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Midland County Sports Hall of Fame: Isenhart’s induction an honor to family, friends, fastpitch

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Midland Daily News
Joel Barnhart
Monday, May 1, 2017
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MIDLAND, Mich. – To those who knew him best, the late Leland “Lee” Isenhart was an unselfish man who loved fastpitch softball and worked tirelessly to grow the game in Midland.

With his upcoming induction into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame in a May 13 ceremony at Dow Diamond, the humble man who spent his life dedicated to helping others will be honored in a way he never would have asked for, but certainly deserved.

“I think everyone in the softball community around town thinks this is well-deserved,” said Eric Isenhart, one of five children of Lee and the late Mary Jane Isenhart, who were married for 58 years. “My dad did a lot getting fastpitch softball here. He and Lefty (Bartos) did so much for the game to keep it alive in Midland.”

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Midland to host ISF Junior Men’s World softball championship in 2016

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

In 2016, the best young talent (age 19 and under) in junior men’s fastpitch softball from throughout the world will be coming to Midland, Mich. for the International Softball Federation World Championship. USA Softball will be selecting a team for the coming event beginning in 2015. Photo By BOB OTTO

By DAN CHALK / Midland Daily News
Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013

MIDLAND, MICH – Some of the best young male fastpitch softball players in the world will compete in Midland in July of 2016, thanks to a successful bid by a Midland group to host the International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Men’s World Championship at Emerson Park and Currie Stadium.

The only other time that this event was even held in the United States was in 1985 in Fargo, N.D.

“There’s been a long drought of not having it in our own country, and we’re cherishing the opportunity to bring it back here,” said David Lach, who is a co-chair of the tournament host committee along with Jeff Servinski and Kyle Beane. “We see this as a tremendous opportunity for young kids across the country, including young men from mid-Michigan, to represent their country on home soil. We feel that the Midland is the perfect place to host the event, with a great venue and the local history in fastpitch softball.”

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Scott sharp, hurls Midland Explorers over New York Bombers

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

MIDLAND, MI – Don Scott picked up right where he ended the 2011 ISC World Tournament: winning.

The right-handed Scott, who was the Most Outstanding Pitcher of last year’s world tournament after pitching the Jarvis Travelers to the title, hurled a brilliant game in leading the Midland Explorers to a 5-0 victory over the New York Bombers, Sunday night.

As the host team, Midland (1-0) picked up its first win of the World Tournament, while New York pulls even at 1-1.

Scott was in top form, showing his signature explosive rise ball, along with mixing in an effective drop and change-up. Through six innings he was nearly unhittable and carried a perfect game into the seventh inning.

But with one out, Jeff Carr doubled into left field and Bruce Hackett followed with a single. But Scott struck out the next two batters to end the game, finishing with a two-hitter and 16 strikeouts.

He said he wasn’t too concerned about losing the perfect game.

“You always try and get it, but in the long run you want the win,” he said.

The Explorers took advantage of three walks off Bombers’ starter Doug Hoffman, cashing in on all three to take a 3-0 lead through four innings. Back-to-back walks to Steve Horning (2-for-3, 2 runs) and Adam Lalonde (1-3, 3 runs, 2 RBIs), followed by a passed ball that allowed Horning to score, and Ed Ketelhut’s (1-3) RBI single to left field gave Midland a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Then in the third inning, Hoffman’s two-out walk to Lalonde set the table for Dale Levy, who drove a triple down the right field line scoring Lalonde; and essentially that was all the runs Scott would need.

But the Explorers put the game out of reach in the fifth when Lalonde drilled a two-run homer over the right centerfield fence for Midland’s final tally. Kyle Beane, Justin Krenzke and Shea Bryant also had one hit apiece to help Midland’s cause.

Scott finished the 2011 ISC World Tournament with a 6-0 record. He said he likes the Explorers championship chances if the offense can keep plating runs.

“We’ve got to keep hitting, and then we’ve got a shot,” he said of Midland which collected nine hits off Hoffman and Shawn Samson, who came on in the fifth.

The Explorers move on to face the Saskatoon Diamondbacks Monday at 6 p.m. Saskatoon defeated the Elmira Expos 2-0 on Trevor Ethier’s three-hit, 10 strikeout effort, Sunday afternoon.

The Bombers came into the game by defeating the Sweaburg Crush on Saturday. Sweaburg jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning, but that was all the runs they could manage. Meanwhile, the Bombers chipped away with single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to pull within 4-3 heading into the seventh.

And then Carr shocked the Crush by drilling a three-run, walk off home run – his only hit of the game – to steal the win.

ISC World Tournament is just days away

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

By the Midland Daily News
By Adam Bouton

MIDLAND, MI – Preparations are nearing completion as Midland prepares to host the 2012 International Softball Congress Men’s Fast Pitch World Tournament for the second time. The tournament begins next weekend.

“Everything seems to be on track,” said Kyle Beane, co-chairman of the ISC committee. “We’re wrapping up some of the details. Everyone has done a great job of getting it ready. The fields are in great shape. That’s a huge part of it.”

Opening games for the ISC World Tournament are set for Saturday, Aug. 11.

