World champs

Ellsworth wins gold with na­tional team

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JASON MAL­LOY

Co-cap­tains Jeff Ellsworth and Ryan Wolfe led a vic­tory lap with a Cana­dian flag Sun­day af­ter win­ning the In­ter­na­tional Soft­ball Fed­er­a­tion (ISF) world cham­pi­onship in Saska­toon.

“You chase this tour­na­ment your whole ca­reer, you play ball for this very event,” Ellsworth said af­ter the medal pre­sen­ta­tion. “It’s the first time Canada has won this in 23 years, so to put Canada back on top with your last crack at it, it’s pretty spe­cial.”

Ellsworth won a bronze at the tour­na­ment in 2009 in Saska­toon and was part of the fifth­place team in 2013 in New Zealand.

Canada de­feated the de­fend­ing champs from New Zealand 10-5 Sun­day in the cham­pi­onship game, but it didn’t look good early.

New Zealand knocked Cana­dian ace Sean Cleary out of the game and led 5-0 in the third in­ning.

Ellsworth said the Cana­dian squad re­mained pos­i­tive, de­spite be­ing in an early hole against a team - and pitcher Hein­rick Shan­non - that handed them their only loss of the tour­na­ment on Satur­day night.

“We trust each other,” said Ellsworth, a St. Lawrence na­tive.

No. 9 hitter Bran­don Horn led off the bot­tom of the third with a dou­ble and scored on Mathieu Roy’s sin­gle be­fore Brad Ezekiel’s home run cut the lead to 5-3.

“Bran­don is one of the elite hit­ters in the world,” Ellsworth said.

“That’s all it takes with this squad, too, is just one per­son to have that qual­ity at-bat to get the train started.”

Be­fore the end of the in­ning, Steve Mullaley hit a solo home run. He broke the game open the fol­low­ing in­ning with a grand slam and added a two-run shot in the sixth for his third home run and sev­enth RBI of the game.

“It was just in­sane,” Ellsworth said. “Ev­ery­thing he touched seemed to find its way over the fence.”

Ellsworth was 1-for-3 with a dou­ble and a sac­ri­fice bunt in the cham­pi­onship game.

Ellsworth said he was think­ing about all the peo­ple who had helped him along the way, start­ing back with some of his first coaches, in­clud­ing his par­ents Melvin and Sheila, and his wife Lori, for her sup­port as he spent 15 years trav­el­ling to get to the pin­na­cle of the sport.

Ellsworth ar­rives back on P.E.I. to­day, but it will be a short stop. He leaves Thurs­day for Ajax, Ont., as part of Canada’s team chas­ing gold at the Pan Amer­i­can Games.

He called Sun­day’s vic­tory “step one” to­wards the dou­ble gold goal.

Win­ning this, ob­vi­ously, the con­fi­dence goes up. We’ll be ready to go back to work on Satur­day.”


St. Lawrence’s Jeff Ellsworth, right, won gold Sun­day with Canada at the In­ter­na­tional Soft­ball Fed­er­a­tion world cham­pi­onship in Saska­toon.


Jeff Ellsworth makes con­tact dur­ing pre­lim­i­nary round play at the In­ter­na­tional Soft­ball Fed­er­a­tion world cham­pi­onship.

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