2015 ISF World Softball Championship

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For the future of USA men’s fastpitch, it’s all about pitching

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

ALAN COLGLAZIER pitched Aurora, IL, Home Savings to the ISC World Tournament championship in 1980. He is but one of four USA born pitchers to win an ISC World Tournament Championship game between 1980 and 1991. Photo By BOB OTTO

NEW ZEALAND – New Zealand is the mecca of men’s fasptich softball. To argue otherwise is just plain nonsense. The results prove the Kiwi’s dominance in fastpitch worldwide.

The Black Sox, the country’s national team, leads the International Softball Federation (now the World Baseball Softball Confederation) world championships with 12 gold, silver and bronze medals since the event started in 1966.

And in the past six championships (1996 to 2015) the Black Sox have taken four-of-six golds and two silvers.

Canada comes a close second with 11 total medals, and did claim the latest world championship in 2015, by pounding the Kiwi’s, 10-5, in the final.

    THIRD NOT GOOD ENOUGH

Bringing up the third spot with nine medals is the United States. Nine sounds like a respectable number, right?

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Rankin blasts Shakespeare Falcons to ISC World Tournament win

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

Falcons.Rankin.1lr Photo By MATT ELICK / Belleville Softball Complex Photographer

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Keith Rankin batting fifth in the lineup went 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored to power a 10-hit attack in leading the Falcons to an 8-0 victory over the Bar Avenue Buzz of Wisconsin in the opening round of the 2015 ISC World Tournament at the Belleville Softball Complex in South Bend.

To enjoy more photos by Matt ELick, visit: Belleville Softball Complex Facebook

Mullaley a master blaster

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Telegram Sports
Published on July 05, 2015

Steve Mullaley hits three home runs for seven RBIs in Canada’s gold-medal win over Kiwis; one of seven Newfoundlanders on championship team playing for Team Canada in the Pan American Games.

After a relative quiet tournament, at least by his standards, Freshwater native Stephen Mullaley’s bat came alive for Team Canada in the championship game as he hit three homers and drove in seven runs as Canada rallied from a 5-0 deficit.

After Harbour Main’s Brad Ezekiel brought Canada within two runs, making it 5-3 with a two-run homer run in the bottom of the third, Mullaley hit his first homer, a solo shot.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth, Mullaley went yard again for a grand slam. His third was a two-run blast that put Canada ahead 10-5. Continue Reading in The Telegram.

CANADA SLUGS ITS WAY TO GOLD IN WORLD SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

Monday, July 6th, 2015

2015 Team Canada.1lr Canada takes the Gold Medal at 14th ISF Men’s World Softball Championship. The team includes Ryan Boland, Sean Cleary, Paul Koert, Devon McCullough, Andy Skelton, Bryan Abrey, Jason Sanford, Ian Fehrman, Brandon Horn, Derek Mason, Kevin Schellenberg, Jeff Ellsworth, Brad Ezekiel, Steve Mullaley, Mathieu Roy, Ryan Wolfe, Jason Hill, and the coaching staff of Glenn Boles, Adam Davies, John Hill, Les Howey, and Head Coach John Stuart.

SASKATOON, SK, Canada – There is good hitting, great hitting, and on the rarest of occasions, phenomenal hitting.

What Steve Mullaley did in the championship game of the 14th ISF Men’s World Softball Championship will long live in Canada fastpitch lore, and in the memories of those who witnessed his incredible batting feat.

Mullaley belted three home runs – a solo shot, a grand slam, and a two-run blast – that tallied seven RBI, as Canada slugged its way to a 10-5 victory over the New Zealand Black Sox to claim the Gold Medal at Bob Van Impe Stadium, Sunday.

His seven RBI and Canada’s ten runs are believed to be International Softball Federation single game records since the world championship began in 1966.

    NO STRANGERS IN ISF CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY

The championship becomes Canada’s fourth ISF title, and the first since 1992 when Team Canada beat New Zealand for the Gold. The two teams have now met five times to decide the Gold Medal, with New Zealand claiming three, and Canada two.

