Fresh off a Softball Canada U23 Canadian Fast Pitch Championship the Owen Sound Selects have now turned their attention to the International Softball Congress World Tournament U23 title.
The Selects opened up tournament pool play on Thursday with a 7-0 shutout win over the Niagara Falls Dawgs at Budd Park in Kitchener.
Kirk Santala worked the six-inning shutout for the Selects striking out 12 batters while only allowing one hit and one free pass on the day.
It was Santala who pitched complete games in the semi-final and finals at the Canadian championship as the Selects won gold.
Quinten Bruce, Matt Wardrop, and Brandon Tucker all drove in runs for Owen Sound.
MacKenzie Pringle tallied three RBIs in the winning effort including a first-inning two-run double that got the Selects rolling. By the end of the first inning the Selects had a three-run head start. They wouldn’t look back.
The Selects then beat the New Hamburg Mustangs on Thursday afternoon, 10-2, to finish opening day a perfect 2-0.
Wardrop led the Selects on the mound and in the batter’s box against the Mustangs.
Santala and Wardrop combined on the mound with Wardrop pitching 4.1 innings and recording seven Ks.
Danny Benson and Wardrop both swatted home runs against the Mustangs. Wardrop finished the game with three RBIs, Quinten Bruce, Denny Benson and Luke Zettel each drove in pair of runs while MacKenzie Pringle recorded an RBI on the day.
Wardrop was tied for the tournament lead with four RBIs on Thursday evening.
Owen Sound will conclude their pool-play schedule Friday against the Alvinston Jr. Aces with first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m.
The Selects will the move onto the single-elimination playoff bracket on Friday evening – final seeding and game times to be determined – with the championship contest scheduled for Saturday at 3 p.m.
STING IN TROUBLE AT NATIONALS
The Ontario Amateur Softball Association provincial champions are in danger of being relegated to the consolation bracket at the 2018 Softball Canada U19 Canadian Fast Pitch Championship in Napanee.
With a 1-4 record, and one game remaining on Thursday night, the Sting found themselves in a four-way tie for last place at the 12-team tournament.
The bottom four teams following the round robin will be relegated to the consolation bracket.
The Shallow Lake Sting opened their national championship round-robin play with three straight defeats – 4-2 to the Delisle Pride, 7-6 to the Belmore Sting and 5-1 against the Prince Albert Gateway North Towing Astros.
The Sting didn’t pick up their first win until Wednesday afternoon, the second day of the tournament, when they topped the OASA provincials runner-up Chepstow Lang Farms 14-5.
On Thursday, the Sting were shutout 5-0 by the Colchester Royals before matching up against Team BC Thursday evening. The results of the Sting’s final game on Thursday were not available at press time.
Shallow Lake will now have two more opportunities on Friday to make up some ground in the standings. The Sting will meet the Caledonia Haldimand Athletics at 1:30 p.m., before closing the round robin against Chayee Bourras out of Newfoundland.
The Sting won their game against Team BC 9-2 on Thursday night and improved their record to 2-4.