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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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Caveman spelling bee

I was helping Caveman tonight with his French homework.

He says "Dad, is this how you spell 'possibilities' in French?" : posibilités

I tell him, "You're close, Caveman, but it has two 's'es."

"OK, but that looks weird."

"No, it definitely has two 's'es,  very similar to how it's spelled in English."

"Alright, if you're sure Daddy."

On his paper he writes: posibilitéss


GOFL 2017 schedule now available

The Greater Ottawa Fastball League schedule for 2017 is now available online on the league's website at http://gofl.ca/index.php/schedule/regular-season.

Seven teams return to the premier men's fastpitch softball league in eastern Ontario and western Quebec:

  • Micksburg, ON Twins, defending champions
  • Kars Aces, playoff runners-up, playing out of Manotick, ON
  • I4C Victory, playing out of Manotick, ON
  • Ottawa Valley As, playing out of Carp, ON
  • Quyon, QC Flyers
  • West Carleton Electric, playing out of Fitzroy Harbour, ON
  • Stittsville, ON 56ers
Games start on May 10.

Ottawa Valley Strong wins bronze at World Masters Games

According to Twitter, Ottawa Valley Strong defeated the Breakaway 45s in 8-7 in extra innings to win bronze at the World Masters Games 45+ women's recreational division in Auckland, New Zealand.

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Ottawa Valley Strong to play for bronze

The Ottawa Valley Strong masters women's team will be playing for a bronze medal at the World Masters Games in New Zealand.

OV Strong went undefeated in round robin play before losing a semi-final game to end up in the bronze medal match.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ottawa Valley Strong win again

from Scott Searle

The Ottawa Valley Strong won 8-1 at the World Masters Games against the Western Spirits from Australia.Yvonne Carleton thew 4 innings of a one hitter before giving way to Chrissy LaForce who finished the game.

Pam-Behnke Van Hoof was 3-3 with a triple and 4 RBI's.  The team is back in action tomorrow at 2:40 against Casey 2 Cans.

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Valley Strong wins big over Brisbane

from Scott Searle

The Ottawa Valley Strong kept up their winning ways at the World Masters Games 45+ women's softball tournament with a 15-0 win over the Tuff 'Ol Chicks from Brisbane, Australia.

Chrissy LaForce threw 4 shutout innings allowing only 1 hit before giving way to Jo-Lynn Ayotte who closed the game out for the Strong. Liz Warren was 3-3 with 3 runs scored as the team once again got off to a strong start as they  pushed across 8 runs in the first inning.

They are back in action tomorrow morning as they try to clinch 1st place in their pool.

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

OV Strong improve to 2-0 at World Masters Games

Scott Searle reporting from New Zealand

The Ottawa Valley Strong won their second game at the World Masters Games 12-6 against a team from Australia.  They jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first inning behing a strong pitching performance from Shyanne Stockie. Stockie picked up 5 strikeouts in 5 innings of work.  (Editor's note: see here for an article on Shyanne.)

Kinburn's Jayne Coady threw 2 innings in relief before giving way to Chrissy LaForce who pitched the last inning.

It was a full team offensive effort as the team exploded for 13 hits including massive back-to-back triples from Pam Behn-Van-Hoof and Cheryl Staats for the biggest hits of the day, Chrissy LaForce nearly missed an automatic homerun that nearly rolled down the side of Rangitoto Volcano.

The team will look to improve to 3-0 at 1:00 tomorrow.

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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Ottawa Valley Strong win their first game

The Ottawa Valley Strong started their campaign at the World Masters Games with a 6-5 victory over the Runnermakers from Australia.

Yvonne Carleton from Saskatchewan picked up the win, with relief from Jayne Coady of Kinburn.  Cathy Kelly was 2-2 and scored 2 runs and Chrissy LaForce from Braeside was 2-3 with 2 RBI's.

The team is back in action today at 1:00 PM.

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10th Annual Gil Read Memorial Tournament

The 10th Annual Gil Read Memorial Men’s Fastpitch tournament will be held once again at the Carp Fairgrounds in Carp, Ontario the weekend of July 28th, 29th and 30th, 2017.

This is an Open class tournament without restriction. Entry fee and prize money to be confirmed soon.

The tournament committee plans on making the 10th edition of the event the best ever. Fantastic beer garden with the best burgers around, and good crowds on hand, all in support of the Gil Read Memorial Foundation.

Last year's 9th annual event was won by the CPI Classics of Oswego, NY - story here.

