(BALTIMORE – August 8, 2022) – Former Morgan State softball standout Damishah Charles helped the Netherlands to a 7-0 victory over Great Britain in the final of the Women’s Softball European Championship on July 30 in Sant Boi, Spain.
The win was the 11th for the Netherlands and its first since claiming the title in 2017. The Netherlands, which is now one shy of tying Italy for the most gold medals at 12, also pulled even with Italy for the most total medals at 22.
“Going into the Great Britain game, we knew we were going to face a top pitcher. [Georgina] Corrick is one of the best in the NCAA, who just finished an amazing career at the University of South Florida,” said Charles. “Our first game against her we struggled and lost. So, for us to get to that point that we can face her again and compete again was an amazing feeling.”
In Saturday’s championship game, Charles went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, a run scored, an RBI, and was involved in the last out of the game to help the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the European title.
The victory ended a five-year drought for the Dutch National Team, which took home silver in the last two championships in 2019 and 2021.
“2019 was the last time I came out for the Dutch National Team when we lost against Italy. I was devastated returning back to school because I also lost the ticket to become a 2020 Olympian,” said Charles. “Shortly after that as most know, I had my daughter Nevaeh Baxter in June of 2020, so I didn’t return for the 2021 European championship.”
“Bringing home gold for me was on my to-do list. A lot of people counted me out, doubted if I was still going to be the same athlete, they doubted if I would return to the game and how my attitude was going to be. Bringing home gold on my first time back was a great moment for me to tip my head and thank everyone that had some questions about my return. But I also took the time to look myself in the mirror and tell myself how proud I was of “me”.”
A native of IJssel, Netherlands, Charles graduated from Morgan State in 2020 with a degree in Business Administration. She would also earn a Master’s in Business Administration from Morgan in December 2021.
During the 2021 campaign as a graduate student, Charles would help the Lady Bears capture the program’s first-ever Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) title and a trip to the NCAA Regional Tournament.
“I remember having a talk with Coach Myron [Vanterpool] at the beginning of the season, about what my role was going to be and him wanting to protect me from myself. Uhhh,” said Charles. “My only response to that conversation was, we are going to win MEAC this year and I will be signing out as a champion. I kept my word to myself, my teammates, and the school that we were going to be champions and put our name on the map and that is exactly what we did. I couldn’t be more proud of that 2020-21 team. For years to come, you will remember that team because we did what we said we were going to do and I feel honored to be a part of that team and honored to have played for Morgan my last few years.”
A three-time MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic Team and a three-time MEAC Softball All-Academic Team recipient, Charles would follow up the historic 2021 season, by receiving the MEAC’s Nike Post-Graduate Scholarship to continue her pursuit of a Master’s in Business Administration at Morgan State.
While at Morgan State, Charles earned All-MEAC third-team honors as a junior in 2019 and was a Preseason All-MEAC second-team selection in 2020.
In Saturday’s European title game, Charles got things started with a lead-off single to left field in the top of the third. She would score the first run of the game for the Dutch, when teammate Dinet Oosting singled up the middle to drive in two runs.
Charles went back to work in the fourth inning with a double down the left field line to score another run for the Netherlands and increase the lead to 4-0.
The Dutch, who recorded 11 hits in the game while holding Great Britain to just one, would add a run in the fifth and two more in the seventh for good measure for the 7-0 victory.
“We played an amazing game as a unit,” added Charles. “Everything we did, we did as a team. Even the final out was special to me because I was playing one of my best games and for me to record a game-winning 5-4-3 double play with one of my best friends was a feeling I can’t even describe. I was relieved that my throw was on the money and sharing that moment with someone I started this journey with back in 2015 was the best feeling ever.”
Founded in 1979 The Women’s Softball European Championship is the main championship tournament between national women’s softball teams in Europe, governed by the European Softball Federation (ESF). The European championship serves as qualifier for softball World Cups.
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