Steve Mullaley hit three home runs accounting for seven RBI in helping Team Canada win the Gold Medal.

Steve Mullaley hit three home runs accounting for seven RBI in helping Team Canada win the Gold Medal.

For Mullaley, though, the victory over the defending 2013 world champion Black Sox was a team effort. The victory also eases the disappointment of expecting but failing to medal in the world championship in New Zealand.

“We knew coming in today that the big red machine could get it done,” Mullaley said to Ballpark Radio interviewer Blair Setford during post-game ceremonies. “We traveled a long way to New Zealand in 2013 and we were disappointed. But we’ve had a new commitment of buying into the team concept to get it done.”

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EXPLOSIVE CANADA KNOCKS OUT VENEZUELA IN THE QUEST FOR GOLD

Sunday, July 5th, 2015
Sean Cleary allowed one hit in pitching Canada to a 10-0 win over Venezuela to advance Team Canada into the Gold Medal game of the 14th ISF Men's World Softball Championship, Sunday, July 5.

Sean Cleary allowed one hit in pitching Canada to a 10-0 win over Venezuela to advance Team Canada into the Gold Medal game of the 14th ISF Men’s World Softball Championship, Sunday, July 5.

SASKATOON, SK, Canada – In somewhat of a surprise, Venezuela started its No. 2 pitcher, Erick Urbaneja, rather than handing the ball to Ramon Jones against Canada in the Bronze Medal game, Sunday morning.

All Jones had done was win six games in the ISF Men’s World Softball Championship including back-to-back, one-hit shutouts in the playoffs to get his team to this desirable juncture in the championship round.

Was the pitching decision made to counter the left-handed Urbaneja against the seven lefties in Canada’s lineup? Was it made because his slower speed and great change-up had given Canada problems in the past?

    CANADA SCORES EARLY AND OFTEN

Maybe so. But it didn’t work. And the way Canada was swinging the bats, it probably didn’t matter who Venezuela threw at them.

Team Canada exploded from the starting gate by torching Urbaneja for four runs on five hits including two home runs by Brad Ezekiel and Steve Mullaley to send the left-hander to the bench. Another lefty, Eder Pineda, came on in relief, but he wasn’t effective either as Canada continued the onslaught.

And before the first inning had ended, Canada had sent 10 batters to the plate, scored six runs on seven hits, and the game was essentially over as Canada went on to win 10-0 in a mercy-rule, four innings.

The win moves Canada into the Gold Medal game, Sunday afternoon against the defending 2013 champion New Zealand Black Sox.

    EZEKIEL DRIVES IN FIVE

Canada kept pounding the ball, adding four more runs in the third, highlighted by Ezekiel’s bases-loaded triple. Canada’s center fielder and No. 2 hitter was perfect in going 2-for-2 with five RBI, including his first-inning homer.

Brad Ezekiel hit a home run and accounted for five of Canada's 10 runs against Venezuela.

Brad Ezekiel hit a home run and accounted for five of Canada’s 10 runs against Venezuela.

    CLEARY NEARLY PERFECT

Sean Cleary got the start for Canada and he was on top of his game, mixing his rise ball effectively with his knee-buckling change-up against the free and hard-swinging Venezuelans.

The right-hander struck out six of the first nine batters he faced and carried a perfect game into the fourth inning. But pinch hitter, Kerlis Rivero, broke up Cleary’s gem with a clean single.

Venezuela continued to threaten by loading the bases on an error and walk, but Cleary struck out Edwin Linares to end the game and send Canada into the Gold Medal game with New Zealand, waiting in the wings.

    GREAT SHOWING BY A WORLD-CLASS TEAM

Venezuela exits the world softball championship with the Bronze Medal, finishing 3-1 in the championship round and third in Pool B at 5-2. Venezuela has shown outstanding ability at the world level, taking the Silver Medal in the 2013 ISF World Championship.

