February 27, 2015

Australia beats New Zealand Black Sox in Oceania final

Oceania Qualifier 2014

From NZ City:

Australia’s beefed-up pitching proved the difference in a 1-0 win over New Zealand in the Oceania men’s softball championship final.

Australia wheeled out their big pitching weapons to telling effect to beat New Zealand 1-0 in the final of the Oceania men’s softball championship.

After dominating the round-robin phase in Auckland, the world champion Black Sox batters failed to fire in Saturday’s final.

They struggled against Adam Folkard and Andrew Kirkpatrick, who deliberately hadn’t been used when the teams met twice in the leadup – games won 6-0 and 9-5 by New Zealand.

Click here to read the entire story at NZ City.

Broadcast rights awarded for Oceania Qualifier

Oceania Qualifier 2014

From Yahoo Sports: The World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) announced today that broadcast rights have been awarded for the Oceania Qualifier of the 2015 Men’s Softball World Championship throughout the Oceania region.

Baseball and softball international competitions sanctioned by the WBSC have developed growing player, fan, commercial and broadcast interest around the world in recent years, helping to further promote and increase participation in the sports in new markets and local communities. WBSC officials hailed the groundbreaking deals, particularly as baseball and softball continue an accelerating trend of globalisation and adding to their case for inclusion in the Olympics Games.

Under a set of landmark agreements, the Oceania championship will see live coverage throughout New Zealand via SKY Television and SKYGO live streaming.

Fox Sports has acquired the broadcast rights in Australia for all highly anticipated rivalry match-ups between Australia and host New Zealand, as well as all playoff contests.

In addition, live and delayed coverage of the men’s softball continental showcase will extend into the homes of nine emerging Pacific nations, including American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu, raising the profile of the bat-and-ball sports among new and growing audiences, while attracting more athletes and commercial interest for baseball and softball.

“This is an important time for our sport, and the growing number of broadcast agreements show the expansive audience baseball and softball connects with,” said WBSC Executive Vice President Dale McMann. “Broadcast and media coverage continue to be a main driver of growth for our sport and world championship platforms. This is a great day for our sport and for both new and loyal fans throughout the Oceania region.” Click here to continue reading this story.

Oceania ISF Qualifier – Auckland, New Zealand – December 12-13, 2014

Oceania Qualifier 2014Information courtesy of our friend Jason Gerbes in New Zealand:

From Tony Giles, Chief Executive, Softball New Zealand

We are now only 7 days from the first pitch at the Oceania Men’s Qualifier at Rosedale Park, Albany.

All three teams have been announced and excitement is building with the teams at SNZ, NHSA, and the many volunteers behind the scenes busy ensuring every detail is in place for this showcase event.

Live Television coverage has been secured via SKY Sport with all 7 games being broadcast on their premier SKY Sports 1 channel, from 2.00pm December 12.

The event is also being live streamed for SKY subscribers on their SKYGO platform.

I am aware of many clubs, who have Sky access, holding family events on the Friday & Saturday nights to entice members to come together and support the Golden Homes Black Sox.

I am also delighted to announce that following discussions with the Satellite Services Team from Television New Zealand, all 7 games will be broadcast into the Pacific Region, Including:

American Samoa

Cook Islands

Fiji

Nauru

Niue

Samoa

Solomon Islands

Tonga

Vanuatu

This is incredibly exciting news for the development of our great game in the Pacific, and I hope you join with me in celebrating this success with our members.

Discussions are underway with Fox Sports, Australia to have delayed games broadcast across the ditch also.

It is an important time for our great game both domestically, and internationally with the pending IOC announcement due Monday as to whether Softball is back on the Olympic agenda for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Whilst this is a coalition bid, it is an exciting opportunity for young females in New Zealand to represent their country at the sporting mecca that is the Olympic Games.

With cautious optimism we await the IOC decision!

