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Venezuela’s Ramon Jones sends United States home from Pan American Games

Friday, July 17th, 2015
Venezuela's Ramon Jones turned in a dominating pitching performance in a 1-0 victory over the United States in Friday's Pan American Games playoffs.

Venezuela’s Ramon Jones turned in a dominating pitching performance in a 1-0 victory over the United States in Friday’s Pan American Games playoffs.

TORONTO – Ramon Jones throws the ball hard, he throws the ball with lots of spin, he has the best drop ball in men’s fastpitch. He’s unquestionably one of the top pitchers in the world.

Team USA can attest to that.

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Hot-hitting New Zealand thrashes Canada in ISF Men’s World Softball Championship

Saturday, July 4th, 2015

SASKATOON, SK, Canada – No team in the 14th ISF Men’s World Softball Championship is hitting – make that slugging – the ball better than the New Zealand Black Sox.

In its last four games, New Zealand has outscored its opponents 37-7. The latest victory was huge, 9-5 over Canada in the playoffs Saturday that moves New Zealand into the Gold medal game on Sunday.

    FENCE BUSTERS

The Black Sox pounded out 10 hits, including home runs by Jerome Raemaki, Wayne Laulu, Thomas Enoka and Brad Rona.

Raemaki hit a home run in the third inning; Laulu blasted a two-run bomb over the left field fence erasing Canada’s lead for good, and pushing the Black Sox in front, 4-3, in the fourth inning. Tyson Byrne followed with a run-scoring triple that scored Cole Evans, and in the fifth, Enoka cleared the left-center field fence for a two-run homer.

Brad Rona finished the Black Sox fence-busting attack with a two-run shot in the seventh.

    CANADA GOES LONG BALL TOO

Ian Fehrman and Brad Ezekiel gave Canada hope when they hit solo home runs in the sixth and seventh innings off New Zealand’s Heinrick Shannon. But he withstood the onslaught and after Ezekiel led off the seventh with his homer, Shannon retired three in a row to seal the win.

Shannon threw seven innings to improve to 2-0 the playoffs. He allowed three earned runs on six hits, walked one and struck out four.

    DEFENDING CHAMPS SEEK SECOND GOLD

Now New Zealand – the defending ISF Men’s World Softball champions from 2013 – move to the Gold medal game, Sunday afternoon. Canada remains in the running for the gold, but must defeat the winner between Venezuela and Australia played Saturday night (results not available at publishing time).

    CANADA STILL IN CONTENTION

Canada came into the game against New Zealand undefeated and the top team in Pool A at 7-0. And the Canadians began the playoffs in dominating fashion, beating Australia and its ace pitcher Adam Folkard, 8-3, on Friday.

New Zealand finished round robin play in Pool A as the number four team at 5-2. The Black Sox entered the playoffs stinging the ball and beat the Dominican Republic, the top team from Pool B with a 6-1 record, 8-0, to set up the meeting with Canada.

Thursday’s Turning Back The Pages: Remembering Brian Paton, one of Canada’s greatest fastpitch players

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Brian Paton ISC HofF.7lr

Paying tribute to Brian Paton, who was inducted into the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame in 2011. Photo By BOB OTTO / 1995 ISC World Tournament

Woodstock, Ontario, CA – Brian Paton played in 12 consecutive International Softball Congress World Tournaments and was a member of three ISC championship teams – twice with the Toronto, Ontario Gators (1993-95) and with the Smokers of Tampa Bay, Florida (1998).

In 1995, he helped to lead the Toronto Gators in their amazing come-back week to capture the ISC title in Sioux City, Iowa. In so doing, Paton established a new record for hits in a tournament (17) and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Patrolling centre field, he was one the best at stealing what appeared to be “sure-hits” and limiting base runners to singles. He was not simply a member of great teams – those teams enjoyed their successes in no small part as a result of Brian’s leadership – witness his nine “top-four” finishes in ISC world tournaments.

