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In the spotlight, Toronto Gators Brad Rona 2016 ISC World Tournament MVP

Monday, August 22nd, 2016
HAPPY GATORS - Brad Rona is congratulated by his Toronto Gators teammates after he hit a two-run home run off New York Gremlins' Andrew Kirkpatrick that led to a 3-1 victory in the 2016 ISC World Tournament at Green Valley Sports Complex in Moline, IL. Photo By BOB OTTO

HAPPY GATORS – Brad Rona is congratulated by his Toronto Gators teammates after he hit a two-run home run off New York Gremlins’ Andrew Kirkpatrick that led to a 3-1 victory in the 2016 ISC World Tournament at Green Valley Sports Complex in Moline, IL. Photo By BOB OTTO

MOLINE, IL – When New Zealand native Brad Rona squares up on a softball with his powerful swing, it will go a long, long way.

Rona hit a home run off New York Gremlins Andrew Kirkpatrick that flew over the fence in left-centerfield about 300 feet that led to the Toronto Gators, 3-1, victory, moving the Gators into the winner’s bracket final.

BRAD RONA of the Toronto Gators, 2016 ISC World Tournament Champions. Photo By BOB OTTO

BRAD RONA of the Toronto Gators, 2016 ISC World Tournament Champions. Photo By BOB OTTO

The Gators went on to win the World Tournament by dethroning two-time defending champion Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada.

And Rona was named first-team All-World and selected the Cleo Goyette Most Valuable Player for his .385 average (5-for-13), 3 home runs and 5 RBI.

Rona has been selected All-World seven times (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016), but 2016 marks the first time he received the MVP honor.

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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Six Kiwis make all-star team at major world softball club tournament in United States

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
Wayne Laulu batted .524 (11-for-21, with 16 RBI, including five home runs, a triple, double and seven walks. Laulu was selected a First-Team, All-World outfielder for helping lead the Toronto, Ontario Gators to second place in the 2015 ISC World Tournament in South Bend, Ind. Contributed Photo,

Wayne Laulu batted .524 (11-for-21, with 16 RBI, including five home runs, a triple, double and seven walks. Laulu was selected a First-Team, All-World outfielder for helping lead the Toronto, Ontario Gators to second place in the 2015 ISC World Tournament in South Bend, Ind. Contributed Photo,

By TONY SMITH / Stuff.co.nz

Six New Zealanders were selected in the all-star team at the International Softball Congress (ISC) tournament in the United States this week.

Current Black Sox internationals Nathan Nukunuku, Brad Rona, Ben Enoka and Wayne Laulu, Canterbury hitter Frank Pointon and Auckland catcher Kallan Compain made the “all world” first team at the ISC tournament, widely regarded as world softball’s top club championship.

The sextet were all members of the Toronto Gators team which lost the grand final to Ontario rivals, the Hill United Chiefs, 6-4 at South Bend, Indiana.

Hutt Valley catcher Cory Timu, who played for the Circle Tap Dukes club from Wisconsin, made the “all-world” second team.

Laulu picked up the award for the most runs batted in (RBIs) with 16. continue reading Six Kiwis make all-star team…

TV and web coverage available for ISF (men’s) World Softball Championship

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

isf

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – 2013 will be the third time New Zealand has hosted the International Softball Federation Men’s World Championship (March -10). The championship was previously held in Hutt Valley in 1976 and Christchurch in 2004.

A total of 127 national associations are affiliated to the International Softball Federation (ISF) and regional play-offs are held to determine the top 16 teams who will qualify for the 13th ISF World Championships in 2013. Visit ISF Softball

In 2009 the World Championships were held in Canada where Australia beat New Zealand in the final to take out the World Championship title.

For up to date news, scores, and live TV and web viewing of the 2013 World Championship, visit the following link: World Championship 2013

Spend time in New Zealand playing fastpitch softball

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

NEW ZEALAND – Ever dream of traveling to a foreign country and doing something you love? Well, for fastpitch softball players, this might just be a golden opportunity for travel and softball.

The Stoke Eagles of Nelson, South Island, New Zealand are looking for a few talented fastpitch players.

THE FACTS

“The Eagles men’s premier team is looking for pitchers and catchers who may be interested in coming to Nelson, New Zealand from the end of September 2012 until the end of March 2013. Nelson is a great town located at the top of the South Island and is known for its sunny location. We play local league plus five or six tournaments per season with the added opportunity of playing representative ball if good enough.” – Derryn French

With the Softball World Cup being in New Zealand in March 2013 this is a great time to be involved with Softball in New Zealand. I look forward to hearing from you.

Contact Mr. French at info@nelsonsoftball.org.nz

To learn more about New Zealand fastpitch softball, visit: New Zealand Softball

Paul Algar still has the fire

Sunday, October 30th, 2011


Paul Algar pitching in the 2011 California Classic. Photo By Bob Otto

LEXINGTON, IL – Some 30 years a go, Paul Algar journeyed from his New Zealand homeland for the fastball-playing shores of the United States. Just 17 at the time in 1982, he was fast making a name for himself as one of the best young pitchers in the world.

But let’s back up for a moment.

Before Paul came along, his older brother Loren was already an established pitcher, and his dad, Ray, was a pretty fair first baseman on the ball diamonds of Wellington and Melrose.

Father and brother had set a path that young Paul eagerly followed. And one that ultimately landed him a seat in the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame.

“Watching my brother pitch, I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” said Algar, 47, adding that Loren is 11 years older. “I would practice on the sidelines while Loren pitched.”

And Paul practiced and practiced, and practiced some more, says his dad, Ray.

“Ever since he was a kid, he practiced hard by himself,” Ray Algar said. “He would gather a whole bunch of balls and throw at targets on a wall. He would spend two to three hours and then come home for a soft drink and then back to his pitching.”

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