Kind Regards
Tony Giles
Chief Executive
Softball New Zealand

Tyson Byrne back to help lead New Zealand Black Sox

From the Press/Stuff New Zealand:

By JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax NZ

Tyson Byrne grew up watching Mark Sorenson strut his stuff on Hutt Valley softball diamonds and now he’s become one of his right-hand men in the Black Sox camp.

Byrne starred at shortstop as New Zealand won a record sixth world championship title last year but he will suit up at second base at the Oceania qualifying tournament against Australia and Samoa in Auckland this weekend.

The 26-year-old has also become part of the Black Sox leadership group as a deputy to captain Nathan Nukunuku.

Byrne took last season off international softball due to family commitments but he is enjoying being back with the Black Sox and working with Sorenson.

“I played under Mark for my junior world series campaign and it’s good to be involved with him again. And coming from Hutt Valley, I grew up with Mark around the ball parks a lot.”

Byrne said he had been part of the Black Sox since he was 18, but always planned to take a year off after the world championships.

To read the complete article and view photo, click here.

OLYMPICS/ IOC paves way for return of softball, baseball in 2020 Tokyo Games

From THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

MONACO–Men’s baseball and women’s softball, two sports that Japan excels in, are expected to return as official events for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics following revised rules on hosting the Games.

The International Olympic Committee at a Dec. 8 extraordinary general meeting here voted on 40 proposed revisions for organizing the Olympics and came up with what it called the Olympic Agenda 2020.

One IOC-approved recommendation called for abolishing the limit of 28 for the number of sports at a Summer Olympics.

Click here to read the complete story and to view photo.

Venezuela wins Pan Am Gold with win over Argentina

Venezuela wins Pan Am Gold with 2-0 win over Argentina tonight.

From the ISF: Int’l. Softball Fed. @ISFsoftball

Venezuela win Pan Am Men’s Softball Championship with 2-0 victory over @SoftbolARG. @SoftballCanada claim bronze.

Gold: Venezuela
Silver: Argentina
Bronze: Canada
4th: USA

Canada v. Argentina today in Pan Am Bronze Medal Game

Click logo for official Softball Canada website

Click logo for official Softball Canada website

After falling to Venezuela in the double-life game, Canada will take on Argentina (winner of last night’s game against the USA).

Watch it Live Here.

Follow the action with Blair Setford and Kyle Smith on their Twitter feeds.

Blair

Kyle Smith

Winner Canada vs. Argentina will play Venezuela.

Editor’s note: that’s all for me, going to try to finish this flu off.

With 3-1 loss to Argentina, USA Softball takes fourth at Men’s Pan American Championship

From Codi Warren, USA Softball

Click logo for coverage of the Pan Am Qualifier

Click logo for coverage of the Pan Am Qualifier


BOX SCORE

PARANA, Argentina – The USA Softball Men’s National Team took fourth place following a 3-1 battle with Argentina at the IX Conpasa Men’s Fastpitch Panam Championship on Friday evening the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America and USA Softball announced today. The loss eliminated Team USA from the tournament, where the team finished with a 4-4 record and qualified for the 2015 Pan American Games and XIV International Softball Federation (ISF) Men’s World Championship.

“Tonight was a tough loss for the team, but we also saw the resilience of our guys,” said Head Coach Denny Bruckert (Gillespie, Ill.). “These guys had their backs against the wall so many times throughout this tournament and proved that they will fight until the last pitch. We saw a lot of great things from the team, and are looking forward to continuing to grow as a team and program.”

Click here for full results from the IX Conpasa Men’s Fastpitch Panam Championship

Pitching dominated the first half of the game as Argentina’s Lucas Mata shut the U.S. down in order in their first at-bat. USA’s Tony Mancha (Las Cruces, N.M.) started in the circle, and despite giving up a leadoff infield single, retired the next three Argentina batters.

Argentina struck first in the bottom of the second inning as Ladislao Malarczuk sent a solo shot over center field to give his team an early 1-0 lead.

