Fastpitch stars to play in city event
MONEYBALL, fastpitch men's softball style, is coming to Ipswich tomorrow with the world's best players and at least $8000 in prizemoney up for grabs.
Known as The Switch Moneyball Fastpitch Men's Softball Tournament, the event will feature the two top-ranked pitchers in the world - Adam Folkard of the Perth-based Southside Mariners and Auckland Ramblers' Andrew Kirkpatrick.
Both originally from Canberra, the duo pitch at well over 120kmh.
The tournament is at the Ipswich Softball Association fields at One Mile from tomorrow until Sunday.
Many of the top hitters in the world will be attending, including Ipswich representative and ex-Australian Steelers representative Zenon Winters.
Winters has played more than 100 games for the Australian Steelers and has just returned from playing at the International Softball Conference in Canada. Winters will be lining up for the Southside Warriors.
Eight open men's teams from Australia and New Zealand will be playing for at least $8000, which event organiser Barry Jackson said was "the largest first prize ever on offer for an Australian softball tournament".
Jackson said the event would be a wonderful showcase for the fans.
"The vast majority of all the current Australian players will be there and New Zealand Black Sox players," Jackson said.
"In the open men's there will be an Ipswich team called the Musketeers.
"Over the weekend we will have some Masters exhibition games.
"The Ipswich-based Tigers and Warriors will play in those games."
Jackson said the support of Ipswich City Council and Ipswich Softball Association had made the event possible in the city.
"Ipswich Softball Association put in $4000 and Ipswich City Council has put in $3700," he said.
"We're expecting the tournament to bring in hundreds of players and officials from outside Ipswich and we expect the fans to number over 1000 for the weekend.''
- What: Fastpitch Men's Softball Tournament from tomorrow until Sunday.
- Where: Ipswich Softball Association grounds, Chubb St, One Mile.
- Format: Eight teams will be competing for the largest first prize on offer for an Australian softball tournament. All the top Australian men's teams will be competing along with the top New Zealand club team the Auckland Ramblers and Ipswich Musketeers.
- Other highlights: Masters Exhibition Games are on Saturday and Sunday. The top two ranked pitchers in the world - Adam Folkard (Southside Mariners) and Andrew Kirkpatrick (Auckland Ramblers) will be attending. A $1000 Plus Fitness 24/7 Home Run Derby is being held on Saturday afternoon. Free Aussie Steelers coaching clinics are on Saturday and Sunday, run by past and present Australian representatives.
- Key support: The Ipswich Softball Association and Ipswich City Council.