Wolverines Drop Exhibition Contest to Dutch National Team

March 2, 2011

Box Score

Site: Clearwater, Fla. (Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex)
Scores: Dutch National Team 6, #8 Michigan 1 (ex.)
Next U-M Event: Friday, March 4 -- vs. Villanova (Clearwater, Fla.), 5:30 p.m.

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The Dutch National Team kicked off its U.S. Tour with a 6-1 victory over the No. 8-ranked University of Michigan softball team in exhibition action Wednesday evening (March 2) at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex.

The Netherlands squad, which captured the 2009 European national championship and participated in the 2010 World Championships, stymied the Wolverine hitters on a combined five-hit, nine-strikeout effort from its three-member pitching staff. RHP Femke van Dusschoten earned the victory in the relief, entering in the fourth and allowing just one hit through two shutout innings.

Dutch second baseman Meike Witteveen went 2-for-4 -- one of three players to post multi-hit performances -- and led off the first inning with a leftfield single, advancing on an error and a wild pitch before scoring on a groundout.

The Wolverines responded in the home half of the inning for their lone run of the game. Junior designated player Bree Evans (Bloomington, Calif./Rialto HS) slapped a leadoff single to shortstop, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored when junior third baseman Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Cabrini HS) roped a single into rightfield.

The remainder of the game belonged to the Dutch, who scored one run in the second, three in the fourth and added a final tally in the fifth to pull away late. They used three consecutive singles to leftfield from the middle of the lineup to immediately load the bases with no outs in the second. Michigan picked up two quick outs but could not get out of the inning unscathed when a misplayed grounder allowed the go-ahead run to come in unearned.

The Dutch opened the fourth with back-to-back hits, including a leadoff double from leftfielder Solange Starrenburg, to chase junior LHP Hilary Payne (Plymouth, Mich./Canton HS) from the circle. They scored on a quick groundout, a successful double steal and a run-scoring single to centerfield from designated player Merel Oosterveld. Their final run came on a two-out fielding error in the fifth frame.

Sophomore RHP Stephanie Speierman (Columbia, Md./Hammond HS) was solid in a four-inning relief appearance for the Wolverines, striking out four batters, including back-to-back Ks to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth while allowing three hits and a pair of walks.

The 17-0 Wolverines will remain in Clearwater, Fla., wrapping up their annual spring-break swing with an appearance at the USF Under Amour Invitational this weekend (Fri-Sun., March 4-6). Michigan opens play Friday against Villanova (5:30 p.m.) and Maine (8 p.m.) at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex.


• Tonight's contest was Michigan's first spring exhibition contest since dropping a 5-1 decision against the 2008 USA Olympic team at Alumni Field.

• Although tonight's statistics will not factor into the Wolverines' season numbers, freshman Nicole Sappingfield unofficially extended her hit streak to 13 straight games.

• Four members of the Dutch team -- RHP Rebecca Soumeru, catcher Nathalie Timmermans, infielder Britt Vonk and infielder Saskia Kosterink -- participated in the 2008 Olympics. Vonk was the youngest member in the entire 2008 Dutch Olympic delegation.

• Two Dutch players are currently studying and playing in the United States. Nathalie Timmermans is at Oklahoma City University, while Britt Vonk is at California.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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