Islander helps defending world champs to third win
KITCHENER, ONT. – A masterful hitting performance by Jeff Ellsworth and clinical pitching by Adam Folkard helped the Hill United Chiefs to a 7-0 late-night win over Circle Tap at the International Softball Congress world tournament Tuesday.
Ellsworth, one of two Islanders on the roster of the defending world-champion Chiefs, hit 4-for-5, scored twice and accounted for three runs batted in (RBI).
The other Islander on the team from First Nations, Ont., is pitcher Mitch Hardy from Alberton. He did not see action as Folkard kept Circle Tap off balance, limiting the Denmark, Wis., team to two hits. Folkard gave up five walks and struck out 12 batters through seven innings.
The win moved the Chiefs to 3-0 (won-lost) in the 48-team double-knockout tournament. They went into the tournament ranked first.
After having Wednesday off, the Chiefs will be one of only four teams still in the undefeated column when they return to action Thursday night against the Scarborough Force in a 7:30 start, Atlantic time. The Force scored a 6-2 upset win over the Toronto Gators in Tuesday’s final game.
Thursday’s 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. games will whittle the undefeated teams down to just two. The winners and losers of those games will advance to games Friday evening. The winner of both the Thursday and Friday night contests will advance right to Saturday’s championship final.
“It was one of those games where you see the ball well.” Jeff Ellsworth
“It was one of those games where you see the ball well,” said Ellsworth, who had four of the Chiefs’ 10 hits. No other batter had more than one hit.
With Wednesday off, Ellsworth took the opportunity to attend the Softball Canada under-16 national female championship in Brampton, Ont., where the team he coached last year was representing P.E.I. Three of the players he coached last year, as well as one player who he coached at this year’s under-18 nationals, are playing for the P.E.I. team.
Hardy has pitched just one inning so far in the world tournament, a steep contrast from when he pitched four games and finished a fifth for O’Leary in three days during the North American Fastpitch Association World Series of Softball last week in Iowa. Ellsworth anticipates Hardy might get a start Thursday night.
Against Circle Tap, Ellsworth registered a first-inning single, scored in the third after hitting a triple, cranked a homer in the sixth and drove in two runs with a seventh inning single.