KITCHENER, Ont. – A Prince Edward Islander played a key role in the Hill United Chiefs repeating as International Softball Congress (ISC) world tournament champions.
The Chiefs defeated the host Kitchener Hallman Twins 3-2 in the championship final on Saturday night. Outfielder Jeff Ellsworth from Brooklyn, P.E.I., and pitcher Mitch Hardy from Alberton play for the Chiefs.
Ellsworth, who delivered a game-tying two-run blast in the bottom of the third inning and finished with a 2-for-3 summary in the final, was selected the tournament’s most valuable player and a member of the First Team All-World squad.
Ellsworth had 11 hits in 20 at-bats for a .550 batting average overall. He also belted four home runs and drove in eight as the Chiefs added another championship to their resumé. The team from Six Nations, Ont., has now won both the American Softball Association world championship and the ISC world championship two years in a row.
Down to wire
The final came right down to the wire as the Chiefs and Twins were tied 2-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Jason Sanford doubled for the Chiefs, and then scored the winning run on a Craig Crawford one-out single.
Marshall Kronk had given the Twins a 2-0 lead with a two-run homer in the top of the third.
Australian Adam Folkard earned six pitching wins for the Chiefs, finishing off with a 13-strikeout performance against the Twins, giving up just two hits. Folkard, who went 6-0 with a 1.06 earned-run average, was named the tournament’s top pitcher and First Team All-World.
The Chiefs managed three runs on six hits against pitcher Jeremy Manley, who registered seven strikeouts.
Hardy was not called upon in the championship final.
The outcome spoiled what was otherwise a big day for the host Twins, who picked up big wins of 10-2 over the New York Gremlins and 7-4 over the PA Power of Harrisburg, Pa., just to advance to the final.
The defending-champion and No. 1-ranked Chiefs breezed through the double-knockout tournament with a 6-0 (won-lost) record.