Huge Upset at Men's World Cup of Softball

Aussies Win Gold Without Allowing A Single Hit

By TSC Contributor JIM POLJAK

SASKATOON  The International Softball Federation's Men’s World Softball Championship was a battle between the old and new powers in softball as Australia and New Zealand faced off in Saskatoon, Canada. New Zealand was the three-time defending champion, a veteran team that has been there and done that. Australia was making its first appearance in a championship game and was relying on 22-year-old Adam Folkard to stymie the potent Black Sox offense. Stymie was an understatement. 
Folkard tossed his second no-hitter to lead the Aussies to a 5-0 win over the 3-time defending champions.  It was the second time in three days Australia beat the odds-on favorite in the tournament, with Folkard allowing just one hit in the two games he faced against the offensive juggernauts. 
“He gave up one hit in the two games we played against him,” Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase said.  “He just had us scratching around.” 
A modest Folkard tried to shy away from the spotlight of his achievement: “It’s great,” he said. “The fielders were great. It’s got to come back to them as well.” 
But the fielding wasn’t great on the other side as the Aussies took advantage of three miscues by the Sox. Nick Shailes scored in the second inning off a throwing error and reached base again in the fourth on a fielding error. The deciding blow was delivered by Tyron Bartorillo with his home run in the bottom of the sixth. 
Aussie head coach Bob Harrow wasn’t surprised that his young team upset the tournament favorites: “I was quietly confident that we could do it,” he said. “These guys have been put together, molded.” 
Canada took home the bronze medal after losing 8-5 to New Zealand in the bronze-medal game.  The US failed once again to take any hardware home by finishing fourth in the tournament.  Despite the loss, head coach Peter Turner sees reasons for optimism: “We’re progressing far beyond where I thought we would be,” he said. “The core unit is competitive enough to beat anybody. This program is in good shape.”