    CLEARY STAYS PERFECT

The win boasts Cleary’s record to 5-0 (2-0 in the playoffs). Against Venezuela, he allowed the one hit and struck out nine. All totaled, Cleary has pitched 30 2/3 innings, allowing 11 hits, crafting a 2.05 ERA, with 12 walks and 45 strikeouts.

Now the question? Will Cleary get the ball and go as far as he can against New Zealand? Or will Canada Head Coach John Stuart opt for left-hander Paul Koert, or the young right-handed Devon McCullough?

On Saturday the two teams met and Cleary lasted just 2 2/3 innings before being lifted after allowing two earned runs on three hits. New Zealand went on to rough up relievers Paul Koert and Devon McCullough as well in a 9-5 victory, earned largely by four home runs.

Gold Medal game time is 1:30 p.m. PDT. To watch live, visit: Sports Canada TV

IN BATTLE OF TOP PITCHERS, JONES TOPS FOLKARD

Sunday, July 5th, 2015
Venezuela's Ramon Jones turned in a dominating pitching performance in a 4-0 victory over Australia in the medal round playoffs of the 2015 ISF Men's World Softball Championship, Saturday.

Venezuela’s Ramon Jones turned in a dominating pitching performance in a 4-0 victory over Australia in the medal round playoffs of the 2015 ISF Men’s World Softball Championship, Saturday.

SASKATOON, SK, Canada – Ramon Jones versus Adam Folkard.

Venezuela’s talented workhorse versus Australia’s ace, the fastest throwing pitcher on the planet.

Jones and Folkard have proven in the 14th ISF World Softball Championship that they are the two best pitchers in the world of men’s fastpitch softball.

They were destined to meet in the 16-team tournament. And Saturday night they did.

One team would win and stay alive in pursuit of a gold, silver or bronze medal, while the other would head for home, with a fourth-place finish.

    JONES AT HIS BEST

This time around, Jones and Venezuela came away the winner, besting Folkard and Australia for a 4-0 victory that moves Venezuela into Sunday’s coveted medal day in which they can finish with no less than a bronze.

Jones was simply brilliant in leading Venezuela to its third win in the playoffs. The right-hander with the best drop ball in the game, held Australia to just one hit over seven innings with a walk and 11 strikeouts. His victory comes on the heels of beating the Dominican Republic 3-0 on a one-hitter with nine strikeouts earlier on Saturday.

    HOMERS FOLKARD’S UNDOING

Folkard, who has pitched nearly every inning for his country, wasn’t quite as sharp as he needed to be. He only allowed five hits, but two of them were game-busters.

Edwin Linares blasted a solo home run in the second inning, which actually was the game-winner. Then Luiger Pinto sunk Australia’s dreams of a gold medal when he launched a three-run homer in the third.

Iran Perez and Rogello Sequera both singled to set up Pinto’s blast.

Folkard allowed just one hit and a walk the rest of the way, but the damage was done as Jones closed out the Steelers in the seventh with his 10th and 11th strikeouts to move Venezuela on to Sunday’s Bronze Medal game with Canada.

    BACK-TO-BACK OUSTINGS

It is the second consecutive ISF world championship that Venezuela has eliminated Australia. In 2013, the two teams met in the Bronze Medal game with Venezuela coming away with a 2-0 win. Venezuela went on to take the Silver Medal, losing 4-1 to Gold Medalist New Zealand.

Adam Folkard pitched superbly and nearly every inning for Australia.

Adam Folkard pitched superbly and nearly every inning for Australia.

    AUSSIE GREAT GIVES HIS ALL

Throughout the 2015 ISF world championship, Australia has leaned heavily on Folkard as left-hander Andrew Kirkpatrick was injured and unable to help in the circle.

Australia finishes with a 5-2 record in Pool B, and 1-2 in the playoffs, in which the Steelers lost 8-3 to Canada, and beat Japan 3-0.

Folkard certainly gave his all as he appeared in eight games, hurling 50 innings in which he allowed just 28 hits, struck out 82 batters, issued 12 walks, had an ERA of 1.68 and leaves the world championship with a personal 5-2 record.

