Mitchell set to host ISC Canada East qual­i­fier.

37 teams will com­pete in ISC qual­i­fier, U23 cham­pi­onship and leg­ends event

The Beacon Herald - - FRONT PAGE - ANDY BADER POST­MEDIA NEWS

A record-break­ing field of 37 teams will visit Keter­son Park in Mitchell this week­end for the 2018 In­ter­na­tional Soft­ball Congress (ISC) Canada East Qual­i­fier, the U23 cham­pi­onship, and the in­au­gu­ral Leg­ends (50+) cham­pi­onship.

And it’s any­body’s guess who will come out on top.

At least that’s the view of Blair Set­ford, one of three Canada East com­mis­sion­ers en­trusted to or­ga­nize the tour­na­ment in con­junc­tion with the Mitchell Mets in­ter­me­di­ate club.

“With the field of teams that we’ve got and for what’s at stake it’s go­ing to be a su­per com­pet­i­tive week­end across the board,” Set­ford said. “I think it’s go­ing to be a dog­fight in all three di­vi­sions.”

Twenty-four men’s teams are vy­ing for what Set­ford guesses will be 12 berths to the world cham­pi­onships, while eight teams will fight for an Un­der-23 berth at the worlds as well. Adding to the fun, an in­au­gu­ral Leg­ends Di­vi­sion for play­ers 50+ has been added and five teams have en­tered.

“It’s just won­der­ful to see these guys who lit­er­ally were leg­ends of the game in their own time and still con­tinue to play,” Set­ford said. “They are still out there com­pet­ing, but mostly they are out there to have fun.”

The com­mis­sion­ers met with the Mets last fall about the pos­si­bil­ity of host­ing this qual­i­fier, rec­og­niz­ing that with the world cham­pi­onships in Kitch­ener in Au­gust there would be many teams show­ing in­ter­est. They also needed a venue with at least four di­a­monds.

“We’ve got a his­tory of the qual­i­fier be­ing in Mitchell (as re­cently as 2014) and we know the peo­ple there are great ball fans,” Set­ford said. “It was a mu­tual ef­fort where the Mets were in­ter­ested and cer­tainly where we knew we could be ac­com­mo­dated.”

The de­fend­ing cham­pion Toronto Bat­men will be a con­tender once again, Set­ford noted, along with the up-and-com­ing Nith River Mon­sters and veteran teams like the Elmira Ex­pos, Shake­speare Fal­cons and Kingston Ax­e­men. New teams set­ting foot in the ISC pro­gram, such as Mil­ver­ton and Dun­dalk, will get ex­pe­ri­ence.

The host Mets are in their 41st con­sec­u­tive sea­son of com­pet­i­tive men’s fast­pitch soft­ball, which Set­ford called “im­pres­sive.”

Monk­ton will also host some games in this tour­na­ment – pri­mar­ily the Leg­ends – rekin­dling some mem­o­ries for many in the vil­lage that hosted its own pres­ti­gious tour­na­ment from 2004-2009.

Ac­tion be­gins on all four Mitchell di­a­monds, plus Monk­ton, on Fri­day at 6 p.m. and con­tin­ues Satur­day at 8 a.m. The Leg­ends fi­nal is set for 1 p.m. Sun­day in Monk­ton, while the U23 cham­pi­onship will be played at 3 p.m. Sun­day in Mitchell. The men’s cham­pi­onship is sched­uled for 6:30 p.m. Sun­day, also in Mitchell.

“We think we’ve got the best of both worlds here – the best play­ers, the best um­pires, the best spon­sors…and it’s that team ef­fort that makes a suc­cess­ful tour­na­ment. “I hope there’s some sur­prises, and I know we’ll have an ab­so­lutely ter­rific week­end of ball.”

Ad­mis­sion is $5 per day or $10 for a week­end pass.

For a sched­ule and re­sults, visit als­fast­ball.com.

POST­MEDIA FILE PHOTO

The Mitchell Mets are one of the lo­cal teams slated to com­pete in the ISC Canada East qual­i­fier this week­end in Mitchell.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.