With a pair of shutouts the Europe/Africa Softball Olympic Qualifier 2019 in Utrecht, Netherlands ended on Saturday. First the Netherlands beat the Czech Republic 7-0 in five innings. Six runs in the fifth blew the game open. Rebecca Soumeru pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings in her 135th and last games for the Netherlands. With the win the Dutch team finished in third place in the tournament. Prior to the game Bart Volkerijk delivered a check of 2,020 € to the Softball against Cancer foundation, which was received by Ginger de Weert – ambassador of the foundation.
Afterwards the grand finale of the Europe/Africa Softball Olympic Qualifier 2019 was played with a meeting with the previously unbeaten teams from Italy and Great Britain. Italy celebrated a 5-0 shutout to pick up the lone European/African ticket in the softball tournament at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Two runs in the first gave Italy the momentum. Greta Cecchetti was at her best, striking out 13 in seven scoreless three-hit innings. The British team never threatened to come back, ending her run towards the Olympics. Home plate umpire was Marina Prins, wife of Andre Prins, who got inducted into the KNBSB Hall of Fame a couple of days ago.
All information about the return of baseball and softball to the Olympic program can be found at www.wbsc.org.
Photos by Jane Verhoeven