    JONES SOLDIERS ON

However, Jones has been better, pitching in 10 games over 41 2/3 innings for a 1.18 ERA. He has given up 19 hits and 10 walks, while striking out 62 batters. He continues on in the playoffs, and will try and improve his 6-1 record against Canada Sunday morning.

Erick Urbaneja (2-0) has pitched just 11 2/3 innings. With gold gleaming so close and so temptingly, Venezuela has to hand the ball to Jones and ride their workhorse as far as he can go.

    SUNDAY’S MEDAL DAY SCHEDULE
  • Venezuela vs. Canada, Bronze Medal game, 10:30 PDT
  • Winner vs. New Zealand, Gold Medal game, 1:30
  • To watch live, visit Sports Canada TV .

    Canada takes on Venezuela in Bronze Medal game of ISF Men’s World Softball Championship

    Sunday, July 5th, 2015

    canada.logo

    SASKATOON, SK, Canada – Canada suffered it’s first setback in the world softball championship, losing 9-5 to New Zealand, Saturday.

    But Team Canada is still in contention for gold as it meets Venezuela, Sunday, in the Bronze Medal game, with the winner advancing to meet New Zealand to decide the championship.

    For information, visit Team Canada website

    Hot-hitting New Zealand thrashes Canada in ISF Men’s World Softball Championship

    Saturday, July 4th, 2015

    SASKATOON, SK, Canada – No team in the 14th ISF Men’s World Softball Championship is hitting – make that slugging – the ball better than the New Zealand Black Sox.

    In its last four games, New Zealand has outscored its opponents 37-7. The latest victory was huge, 9-5 over Canada in the playoffs Saturday that moves New Zealand into the Gold medal game on Sunday.

      FENCE BUSTERS

    The Black Sox pounded out 10 hits, including home runs by Jerome Raemaki, Wayne Laulu, Thomas Enoka and Brad Rona.

    Raemaki hit a home run in the third inning; Laulu blasted a two-run bomb over the left field fence erasing Canada’s lead for good, and pushing the Black Sox in front, 4-3, in the fourth inning. Tyson Byrne followed with a run-scoring triple that scored Cole Evans, and in the fifth, Enoka cleared the left-center field fence for a two-run homer.

    Brad Rona finished the Black Sox fence-busting attack with a two-run shot in the seventh.

      CANADA GOES LONG BALL TOO

    Ian Fehrman and Brad Ezekiel gave Canada hope when they hit solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings off New Zealand’s Heinrick Shannon. But he withstood the onslaught and after Ezekiel led off the seventh with his homer, Shannon retired three in a row to seal the win.

    Shannon threw seven innings to improve to 2-0 the playoffs. He allowed three earned runs on six hits, walked one and struck out four.

      DEFENDING CHAMPS SEEK SECOND GOLD

    Now New Zealand – the defending ISF Men’s World Softball champions from 2013 – move to the Gold medal game, Sunday afternoon. Canada remains in the running for the gold, but must defeat the winner between Venezuela and Australia played Saturday night (results not available at publishing time).

      CANADA STILL IN CONTENTION

    Canada came into the game against New Zealand undefeated and the top team in Pool A at 7-0. And the Canadians began the playoffs in dominating fashion, beating Australia and its ace pitcher Adam Folkard, 8-3, on Friday.

    New Zealand finished round robin play in Pool A as the number four team at 5-2. The Black Sox entered the playoffs stinging the ball and beat the Dominican Republic, the top team from Pool B with a 6-1 record, 8-0, to set up the meeting with Canada.

    United States claims consolation title in ISF Men’s World Softball Championship

    Saturday, July 4th, 2015
    Nick Mullins powered Team USA to the ISF Men's World Softball Championship, Consolation Title, with a home run in the sixth inning.

    Nick Mullins powered Team USA to the ISF Men’s World Softball Championship, Consolation Title, with a home run in the sixth inning.

    SASKATOON, SK, Canada – With one powerful swing of his bat, Nick Mullins erased a stalemate with Mexico and gave the United States the Consolation Championship of the ISF Men’s World Softball Championship at Gordon Howe Softball Park, Saturday.

