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Australia rallies to eliminate the United States in Men’s Softball World Championship

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

DUANE WEILER pitched well in relief for Team USA, but Australia rallied for an 11-7 victory in the second round of playoffs of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, Saturday, July 15. Photo USA Softball

WHITEHORSE, Yukon, Canada – The United States jumped out to an early lead, chased one of the world’s best pitchers, and had all the momentum going its way.

But victory was not to be.

Australia capitalized on costly errors and shaky pitching to come away with an 11-7 victory in the second round of playoffs, Saturday, at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse.

Click to continue reading “Australia rallies to eliminate the United States in Men’s Softball World Championship”

Canada continues unbeaten streak at world championships

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

By Marissa Tiel
Daily Star

WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – Team Canada continued their winning streak at the 2017 Men’s World Softball Championship with a 9-4 win over Australia Tuesday night.

“We’ve got a motto as a team, it’s one step at a time, so this is just another step along the ladder,” said thirdbaseman Derek Mayson.

“We do have benchmark games and Australia is one of them because they’re a very deep team, they’ve got some of the best pitching in the world. So we knew we were in for a tough game.”

Continue reading in Whitehorse Daily Star

Team Canada undefeated in world softball championships

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

By Emily Blake / Whitehorse Daily Star

WHITEHORSE, YK, CanadaTeam Canada (5-0) was on a winning streak this weekend at the Men?s Worlds Softball Championship.

The returning champs and hosts started off this year?s championship strong, remaining undefeated after the first three days of competition in Whitehorse.

Facing off against South Africa Friday night they won 10-2 and went on to win 8:3 against Argentina the following evening.

Sunday night?s game was a nail biter against Team U.S.A. with Canada starting off slow and ending with a resounding finish.

Canada continued its winning streak culminating with a 9-4 win over Australia to improve to 5-0 in Pool A on Tuesday. Continue reading in The Daily Star

United States defeats Australia for crucial win in softball world championship

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – The defense? Stellar. The pitching? Superb. The offense? Clutch.

Team USA put together an outstanding game to defeat Australia, 2-1, in the second round of the 2017 Men’s Softball World Championship at the Pepsi Softball Centre in Whitehorse, Saturday.

And it was without a doubt a team win.

Let’s start with the pitching.

Jeremy Manley started and went five innings giving up just two hits – one of them a first-inning home run to Nick Shailes that gave the Aussies the early lead.

Often, that’s all the run support Aussie hurler Adam Folkard needs. Considered by many fastpitch experts as the best pitcher in all of men’s fastpitch, he can be nearly impossible to hit with his 80-plus mph riser and drop.

Click to continue reading “United States defeats Australia for crucial win in softball world championship”

In The Spotlight: Australian pitchers Andrew Kirkpatrick and Adam Folkard superb in ISF and ISC

Sunday, August 28th, 2016
AUSTRALIA'S AND NEW YORK GREMLINS GREAT LEFTY - Andrew Kirkpatrick has helped Australia win ISF and WBSC world championships, and in the 2016 ISC World Tournament, he pitched the New York Gremlins to third place with a 3-1 record that gives him 39 wins in world tournament competition. Photo by BOB OTTO

AUSTRALIA’S AND NEW YORK GREMLINS GREAT LEFTY – Andrew Kirkpatrick has helped Australia win ISF and WBSC world championships, and in the 2016 ISC World Tournament, he pitched the New York Gremlins to third place with a 3-1 record that gives him 39 wins in world tournament competition. Photo by BOB OTTO

YUCAIPA, Calif. – In fastpitch circles, Andrew Kirkpatrick and Adam Folkard are household names, as recognizable as baseball Hall of Fame pitchers Sandy Kolfax and Walter Johnson.

And surely, once Kirkpatrick and Folkard’s fastpitch careers come to an end and they become eligible, induction into the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame awaits them.

But before we talk about their ISC careers, let’s take a look at what these two have meant to their native Australia.

The highest level of men’s fastpitch is the International Softball Federation World Championship, (since surplanted by the World Baseball Softball Confederation). It pits country-against-country battling for world domination.

And in recent world championships, Australia always contends for a title because of Kirkpatrick and Folkard.

Since 2004, Australia has won the Bronze twice, fourth once, and in 2009 took the Gold by beating New Zealand, 5-0, led by the superb pitching of Folkard, who was just two walks away from a perfect game. Through much of the ISF competition, both men have been mainstays for their country.

FIVE-TIME ISC TOP PITCHER - Adam Folkard has won five ISC Most Outstanding Pitcher awards, and has led Australia to titles in the ISF and WBSC World Championships. In 2016, he pitched the Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada to runner-up in the ISC World Tournament and was named an All-World pitcher for a eighth time.  His 4-1 record gives him 39 wins all-time in ISC World Tournament play. Photo By BOB OTTO

FIVE-TIME ISC TOP PITCHER – Adam Folkard has won five ISC Most Outstanding Pitcher awards, and has led Australia to titles in the ISF and WBSC World Championships. In 2016, he pitched the Hill United Chiefs of Ontario, Canada to runner-up in the ISC World Tournament and was named an All-World pitcher for a eighth time. His 4-1 record gives him 39 wins all-time in ISC World Tournament play. Photo By BOB OTTO

And in the junior men’s program (age 19-under), Australia won four consecutive ISF World Championships (1997, 2001, 2005, 2008). Folkard and Kirkpatrick played huge rolls in winning the titles in 2001 and 2005.

So these two great pitchers will forever be linked when Australian’s reminisce about the “greatest ever” to play for their national softball team.