The U.S. would fail to get a base runner until the top of the sixth inning when Pat Sagdal (Richland, Wash.) singled with two outs. With Chris Miljavic (Easton, Mo.) at the plate, Sagdal stole second base and came around to score on an overthrow by Argentina’s shortstop.

Tied at 1-1, the game headed into the final inning where the U.S. faced the heart of the Argentina lineup. Bruno Motroni led off with a line drive to left field to put the leadoff batter on board before Manuel Godoy sent a home run over the right field fence. Mancha proved his resiliency, bouncing back and retiring the next three batters with the strikeout.

Trailing by two in their last at-bat, Matt Palazzo (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) led off with a single to centerfield , but three-consecutive strikeouts ended the U.S. rally before it could begin.

Mancha threw the complete game for the U.S., surrendering six hits, one walk and nine strikeouts. Offensively, Team USA was limited to two hits in the contest while 15 batters retired via strikeout.

With the loss, the Americans took fourth at the IX Conpasa Men’s Fastpitch Panam Championship, while Argentina advanced to play Canada in the semi-finals. The winner of the semi’s will then face Venezuela for the title.

As a team, the U.S. finished the tournament with a .175 batting average and were led by Sagdal, who ended with a .250 (5-for-20) batting average and three RBI. From the circle, Mancha finished the tournament with a 1-3 record, 55 strikeouts and a 1.60 ERA in 35 innings pitched.

Team USA now sets their sights on the 2015 season, where they will compete in two international events. First up will be the ISF Men’s World Championship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada from June 26 – July 5. The U.S. will then head to Toronto, Ontario, Canada for the 2015 Pan American Games, which are slated for July 10-26. You can follow along with Team USA all year round by visiting www.USASoftball.com.

USA Men secure No. 4 playoff seed with shutout victory over Guatemala at Men’s Pan American Championship

Click logo for coverage of the Pan Am Qualifier

Click logo for coverage of the Pan Am Qualifier

From Codi Warren, USA Softball

BOX SCORE

PARANA, Argentina – The USA Softball Men’s National Team completed round robin action at the IX Conpasa Men’s Fastpitch Panam Championship on Thursday evening with a 1-0 shutout win over Guatemala, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today. With the win, the USA Men locked up a spot in the playoffs and qualified for both the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario Canada and the XIV International Softball Federation (ISF) Men’s World Championship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

“Tony pitched another great game,” said Head Coach Denny Bruckert (Gillespie, Ill.). “Our bats aren’t exploding but we’re playing really great defense. Today is a new day and we’re going to have a tough rematch with Argentina tonight.”

Click here for coverage throughout the IX Conpasa Men’s Fastpitch Panam Championship

Team USA struck early in the game against Guatemala, scoring the sole run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Frank DeGroat Jr. (Ringwood, N.J.) led off the at-bat with a single to left field and advanced to second base on a sac bunt from Tony Mancha (Las Cruces, N.M.). With a runner in scoring position, Derrick Zechman (Watsontown, Pa.) sent a line drive to center field to plate DeGroat Jr. and give USA the 1-0 lead.

“It felt good to finally contribute and help the team,” said Zechman. “I’ve been struggling at the plate the whole tournament, so to help our team secure a playoff game meant a lot. It was a great team win to get us in the playoffs.”

The contest stayed at a 1-0 U.S. lead throughout the remainder of the game, with neither side failing to put runners in scoring position until the bottom of the sixth inning when the U.S. would load the bases. Chase Turner (San Jose, Calif.) got a leadoff single and was followed by a walk to Matt Palazzo (Pleasant Hill, Iowa). A walk to Mancha loaded the bases for Team USA with two outs, but a strikeout kept the runners from doing further damage.

Mancha got the win in the circle for Team USA and threw lights out throughout the contest. In his seven innings pitched, Mancha issued 15 strikeouts, giving up just one hit and one walk to Guatemala. Mancha also retired at least two batters per inning via the strikeout.

