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The Comeback Nation Slams Its Way To Gold In the Men’s Softball World Championship

Monday, July 17th, 2017

JOEL EVANS, seen batting in an earlier game against Australia, smashed a grand slam home run as New Zealand beat Australia, 6-4, in the Gold Medal game of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, Sunday, July 16, 2017. ANTHONY AU-YEUNG / PHOTOSPORT

WHITEHORSE, YUKON, Canada – Call the New Zealand fastpitch team what you will, the comeback nation or the never-say-die fastballers, as both monikers personify their amazing performance in the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship.

Trailing 3-2 in the sixth inning of the Gold Medal game, Joel Evans blasted a grand slam home run to help New Zealand claim the world championship with a 6-4 victory over the Australia Steelers at the Pepsi Softball Centre, Sunday afternoon.

It was the second meeting of the ball clubs, as New Zealand took a 6-2 win in the opening round of championship playoffs among the top-eight teams.

BRIMMING WITH GOLD

For New Zealand, this becomes their seventh world championship. The Black Sox have won Gold in 2013, 2004, 2000, 1996, 1984 and 1976 (shared with USA and Canada after weather halted the tournament).

“I’m really proud of the way they performed and how hard they worked to get to this stage,” said New Zealand Head Coach Mark Sorenson in a post-game interview. “It’s about never giving up and building pressure. Once we started getting quality at bats, we started to build that pressure.”

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Australia holds off Canada to move into the Gold Medal game of the Men’s Softball World Championship

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

Adam Foulard turned in an effective relief effort to help Australia defeat Canada, 7-3, in the Bronze Medal game of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, Sunday, July 17. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2016 ISC World Tournament

WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – It’s been eight long years since Australia last won a world championship. After winning three straight playoff games, they’ll once again be battling for the Gold Medal.

Thanks to James Todhunter and Nick Shailes who homered and Adam Folkard, who turned in an effective relief job, Australia defeated Canada 7-3 at the Pepsi Softball Centre, Sunday.

With little time for rest, Australia (8-3) will be back on the ball diamond to take on New Zealand (8-1) in the Gold Medal game, while 2015 defending world champion Canada (8-2) leaves the tournament as the Bronze medalist.

LONG BALL BOMBERS

With Australia clinging to a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning, Todhunter squared up on a Sean Cleary rise ball sending it deep over the centerfield fence for a two-run home run, and Shailes homered over the left-field wall to give the Steelers a 7-1 lead, chasing Cleary in favor of Devon McCullough.

But Canada’s big bats wouldn’t go lightly.

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New Zealand beats Japan to remain unbeaten in Pool B play

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

TOP PITCHER – New Zealand’s Joshua Pettett pitches during a game against Japan this morning. The Black Sox pulled ahead 8-1 to secure the win as Pettett became the top pitcher in the tournament. By Marissa Tiel

By Whitehorse Star

WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – Joshua Pettett didn’t sleep well.

The New Zealand pitcher only caught about five hours of sleep last night, but that didn’t stop him from helping the Black Sox to a 8-1 victory over Japan this morning.

“It’s awesome because it sets us up real good,” said Pettett.

The Black Sox bounced back after trailing 0-1 last night in the third inning, when play was suspended until this morning due to rain.

“It was hard with the brand new ball and the rain. It was slippery,” said Pettett. “You can’t hit as many spots as you want. So when it was rain delay, I was kind of glad to come back out against a good team.”

Continue reading in the Daily Star

Defending world champion Canada knocks off the United States to claim Vancouver Challenge

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Devon McCullough pitched a one-hitter in leading Canada to a 4-0 victory over the United States in the Vancouver Challenge championship, July 3, in Vancouver, BC. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2014 NAFA World Series

VANCOUVER, BC, Canada – Is Canada peaking at the right time for the Men’s Softball World Championship?

All indications that the Canadians are poised to make a strong run at defending their 2015 title was evident after an impressive performance in the Vancouver Challenge that featured several of the world’s best teams.

Canada ran roughshod in the tournament by outscoring its opponents 54-6, while posting a 7-0 record, including a 4-0 victory over the United States in the championship.

That perfect mark also includes a 10-3 hammering of the world’s No. 1 ranked New Zealand Black Sox in the semi-finals.

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World Baseball Softball Confederation Men’s World Softball rankings

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

CANADA won the 2015 World Softball Championship with a 10-5 victory over New Zealand. The Canadians will return to Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada to defend their title, July 7-16.

WHITEHORSE, YUKON, Canada – The 15th Men’s World Softball Championship (fastpitch) under the flagship of the World Baseball Softball Confederation begins Friday, July 7 with the world’s top-ranked teams vying for the title.