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2012 ISC Under-21 World Championship, Aug. 16-18

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

By DAVID LACH / July 27, 2012
Midland Explorers Booster Club

“Fans and team supporters should brace to see a very high level of play during the ISC Under-21 World Championship…around 20 pitchers in the tournament will reach speeds of 70-75 mph or higher” – David Lach

MIDLAND, MI – Planning for the 2012 ISC Under-21 World Championship is almost complete. The tournament is scheduled for Aug 16-18 in Midland, MI, during the final weekend of the ISC World Tournament.

Building upon the success of the 2010 ISC Under-19 event, we have attracted 15 talented teams to this year’s ISC Under-21 World Championship.

Our vision for the ISC development tournaments in 2010 and 2012 was two-fold:

    1. Create a format which attracts strong competition for young players.
    2. Expose young talented players to the best teams and players in the world.

The fundamental goal is to motivate and inspire these young players to become future stars.

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Plan now for ISC World Tournament tickets and lodging

Friday, April 27th, 2012

MIDLAND, MI – Four months to go until the ISC World Tournament, Aug. 10-18, in Midland, Mich.!

The ISC World Tournament is returning to Midland and it’s time for fans to start making their plans to attend. The Midland Host Committee has great options for lodging at our Host Hotels – the Midland Resort and Valley Plaza. Details about these two outstanding properties are on our website.

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“We Play It Fast” selling fast, place your order now

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Front cover, Stew Sabiston of the Winnipeg Bullets pitching in the 2010 NAFA World Series. Back cover top, Trent Rubley; middle, Shane Alder and Chase Turner.

YUCAIPA, CA – I received my order of 150 books entitled “We Play It Fast” and I’m ready to ship to those who may be interested.

This is going to be a “one time, limited edition book” so if you want one, you should order before the supply runs out.


• Size, 8 ½ x 11. Soft cover.
• 76 stories – including features on some of the sports’ great players: Zack, Sorenson, White, Peterson…
• 208 photos. Many never printed or seen before!
• About half NAFA and ISC related stories.
• Stories extend from my early writing to present day, from 2010 NAFA World Series “A” division level to the ISC level of play.
• Several stories from contributing writers such as Milt Stark, Kyle Beane, Marc Gillis, Glen Cook, Joe Avila, Bill Hillhouse, Brian Groehler…
• Book’s writing style: documentary and memoir.


• In U.S. $23; Canada $27; New Zealand $35. (Other countries, price to be determined based on shipping charges).


• Only 135 to be sold! So this may become a ‘limited edition’ book.
• I’ve set aside books for those who have said they want to buy one – such as the contributing writers. (If you’ve changed your mind, please let me know.)
• If there’s a demand, I can have more books printed, but must place a minimum order of 100 books.


• Payable (U.S. $$) to:
Bob Otto
35147 Cedar Ave.
Yucaipa, CA 92399


Bob, received my copy of the book. Thanks so much. I love the book even though it doesn’t have color on the inside… MS

I received my copy in the mail today, a “must have” for fastpitch fans. I am honored to have the story I wrote about Dave Blackburn, “Game Changer” included as the second to last chapter in the book. Get yours before that headline says “Sold Out” (it’s a limited edition at this point) – JF

I got the book and it is fantastic. I will be reading it cover to cover. – DM

…I thought it was pretty good reading and flowed very well. There is a wide variety of topics regarding some current and some older time players. It is truly a coffee table book – MB

It looks great, congratulations, I know the work that goes into something like that – KB

Bob, great book. Great history and information. Lots of good photos… a lot of some friends – Rico Garcia, Todd Kensler, Hector Garcia Guillen, Tony N Denise Trujillo Mancha, Joe Hineline and more. Good stories from the old days and good info on today’s young players… – MC

Please send a copy of your book. Your interest in the game has been rewarding for many. Thank you – JB

Bob got the book, awesome, made me remember what a great game this is and what a great time I was lucky enough to play it in. It made me sad at times and made me almost smell the wet grass of a early morning game and the excitement of the competition. – GA

Bob, always enjoy reading your articles. Hope to read them for many more years. – AC

Great book! – ML

Got the copy of We Play It Fast last week. Was rushed for time, so I picked it up for a minute to flip through some pages … and ended up reading about half of the book. Great read, and I will recommend it to others. – Cheers, DM,

2011 Special Olympics and ISC Game

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Photo By Jamie Clark. Visit the link at the end of the story for more terrific Jamie Clark photos.

The Special Olympics, an important and growing part of the ISC World Tournament

By Kyle Beane
Midland (Mich) Explorers
ISC Player Representative

MOLINE, IL – For the fourth year in a row, the ISC hosted a group of local Special Olympics softball players in an exhibition game, and I’m proud of my ISC peers for their continued support and involvement.

The generosity and effort that has been shown to this event is a testament to the types of people that are part of the sport. I hope that next year’s game can be even bigger and better.

I had to get to a game right as the Special Olympics game was beginning, but rumors of a shutout, and a cavalcade of runs made their way throughout the park at the conclusion of the game…

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