But Kirkpatrick and Folkard’s footprint extends far beyond Australia. In the United States and Canada – and virtually every corner of the fastpitch world – they are celebrities of immense proportion. Most notably in the International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament.

  • Both have created fabulous ISC careers, and are far from finished. Let’s look at their numbers in World Tournament competition.
  • NUMBER OF TIMES SELECTED ALL-WORLD

  • Kirkpatrick, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015
  • Folkard, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  • If you’re counting, that’s eight times each. Well it gets even closer in what really counts for pitchers at the World Tournament – wins.

    At the conclusion of the 2016 ISC World Tournament, Kirkpatrick had a 3-1 record in leading the New York Gremlins to a third place finish, while Folkard was 4-1 for the runner-up Hill United Chiefs.

    So where do they stand all-time among pitchers with the most World Tournament wins? In a dead heat at 39 each, trailing Korrey Gareau with 40.

    And in reaching number 39, both pitchers leapfrogged Dean Holoien, Frank Cox and Brad Underwood tied at 36. And they pushed past Ty Stofflet (37) and Doug Middleton (38).

    In the 70-year history of the ISC World Tournament, only eight pitchers remain perched above Kirkpatrick and Folkard in most wins all-time. At the 2017 World Tournament, it’s conceivable that they could surpass Gareau, and perhaps tie or even get past Paul Algar and Todd Martin with 42 each.

    However, Folkard does have a leg up over Kirkpatrick in a couple of areas. In most consecutive wins, Folkard has 22 (No. 2 all-time, trailing only Gerald Muizelaar with 23), while Kirkpatrick had a string of 13 wins from 2004-2007.

    And as for the most coveted individual honor for pitchers in the World Tournament, Folkard reigns as co-king with five Most Outstanding Pitcher awards tied with the legendary Leroy Zimmerman for whom the award is named.

    Kirkpatrick has one MOP honor, coming in 2006 when he pitched County Materials of Madison, Wisc. to the title.

    Both pitchers appear in good health. Both pitchers can still hit the catcher’s glove with plenty of pop and movement. Both pitchers are two of the most competitive to ever step in the circle. So it’s conceivable that fastpitch fans will be enjoying Kirkpatrick and Folkard’s ISF, WBSC, and ISC exploits for years to come.

    As for ISC Hall of Fame induction when they become eligible? Shoo-ins.

    ISC WORLD TOURNAMENT / INDIVIDUAL PITCHING / MOST WINS

    70 Michael White (1980-2006)
    60 Peter Meredith (1980-2001)
    56 Darren Zack (1992-2012)
    48 Mike Piechnik (1985-2008)
    48 Gerald Muizelaar (1999-2014)
    42 Todd Martin (1993-2010)
    42 Paul Algar (1985-2012)
    40 Korrey Garreau (1995-2014)
    39 Andrew Kirkpatrick (2004-present)
    39 Adam Folkard (2004-present)
    …42 remaining pitchers with at least 20 wins…

    Big shoes to fill, but Halsey’s relishing the challenge

    Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015
    Australian, Dean Halsey, 19, will be pitching for the Kansas City Astros during the 2015 United States men's fastpitch season. Courtesy Photo

    Australian, Dean Halsey, 19, will be pitching for the Kansas City Astros during the 2015 United States men’s fastpitch season. Courtesy Photo

    KANSAS CITY – For the past two seasons, the KC Outlaws have reaped the benefits of having a superior pitcher – one of the best young arms in the game – in New Zealand’s Ethan Johnston.

    The talented right-hander pitched the Outlaws to a runner-up spot in the 2013 NAFA World Series A Division, and last year led them to fourth place in the A-Major Division.

    He was a Co-Most Valuable pitcher and All-World selection in the World Series. But Johnston isn’t returning to Kansas City this summer. So the search went out for a replacement chucker. One to fill Johnston’s shoes. The Outlaws found one in New Zealander Kevin Papuni, said manager Michael Borjas.

    And in major development during the off season, the ball club split into two teams with four players staying with the Outlaws, while several others formed the KC Astros.

    So with Johnston deciding not to pitch for the Astros either, and instead taking his talent to Osaka, Japan, the brand new ball club had to search for a pitcher too.

      ONE FOREIGN TALENT REPLACES ANOTHER

    And they appear to have found a good one. A pitcher with experience, with talent, and with a soaring upside to his game. But instead of signing a New Zealander, the Astros landed an Aussie.

    Dean Halsey, a 19 year old, hails from Wyreema, Queensland, Australia. He’s got all the pitches, has played for his country’s national junior teams, and is thrilled to be coming to the United States on his first trip abroad.

    “I am really excited to be here in the U.S. playing with such great guys,” said Halsey. “I just want to learn as much as I can from everyone I meet and play with; it’s going to be an incredible experience.”

    Click to continue reading “Big shoes to fill, but Halsey’s relishing the challenge”

    Aussie Colts headed for ISF X Junior World Softball Championship

    Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

    softball Aus
    Softball Australia

    Collingwood, Victoria, Australia – Australia’s Under-19 Men’s (fast-pitch) Softball Team, Aussie Colts, leave Sydney today to participate in the coming ISF X Junior World Championship in Whitehorse, Canada, July 11-20.

    The 17-player squad will fly to Vancouver where they will participate in a number of pre-event games in preparation for the World Championship, starting on July 11.

    Group games at the World Championship will be played against:

  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Argentina
  • Canada
  • Mexico
  • Czech Republic
  • United States
  • Denmark
  • Currently ranked third in the world, but previous gold medal winners on four occasions, the Aussie Colts are primed for competition with Wayne Saunders (head coach) and Kieran O’Leary (captain) leading the way.

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