Eastern Ontario Fastball Blog

A blog dedicated to news about the Greater Ottawa Fastball League and other happenings in the world of fastball / fastpitch softball in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, with occasional stories featuring Mrs Fitzroy Fastball, Fitzroy Fastball Junior and the Caveman. If you have info to send on, send me an email at fastball[at]fitzroyharbour.com. Follow @fitzroyfastball on Twitter.

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Canada finishes first in ISF Pan Am Championship pool play

Team Canada finished first in round robin play at the 9th Men's ISF Pan Am Championship in Parana, Argentina.

Canada won their first six games over USA, Guatemala, Cuba, Mexico, Venezuela and Dominican Republic before falling to Argentina 3-2 last night in a game that did not affect the standings.

The top four teams make the playoffs. Canada will play second place Venezuela at 5:30pm today, with the winner going to the final and the loser playing the winner of third place Argentina vs fourth place USA.

For livestream of the games, visit the event website. The commentary is pretty entertaining, even if it is in Spanish.

For details on all of Canada's games, visit softball.ca and click on the result links.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Canada wins third straight at ISF Pan Am tournament

Canada moved to three wins and no losses at the International Softball Federation Pan Am Men's Tournament in Parana, Argentina with a 2-0 win over Venezuela.

Andy Skelton got the win and had relief from Sean Cleary and Paul Koert.

Gregg Garrity had an RBI, scored a run and was hit by a pitch. Jason Sanford had the other RBI for Canada.

With two on and two out in the bottom of the seventh, Mat Roy came up with a huge catch in centrefield to seal the win.

Next up for Canada is a game against Cuba. More info at softball.ca.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Canada wins first two games at ISF Pan Am

Team Canada won their first two games at the ISF Pan-Am Championship in Parana, Argentina.

On Friday, Canada won 1-0 over Guatemala in 8 innings. Sean Cleary had the win, going the distance and allowing only two hits. Second baseman Brandon Horn had the game winning RBI.

Saturday afternoon saw Canada defeat Mexico 3-1. Devon McCullough got win in four innings with three innings of relief by veteran lefty Paul Koert. They combined for a three hitter. Horn was 2 for 4 and scored two runs. Joel Langford played left field and was 1 for 3.

Next up is a game on Sunday against Venezuela at 5:30 pm. Watch the livestream here - it's helpful if you understand Spanish.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SCHEDULE UPDATED : ISF Pan Am Tournament October 24 - November 1

The International Softball Federation IX Men's Pan American Softball Championship begins Friday in Argentina. For information on Team Canada's schedule (reproduced below) and links to web streaming of the game, visit softball.ca.

Local boy made good Joel Langford is on the team, and was recently interviewed on this here blog. The folks at the Mississauga News also now have posted a story - to read it visit their site mississauga.com. (Thanks to Blair Setford and Eric Colvin for the tip on this.)

Team Canada Schedule

October 24Canada vs. Guatemala12:30pm EDTWeb Stream
October 25Canada vs. Mexico3:00pm EDTWeb Stream
October 26Canada vs. Venezuela5:30pm EDTWeb Stream
October 27Canada vs. Cuba3:00pm EDTWeb Stream
October 28Canada vs. United States3:00pm EDTWeb Stream
October 29Canada vs. Dominican Republic3:00pm EDTWeb Stream
October 30Canada vs. Argentina8:00pm EDTWeb Stream
October 31Playoff RoundTBDWeb Stream
November 1Medal RoundTBDWeb Stream
- See more at: http://www.softball.ca/english/news/team-canada-ready-to-compete-at-ix-menrsquos-pan-american-softball-championship.htm#sthash.k5LmEOim.dpuf

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

OASA Springboard Clinics 2015

from the OASA

The Ontario Amateur Softball Association, working under its long term player development initiative, is looking to run minor softball clinics through out the province of Ontario.

We are looking for hosts for these clinics. The clinics will be held during March and April, 2015.


Facility capable of holding 50 – 70 participants with the following set up for the participants:

  • Batting nets will be set up for soft toss hitting
  • Fielding
  • Playing catch and throwing the ball.
  • For the second half it needs to be large enough to handle pitchers throwing to catchers.
  • Also need a room for coaching clinic and Umpire’s question and answer session.

The O.A.S.A. is responsible for cost of facility, insurance, instructors, equipment for the event, as well as snacks for the participants.

Closing date for submissions is October 30, 2014.

