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Nicholas Mercer: The violence of throwing a softball

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
FIVE-TIME ISC TOP PITCHER - Adam Folkard has won five ISC Most Outstanding Pitcher awards, and has led Australia to titles in the ISF and WBSC World Championships. In 2016, he pitched the Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada to runner-up in the ISC World Tournament and was named an All-World pitcher for a eighth time.  His 4-1 record gives him 39 wins all-time in ISC World Tournament play. Photo By BOB OTTO

FIVE-TIME ISC TOP PITCHER – Adam Folkard has won five ISC Most Outstanding Pitcher awards, and has led Australia to titles in the ISF and WBSC World Championships. In 2016, he pitched the Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada to runner-up in the ISC World Tournament and was named an All-World pitcher for a eighth time. His 4-1 record gives him 39 wins all-time in ISC World Tournament play. Photo By BOB OTTO

The Telegram Sports
By Nicholas Mercer
Sept. 12, 2016

ST. JOHNS, NL – Seeing high-level fastpitch softball play out on a computer screen over a webcast doesn’t do the game justice.

Nor does it allow the average fan to appreciate just what goes into throwing the softball very hard at the plate.

When you’re watching the game 20-feet from the pitching rubber, it’s easy to see the webcast sells the act incredibly short.

A hush falls over the crowd as the pitcher takes his signs from the catcher. They’re counting on seeing something great with every pitch.

That sense of anticipation only heightens when the pitcher rocks back before leaping towards the plate and uncoiling a ball that travels at ungodly speeds.

Continue Reading in The Telegram

2016 ISC World Tournament standings, all-world teams and MVP’s

Saturday, August 27th, 2016
BRANDON HORN helped the Toronto Gators win the 2016 70th ISC World Tournament and was selected a first-team, All-World infielder. Playing second base and batting No. 2 in the lineup, Horn had a .368 batting average (1-for-19), scored four times, with a double, triple and RBI. Photo By BOB OTTO

BRANDON HORN helped the Toronto Gators win the 2016 70th ISC World Tournament and was selected a first-team, All-World infielder. Playing second base and batting No. 2 in the lineup, Horn had a .368 batting average (7-for-19), scored four times, with a double, triple and RBI. Photo By BOB OTTO

MOLINE, IL – The Inernational Softball Congress World Tournament was held in Moline, IL, Aug. 13-20, with 36 teams competing for the coveted 70th championship.

The Toronto Gators won the title in an exciting all-Canada final, in which Shane Boland belted a walk-off, three-run home run for a 6-3 victory over the three-time defending champion Hill United Chiefs.

Check out the final standing and award winners at: 2016 ISC World Tournament

On the rise, Tin Cup of St. Paul plays in the ISC World Tournament and NAFA World Series

Sunday, August 21st, 2016
Dave Marchio manages and plays for Tin Cup of St. Paul, Minnesota. His young and talented ball club competed in both the 2016 ISC World Tournament and NAFA AA-Major World Series in the Quad Cities of IA/IL. Photo By BOB OTTO

Dave Marchio manages and plays for Tin Cup of St. Paul, Minnesota. His young and talented ball club competed in both the 2016 ISC World Tournament and NAFA AA-Major World Series in the Quad Cities of IA/IL. Photo By BOB OTTO

QUAD CITIES, IA/IL – If the Tin Cup men’s fastpitch team feels a little sore and tired, they really can’t be blamed.

In the past nine days (Aug. 13-21) the St. Paul, Minnesota squad has played eight games – three in the ISC World Tournament and five in the NAFA AA-Major Division World Series in the Quad Cities.

But for manager / designated hitter, Dave Marchio, it’s really not a big deal. His team is used to playing a lot of fastpitch.

“We’ve played about 65 games this year,” said Marchio at the NAFA AA-Major in Rock Island, Illinois. “We’re used to a lot of games.”

