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United States defeats Australia for crucial win in softball world championship

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – The defense? Stellar. The pitching? Superb. The offense? Clutch.

Team USA put together an outstanding game to defeat Australia, 2-1, in the second round of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse, Saturday.

And it was without a doubt a team win.

Let’s start with the pitching.

Jeremy Manley started and went five innings giving up just two hits – one of them a first-inning home run to Nick Shailes that gave the Aussies the early lead.

Often, that’s all the run support Aussie hurler Adam Folkard needs. Considered by many fastpitch experts as the best pitcher in all of men’s fastpitch, he can be nearly impossible to hit with his 80-plus mph riser and drop.

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Venezuela knocks off defending champion Australia to reach gold medal game

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – The Venezuelan fastball team doesn’t rely on one pitcher to carry the load, choosing instead more of a “pitching-by-committee” approach.

Through pool play and in the playoffs, four pitchers took their turn in the circle.

On Sunday in the Bronze medal game against Australia, it was Erick Urbaneja’s turn, and he responded with five innings of shutout pitching. After he gave up a lead off single in the sixth, “the committee” summoned right-hander Ramon Jones.

It proved a wise change because Jones responded by continuing the shutout the rest of the way as Venezuela knocked off Australia, 2-0, to advance to the Gold medal game against New Zealand.

The victorious Venezuelans celebrated after the final out by rushing the mound, embracing Jones, dancing about and back slapping in glee. And rightfully they should.

For this marked an epic achievement: it’s the first time Venezuela has ever advanced into the ISF World Championship Gold medal game.

No one was happier and more exuberant than catcher Rafael Flores. He was so excited that he embraced an Australian coach. And then sprawled face-first on the ground from sheer emotion.

“We are a family,” said Flores through an interpreter. “I am really proud of our team.”

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Australia stays alive in ISF World Softball Championship

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Japan’s Tadaaki Saeki shows the hustle and determination that has helped Japan become one of the best men’s national teams in the ISF World Softball Championship.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Win and there’s life. Lose and it’s a knock out, a punch that sends a national team home.

Australia left-hander Andrew Kirkpatrick kept his team alive by hurling a no hitter in leading the Steelers to a 4-0 victory over Japan in the second round of playoffs in the 13th ISF World Softball Championship on Saturday.

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