To reserve a spot for your team please contact:
Adam Brown
613-623-8867 (home)
613-720-3575 (cell: text or call)


Cory Morrison
613-614-7349 (cell: text or call)

Past champions of the Gil Read Memorial:
2016 Oswego CPI Classics
2015 Kanata Storm
2014 Micksburg Twins
2013 Lake Simcoe Lightning
2012 Toronto Gators
2011 Quebec Seniors
2010 Quyon Flyers
2009 Ottawa Team Easton
2008 Ottawa Easton Thunder


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Local Men's Leagues for 2017

A brief round up of local men's fastball leagues for the upcoming season.

Greater Ottawa Fastball League will have seven teams returning from last year.

Blackburn Men's Fastball League will have eight teams this season, with their new player evaluation happening on Saturday.

Glen Cairn Men's Fastball League has nine teams this season.

Fitzroy Harbour Men's Fastball League will once again have eight teams competing in "Harbour Ball".

Carp Men's Fastball League continues with four teams.

Shawville Men's Fastball League has four teams plus a spares list. They've moved to Tuesday nights.

North Leeds Men's Fastball League lost a couple of teams and is down to seven, with the possibility of one more team being added.

Apparently the New Edinburgh Men's Fastball League in Ottawa, which is admittedly a bit of a mystery, has four teams again this season.

The Ashton Men's Fastball League will continue with four teams unless someone has info to the contrary.

Word is that the Trend-Arlington Fastball League in the Nepean area has folded with many players going to the Glen.

As per the story below, the Kingston Men's Fastball League and the Loughborough Fastball League have merged, likely to have ten teams.

Did I miss any local men's fastball loops in the summary above? If so, let me know at fastball@fitzroyharbour.com.

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Loughborough, Kingston leagues merge

As had been rumoured for a while, it's been officially announced that the Loughborough Men's Fastball League and the Kingston Men's Fastball League are merging for the 2017 season. Some information here: http://www.ckwstv.com/2017/04/12/fastball-leagues-merge/

‘I think fastball had to go this way’

Kingston Whig-Standard - Doug Graham
One league’s demise is another league’s saviour.
The Loughborough Fastball League, one of the mainstays for men’s fastball for the past five decades, has folded.
The Kingston Men’s Fastball League, which operates out of Garrigan Park, is now the lone competitive men’s fastball loop in the area.
“The way I look at it is the Loughborough league has essentially folded and now we are looking at an expanded Kingston Men’s Fastball League,” Brad Ethier, president of the KMFL, said.
“To be honest, I think fastball had to go this way. If we did not do something like this, I think it would have been the beginning of the end.”
The KMFL has absorbed most of the players from the defunct Loughborough league. The result is the KMFL, which operated with six teams last year — but had two fold for this season — will operate in a nine-team, two-division format.
Ethier said the league has been split into East and West divisions.
The East teams — defending-champion Dig’N Dirt, the Red Dogs, the A’s and Ice Cold Pitchers — will play home games out of Garrigan Park.
The West teams — the Napanee intermediates, North Fredericksburgh, the Napanee midgets, Sydenham and Enterprise — will play their home games at the Napanee Fairgrounds.
The genesis of the merger of Loughborough players into the KMFL came from a request by the league’s president.
“We were asked to consider merging because otherwise they were looking at folding. But there were a lot of guys that still wanted to play ball,” said Ethier, who put the suggestion before the KMFL teams to consider and is enthused over what the merger has brought. “Basically, the consensus was [our teams] wanted to do the merger.
“I think it is going to be pretty good. Our league last year had four teams within five points. Then you add some good, quality players and pitchers from the west and I think it is going to be a pretty solid league.”
Ethier, who played fastball for more than 20 years before hanging up his cleats, said some players have been playing in both leagues in past seasons.
Now they will all be playing in one league, giving it more depth.
“Of the nine teams, I would say a good seven of them have a top pitcher with a not so bad second one. I think it is going to be very competitive,” Ethier said.
The league will begin its 20-game schedule Monday night with games at Garrigan Park and in Napanee.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

ISC player representatives named, including Brad Pender

The ISC has named their 12 player representatives who are from various regions in Canada, the USA and International.

The representative for Canada East is Brad Pender, from the GOFL's Kars Aces and the ISC Kingston Axemen team.

More info here.


Ryan Wolfe Steals Home

from Scott Searle

Ryan Wolfe batted 2nd in the Softball Ontario Webinar series, and as fans of the sport have seen many times, he hit a double, and then scored from 2nd on a Sacrifice Fly.

Ryan shared practical tips that he learned in his 16 years with the National team and explained tried and true strategies to teach baserunning to young athletes. Ryan drew on his experience as a high school physical education teacher to explain the best way to scaffold baserunning skills to teach it to athletes of all levels.