Paton has numerous other notable softball accomplishments, including playing for Team Canada (1985-2002) and helping his country win four Pan-Am gold medals and silver and gold in the International Softball Federation World Championship.

  • Information courtesy of the International Softball Congress. For more information about world tournaments, statistics, photos, record-setting achievements, and more, please visit the: ISC website.
  • Plaza’s blast all the runs Team USA needs

    Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

    By ERIC PAUL JOHNSON / STAFF WRITER

    IRVINE, Calif. – IRVINE – Jessica Plaza was looking for a pitch she could square up. When it finally came, Plaza didn’t miss her chance.

    Plaza crushed a two-run home run to left field in the top of the sixth inning as USA defeated Venezuela, 5-0, in its World Cup of Softball IX pool-play opener Tuesday at Bill Barber Park.

    “I was just looking for a good pitch, one that I could hit for a line drive,” said Plaza, who graduated from Huntington Beach Edison and plays at Stanford. “We popped up way too many balls, including myself, so it felt good to get a hold of one.”

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    Jim Cowdrey, at the top of the class in men’s fastpitch softball

    Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

    Cowdry.Jim.1web Jim Cowdrey of Saskatchewan, Canada pitching for Class Walls of Whiteford, Maryland in the 1995 ISC World Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. Cowdrey pitched Rempel Bros. of Saskatchewan to provincial and Canadian championships and was as much a great hitter as pitcher. Photo Illustration By BOB OTTO

    SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN – The Saskatoon Rempel Brothers senior men’s softball team was formed in 1985, won the Saskatchewan title in its first year, and then won the Saskatchewan and Canadian championships in 1987.

    Continue Reading “Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame”

    New Zealand looks golden against Venezuela

    Friday, March 8th, 2013

    isf.NZ.manley.8
    New Zealand pitcher Jeremy Manley gave the Black Sox a huge boast with a 15-strikeout effort to hold off a very good Venezuelan ball club in a winner’s matchup in the 13th ISF World Softball Championship.

    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Since finishing second to Australia in the 2009 ISF World Championship, the New Zealand Black Sox have been planning, working and striving to bring the title back home.

    As host to the World Championship, the Black Sox now have that opportunity.

    On Saturday night in a winner’s matchup with Venezuela, the Black Sox punched their ticket into the championship grand finale on Sunday by defeating Venezuela 2-0.

    Was finishing runner up in the 2009 event a motivator?

    “It was a huge motivator,” said former Black Sox Manager Wayne Small in an interview during the game. “A lot of men here were on that team. They remember that (losing 5-0 to Australia) and have used it to their advantage.”

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    Juan Potolicchio hurls Argentina over Canada in ISF World Championship

    Friday, March 8th, 2013

    arg.canada.jub.web
    Argentina celebrates after defeating Canada 2-1 to advance in the 13th ISF World Championships.

    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – It was a rematch, a chance for redemption. And Argentina didn’t waste the opportunity.

    Behind the three-hit pitching of right-handed Juan Potolicchio, the Argentinians defeated Canada, 2-1, to square an earlier (2-1) loss in round-robin play in Pool B.

    The right-hander with a hard rise ball as his go-to pitch, tossed a gem, allowing just the one run on three hits, while striking out nine, and walking just one batter.

    With the win, Argentina (2-0 playoffs, 6-2 overall) advances to take on defending 2009 ISF World Champion Australia in Saturday’s final playoff game.

    Though Canada (0-2, 6-2) was eliminated, right-fielder Jeff Ellsworth was philosophical about the loss and upbeat about the future of Softball Canada:

    “We weren’t able to hit and put runs on the board. We’ve got a lot of young guys and this was their first ISF. Now they’ve got a couple years to get ready (for the next ISF).”

    Click to continue reading “Juan Potolicchio hurls Argentina over Canada in ISF World Championship”