October 26, 2014

USA Women split games on day one of playoffs at ISF World Championship

Holland-ISF-2014From Steve Embree, USA Softball

Haarlem, Netherlands – Following a near 30-hour delay due to rain, the USA Softball Women’s National Team began the playoff portion of the International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship on Saturday. Team USA, playing as the top seed from Pool B, defeated Canada 6-1 in their first game to earn a matchup later in the day with the only other undefeated team in the tournament, Japan. With a spot in Sunday’s Gold medal game on the line, Japan jumped out early on the USA and never let up as they went on to win 6-1.

USA 6, Canada 1
Click here for Box Score

Despite being held scoreless for the first three innings versus Canada on Saturday, Team USA posted six runs in the final four frames to take a 6-1 win and advance to the next round in the winners bracket at the ISF World Championship. Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md.) each homered resulting in five of USA’s six runs. Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif.) started the game in the circle and lasted 3.1 innings before Sara Nevins (Pinellas Park, Fla.) entered in relief to earn the win.

“I loved the little things that we did to get the win over Canada,” said USA Head Coach Ken Eriksen. “Sacrifice bunts, aggressive base running, those are things that don’t look all that impressive on a score sheet but they add up to wins.”

Samantha Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif.) lead off the top off the fourth with a ground ball single to short stop and advanced to second via a Moultie sacrifice bunt in the next at-bat. A walk and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases for Team USA with Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala.) up next. The outfielder singled to left field scoring the first USA run of the game.

The lead didn’t last long as Canada started the bottom off the fourth with a single and followed it with a shot to center field that barely snuck past McCleney’s glove. The first runner scored but Moultrie gunned down the second runner at third to preserve the tie through four.

Gibson walked to start the fifth inning and a Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) sacrifice bunt advanced her to second. Two batters later, Moultrie put Team USA ahead for good when she sent the first pitch she saw sailing over the center field wall.

Nevins retired the side in the bottom off the fifth and Team USA added insurance runs in the sixth. With two outs, Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) singled to third base and Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) followed her up with a single to left field. With the runners on base, Gibson sent an 0-2 pitch over the center field wall for a three-run homer to give Team USA their 6-1 lead.

With the favorable lead, Nevins kept the Canadian batters in check through the sixth and most of the seventh innings. In the bottom of the seventh, the lefty gave up her first hit of the game, a two-out single to Joey Lye. In the next at-bat, with an 0-2 count, Jaclyn Traina (Naples, Fla.) entered the circle to pitch. Needing just one strike to end it, Traina followed a foul ball with a swinging strikeout and Team USA secured the win.

Japan 6, USA 1
Click here for the Box Score

Japan jumped out to an early lead on Team USA in their game late Saturday evening at the ISF World Championship. Facing Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif.) Japan scored one run in the first and added three in the second to put the Americans in a four-run hole early in the game. Offensively Team USA couldn’t get much going early facing Japanese veteran Yukiko Ueno.

“We put the ball in play and put runners on base,” said Eriksen. “We did some nice things, just had a few small errors and when you’re playing Japan they will take advantage of those errors. The great thing is, we still have tomorrow. We just have to play great softball for one day and then we can call ourselves World Champions.”

A Japan two-out single in the top of the first was followed by an Eri Yamada double scored the first run of the game as Japan went up 1-0. Gibson walked and Arioto singled in the bottom half of the inning but Ueno left them stranded, getting a strikeout to end the inning.

Japan added three more runs in the second off of two singles and a walk before Traina entered to pitch for Team USA. With two outs, Traina pitched a fly ball to end the Japan rally.

Both teams remained scoreless through the third inning. In the top of the fourth, Japan added a fifth run, this time off of Traina. Nagayoski singled to start the inning and was later brought around to score on a Kawano single to short stop.

Team USA gave up the sixth and final run to Japan in the top of the fifth. Mine doubled to right field to start the at-bat and after Sakamoto laid down a sac-bunt to advance her to second, a Sato single to short stop scored the runner from second putting Japan up 6-0.

The Americans finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Hoagland drew a walk and later came around to score on a Kellie Fox (San Diego, Calif.) single to right field. Nevins retired the side in the top of the seventh but the USA bats couldn’t muster a comeback as Japan secured the 6-1 win.

Sunday morning at 12:00 p.m. (5 a.m. eastern) the USA will now play the winner of Australia, Canada who was playing at the time of this release. The winner advances to place Japan in the Gold medal game at 3:00 p.m. (7 a.m. eastern). Live streaming and live stats are available via www.USASoftball.com throughout the ISF World Championship. Log on and follow Team USA as they seek a tenth World Championship Gold.