If you are interested please contact:
Garry Waugh,
45 Earlscourt Crescent,
Woodstock, On
N4S 5H2
Phone 519-537-5835
e-mail gwaugh@execulink.com

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Laurysen Kitchens wins GCMFL championship

from Facebook:

Congratulations to Laurysen Kitchens on winning the 2014 Glen Cairn Men's Fastball League Championship. They defeated Upper Canada Elevators 11-3 in game 3 of the best of 3 series.

Editor's note: The GCMFL is an eight team men's fastball league in Kanata. GOFLers past and present on Laurysen include Tony MacDonald, Nick Ellis, Matt McIntyre, Aaron Amo and Eric Colvin


Friday, October 10, 2014

GOFL All-stars 2014

The results are in, the math is complete, and the Greater Ottawa Fastball League All-stars for 2014 have been determined.

Each team representative votes on the players they feel were best at their respective positions for the season. Teams can't vote for their own players. "First team" and "Second team" all-stars are listed below.

Congratulations to all players recognized.

First Team All-Stars
Pitcher: Corey Costello, Micksburg Twins
Catcher: Chad Costello, Micksburg Twins
First Base: Neil Murphy, West Carleton Electric
Second Base: Kristian Knapp, Kars Aces
Third Base: Chad Milne, Kars Aces
Shortstop: Nick Ellis, Kars Aces
Outfield: Dan Jessiman, Stittsville 56ers; Dennis McCleary, Quyon Flyers; Cory Morrison, Kars Aces
Designated Hitter: Joe McCleary, Quyon Flyers

Second Team All-Stars
Pitcher: Andrew Putnam, I4C Victory
Catcher: Bobby Jack Hart, I4C Victory
First Base: Tony MacDonald, Kanata Pirates
Second Base: Kevin McGuire, I4C Victory
Third Base: John Craig, Stittsville 56ers
Shortstop: Michael Cavanagh, West Carleton Electric
Outfield: Aaron Amo, Kanata Pirates; Jon Daley, West Carleton Electric; Jeff Barber, West Carleton Electric
Designated Hitter: Joran Graham, Micksburg Twins

Once again the recipient of the "Tim Craig Memorial Award" is being named to recognize the league's top utility player, excelling at multiple positions. The winner for the second year in a row is Matt Greer, of the Quyon Flyers.


Thursday, October 09, 2014

One game for all the marbles in "The Glen"

from Facebook:

The GCMFL finals are tied at 1-1. The championship deciding game, Game 3 will go Tuesday October 14 @ 7:00 pm.
Game 1: Upper Canada Elevators 10-2 over Laurysen Kitchens
Game 2: Laurysen Kitchens 11-6 over Upper Canada Elevators

For those of you wondering on who is on these teams, check out the rosters posted here.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Fitzroy Fastball Interview with Joel Langford

A few years ago I ran a series of interviews with guys about their fastball careers. I though I would bring back that format with an interview with Joel Langford, who was recently named to Team Canada for an upcoming Pan Am ISF qualifier in Argentina from October 24 to November 1. Thanks to Joel for agreeing to answer my questions!

Q: Where did you play your minor and junior softball?

A: I grew up in Orleans and played for the Orleans Rebels from Mite to Midget. In Junior I played with Fingal for 3 seasons, and then played my last year with Napanee.

Q: Is there a coach or teammate that has had a significant impact on your softball career?

While my parents, Jeff and Joanne, never really coached – they had a very positive impact. Whether it as playing catch after dinner when I was younger, hitting me balls so I could work on my fielding or driving me to and from games and tournaments – I am very grateful for the support they’ve provided. We also had a great core of guys on the Orleans Rebels teams growing up so we had some great times at tourneys and doing ‘Derbys’. Guys I played with in Mite are still some of my best friends to this day.

Q: What is the best / most memorable tournament in which you have played?

There are a few that come to mind – my first Canadians in Midget with Orleans in Prince Albert SK, finishing 3rd at the ISC II's with Quyon. But I would have to say winning the Junior Canadians in St. Croix, Nova Scotia in 2010 was the most memorable. I was playing with Fingal that year and we lost to Joran Graham and his Napanee team in the game to go to Nationals at Elims. I had played with Joran on Quyon so I think he put in a good word with the coaches and they used one of their pickups on me. Going in, the expectation wasn’t really Gold or bust – there were some very good teams there (Owen Sound, Newfoundland, Saskatoon, BC, and the host Nova Scotia) – but we got on a run early and finished with only one loss in the round robin. Going into the playoff round we knew we could play with and beat every team left. We lost the undefeated game Saturday night to the Host, but came back with 2 wins on Sunday. They had over 4,000 fans out for the final so beating them on their field was something I’ll never forget.