Coaches from across Canada earned a Professional Development Point to maintain their certification with the National Coaching Certification Program and learned from a great ambassador of the sport, and one of Canada’s top athletes.

Be sure to visit the Softball Ontario website at https://www.softballontario.ca/english/our-programs/coach/softball-nccp/professional-development-points-webinar-series.html to sign up for the remaining sessions.

Up next is the Head Coach of the Senior Men’s National Team to talk about Game Management. John Stuart led Team Canada to Gold Medals at the 2015 WBC World Championship and Pan-American Games. He is currently leading the preparations for the World Championships this summer in Whitehorse as Canada will defend its title.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at Scottsearle@rogers.com

Game Management
John Stuart
May 1st

The art of calling the Game (Pitch Selection)
Bruce Casselman
May 15th

Creating a Winning Culture
Chantal Valée
May 29th

Preparing for Elite Competitions
Pat Reid
June 19th

John Stuart
John is the Head Coach of the Senior Men’s National Team. In his first year in this role, he led the team to double gold medals at the World Softball and Baseball Classic (WSBC) and Pan-American Games.

He started his softball career late compared to most as he came from a Baseball background. Started coaching at age 25 while still playing eventually leading up to coaching BC Jr Team to Silver Medal in 2002 at Nationals as well as 4th place finish in 2004. Took over head coaching position of Vancouver Greysox Senior Men's Team in 2005 leading Greysox to National Championship in 2007 first time a Vancouver Team had won a National title since 1966. Was part of support staff for Team Canada Men's National Team at 2009 ISF World Championships. Became assistant coach with Men's National Team in 2010 helping Team Canada to Gold medal at Pan American Championships in 2012 . Took over head coaching position with Men's National Team in 2014 leading Canada to Gold at 2015 World Championship Canada's first World Championship since 1992. Followed up with Gold Medal a month later at 2015 Pan Am Games. Married 23 years to wife Barb have 2 boys Levi 21 and Brodi 17.

Bruce Casselman

Bruce Casselman holds the legacy of being one of the top players to play mens fastpitch in Canada. In the 1990’s he led the Toronto Gators to two ISC World Championships and two Canadian Championships. He was a member of the Senior Mens National Team that won Gold at the 1999 Pan-American Games champion in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He also represented Team Canada at the ISF World Championships in South Africa. A very humble person, Bruce is most proud to have caught some of the best pitchers from around the world including; Darren Zack, Brad Underwood, Micheal Piechnick, Dean Holein, Chubb Tangerora, Doug Middleton and Steve Price. Bruce moved away from softball to coach hockey in the Ottawa area, but had his passion for the game re-kindled by coaching his daughters u14 team. Bruce is a Softball Ontario Learning Facilitator and provides support on technical skills. More recently he was a Guest Coach with the u21 Men’s Canada Games Program in Ontario where he consulted with the catchers on setting up batters with proper sequences.

Chantal Vallée @coachvalee

Chantal Vallée is in currently in her eleventh season as the Head Coach of the Windsor Lancers Women's Basketball program. A native of Montreal, Quebec, Coach Vallée has built one of the top women's basketball programs in the country here at the University of Windsor, capturing five straight CIS national titles in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. Chantal speaks fluent French, English and Spanish and has a Masters Degree in Sport Psychology. Her message and insights apply beyond competitive sports to all aspects of life.
In her off-season at Windsor, she is an Assistant Coach with the Women’s National Team. Most recently she covered the 2016 Olympic Summer Games as an analyst and sports caster.
Some notable awards she has received include:

- CIS Women's Basketball Coach of the Year - 2013-14, 2014-15
- OUA Fox 40 Overall Female Coach of Year – 2009, 2011, 2013 & 2015
- OUA West Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year – 2009, 2011 & 2012, 2014, 2015
- University of Windsor Gino Fracas Coach of the Year – 2008, 2009 & 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015
- WESPY Awards Coach of the Year - 2012, 2013

Pat Reid

Pat Reid is one of the most successful coaches in Canadian history. He has coached at the highest levels in hockey as well as Athletics is one of the few Level 5 certified coaches in Athletics Canada. Pat was the Director of the High Performance Program "Best Ever '88" for Canadian athletes and coaches preparing for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games in Calgary. Pat has coached or been involved in a technical capacity at 7 Summer Olympics and 5 Winter Olympics Games and he has coached athletes to over 50 provincial and national titles and berths on four Olympic teams. He has been elected to the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame and currently lives in Edmonton where he works as the Executive Director of the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission.

