A day with a bad taste...|
PRAGUE (Czech Republic) - Terrasvogels suffered two more losses on Thursday and now is almost surely being eliminated for the medal-round of the European Cup Tournament in Prague.
The day started with a 2-1 loss in nine innings in an almost 3-hour attractive game vs. Cupholder Forlž (Italy). In the evening, the team lost 2-1 to organisor SK Joudrs Praha in a game, which was halted after five innings due to darkness.
On Thursday-evening, elimination was still not being official, as the team filed a protest earlier in the evening against the 5-inning decision and still awaited the answer from the Technical Commission.
When the protest is being awarded and Terrasvogels beats Carrousel (Russia) on Friday, is still has a theoretical chance to reach the final four.
But the reality will learn that the protest probably will be rejected, which means the team from Santpoort was eliminated after the loss against Joudrs.
Against Forlž, Terrasvogels was outhit 12-8 and stranded 12 runners, including eight in scoring position.
Forlž also got several scoring opportunities and left 15 runners behind on the bases.
Both teams did score in the first at bat.
With one out, Petra van Heijst walked for Terrasvogels, then beat a throw on a force play-grounder by Linda Hoenderdos and scored on a single by Solange Starrenburg.
In the home of the first, Forlž came alongside when Eva Trevisan singled and went on to score on a 2-out single.
In the third inning, Terrasvogels got runners on second and third with two outs, but then a strikeout followed.
In the fift, there were runners on first and third with one out, but this time two outs followed.
Nathalie Gosewehr, who was 2-for5, doubled with two outs in the seventh, but also was left behind.
Forlž left the bases loaded in the fourth inning after some fine defensive plays by Terrasvogels, then left runners on second and third in the sixth inning.
Italian National Team-pitcher Leslie Malerich threw for Forlž and struckout 12 batters, while walking four.
Kirsten Scheele started for Terrasvogels, but was relieved with a full count on the batter in the second inning by Dagmar Bloeming, who was replaced in the sixth by Crissy Autry.
As the score was still tied at 1-1 after seven innings, the game went into extra-innings.
In the eighth, Terrasvogels loaded the bases with two outs, but then Jamie Birk's line drive was caught by the pitcher to end the inning.
In the ninth, two runners were left.
Forlž left a runner at third base in the eighth, but then did score in the ninth, as the tie-break runner was able to score on a sacrifice fly by Irene Lolli.
After the almost 3-hour game, the team went back to the hotel, had lunch and then returned to the playing site for the game against Joudrs.
Because of the lenghth of the first game, the Terrasvogels-Joudrs game was postponed for at lest 40 minutes.
Instead of 5:30 PM is now would start at 6:10.
In the morning, the Technical Commission informed the team that the original starting time for the evening game vs. Joudrs was moved forward from 5:30 to 5:15, as the evening before it was proven that the darkness made playing almost impossible after a certain hour.
But instead of starting at 5:15, the game now started more than one hour late, at 6:20, also because the umpiring crew arrived some 10 minutes late at the field.
One of the umps also officiated in the previous game (a 4-1 win by Dornbirn Sharx from Austria vs. Forlž) and had to change cloth and put on extra gear, as he was behind the plate in the Terrasvogels-game.
Terrasvogels opened the score in the second inning.
Dana Horeman led off with a walk, moved on a sac-bunt by Blake Hoorelbeke and scored on a 2-out double by Olga Kleinlooh.
This scenario repeated itself in the fourth at bat, except for the double.
Dana Horeman again led off by reaching base, this time on a single.
She was then again being advanced to the next base on a sac-bunt by Blake and, just like two innings earlier, next batter Annemiek van Riessen flied out to leftfield.
However, this time a strikeout followed to end the inning.
Joudrs threatened to score in the fourth inning, but Terrasvogels then made some nice plays. Oh, in the meantime, it had started to rain, sometimes heavy, but the game continued.
It also continued, despite the fact that it started to get darker, not only because of the rainclouds, but also because the evening began to fell.
With the bases loaded and one out, short stop Petra van Heijst force out the lead runner at home on a grounder, then the final putout in this inning was made by pitcher Blake Hoorelbeke on a throw by catcher Olga Kleinlooh, as the runner tried to score on a wild pitch.
In the fifth, things went wrong for Terrasvogels. With a runner on first base and one out, Daniela PfeiferovŠ hit the ball into rightfield and, thanks to her speed, was credited with an inside-the-park-homerun, accounting for two runs and a 2-1 lead.
Moments later, after the inning had ended, the umpired called the game due to darkness.
It was then ruled that the game was valid, as the needed five innings were played to make a game official.
Terrasvogels immediatly argued this decision and filed a protest.
The protest was not filed against the rule, which states that a game can be declared valid when only five (or 4 1/2) innings are played and has to be stopped because of rain, darkness, etc.
The protest was filed against the decision made by the TC of the European Softball Federation (ESF) to start a game, from which beforehand could be stated it could not be completed due to the darkness.
Terrasvogels stated it came to Prague to win and to play complete games and that the ESF could not use the ruling, as the game started more than an hour later than scheduled, so it would become difficult to get the seven regular innings in.
And not only that, because starting late, injury-possibilities increased for the players involved.
Boardmembers are now awaiting the ruling regarding the protest.
On Friday-morning, Terrasvogels will be back on the field to complete the Second Round against Carrousel from Russia.
The Terrasvogels-players line up after completion of pre-game activities
The coaches of Terrasvogels and Forlž meet with the umpires
Terrasvogels lines up and listens to the Dutch National Anthem
The Terrasvogels dug-out is ready to make some noise
Forlž's starting and winning pitcher Leslie Malerich
Blake Hoorelbeke in the batter's box
Jamie Birk followed Blake in the batter's box
Head Coach Glen Roff holds a close eye to the action on the field
Dagmar Bloeming, who took over the pitching in the second inning
Olga Kleinlooh while running at first base in the fifth inning
Assistant Coach Michael Laarman is on the left
In the Terrasvogels dug-out, the cheering noise is building
Dana Horeman singled in the sixth inning, but then was caught stealing
Back at the hotel, the team waits for the bus for the second game
...In the meantime, Dagmar Bloeming and Solange Starrenburg face...
...Blake Hoorelbeke en Bert Wessels in a ballgame on the street
The local medicine man
Aad enjoys some snacks before the game
The teams of Joudrs and Terrasvogels during the national anthems
Crissy Autry collect ammunition for a noise-maker
Marieke Jansen writes down the Joudrs line-up
Blake Hoorelbeke threw for Terrasvogels vs. Joudrs
More noise is being made in the dug-out
Dark clouds are coming in over the field, but the game continued
Nicole Wessels was back in action at second base