    Mullins came to the plate with two out in the bottom of the sixth and blasted a solo shot over the left field fence breaking a 3-all tie. All pitcher Tony Mancha had to do was close out Mexico in the seventh. And he did, ending the game with a ground ball to give Team USA a 4-3 victory and the consolation title.

    Team USA finishes 3-0 in the consolation playoffs and 4-3 in Pool B, good for fifth place.

      EXPLOSIVE START FOR USA

    Team USA jumped out to commanding start in the first inning, sending eight batters to the plate. And before the inning ended, the Americans had Mexico on the ropes, leading 3-0.

    Chris Miljavic started things off by working Mexico’s Samuel Vilalvazo for a walk. Kris Bogach followed with a single putting runners at first and third, and Josh Johnson brought home Miljavic with an RBI single.

    But Team USA wasn’t finished as Derrick Zechman drilled a single chasing in two more runs.

      LOPEZ BLASTS MANCHA

    Mexico fought back to tie the game 3-3 on Alex Garcia’s RBI single in the second, and Edgar Lopez’s two-run homer in the fourth.

    Then after a scoreless fifth inning, Mullins came to the plate in the sixth with two out. And he didn’t disappoint his teammates, blasting the game-winning home run to send the Americans home with a title.

      GAME’S BEST PLAYER

    For his efforts (1-for-3, RBI, run) Mullins was selected the “Player of The Game” by the Ballpark Radio broadcasting crew.

    Along with Mullins’ production, Nate Devine was 1-for-4, run; Chase Turner 1-for-3, Zechman 1-for-3, 2 RBI; Bogach 1-for-2, and Johnson went 1-for-2, RBI, run.

      MANCHA SOLID IN WORLD SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

    USA’s Tony Mancha pitched seven innings, allowing three earned runs on just four hits, with two walks and 12 strikeouts.

    The right-hander from El Paso, Texas finishes the world softball championship with a 3-2 record over 27 2/3 innings. He allowed 12 hits, 12 walks with 45 strikeouts for a 2.37 ERA.

    FINAL CONSOLATION STANDINGS
    United States 3-0
    Mexico 2-1
    Guatemala 1-1
    Great Britain 1-1
    Netherlands 0-1
    Philippines 0-1
    Denmark 0-1
    Indonesia 0-0

    Norton blasts lifts Australia over Japan in ISF Men’s World Softball Championship

    Saturday, July 4th, 2015

    SASKATOON, SK, Canada – For five innings, the Australia Steelers struggled at the plate against Japan’s Kento Okazaki. The right-hander had held the Aussies to two hits in a scoreless deadlock with Steelers’ pitcher Adam Folkard.

    But in the sixth inning, Aussie catcher Nick Norton changed all that with one swing of his bat. The right-side hitter blasted a three-run home run over the center field fence giving Folkard all the runs he would need in closing out Japan, 3-0, in the championship round playoffs, Saturday afternoon.

    Okazaki hit Zenon Winter with a pitch to lead off the sixth, and one-out later, Nick Shailes bounced a single through the third base-shortstop hole. Andrew Kirkpatrick lofted a towering infield pop-up for the second out.

    And that brought Norton to the plate, and his line drive homer easily cleared the fence for the game-winner. For his efforts, Norton was named “The Player of The Game” by the Ballpark Radio broadcasting crew.

    The game was close throughout with hits hard to come by. Okazaki came away the hard luck pitcher, allowing just three hits, three runs, three walk with five strikeouts.

    Folkard (5-1, 43 innings, 1.30 ERA, 72 strikeouts) continued his dominance in the world softball championship by holding Japan to five hits, one walk with 12 strikeouts.

    Australia also beat Japan in the opening round robin game of Pool A in another close encounter; that time squeezing out a 1-0 win.

    The win moves Australia (1-1 playoffs, 6-3 overall) along in the playoffs where the Steelers will meet the winner between the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, late Saturday.