Japan Men’s National Softball Team

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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.

Folkard and Australia overpower USA in ISF Men’s World Softball Championship

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

folkard Adam Folkard held the United States two one hit in Australia’s 8-0 victory, Wednesday, in Pool B of the 2015 ISF Men’s World Softball Championship.

SASKATOON, SK, Canada – Give the world’s best fastpitch pitcher a couple of runs and odds are the game’s over. Give him two field goals and a safety and it’s guaranteed.

The United States did just that and came up on the short end of an 8-0 loss to Australia and its dominating right-hander Adam Folkard on Wednesday. Folkard is considered by many fastpitch experts as the best pitcher in the game today.

In the second inning, Mark Harris provided all the run support Folkard would need when he blasted a grand-slam home run over the left field fence that turned a close one-run game into a 5-0 blowout.

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Jones nasty dipper downs Japan

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
Venezuela's Ramon Jones turned in a dominating pitching performance in a 3-0 victory over Japan in the 2015 ISF Men's World Softball Championship, Monday.

Venezuela’s Ramon Jones turned in a dominating pitching performance in a 3-0 victory over Japan in the 2015 ISF Men’s World Softball Championship, Monday.

SASKATOON – The box score showed that Roman Jones fired a two-hit shutout in leading Venezuela to a 3-0 victory over Japan in the ISF Men’s World Softball Championship, Monday.

What the box score doesn’t show is how he got the job done. Japan would undoubtedly say, “with a nasty, nasty dipper.”

Jones makes no secret about how he goes after hitters. Basically, his philosophy is “here’s my drop, now let’s see if you can hit it.” Most hitters – including the best in the world – can’t.

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Japan powers up to bring down Team USA in ISF Men’s World Softball Championship

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

Gerald Muizelaar, a veteran on the USA National Men's Fastpitch Team, picked up the win over Cuba with five innings of work. Photo By BOB OTTO

Gerald Muizelaar is a veteran on the USA Men’s National Fastpitch Team. Photo By BOB OTTO

Gerald Muizelaar pitched well in relief, but it wasn’t enough as the United States came up short in a 5-4 loss to Japan in World Softball Championship action, Sunday.

SASKATOON – Japan has a reputation for playing small ball – slapping, bunting, and using their speed to move runners base to base. Well, try telling that to Team USA and pitcher Tony Mancha.

    A SHOW OF POWER

Japan put small ball on the shelf and went long ball, burning Mancha for a two-run home run and bases clearing triple to take a 5-0 lead in the second inning. Masateru Matsuoka blasted the home run, and Naoaki Kawada drilled a triple down the right-field line that cleared the bases.

    MUIZELAAR THE STOPPER

That sudden and explosive offensive outburst sent Mancha to the bench in place of Gerald Muizelaar, who stopped the damage and shutdown Japan the rest of the way.

The United States rallied in the third, but came up a run short in losing 5-4 on Sunday.

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