In Haarlem, the Nethelrnads, the best clubs in Europe compete for the title of the strongest women’s club of 2017.

Two Dutch teams – Sparks and Terrasvogles were in the top four, together with  Joudrs from the Czech Republic, and Bussolengo from Italy.

On Friday evening, the four teams paired up for the semifinal and quarterfinal games. 

The Dutch quarterfinal match up  - Sparks vs Terrasvogles – was expected to be a close game. And that’s how it was.

Sparks entered the game with their typically strong offense, the first two batters singled. They were then in the scoring positions, but their hopes on scoring were ruined by a successful pickoff play and a strike out. Terrasvogles scored in the second the first run of the game and added one more in the fourth. 

But against Sparks, you can never be sure about your lead.  In a situation with two outs, Virginie Anneveld made it to the first base after a base-on-balls. A single and a wild pitch were then good enough to make the score 2-1. 

The final offense for Sparks didn’t go well though. Micaela Whitney pitching for Terrasvogles didn’t allow any hits in the last inning, so Terrasvogles could celebrate their win and the fact that they would get a medal at the 2017 Premiere Cup.

The first semifinal game – Joudrs vs Bussolengo – was the evening game. The Czech team had their Italian star Greta Cecchetti pitching against the latest Italian national champion. 

The game was scoreless until the third inning – Valeria Bortolomai singled and was brought home by Britt Vonk’s triple, making it 1-0 for Bussolengo. Joudrs tied the game when Veronika Klimplova tripled to the right field, and then substituted pinch-hitting Coufalova singled and allowed her teammate to score.

This semifinal was decided in the sixth – a series of three hits supported by an error resulted in three runs for Bussolengo, and the game was practically over.

The last two games of the tournament - today!

Bussolengo advanced to the final, which is scheduled for Saturday at 16:00. Joudrs and Terrasvogles will play the second semifinal at 11:00. The loser of this game will get bronze medals, the winner will compete against Bussolengo in the grand final.

-Helena Novotna-