ESPNw: Japanese Pitcher Yukiko Ueno Perfect Storm Of Power And Precision

Click logo to read story and see photo at ESPN.

Click logo to read story and see photo at ESPN.

Cap tip Bob Henning
From ESPNw.com
By Graham Hays

Think of Yukiko Ueno as one part David and one part Paul Bunyan. She is both the upstart whose arm felled a giant in a sport’s most famous moment and a figure whose ability to throw a softball harder than almost anyone else lends itself to a larger-than-life mythology. In her hands, a ball can be both the stone in a slingshot and a big blue ox.

Karen Johns came up with a more meteorological analogy when she first saw Ueno pitch in 2005, three years before the right-hander led Japan to a win against the favored United States in the gold-medal game of the 2008 Olympics. Johns, who would serve as an assistant coach with Team USA for that game in Beijing, went home after her initial encounter with the ace and told her husband she had seen the perfect storm. Click to continue reading at ESPNw.com

USA Women secures a top playoff seed with 10-0 win over Dominican Republic in ISF Worlds

Click here for official website of USA Softball

Click here for official website of USA Softball

From Steve Embree, USA Softball

Haarlem, Netherlands – The USA Softball Women’s National Team moved to 6-0 and locked up a first-place seed in the playoffs of the International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship by defeating Dominican Republic 10-0 (four innings) on Wednesday. Playing on her 21st birthday, Hallie Wilson (Santa Ana, Calif.) stood out going 2-3 with a two-run single in the third and a three-run home run in the fourth inning. Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif.) picked up her second win of the World Championship throwing the complete four innings and allowing just two hits while striking out seven.

Click here to view the Box Score

Dominican Republic held the USA scoreless in the first but the runs came in the second. Two walks and an error loaded the bases to start the inning and a third walk scored Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif.) from third. With the bases still juiced, Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif.) flied out to left field and Taylor Hoagland (Flower Mound, Texas) tagged at third and easily crossed home. In the next at-bat Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) singled to load the bases back up and a walk scored Wilson from third. When the dust settled on the top of the second, Team USA held a 3-0 lead.

Henderson needed just eight pitches in the bottom of the second and 10 in the third to retire the side as she struck out five-of-six batters in the two frames.

In the top of the third, the USA Women continued their scoring run as Arioto and Hoagland each walked to start the at-bat and Wilson’s single to left field brought them each around to score. Later in the at-bat, Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla.) singled to center field scoring a sixth USA run and after having reached on an error, Martinez crossed home on a wild to make it USA 7, Dominican Republic 0.

Wilson’s three-run homer in the fourth plated both Hoagland and Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) and provided the Americans with the 10 runs they needed to meet run-rule requirements after four innings of play. Henderson returned to the circle in the bottom half of the inning needing three outs to end the game. The California native allowed just one hit in the frame while striking out one and getting two others to ground out to second base.

The 10-0 victory was the sixth for the Americans in the World Championship and their fourth by run rule. USA will face Italy at 2 p.m. (7 a.m. CDT) on Thursday in the final pool-play game before the playoff portion of the tournament starts on Friday. Live streaming and live stats are available via www.USASoftball.com throughout the ISF World Championship. Log on and follow Team USA as they seek a tenth World Championship Gold.

Ellsworth retiring from ISC as MVP

Click logo to view the original article and photo at The Journal Pioneer.

Click logo to view the original article and photo at The Journal Pioneer.

Cap tip ISC Canada East and O’Leary’s Eagles

BROOKLYN — Brooklyn, P.E.I. resident Jeff Ellsworth went into the 2014 International Softball Congress (ISC) world tournament in Kitchener, Ontario last week knowing it would likely be his last time competing at that level.

He got home Monday morning with a world championship and the tournament’s most valuable player (MVP) award.

Ellsworth was planning on retiring from competitive ball after this year, but he acknowledges his commitment with Canada’s national men’s team could actually take him to next June and July. Either way, he’s not planning competing in any future ISC or ASA (American Softball Association) championships.

“It’s time,” he said. “I’ve thought about this for a long time. It’s a big commitment.”

