August 7, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Former John A. Logan college standout, Nathalie “Dutch” Timmermans, is continuing her impressive run in softball after once again being selected to represent The Netherlands national team.

Timmermans (Class of ’09) is now 25 years old and has already played 74 games against international competition, which included the 2008 Olympics. She is both a catcher and third baseman.

Timmermans and her teammates are presently in the middle of an 11-city promotional tour, which leads into the World Championships or World Cup (Aug. 15-24) hosted by the Dutch in Haarlem, Netherlands. Also competing at the Cup will be the United States, Chinese Taipei, Italy, Australia, Dominican Republic, Great Britain and Botswana.

A native of Oldenzaal, Netherlands, Timmermans first made her mark in the game of softball as a youth and was a 15-year-old member of her country’s Junior Nationals team, which captured a European title in 2004.

A couple of years later at the age of 17, she was recruited by JALC assistant softball coach Angie Jilek, who saw Timmermans play while coaching a U.S. traveling team in Europe the summer of ’07.

Timmermans agreed to come to the U.S. and play at Logan, beginning the fall of ’07. She then missed the spring and fall seasons of ’08 while training for the Olympics with her national team, but returned to Logan in the spring of ’09.

Timmermans, who studies biomedical sciences, then transferred to Oklahoma City and Central Oklahoma universities, where she completed her collegiate career and then returned to full-time work with her national team.

“Dutch has been a great ambassador for John A Logan College, our program, and the sport of softball worldwide,” said Vols head coach Bruce Jilek. “She has great tools in addition to a strong work ethic both academically and athletically. Her former teammates and coaches here at Logan are very proud of her and enjoy watching her expand her career across the world.

“Dutch has an understanding and appreciation of softball, and has been involved in urging officials to reinstate the sport at the 2020 Olympics,” Jilek said. “We have often spoken about the importance to our sport that the Olympic officials bring back softball.  Americans and other softball players worldwide are familiar with the strong following the NCAA DI Softball National Championship has each spring. Foreign softball players are envious of how popular softball has become in the U.S.  And it continues to grow each year.”

Jilek said Timmermans was just a teenager when she got her first taste of the Olympics in 2008. It would be nice to see her get the opportunity to compete again as a seasoned ballplayer should the Games get reinstated in 2020.  

“Dutch has played against the best competition in the world and we are proud to say she has done very well against them,” Jilek said. “She hit fourth and caught for the national team in the last Olympics. 

The World Cup is the closest softball has to the Olympics at this time.  It is a big deal.  Her selection to the national team with The Netherlands is once again warranted and well deserved.”

Timmermans said she has always possessed a love for the game and considers her teammates to be like family.

“Very much so,” she said. “Many of us have been together about six years now.”

Timmermans said that, while the Olympics would be her shining moment as a ballplayer, there have been “beautiful moments that she will never forget” with each and every tournament she has participated.

She added that her parents have provided her with all the support and encouragement she could ask.

“They have driven a lot of miles to see me play softball,” she said.