For good times – nothing beats Elkland.. haha

Q: Who is the toughest pitcher you have ever faced in fastball?

That’s an easy one – Adam Folkard. I had some good at bats against him early in the season at the Snapper Shootout, but every time I faced him as the season went on, he was getting stronger and stronger to the point where he was pretty much unhittable. He’s had a lot of success at the ISC level so he knew what he was doing building up to August. He doesn’t make any mistakes over the plate, and his pitches have that extra bit of movement that makes all the difference. He’s in a class of his own. Paul Koert is another pitcher that I haven’t had much success against – very tough on lefties.

Q: What is the best softball facility in which you have played?

I love the throwback feel of Elkland. For World Tournaments – I really liked Kimberly, Wisconsin.

Q: The Toronto Gators have an iconic name going back 20+ years when it comes to the men’s fastpitch game. Tell us a bit about how your 2014 season went playing for the Gators in the men’s open circuit.

Yes I think it’s great for the game to have a guy like Jack Fireman back sponsoring a team. I remember seeing highlights of them in Fastpitch: The Movie so to be playing with them now is really cool. It would be hard to classify the season as a success since we finished 9th at the World Tournament – but leading up to the WT we had either won or made the final in almost every tournament. We just ran into two tough teams (Scarborough Force and Hallman Twins) and it wasn’t meant to be this year. At the same time, it was our first year together and I think there are a lot of positives to build on. Hill United didn’t win their first year either so that shows how tough it is. We have a great core with Ben Enoka, Brad Rona, Ryan Boland, and Sean Cleary so I think we’ll come back stronger next year.

Q: As a player who has participated in the past in the Greater Ottawa Fastball League and currently in some southern Ontario leagues (Golden Horseshoe, Oshawa District), what are some of the differences (and maybe similarities) you have noticed between the leagues in the Ottawa-area and the Toronto-area?

I’ve only played a handful of games in the Oshawa league but in terms of similarities between the GHFL and GOFL, I would say that both leagues are very competitive between the lines and then once the game is done both teams will drink some beers and have some laughs. I love that about the game. The calibre of the two leagues is similar, I think if both leagues were to put together All-Star teams they would be evenly matched.

Living in Toronto certainly makes it easier getting to and from tournaments – but I definitely miss playing in the GOFL.

Q: It must have been exciting to first be named to the 40-man roster for Team Canada, then be actually named to the team to play in the ISF Pan-Am Qualifier. Tell us a bit about how you found out you were “on the list”, the process involved, and then how you were told you made the team.

Yes it definitely was! They announced the 40-man this past winter and I wasn’t initially on it, I think in part because I wasn’t able to play in the ISCs or Canadians last summer because I started a new job. I spoke with Don Bates (Head Coach) around that time and he said I was on the bubble but those are the ‘big two’ tournaments that they look at when putting the 40-man together so it was understandable. A couple months later I got a call from him and he told me they were adding me to the list. It was a great experience to attend the Camp in Brampton in May and play with the best in the country. I had a good season with the Gators and played well at Canadians but I still thought it was a bit of a long shot. About a week after Canadians, I got the call to say I was on the team for Argentina.

I know there are a few guys who are hanging up the cleats after the Pan Am games in Toronto next summer so the Program may be on the verge of a youth movement. Obviously it’s something that I would love to be a part of for a long time – just need to keep getting better every year!

Q: What are you looking forward to the most about participating in the tournament in Argentina? Do you have any specific personal goals set?

I can’t wait to get down there. They had some great crowds out when the Jr. ISFs were there a couple years ago so it should be a great atmosphere. I am just looking forward to playing in my first international tournament, being around the best in Canada and learning from them.

I wouldn’t say that I have any personal goals per se – the only goal would be to contribute when my number is called and help the team repeat as Gold Medalists.

Q: As someone who was under close scrutiny at the time for Team Canada, you played (and excelled) at the Senior Canadians in PEI for East Hants, NS out of your regular position, at shortstop instead of second base. What did you enjoy most about your experience at the Nationals playing as an “import” for the Nova Scotia team?