In addition to his coaching success, he has a great deal of management experience in sport. While working as VP International for the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association (now Hockey Canada), he was the Director of Operations for the Women’s National Hockey Team and general manager of the first IIHF Women's World Hockey Championship. He is credited with the infamous pink jersey decision that ignited press coverage that is viewed as having saved the event which was secretly the Olympic test event to see if women's hockey could attract an Olympic calibre audience. It did and women's hockey was added to the Winter Olympics. Pat also guided Canada’s Junior Men’s Hockey Team to two World Championship gold medals.

Pat is a highly sought after speaker on coaching issues and was the first North American coach to give the keynote address at the annual European Athletics Coaches Congress. He has lectured as a professor in the Human Kinetics department at the University of Ottawa as well as at Algonquin College. While working in Edmonton he is presently completing his PhD at the University of Alberta. He has run the Boston Marathon twice and is a graduate of the National Coaching Institute. Most importantly, Pat played left field for the very successful Elliot Lake Merchants softball team as a young man growing up in Elliot Lake!


Sunday, April 09, 2017

Pickering Tournament looking for teams

Planning has started for the 7th annual Pickering Fastball Association Invitational tournament that will be held on Friday - Saturday June 16th - 17th.

Last year there were 12 teams and we can accommodate up to 16 teams. We are looking forward to another strong field this year.

As in previous years the plan is to have every team play 1 game Fri night and 2 Sat (1 in am and 1 in pm) with the semifinals at 600pm and the finals at 800pm Sat night. Likely looking at $375 per team.

Right now we are looking for an expression of interest from each team to help us in the planning. If you know of other teams that might be interested in coming please have them contact me as soon as they can.

Dave Northern
905-706-7873 cell
905-420-0628 home


Friday, April 07, 2017

OASA Masters news release

from Mike Goodridge

The Ontario Amateur Softball Association will present the 2017 Legends (50+) and Masters (40+) provincial championships, to be held once again in St. Clements, Ontario on July 14, 15, and 16.

Waterloo Legends and Sammy Forbes will once again host the tournament, along with the OASA.

"St. Clements, has proven to be an excellent host with its central location for Masters teams and the many fastball fans who still enjoy watching some of the great Ontario fastball players. With three diamonds and camping facilities, and close proximity to the fastball hub of Kitchener, it is quickly gaining a reputation as a great host" said Tournament Director Mike Goodridge.

As the many Ontario Masters teams start to shake the cobwebs off and begin preparation for the 2017 season, early indications show that all teams that participated last year are returning, plus a couple of new entries in both the Legends 50 and over and the Masters 40 and over Divisions.

The entry fee has risen to $425 for the 3 game guarantee tournament. This the first increase in many years with the $50 increase per team going to the Scholarship fund which has helped so many young fastball students over the past years.

The OASA is reaching out across the province and certainly would welcome teams from the Napanee/Kingston area plus Northern Ontario.

There will be two significant events taking place during the tournament. Darren Zack, who was unable to attend in November at the ceremony, will be formally inducted into the OASA Hall of Fame. In addtion, three ball players will be recognized by the Ontario Masters Hall of Fame: Barry Hammond, Craig Minifie and Brian McGuire.

For more information, please contact tournament director Mike Goodridge at 289 389 9158 or at mikegoodridge2@gmail.com. (Please note the change in email address.)

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Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Playoff Hockey Pool fundraiser

The Durham Diamondbacks Men's Fastball Team is running an NHL playoff pool. $10 to enter with $1500 in guaranteed prize money. Message Matt Madaglia for details at Mmedaglia88@gmail.com.


Local women's team at World Masters Games in New Zealand UPDATED

A fastpitch softball team of 45+ local women from the Ottawa Valley (plus a few reinforcements) will be playing at the World Masters Games in New Zealand starting April 22. Coach Scott Searle has taken on the last of leading these ladies as they play in the Recreational division at the event.

Here is their schedule.

Updated with a recent article in the West Carleton Review.

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Sunday, April 02, 2017

Dick Anthony obituary / Softball Ontario tribute

Info from Erin Durant

Dick Anthony, long time fastball coach, died this week. He was a coach for Orleans and a number of other women's teams. In his coaching career, he earned16 Canadian championship medals. See his obituary here.

Update: Softball Ontario has put a tribute on their website.


Roger Legendre obituary

Condolences to the family and friends of Roger Legendre, who recently died. Roger was very active in the fastpitch softball scene in Sudbury and was the organizer of the 2012 OASA Men's Intermediate B provincial tournament. Check out his obituary here.


Broker4Tickets to sell Blue Jays tickets

Broker4Tickets, sponsors of the local men's fastball tournament team, will be offering Toronto Blue Jay tickets for sale this upcoming season. They also will have tickets available for Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens playoff hockey games. Visit their website at www.broker4tickets.com to find out more info.