Indeed, he’s been on the road steady this year since July 31 when he left for the ASA world tournament in South Bend, Indiana. From there he went to Saskatoon to coach the P.E.I. ScotiaBank Reds at the National Under 18 Women’s championship in Saskatoon, and then flew off to Kitchener for the ISC world championship which concluded Saturday with the Hill United Chiefs from Six Nations, Ontario repeating as world champions. They defeated the host Kitchener Hallman Twins 3-2 in the final, scoring the wining run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Click here to continue reading at The Journal Pioneer

Editor’s note: Shades of Ted Williams, home run in final game, round the bases, and gone. Going out at the top of his game. While doing color commentary of one of the broadcasts from this year’s ISC World Tournament, teammate Steve Mullaley called him the best player in the game. There are a select few on that shortlist and certainly Ellsworth belongs on it. Anyone who has had the privilege to see him play over the past decade or so will miss seeing him in the lineup, myself included. But respect for his decision and we wish him well. He has left a large legacy in the game. Thankfully, we’ll get to see him next summer for the ISF World and Pan -Ams in Saskatoon and Toronto. If you were considering going to either event, you now have one more reason. To say you saw Ellsy play.

USA Softball Women’s National Team arrives in Europe for Italian Softball Week and ISF XIV World Championship

Click here for official USA Softball website.

Click here for official USA Softball website.

Editor’s note: From our friend Steve Embree, at USA Softball. Life is tough, but somebody’s got to make these trips !

Azzano Decimo, Italy – The USA Softball Women’s National Team arrived in Italy on Wednesday to compete in one last international tournament in preparation for the 2014 International Softball Federation (ISF) XIV Women’s World Championship which kicks off August 15 in Haarlem, Netherlands. Beginning today, Team USA will join Australia and Italy in the Italian Softball Week event in Azzano Decimo, Italy. Following the four-day tournament, the USA Women’s National Team will travel to Haarlem to begin their quest for a tenth ISF Women’s World Championship Gold.

Italian Softball Week, August 7-10

Italian Softball Week begins with round-robin play at 10 a.m. CDT (5 p.m. local) on August 7 when Team USA takes the field with Australia. The opening contest will be immediately followed by USA versus Italy at 1:30 p.m. CDT (8:30 local). Play continues August 8-9 with the three teams playing each other twice. On August 10, the teams with the second a third best records will play in a semifinal contest at 11 a.m. CDT (6 p.m. local) with the winner advancing to play the team with the best pool-play record in the finals at 2:00 p.m. CDT (9 p.m. local).

Click here for coverage throughout the Italian Softball Week event

Holland-ISF-2014ISF XIV World Championship, August 15-24

The USA Women will travel to Haarlem, Netherlands on August 11 for the ISF Women’s World Championship. They’ll kick off the event by playing the host country, the Netherlands on August 15 at 1 p.m. CDT (8 p.m. local time). Following their opening game with Netherlands, the USA is scheduled to play six other pool-play games: Botswana on August 16, Chinese Taipei on August 17, Great Britain on August 18, Australia on August 19, Dominican Republic on August 20 and Italy on August 21. The playoffs are scheduled to begin on August 22 with the finals on August 24.

In the most previous ISF Women’s World Championship in 2012, the USA fell to Japan 2-1 (ten innings) in the championship game to claim the silver medal. It was just the fourth time in the history of the event that Team USA came away with anything other than Gold. This season, the USA Women are coming off of a first-place finish in the General Tire World Cup of Softball and a second-place finish at the Canadian Open.

The ISF plans to stream the World Championship tournament online. The link for the streaming as well as live stats will be available via www.usasoftball.com throughout the tournament.

Click here for coverage throughout the ISF XIV World Championship

Athletes competing for USA Softball in Italy and the Netherlands: Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif./California 2012); Raven Chavanne (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Tennessee 2013); Amanda Chidester (Allen Park, Mich./Michigan 2012); Samantha Fischer (Simi Valley, Calif./Loyola Marymount 2012); Kellie Fox (San Diego, Calif./Arizona Senior); Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md./Tennessee 2013); Jolene Henderson (Elk Grove, Calif./California 2013); Taylor Hoagland (Flower Mound, Texas/Texas 2013); Destinee Martinez (Corona, Calif./Oklahoma 2014); Haylie McCleney (Morris, Ala./Alabama Junior); Jessica Moore (Sutter, Calif./Oregon 2013) Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla./Florida 2012); Sara Nevins (Pinellas Park, Fla./South Florida 2014); Jessica Plaza (Huntington Beach, Calif./Stanford Junior); Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan./Florida Junior); Jackie Traina (Naples, Fla./Alabama 2014); Hallie Wilson (Santa Ana, Calif./Arizona Senior).

Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla./ Head Coach of Univ. of South Florida) leads the way in his fourth year as the head coach and is joined by assistant coaches Laura Berg (Corvallis, Ore../Head Coach at Oregon State), Howard Dobson (Orange, Texas/Assistant Coach at LSU) and Lisa Dodd (San Diego, Calif./Head Coach at the UNLV).

Schedule

August 15
8:00 PM
(1 PM CDT) USA vs Netherlands

August 16
12:30 PM
(5:30 AM CDT)
USA vs Botswana

August 17
4:30 PM
(9:30 AM CDT)
USA vs Chinese Taipei

August 18
3:00 PM
(8 AM CDT)
USA vs Great Britain

August 19
5:30 PM
(10:30 AM CDT)
USA vs Australia

August 20
5:30 PM
(10:30 AM CDT)
USA vs Dominican Rep.

August 21
2:00 PM
(7 AM CDT)
USA vs Italy

August 22-24 TBD Playoffs

USA Softball names 2014 Men’s Fast Pitch National Team roster to compete for World Championship/Pan American Games berths

Click here for the roster

Click here for the roster of the 2014 USA Softball Men’s National Team

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America/USA Softball announced today the roster for the 2014 USA Softball Men’s Fast Pitch National Team that will compete this October in the Pan American Games and International Softball Federation (ISF) World Championship qualifier in Parana, Argentina. Ten initial athletes were named to the team in February and the seven remaining selections earned their spot competing at the ASA/USA Men’s Major National Championship in South Bend, Ind. over the weekend.

Click here to see the complete 2014 USA Softball Men’s National Team roster

Denny Bruckert (Gillespie, Ill.) will lead the National Team and be assisted by Greg Hicks (Bakersfield, Calif.), Gregg Leather (Staten Island, NY) and Nick McCurry (Ashland, Ohio) throughout the year.

“I think we have put together a really nice squad,” said Bruckert. “We named the initial ten guys earlier this year and had some great competition for the remaining seven spots. We decided to go with just three pitchers which is a bit different but we’re confident in each of their abilities to take the ball and throw a number of innings. We selected a lot of speed guys and we have some players who will come off the bench and do great things for us. I also like the mix of veterans and new guys that this team has.”

Ten players are returning from the 2013 squad that finished eighth at the ISF World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand. In October’s event the team will look to qualify for both the 2015 World Championships to be held in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada as well as the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada. Men’s Fast Pitch makes its return to the Pan American Games for the first time since 2003 when Team USA took the Silver.

In addition to the Pan American Games/ISF World Championship qualifier, the 2014 USA Softball Men’s Fast Pitch National Team will compete in a Labor Day tournament in Elkland, Pa. August 29 – September 1.

For more information on the USA Softball Men’s Fast Pitch National Team and to follow their events throughout the year, visit www.USASoftball.com.

Maddy’s Photos – 2014 ISF Jr. Men’s World Championship – Day 2 of 10

From Maddy’s Photos:

The gallery of photos for Day 2 of the ISF Jr Men’s Softball Championship are up. Click on the link below to see the photos.

Click the logo to view 2014 ISF Jr. Men Worlds - Day 1 photos at Maddy's Photos.

Click the logo to view 2014 ISF Jr. Men Worlds – Day 2 photos at Maddy’s Photos.

Here’s what you’ll see in the Gallery for Day 2, Saturday, July 12, 2014:

6 2 12-Jul 1:30 New Zealand VS USA
7 1 12-Jul 2:30 Mexico VS Czech Republic
8 2 12-Jul 4:00 Singapore VS Denmark
9 1 12-Jul 5:00 Australia VS Japan
10 2 12-Jul 6:30 USA VS Czech Republic
11 1 12-Jul 7:30 Canada VS Argentina

333 photos to enjoy !

Did you miss the gallery for Day 1, Friday, July 11, 2014? Click here.

Day 1 includes:
1 1 11-Jul 12:30 Singapore VS Japan
2 2 11-Jul 1:30 Argentina VS Mexico
3 1 11-Jul 3:00 Australia VS New Zealand
1 11-Jul 5:30 OPENING CEREMONY
4 2 11-Jul 7:30 Denmark VS USA
5 1 11-Jul 7:30 Canada VS Czech Republic

Maddy’s Photos – 2014 ISF Jr. Men’s World Championship – Day 1 of 10

Click the logo to view 2014 ISF Jr. Men Worlds - Day 1 photos at Maddy's Photos.

Click the logo to view 2014 ISF Jr. Men Worlds – Day 1 photos at Maddy’s Photos.