It was kind of a shame that no Ontario team attended but that obviously had something to do with the Worlds being in Kitchener. I had a great time that week. I had played with Schofield, Whynot and Archibald on the Gators so I knew a few guys going in – but the rest of the team was a great bunch of guys. They were a young team that had been playing together for a long time. Schofield pitched very well for us all week. It was unfortunate to lose to Kelly’s Pub in playoffs after beating them in the round robin – but it was a testament to how even the tournament was.

Q: Imagine you had a nine-year old second cousin once removed who aspired to make it to Team Canada men’s softball team just like you. (You don’t really have to imagine this, it’s actually true, the Caveman is a relative.) What advice would you give him on how to have a chance to play at an elite level?

Hahaha good luck to him!

I think hitting is a skill that has to be developed, and natural ability is less important than people think. So to play at an elite level, the key is to get as many reps as you can – play as many tournaments as you can, challenge yourself against the top pitchers, and continually make adjustments. Eventually the game will start to slow down. At that age, the best thing to do would be to play wiffle ball or something similar to develop the hand-eye coordination. I know when I was that age my cousin and I played hundreds of 1-on-1 games with a foam bat and tennis balls at my Grandma’s house in Woodlawn and that probably helped just as much if not more than games and practices did.

It truly is a great game and the more you play it, the more you will love it.

Thanks again to Joel for taking the time to participate in this interview and the blog will be following Team Canada's progress closely at the event in Argentina.

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Monday, October 06, 2014

GOFL Playoff format poll

Thanks to all blog readers who took the poll to give feedback on the Greater Ottawa Fastball League playoff format. The results will be reviewed / discussed at the league "winter meeting". A total of 67 responded to the poll question, with one person that skipped it and provided a comment only. Answers as to the preferred format were as follows:

Current format: first round with best-of-five playoff series, winners advancing to "Final Weekend Showdown" tournament in mid-September : 28 responses (41.79%)

Previous format: three rounds of playoff series, with a final series ending in late September or early October : 30 responses (44.78%)

Tournament format: all teams play in year end playoff tournament : 6 responses (8.96%)

Other format: not listed above : 3 responses (4.48%)

So no real clear winner as the current format and the previous format had pretty much equal levels of support. There were ten comments that were included in the responses:

1) Response: Other format
Comment: top 4 make playoffs. 1 vs 4 and 2 vs 3 in best of 3 semis winners to best of 5 final.

2) Response: Previous format
Comment: Fall ball is where it's at

3) Response: Previous format
Comment: All rounds could be best of three vs best of five. If you miss the weekend tournament, as a fan, you miss a lot of good games. Same goes for the players. There are a lot of weeks in August with hardly any games which means they need to be played in Sep. Double-headers like the one in Manotick on Sep 8th are great. That could be an option, a couple of double-headers at various locations, it would also mean more fans. The weekend tournament seems like a rush to finish and it's unfortunate for the players who worked hard all summer to have very little room for error in a one-time shot weekend. As a fan, I'll support the GOFL whatever is decided. Thanks for the opportunity to participate in the survey

4) Response: Other format
Comment; Top four teams make playoffs. - First round is a best of 3 - Finals are a best of 5.

5) Response: Current format
Comment: but get the playoff series over before Thursday of the final weekend if that means defaults so be it schedule games and play them except for rain 3 weeks to get it done is plenty long and there should be no excuse to play Thursday or Friday final games of 1st series on final weekend

6) Response: Other format
Comment: Start with a double knockout weekend, and have 1st and 2nd place teams play off in a best of 5 series.

7) Response: Previous format
Comment: All best of 3

8) Response: Previous format
Comment: But there would have to be some minimum number of games to be played each week. Games on weekends would have to be considered.

9) Response: Tournament format
Comment: There is far too much travel involved in league play already. Some of our wives don't appreciate our dedication to the sport! lol

10) Response: No answer
Comment: Maybe a round Robin, we're you play.everybody, then.have A,B,C one game final. Last place team would only miss.the one game. Spread.over a few weeks


Thursday, October 02, 2014

Finals set for Glen Cairn Men's Fastball League

They are still playing ball in the GCMFL. Tony MacDonald provides this update:

The GCMFL finals are all set. The series will showcase Laurysen Kitchens vs Upper Canada Elevators. 

Game 1 will go Tuesday Oct 7th at 7 pm at AY Jackson and game 2 Wednesday Oct 8th at 8:30 pm at AY Jackson.

Upper Canada Elevators defeated Kanata Sports Club 2-0 in their best of three semi final series to advance to finals. Laurysen Kitchens defeated Stittsville Midgets 2-1 in their best of 3 semi final series to advance to finals.