Canada Senior Men’s National Team

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Hitting a high-velocity fastpitch softball; a skill only the great ones possess.

Monday, March 4th, 2013

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Colin Abbott, three-time ISC World Tournament Most Valuable Player, one of the all-time great fastball hitters.

By BOB OTTO / www.ottoinfocus.com

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – I studied Canadian Brad Ezekiel and Ryan Wolfe. I leaned in closer to my computer screen, zoning in on New Zealand’s Rhys Casley, Donny Hale and Brad Rona.

How do they do it?

How do they hit a softball speeding toward home plate at 80-plus miles per hour from 46 feet away from a pitcher that can make the yellow sphere dive and dance and soar like a Hummingbird on steroids?

And then with the cruel nature of a sadist, the pitcher changes speeds. It’s as if the ball is attached to a string and our righty or lefty (prankster) yanks it back just when the batter starts to swing. Like Lucy pulling the football away from hapless Charlie Brown just as he’s about to kick it.

What special athletic gifts have been bestowed upon fastball’s great hitters, enabling them to hit the riser, the drop, the curve, and the change-up with such proficiency?

MEREDITH, A LASTING IMPRESSION
I remember in 1986 standing behind a backstop watching Kiwi Peter Meredith throw a softball harder than ANY ball I had ever seen thrown. I stood in awe of Meredith’s amazing talent.

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ISC Hall of Fame pitcher, Peter Meredith, who once pitched for TEAM USA.

I wondered: “how can anyone possibly hit his pitches?”

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Canada and New Zealand hitters feast in an ISF world championship classic

Monday, March 4th, 2013

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The New Zealand Black Sox perform the haka during the ISF World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo By Ben Campbell / World Softball Championships

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Fastball purists, those who relish a masterfully pitched, low-scoring game, would have turned away in disgust. But for those fans who delight in seeing softball bats smashing a yellow sphere all over a ball diamond – as well over the fence – they would have loved this classic matchup.

And numbers crunchers would have glowed over these stats.

The Canadian and New Zealand men’s national fastball teams combined for 26 hits, 16 runs, and five home runs on Monday night in the 13th International Softball Federation World Championship. See Box Score

And when the bats were finally set-aside for the night, Canada had outslugged New Zealand 9-7 to win a marquee matchup at Rosedale Park in Albany.

As for the pitching?

It was a game of survival, of weathering a tornado of hot hitters. Eight pitchers toed the rubber – four on each side.

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Scott nabs place on Canadian Men’s Softball team

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

By Andy Bader, Mitchell Advocate

SEBRINGVILLE, CA – Hard work and determination have always been key attributes in the pitching life of Don Scott, of Sebringville.

Never one to fear anyone in the batter’s box, no matter the age, Scott climbed his way to the top of the heap when he was named to Canada’s men’s softball team which will play in the International Softball Federation (ISF) XIII Men’s World Championships next March in Auckland, New Zealand.

“Ultimately this is as high as I can go in this sport, so it’s always been a goal,” Scott said last week, after he was officially named to the national team Oct. 15. “I kinda wish it was a little earlier in life, but it is what it is.”

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Someone to know: Derek Arsenie, Team Canada Fastball

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

“…I am not afraid to take a bruise if it will keep the ball off of the screen.” – Derek Arsenie

SASKATOON, SK, CANADA – Ask any athlete in the world and most will say that representing their country in international competition is the ultimate honor. And that goes for Derek Arsenie as well.

Arsenie is a 19-year-old catcher on the 40-man roster of Canada’s Senior Men’s National Team pool. He aspires to help lead his country to the gold medal in the International Softball Federation XIII World Championships in 2013.

“My goal is to make the team and contribute in anyway possible towards winning a gold medal at the next ISF worlds,” Arsenie said. “If fastball gets into the Olympics in 2020 I hope to make the national team again and win the Olympics, but there is a lot of work to do to get to these goals.”

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