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Canada and New Zealand front runners in the quest for Gold at the Men’s Softball World Championship

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Josh Pettit has a 4-0 record and is a prime reason New Zealand is making a strong run at winning the 2017 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s Softball World Championship. Courtesy Photo

WHITEHORSE, YK, Canada – Where once there were sixteen of the world’s finest fastpitch teams battling for gold at the Men’s Softball World Championship, we are now down to six.

And these six – their rosters filled with the finest hurlers and batsmen worldwide – are indeed the best of the sixteen.

As the tournament heads into the final two days of championship play, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Japan, Australia and the United States remain in contention for the most treasured of all mens’ fastpitch softball titles: World Champion.

My pick for Gold? Canada.

The defending 2015 world champions are playing an incredibly high-caliber fastpitch.

The Canadians rode through Pool A at 7-0, and in their opening playoff game Friday, shutout Japan 2-0, to extend their unbeaten streak to 8-0 and remain the only undefeated team in the world championship.

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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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New Zealand roster set for 2017 TAB Challenge Cup

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Golden Homes Black Sox Head Coach Mark Sorenson has named a 17 man squad to compete in the inaugural TAB Challenge Cup commencing next month.

The side is again a youthful one but one that will offer both speed and power. A number of debutants from last Novembers Argentinian tour have been renamed along with Auckland based Alfonz Oveinikovas who will make his first appearance in the black jersey.

The team features the naming of the three Enoka brothers: Thomas, Ben and Campbell with Thomas once again being named captain.

Rising star Cole Evans returns to the team after a brief stint playing baseball in the Canadian, British Columbia Premier League. Evans who made the league All Star team is a welcome return and will provide further depth to the infield and hitting line-up.

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CANADA SLUGS ITS WAY TO GOLD IN WORLD SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

Monday, July 6th, 2015

2015 Team Canada.1lr Canada takes the Gold Medal at 14th ISF Men’s World Softball Championship. The team includes Ryan Boland, Sean Cleary, Paul Koert, Devon McCullough, Andy Skelton, Bryan Abrey, Jason Sanford, Ian Fehrman, Brandon Horn, Derek Mason, Kevin Schellenberg, Jeff Ellsworth, Brad Ezekiel, Steve Mullaley, Mathieu Roy, Ryan Wolfe, Jason Hill, and the coaching staff of Glenn Boles, Adam Davies, John Hill, Les Howey, and Head Coach John Stuart.

SASKATOON, SK, Canada – There is good hitting, great hitting, and on the rarest of occasions, phenomenal hitting.

What Steve Mullaley did in the championship game of the 14th ISF Men’s World Softball Championship will long live in Canada fastpitch lore, and in the memories of those who witnessed his incredible batting feat.

Mullaley belted three home runs – a solo shot, a grand slam, and a two-run blast – that tallied seven RBI, as Canada slugged its way to a 10-5 victory over the New Zealand Black Sox to claim the Gold Medal at Bob Van Impe Stadium, Sunday.

His seven RBI and Canada’s ten runs are believed to be International Softball Federation single game records since the world championship began in 1966.

    NO STRANGERS IN ISF CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY

The championship becomes Canada’s fourth ISF title, and the first since 1992 when Team Canada beat New Zealand for the Gold. The two teams have now met five times to decide the Gold Medal, with New Zealand claiming three, and Canada two.

Steve Mullaley hit three home runs accounting for seven RBI in helping Team Canada win the Gold Medal.

Steve Mullaley hit three home runs accounting for seven RBI in helping Team Canada win the Gold Medal.

For Mullaley, though, the victory over the defending 2013 world champion Black Sox was a team effort. The victory also eases the disappointment of expecting but failing to medal in the world championship in New Zealand.

“We knew coming in today that the big red machine could get it done,” Mullaley said to Ballpark Radio interviewer Blair Setford during post-game ceremonies. “We traveled a long way to New Zealand in 2013 and we were disappointed. But we’ve had a new commitment of buying into the team concept to get it done.”

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Free passes help Argentina take down defending world softball champion New Zealand

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

argentina Argentina secures big win in world softball championship.

SASKATOON – As defending International Softball Federation (ISF) Men’s World Softball champions, the New Zealand Black Sox have everyone gunning for them. The Black Sox won the title in 2013, and have claimed more world championships than any other country – six times in 1976, 1984, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2013.

And once again, New Zealand is considered a top contender at the 2015 world championships in Saskatoon.

But the Black Sox road to defending their title took a huge hit Friday night as another of the favorites, Argentina, edged New Zealand, 3-2, in Pool A.

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New Zealand Black Sox Men’s Fastpich Softball Team looks at change in style

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

nz.softball

NEW ZEALAND – A change in roster could herald a shift in game plan for the New Zealand men’s softball team as they build towards the defence of their world title.

A loss of experience and power hitting could mean a change of style for the Black Sox men’s softball team under new coach Mark Sorenson.

In naming his first squad, Sorenson has cast the net wide as New Zealand begin a two-year build-up towards the defence of the world crown they won in Auckland this year.

Sorenson is excited by the replacements he has found for several veteran players who have called it a day, but says it doesn’t mean a continuation of a formula that has been successful.

Mark_Sorenson Mark Sorenson was appointed as Head Coach of the New Zealand Black Sox National Men’s Fastpitch Team in 2013. The Black Sox won the 2013 International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship with a 9-1 record, and will defend its crown in 2015 at Saskatoon, SK, Canada, June 26-July 7 in the 14th occasion of the world wide men’s fastpitch championships.

“Not only have we lost a lot of experience, we’ve also lost a lot of power,” he said. “While we’ve still got big boppers like Brad Rona and Donny Hale, most of the other guys are very, very fit and fast, so we’ll have to approach the game differently and use those skills to build pressure on the opposition.”

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United States falls to Samoa in ISF World Championship

Friday, March 1st, 2013

muizelaar
Gerald Muizelaar pitched well enough to win, but Team USA couldn’t overcome clutch pitching of Samoa’s Thomas Enoka in second game of the 13th ISF World Championship.

AUCKLAND, NZ – In somewhat of a stunner, Samoa knocked off the United States 3-2 in the 13th International Softball Federation World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand, March 2.

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Lucas Mata pitches Power past Snappers

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

MIDLAND, MI – Lucas Mata allowed three hits, while striking out 15 in leading Pennsylvania Power of Harrisburg, PA to a 6-2 victory over the Niagra Snappers from Niagra Falls, Ontario.

For Power the win was the opening game of the tournament, while the Snappers evened their record at 1-1 after beating Bar on the Avenue 6-0 on Saturday.

Mata a power-pitching right-hander from Argentina had all his pitches working – a sharp breaking rise and drop, along with an effective change-up. (Mata was a 2011 ISC World Tournament, all-world second team pick, in leading the Bakersfield, California A’s to a fifth place finish.)

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