-hit in the 1st inning
and turned a beautiful double play
The Terrasvogels dug-out during the game
Blake Hoorelbeke looks on while Solange Starrenburg is hitting
Starting pitcher Dagmar Bloeming in her wind-up
Short stop Petra van Heijst, 2B Femke Haage and 1B Blake Hoorelbeke
in the rain, but the game continued
The Terrasvogels-players during the Opening Ceremony
Terrasvogels Head Coach Glen Roff was frequently greeted by players
of his former team Forlė from Italy
The umpires line up during the Opening Ceremony
The Terrasvogels-team during the Opening Ceremony
Femke Haage and Olga Kleinlooh
The Opening Ceremony was watched by quite a few spectators
Prague's Mayor Pavel Bem (center) attended the Opening Ceremony
At right is Gabriel Waage, the President of the Czech Softball Association
Linda Hoenderdos, Physical Therapist Natalie Landsaat, Nathalie Gosewehr
and Olga Kleinlooh leave the field after the Opening Ceremony
Bertil Haage (Femke's father), Jaco van Ekeris and Henk Hoenderdos (Linda's father)
enjoy a Czech drink
The stands were filled for the official opening game between organising club
SK Joudrs Praha and Fiorini Forlė from Italy
Debby Connor, who is a pick-up player for Brasschaat Braves (Belgium), with
Dagmar Bloeming, Dana Horeman and Solange Starrenburg
Dutch umpire Arie Nokkert behind the plate of the Joudrs-Forlė game
Solange Starrenburg and Marieke Jansen leave some notes
Our own Prague-tourguide Martin de Jonker tells the busdriver how
to drive to our hotel
The best news of the day: Nicole has no serious injury and walked again
in the evening