With the win over Guatemala, USA secured their spot in the playoff rounds at the IX Conpasa Men’s Fastpitch Panam Championship and are set for a rematch with Argentina tonight at 7 p.m. CT. In their last meeting earlier this week, USA defeated host country Argentina in a 1-0, shutout win. The win also qualified Team USA for both the 2015 Pan American Games, which will be held July 15-26 , and the ISF Men’s World Championship, which will be held June 26 – July 5, 2015. You can follow all of the USA Men’s National Team action at www.USASoftball.com.

P

USA blanks host country Argentina 1-0 at Men’s Pan American Championship

From Codi Warren, USA Softball

Click logo for coverage of the Pan Am Qualifier

Click logo for coverage of the Pan Am Qualifier

BOX SCORE

PARANA, Argentina – In front of packed stadium, the USA Softball Men’s National team earned its third victory at the IX Conpasa Men’s Fastpitch Panam Championship over host country Argentina in a 1-0 decision the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today. Scoring in the first inning, the U.S. pitching staff was lights out from the circle, giving up just four hits combined while Josh Johnson (El Paso, Texas) came up with a clutch RBI in the first inning to give Team USA the win. With the win, USA moves to 3-3 at the IX Conpasa Men’s Fastpitch Panam Championship.

“I thought the team came back and played their guts out,” said Head Coach Denny Bruckert (Gillespie, Ill.). “We were in a must win situation and Gerald threw a great game. He shut them down twice throughout the batting order and then Tony closed out the game for us. Josh Johnson came up big with an RBI single in the first that proved to be the game winner. We have to come out just as strong when we face Guatemala.”


Click here for coverage throughout the IX Conpasa Men’s Fastpitch Panam Championship

USA’s starting pitcher Gerald Muizelaar (Grand Forks, N.D.) came out strong in the top of the first inning, retiring Argentina in order. The U.S. struck first in the bottom half of the inning as Nate Devine (Sonora, Calif.) walked and advanced to second when Matt Palazzo (Pleasant Hill, Iowa) was hit by a pitch. With two runners on base and one out, Johnson got a timely hit for the U.S. with a line drive to right field to score Devine from second base and put the USA up 1-0.

Muizelaar came out just as strong in the second inning, retiring two Argentina batters via strikeout and a ground out to first base, bringing Team USA back to the plate. A leadoff walk to John Rozich (Oxford, Pa.) looked to get things going offensively for the U.S., but a pair of ground outs and a strikeout ended the rally.

Things were quiet for both sides until the top of the sixth inning when Argentina would load the bases with two outs. Tony Mancha (Las Cruces, N.M.) entered the circle for the U.S., giving up a leadoff single before retiring the next batter with a strikeout. A wild pitch advanced the runner to second base but was held up with a ground ball to Chris Miljavic (Easton, Mo.). Mancha then issued back-to-back walks to load the bases, but got out of the jam with a strikeout.

Leading 1-0 in the top of the seventh inning, the U.S. needed three outs to secure the upset over Argentina. A single to centerfield and a bunt put the two leadoff batters on base for Argentina, but USA’s defense proved strong with two groundouts and a popup to earn them the win.

Muizelaar got the win for the U.S., pitching five complete innings with one hit, two walks and six strikeouts. Mancha pitched the final two frames, issuing three hits, two walks and two strikeouts.

“Our backs were up against the wall tonight,” said Muizelaar. “It was a complete team effort, from top to bottom, and everyone contributed. We’ve been a bit inconsistent this week, but we beat two of the top three teams and had a lead on Canada. It just proves that we can play with anybody.”

Team USA will play their final round robin game today against Guatemala at 4:30 p.m. CT. Team USA awaits their playoff schedule, which will be released following the conclusion of today’s remaining matchups at the IX Conpasa Men’s Fastpitch Panam Championship. You can follow all of the USA Men’s National Team action at www.USASoftball.com.

Editor’s note: Our apologies for being a bit slow with some of the Pan Am Qualifier posting, I’m battling a nasty strain of flu…