Click to continue reading “On the rise, Tin Cup of St. Paul plays in the ISC World Tournament and NAFA World Series”

Cutro Professional Inspections blast way to ISC II Championship

Thursday, August 18th, 2016
Perez Volquez pitched Cutro Professional Inspections of Oswego, NY to an 8-1 victory over the Shakespeare Falcons to claim the 2016 ISC II Championship, Thursday, Aug. 18 at Green Valley Sports Complex. Photo By BOB OTTO

Perez Volquez pitched Cutro Professional Inspections of Oswego, NY to an 8-1 victory over the Shakespeare Falcons to claim the 2016 ISC II Championship, Thursday, Aug. 18 at Green Valley Sports Complex. Photo By BOB OTTO

MOLINE, IL – About six years a go Michael Cutro revamped his team. He decided to go with youth and recruited young athletes from 21 to 23 years old. They struggled at first adjusting to hitting risers and drops from savvy, veteran pitchers.

But they’re not struggling any more.

Cutro’s ball club, Cutro Professional Inspections (CPI) of Oswego, New York, has matured over time. Those risers and drops that once confounded CPI’s youth movement? Now they are getting hammered.

As evidenced by CPI pounding its way to an 8-1 victory over the Shakespeare Falcons of Shakespeare, Ontario, Canada to claim the ISC II Championship in a run-ruled five innings at Green Valley Sports Complex, Thursday.

“They have started to mature,” said Cutro. “The bats really came alive in the tournament. This feels great. Next year our goal is to finish in the top 10 of the ISC (World Tournament).”

Click to continue reading “Cutro Professional Inspections blast way to ISC II Championship”

Parent pounding the ball for Shakespeare Falcons

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

ISC-II-SHIELD-e1434597298601

MOLINE, IL – Is there a hotter hitter at the ISC World Tournament and ISC II Tournament than Brayden Parent of the Shakespeare Falcons?

Perhaps, but it might take some searching to find one. In any regard, Parent is having some kind of tournament.

Though the Shakespeare, Ontario, Canada squad went 0-2 in the ISC World Tournament, Parent had an average of .600 (3-for-5 with an RBI). After those two loses, the Falcons entered the ISC II and picked up two quick wins, 3-1 over Sepringville, followed by a 10-0 blasting of Lamplighter.

And Parent was instrumental in both wins, going 1-2 with a double against Sepringville, followed by blasting a grand slam home run and a double against Lamplighter, in a 2-for-4 performance.

So the math in both tournaments on Shakespeare’s Sultan of Swat comes out to this: .545 average (6-for-11), and five RBI.

In the pitching department, Greg Hammell is also having a great ISC II. He’s 2-0, allowing just two hits in 13 innings, with 26 strikeouts and two walks.

But Hammell, Parent and the rest of the Falcons will have to continue flying high, for they take on Dolan and Murhphof Aurora, IL. (1-0), Wednesday at 2 p.m. in what figures to be a close game.

For more ISC II results, visit: ISC II Pointstreak Scoreboard

Mancha the man for J & B Painting

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

MOLINE, IL – Tony Mancha hurls the ball windmill style with the best in world. He also swings the bat with authority, too. And in the opening game of the 70th Annual ISC World Tournament, Sunday, Mancha did it all in leading J & B Painting of Agoura Hills, Calif. to a 6-1 victory over Waterdown First Ontario Hammer.

The right-hander from Las Cruces, New Mexico gave up one earned run on four hits, while walking one and striking out 10. And batting in the No. 5 slot, Mancha went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs.

But he had plenty of help as his teammates pounded out 10 hits, with Jesse Palacios going 3-for-4, and Cameron Schiller, Blake Hunter, Tyler Whynot, Wilbert Cowick (home run), and Patrick Burns had one hit each.

J & B Painting, ranked No. 7 by the ISC, fell behind 1-0 in the third on Scott Leblanc’s RBI triple, but it was shortlived as the J & B Painting plated two in its half of the inning and just kept rolling, adding two more in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and sixth.

Mancha closed out the game in dominating fashion with two strikeouts and groundout to move J & B Painting into the second round on Monday where they will meet the Bloomington Stix (1-0) at 2 p.m.

  • For Scores and more, visit: ISC Pointstreak
  • .

    Dolan & Murphy wins thriller over Walcott Merchants in ISC World Tournament

    Sunday, August 14th, 2016

    MOLINE, IL – In a close fastpitch game, it often takes a break to pull out a win. And for Dolan & Murphy of Aurora, Illinois, they got the break they needed.

