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Top fastpitch teams coming to Erie

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

hillhouse.bill.1webFastpitch softball pitcher and Ed McCormick Fastpitch Tournament Director Bill Hillhouse. ROB ENGELHARDT//ERIE TIMES-NEWS


ERIE, Penn – Four of the world’s elite fastpitch softball teams will collide July 27-28 in the fourth annual Ed McCormick Fastpitch Tournament, to be played at 11th and Hess.

And while four teams might not seem like a lot, it’s actually twice as many teams as currently exist in Erie’s once-thriving men’s City Rec fastpitch softball league.

That’s a far cry from the 1980s and ’90s, according to Bill Hillhouse, a world-class pitcher who has competed internationally since 1990 and who plays for the New York Gremlins, the world’s No. 1-ranked team and one of the clubs locked and loaded for the McCormick Tournament.

Fastpitch softball, Hillhouse said, used to be the game in town.

So many men wanted to play that the city had a morning league for those who worked third shift.

Now, he said, it’s a struggle to find 18 players to fill out two teams for the City Rec’s informal Tuesday evening fastpitch league.

“People used to go down to the ballpark to watch games on Tuesdays and Thursdays — that was their form of entertainment,” Hillhouse said. “But now they can stay home and watch the Indians on TV every night.

“And it’s just not softball that’s suffering. Drive by any city park and you don’t see kids outside playing. Every sport is suffering. But we don’t have the numbers to make up the difference like the other sports have.” Continue reading

Pitching (fastpitch softball) to the future on school visit

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

ATAWHAI, NEW ZEALAND – Budding softball players lined up yesterday to meet their New Zealand softball heroes.

Players from New Zealand’s Black Sox softball team visited Clifton Terrace School in Atawhai, and signed autographs, played ball and gave tips to dozens of excited pupils.

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More New Zealand men’s fastpitch news

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 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

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

Mark Sorenson shares his thoughts on ISC Hall of Fame pitcher Michael White

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Photos of some of the all-time great players taken from 1994 to 2000 at ISC World Tournaments and the ASA Major National.
Photos By BOB OTTO

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“…Big players turn up for big games, for me it’s the sign of a true champion – Michael White is that guy.” – Mark Sorenson

NEW ZEALAND – The count’s 2-2, the batter digs into the right-side batter’s box. He’s nervous. He’s facing “Whitey” with two out and the tying run on second base.

Our batter is no slouch. He’s an ISC All-World performer. He digs in as Michael White whips his right arm into a windmilling, whirlwind motion. The pitch rockets toward home plate like a heat-seeking missile.

When the spinning white sphere reaches the front of home plate, it takes a violent dip just below the knees as it slams into catcher, Mark Sorenson’s glove an inch off the black on the outside of the plate.

Click to continue reading “Mark Sorenson shares his thoughts on ISC Hall of Fame pitcher Michael White”