Editor’s note: After posting several hundred photos during the 2014 ISF Jr. Men’s World Championship in Whitehorse Yukon Canada, July 11-20, official tournament photographer Maddy Flanagan is rolling out additional photos from each day of the 10 day tournament, adding hundreds more photos to the amazing collection. The collection of photos from Whitehorse is her largest and most comprehensive to date. Click the logo to view the batch for Day 1, and be sure to visit often for more to follow. You don’t want to miss these, they are her best work yet. Click to view the photos in full size and you’ll see what I mean.

Here’s what you’ll see in the Gallery for Day 1, Friday, July 11, 2014:

1 11-Jul 12:30 Singapore VS Japan
2 11-Jul 1:30 Argentina VS Mexico
3 11-Jul 3:00 Australia VS New Zealand
11-Jul 5:30 OPENING CEREMONY
4 11-Jul 7:30 Denmark VS USA
5 11-Jul 7:30 Canada VS Czech Republic

552 photos to enjoy !

From Maddy’s Photos:

We are back home and feverishly reviewing all the photos I took during the 2014 ISF Jr Men’s Softball Championship (over 20,000 of them!). There is no way to do this quickly nor easily so I will be posting each day of the tournament as I finish them. For your viewing pleasure, I have posted Day 1 of the tournament. Click on the link below to see the gallery.

Click logo for official tournament website.

Click logo for official tournament website.

For more of Maddy’s great shots of the tournament, be sure to visit the official tournament website. Click here.

Media requests for use of photos should be directed to:

Echo Ross
Communications
2014 Junior Men’s World Softball Championship
echo [at] outsidethecube.ca

Maddy Flanagan, fastball photographer par excellence.

Maddy Flanagan, fastball photographer par excellence.

ISF making pitch for museum, hall of fame at Plant City Stadium

From the Plant City Courier/Tampa Tribune

Click logo to view original news story at the Plant City Courier.

Click logo to view original news story at the Plant City Courier.

PLANT CITY – It has been years in the making, but a permanent tribute to the sport of softball may finally be rounding third base.

The International Softball Federation has talked about creating a hall of fame and museum ever since it moved to the Plant City Stadium complex in 2000.

A series of setbacks, including the economic downturn and the exclusion of softball from the Olympics, stalled the project.

Fundraising is now under way, and federation Honorary President Don Porter has been presenting artists renderings and other plans to government and business groups.

Porter thinks the dream is finally coming true. He hopes to open the doors in mid-2015. Click here to continue reading at the Plant City Courier.

Tyler Pauli: Making a name for himself at world championship

 Tyler Pauli dives over the Singapore catcher to score a run during action July 19 from the ISF Junior Men’s World Softball Championship. (Photo by Maddy Flanagan, www.maddysphotos.com, click to enlarge)


Tyler Pauli dives over the Singapore catcher to score a run during action July 19 from the ISF Junior Men’s World Softball Championship. (Photo by Maddy Flanagan, www.maddysphotos.com, click to enlarge)

By Andy Bader, Mitchell Advocate

“Now batting for Team Canada, #20, right fielder, Tyler Pauli.”

Game announcers at the 2014 International Softball Federation (ISF) Junior Men’s World Softball Championship in Whitehorse, Yukon incorrectly pronounced the 19-year-old Mitchell native’s surname “Paul-ee”, but by the time the 10-day tournament was over, fans from all over the world – and the announcers – knew the proper way to say it.

That’s the kind of tournament “Paul-eye” had.

Pauli played every inning of every one of Canada’s nine round robin games and two playoff contests, and completed the tournament as the second-best hitter overall with a .464 batting average (13-for-28) which included two doubles, two triples, one home run, four RBI, two walks and just one strikeout. He also stole three bases from the lead-off position in the batting order.

“The coolest part of the entire thing,” he said last week upon his return home, “was that by the last game everyone knew my nickname (‘Pup’)…and the announcers were saying my surname right at the end.”

Ten teams from five continents played 45 games in the round-robin tournament and although Canada had hoped for a top four finish, and even perhaps fight for a medal on their home soil, they finished a disappointing seventh.

The top four teams advanced to the page playoff round while the bottom six teams competed in a consolation playoff round. Canada, with their 4-5 round robin record, finished tied for sixth and after defeating Singapore 11-1 in their first consolation playoff game, fell 8-7 to Mexico to officially finish seventh. Click here to continue reading at the Mitchell Advocate. (More photos at link)