    WBSC RANKINGS
  • 1. New Zealand
  • 2. Japan
  • 3. Argentina
  • 4. Canada (2015 defending champion after defeating New Zealand 10-5 in Saskatoon, SK, Canada).
  • 5. Australia
  • 6. United States
  • 7. Venezuela
  • 8. Czeck Republic
  • 9. Mexico
  • 10. Great Britain
  • 11. Dominican Republic
  • 12. Samoa
  • 13. Denmark
  • 14. Republic of South Africa
  • 15. Columbia
  • Mancha, Kay and double-play sends Team USA into Vancouver Challenge championship

    Monday, July 3rd, 2017

    TYLER DUDLEY an infielder for the USA Men’s National Team is one of the bright young stars helping to elevate the national team back to worldwide prominance in men’s faspitch softball. In the Vancouver Challenge, he turned a game-ending double play to give Team USA a 2-1 victory over the South Hill Giants to send the Americans into the championship game. Courtesy Photo USA Softball

    VANCOUVER, BC, Canada – Team USA needed a big game from someone in the circle. And they got it from Tony Mancha.

    The right-hander from Las Cruces, New Mexico delivered an inspiring, extra-inning, 2-1, victory over the tough South Hill Giants in the Vancouver Challenge, Sunday.

    The win sends Team USA into the championship, where they will battle either Canada (5-0) or New Zealand (4-1), who square off in the final playoff game to determine who will face the Americans for the title.

    Certainly, Mancha was the man of the hour. But in this sparse run-scoring contest, someone also had to step up big at the plate: Bryce Kay answered the call big time, hitting safely in all three trips to the plate.

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    Accidental softballer Nik Hayes hopes to strike Yukon gold

    Friday, April 14th, 2017

    NICHOLAS BOYACK
    The Dominion Post
    April 13 2017

    NEW ZEALAND – If you want to know how tough it is being a Black Sox, you can ask Nik Hayes.

    The Dodgers and Hutt Valley pitcher is a key member of Mark Sorenson’s team looking to win the World Series in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada in July.

    Hayes has carved out a fine career in a Dodgers team that has dominated national club softball in recent years.

    Finishes reading Accidental softball Nik Hayes hopes to strike Yukon gold

    New Zealand Black Sox win Challenge Cup after smashing Argentina in final

    Sunday, February 12th, 2017

    WAYNE LAULU hit a grand slam homer to give the New Zealand Black Sox a walk-off 8-6 win over Argentina to send New Zealand into the finals of the 2017 Challenge Cup where they once again downed Argentina, 9-0, to claim the championship. Courtesy Photo

    Newshub.com
    Feb. 12, 2017

    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – The Black Sox rediscovered their form with a disciplined 9-0 win over Argentina in the final of the Challenge Cup men’s fastpitch softball tournament in Auckland.

    The New Zealanders had qualified directly for the final after a tempestuous 8-6 win over world No.3 Argentina on Saturday night gave them nine wins from 10 matches.

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    Bouley and Davis learning fastpitch the New Zealand way

    Thursday, January 19th, 2017

    TYLER BOULEY, left, and YUSEF DAVIS are playing fastpitch in New Zealand with the goal to improve their games for the upcoming 2017 North American fastpitch season. Courtesy Photo

    NEW ZEALAND – It’s the off season for North American fastpitch and for most players, they’ve switched uniforms for a winter sport like basketball or hockey. Or they’re pumping iron at a fitness center muscling-up for the coming season.

    Hitting, pitching, fielding? Not for a few months yet.

    But not so for Yusef Davis and Tyler Bouley. These two young and budding stars – Davis, 22, and Bouley, 21 – shunned taking the winter off and instead boarded a plane for New Zealand.

    All with the purpose of improving and pushing themselves to reach new heights in the sport they profess to love. As the saying goes, “to be the best you can be.”

    Fastpitch is a pitcher’s game. Talented ones typically dominate hitters. So where better to improve one’s hitting than in pitching-rich New Zealand.

      TOUCH CHUCKERS

    Bouley got a good feel for just how good these Kiwi hurlers are almost as soon as he landed.

    “It has really helped my game because you don’t have to travel to (face) a quality pitcher,” said Bouley, who plays for Northcote Softball Club. “Every premiere team has a pitcher that either has competed at the (International Softball Congress World Tournament) or is capable of competing at the ISC. Two of the best I’ve faced so far are Bailey Hoani and Josh Pettett.”

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    USA-bound Cooper Grant’s a chip off the old block

    Thursday, May 5th, 2016

    Cooper Grant.1lr

    “I’ve played softball most of my life and grew up with Dad (fastball pitcher Marty Grant) playing it,” Cooper Grant said.

    By WAYNE MARTIN / www.stuff.co.nz

    CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND – The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree.

    He’s the son of three-time world champion Black Sox pitcher Marty Grant and in July, 12-year-old Cooper Grant heads to the United States for an international competition.

    But not as a softballer, rather as part of the New Zealand under-13 All Stars baseball team to contest the 2016 Cal Ripken World Series in Maryland from July 29 to August 6.

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