    Click to continue reading “Dolan & Murphy wins thriller over Walcott Merchants in ISC World Tournament”

    Yusef Davis jump starts Peligro Gremlins to impressive victory in ISC World Tournament

    Saturday, August 13th, 2016

    Yusef Davis Jr., reaches up and slaps a high rise ball off BC A's pitcher Gregg Garrity and reaches safely on an infield single. Photo By BOB OTTO
    Playing in his first ISC World Tournament, Yusef Davis of Long Beach, Calif. was perfect at the plate in helping the Peligro Gremlins notch a win in their opening game, Saturday. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2016 SCIFL Alliance Tournament

    MOLINE, IL – Nervous? Perhaps feeling a little anxious playing in his first ISC World Tournament? Apparently not. Yusef Davis, just 21 and batting leadoff went 3-for-3 with a two RBI and a run scored to lead the Peligro Gremlins to a 8-0 victory over the Wiarton Nationals, Saturday, at Green Valley Sports Complex.

    Click to continue reading “Yusef Davis jump starts Peligro Gremlins to impressive victory in ISC World Tournament”

    Check out the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau website

    Saturday, August 13th, 2016

    2016 ISC Logo.1lr

    QUAD CITIES, IL/IA – For fans of the 2016 ISC World Tournament being held at the Green Valley Sports Complex in Moline, you need to visit the iscquadcities for information on the following:

  • World Tournament ticket information
  • Hotels
  • Tournament Information
  • Quad Cities Information
  • The Quad Cities consist of Rock Island and Moline/East Moline in Illinois, and Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa and includes the mighty Mississippi River. With a population of over 400,000 people, the region is known for big city excitement combined with small-town charm. We have world-class museums, award-winning attractions, live music, great outdoor recreation, and lots of family fun.

    Looking forward to the 2016 ISC World Tournament

    Tuesday, July 26th, 2016
    Wonderful, nostalgic Phil Welch Stadium with its covered wooden bleachers in St. Joseph, Missouri, hosted the 2000 ISC World Tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Wonderful, nostalgic Phil Welch Stadium with its covered wooden bleachers in St. Joseph, Missouri, hosted the 2000 ISC World Tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

    MOLINE, Ill. – It’s been 17 years since I attented an ISC World Tournament, and that was at St. Joseph, Missouri in 2000 where the Decatur (IL) Pride won the championship by defeating the Broken Bow (Neb.) Travelers 2-1 at Phil Welch Stadium.

    But after this long hiatus, I’ll be heading to Moline, Ill. and Green Valley Sports Complex to watch the final three days of the tournament as the best club teams the sport has to offer battle from Aug. 13-20 for the 2016 ISC World Championship.

    The great Peter Meredith of Salt Lake City Larry Miller Toyota fires a pitch during the 2000 ISC World Tournament at Phil Welch Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri. Meredith's ISC career extended from 1980-2001. He finished No. 2  all-time in world tournament victories with 60. Photo By BOB OTTO

    The great Peter Meredith of Salt Lake City Larry Miller Toyota fires a pitch during the 2000 ISC World Tournament at Phil Welch Stadium in St. Joseph, Missouri. Meredith’s ISC career extended from 1980-2001. He finished No. 2 all-time in world tournament victories with 60. Photo By BOB OTTO

    The players I once photographed have since left the game. No longer do White, Algar, Meredith, Rychcik, Abbot, Sorenson, Martin, Middleton, Boys, Zack, Wahl, Martie, Miljavac, Walford, Tangaroa, Schott, Seaman, Makea, Wallin and Wiebe…and so many other great stars of fastball of a bygone era thrill fans with their amazing talent.

    But the current stars, of this new era are every bit as talented as the old guard. Stars such as Folkard, Jones, McCullough, Shailes, Kronk, Zechman, Mata, Cleary, Ellsworth, Ezekiel, Johnson and Mancha…will try with every ounce of their talent and toughness to win a world championship for their teams.

    Let the games begin!

    At the 2000 ISC World Tournament, a then young Billy Sizemore got St. Joseph Meierhoffer pitcher Chris Bigelow to autograph his softball. Bigelow (2-2, 0.88 ERA) helped St. Joseph finish fourth at 6-2 in the 48 team tournament.  Photo By BOB OTTO

    At the 2000 ISC World Tournament, a then young Billy Sizemore got St. Joseph Meierhoffer pitcher Chris Bigelow to autograph his softball. Bigelow (2-2, 0.88 ERA) helped St. Joseph finish fourth at 6-2 in the 48 team tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO