Seventh Heaven

Darcy MacRae
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Mullaley's 'world-class' effort leads host team to seventh straight victory

Vancouver Grey Sox shortstop Kevin Schellenberg misses the tag on Roebothan McKay and Marshall's centre fielder Stephen Mullaley on a throw to second base during second-inning action of their game in the 2007 Canadian Senior Men's Fastpitch Softball Cham

Stephen Mullaley did it all Wednesday night in Roebothan McKay and Marshalls 7-5, extra-innings, win over the Vancouver Grey Sox.

The Freshwater native scored his teams first run in the top half of the opening inning, drove in the game-winning run in the top of the eighth and made the defensive play of the tournament in the bottom of the sixth.

His efforts showed everyone in attendance why Mullaley is thought of as one of the top up-and-coming softball players on the planet.



A special player

Stephen is a world-class ball player and what makes him a world-class ball player are the things you saw here tonight, said Roebothan McKay and Marshall head coach Glenn Littlejohn. World-class players can do those things.

Mullaleys heroics were not lost on Roebothan McKay Marshall pitcher Frank Cox, who pitched all eight innings against Vancouver. Cox has played with Mullaley in the International Softball Congress and on the national team and has grown accustomed to seeing spectacular plays from the 23-year-old.

Ive played with Steve the last couple of years, hes a great young ball player and hes only going to get better, said Cox.

Mullaley started Monday nights game by reaching base with a walk in the top of the first inning. He moved to second when Ward Gosse reached on an error and then advanced to third on a passed ball before scoring on a Colin Abbott ground out to second.

With the game tied at four in the top of the eight inning, Mullaley came to the plate with one out and Blair Langmead on third base (Langmead started the inning on second, due to international softball rules for extra inning play, before advancing to third on a pass ball).



Cashes in Langmead

With every set of eyes at the ball park on him, Mullaley found himself in an early hole before coming up with a bloop single to right field, scoring Langmead with the go-ahead run.

Mullaley later scored his teams sixth run of the night when an Abbott ground ball squeaked under the glove of Vancouver second baseman Andrew Medwedrich.

Roebothan McKay and Marshall added one more run before the inning ended, but there was no denying the importance of Mullaleys short shot to right that gave the host team the lead.

Going in, I probably had the wrong approach, Mullaley said. I should have took a pitch or two, see if we could move (Langmead) over with a passed ball. But I fell behind early and after that I just had to put the bat on the ball, I couldnt go down looking, couldnt strike out. I wanted to make them make a play, had to get a hit or force them to make an error. Luckily thats what happened, I got just a good enough piece of it.

Mullaley also flashed some leather in the sixth, making a highlight reel catch and taking away a base hit from Vancouvers Kevin Schellenberg.

At first it appeared the ball was headed directly for Mullaley in centre field, but then it abruptly sliced hard to the right. That didnt stop the charging Mullaley, who left his feet and dove to the right to grab a ball many centre fielders wouldnt come close to.

I saw it come off the bat and I knew I had a chance for it. I got a good jump, got in full stride and saw when I had to leap, said Mullaley.

Mullaley finished the night with two runs scored and two RBIs, while Shawn OBrien added a solo home run and Abbott, Rob OBrien and Geoff Evely each drove in a run.



Bumpy road

Cox (8IP, 5R, 5ER, 11H, 0W, 10K) was the winning pitcher, overcoming a few bumps in the road along the way, such as the two-run home run he allowed to Vancouvers Rob Giesbrecht in the fifth, the shot that ultimately forced extra innings.

I was struggling a little bit with the pitchers mound, but so was (Grey Sox starter Nick Underhill), so you just have to work through it, Cox said.

It was the second straight game Cox looked ordinary, having allowed six earned runs in a win over Ontario Two on Tuesday . However, Littlejohn insists there is no reason to worry about the highly-touted import pitcher.

Frank always seems to find a way to win, Littlejohn said. Hes been a winner all his career and when he had to tonight, he made some good pitches. I was a little nervous in the fifth and sixth innings, but in the seventh and eighth he looked good, he made his pitches when had to and made them count.

The tournament really starts on Friday (when playoffs begin) and when it starts, the real Frank Cox will be there. Come Friday night, Frank Cox will be Frank Cox.



On top

The win over Vancouver improved Roebothan McKay and Marshalls record to a tournament best 7-0.

The club picked up its sixth win of the tournament Wednesday morning in an 8-0 romp over Impact Signs, the second Newfoundland entry at the 2007 Labatt Senior Mens Fastpitch Championship.

Rob OBrien hit two solo home runs for the winning team, while Blair Ezekiel and Mullaley each hit a homer for Roebothan McKay and Marshall in the win.

OBrien was also the winning pitcher, no-hitting Impact Signs in a game that ended after five innings due to the seven-run mercy rule. Sean Whitten (2IP, 7R, 5ER, 7H, 4W, 3K) took the loss for Impact Signs.

Other scores from Wednesdays action:



Grumpy Stump 7, Impact Signs 4

Grumpy Stump earned its first win of the tournament Wednesday by posting a 7-4 decision over Impact Signs .



Continued from page C1

Stump went into the late night contest with six straight defeats and move out of the standings cellar with the win.

The winners are 1-6 while Brookfield Elks of Nova Scotia are 0-6, Both clubs are out of the playoff race. Sean Cleary picked up the win on a three-hitter while Matt Bramwelll took the loss. Steve Rice and Colin Swain collected two hits each for the winners as Shane Gamberg homered. Mark Dwyer had two of the Impact Signs hits.

This game got nasty in the sixth when Grumpy Stumps Gamberg was hit by a Sean Whitten pitch. Gamberg had hit a two-run home run off Whitten in the third inning and took exception to the plunking. Both benches emptied and more than a few angry glances were exchanged. Reportedly, no punches were thrown.

I dont know if youd call it clearing the benches. It was more of a meeting in the infield, said tournament chair Gary Corbett.

Whitten and Gamberg were both ejected and could face suspensions. The tournaments disciplinary committee met late Wednesday night but no decision could be made before the umpires filed a report with Softball Canada. A decision is not expected until this afternoon.

Its possible that the only punishment will be the game ejections, Corbett said.



Stony Plain Twiliters 8, Grumpy Stump 2

Stony Plain Twiliters of Alberta remained in the hunt for a playoff berth with an 8-2 verdict over last place Grumpy Stump. With four home runs, Twiliters bunched their runs into the final four innings after Grumpy Stump opened with a pair in the first. Darrell Tilley got the win for three innings of work, allowing no hits. Colin Mackenzie gave up three hits in four innings. Loser Robbie Green was tagged for six hits over five innings. James Dunphy stroked a pair of homers. Barry Sullivan and Andre Costigan added one round tripper each.



St. Thomas 4, Hunters Ale House Fawcetts 3

Two runs in the sixth inning gained a 4-3 win Wednesday for defending champions St. Thomas Evergreen Centennials of Ontario over Hunters Ale House Fawcetts of Prince Edward Island. Darren Box of St. Thomas had two hits while no player on the PEI club had more than one hit. Rob Swcheyer had the win allowing three hits and Trevor Wardell gave up one hit in one inning. Mitchell Hardy was the loser on a five hitter.



Stony Plain Twiliters 8, Brookfield Elks 7

The Stony Plain Twiliters of Alberta held off a seventh-inning charge by the Brookfield Elks of Nova Scotia Wednesday to take a close 8-7 win. The Twiliters held a 7-3 advantage going into the seventh inning when the Elks scored four times but grabbed the verdict with a final inning run of their own. Collin Mackenzie, in relief of Darren Tilley, gained the win while Pat Slawnwhite took the loss in relief of Gregg Garrity. James Dunphy, Barry Sullivan and Ryan Galenza each had two hits for the Twiliters and Andre Costigan homered. Chris Hopewell, Andrew Roop and Jason Sanford had two hits each for Brookfield.



Kitchener Hallman Twins 3, Poly Plus Sr. Diamondbacks 2

Kitchener Hallman Twins of Ontario scored in the eighth inning to edge Poly Plus Diamondbacks of Saskatchewan 3-2. Jeff Farion allowed six hits over seven innings for the decision while the loss was tagged on Jamie Simpson who went five innings and gave up seven hits. Allan Phibbs and Bill Simmons collected two hits each for the winners. Brennan Pokoyoway had a home run in his two hits and Devon Kennard added two hits for the losers.



Diamondbacks 5, Brookfield Elks 3

Poly Plus Sr. Diamondbacks of Saskatchewan defeated Brookfield Elks 5-3 Wednesday. Two runs in the sixth made the difference for the Diamondbacks after the Elks tied the score in the fourth. Pat Slawnwhite allowed only three hits but was tagged with the loss. Zuk James gave up seven hits for the win. Jason Robinson and Jason Sanford had two hits each for Nova Scotia.



Kitchener Hallman Twins 7, St. Thomas Evergreen Centennials 0

Kitchener Hallman Twins of Ontario blanked defending champions St. Thomas Evergreen Centennials. Three runs in the first and fourth set up a mercy rule verdict for the Twins. Jody Eidt paced the Twins with a home run included in his two hits while Dan Loney and Dale Levy had two hits each. Paul Koert allowed six hits in five innings for the decision. Trevor Wardell was the loser giving up five hits in two innings as Robert Schweyer went three innings and also allowed five hits.



Aspen 10, Hunters Ale House Fawcetts 2

Aspen Interiors of Saskatchewan defeated Hunters Ale House Fawcetts with ease Wednesday. Three runs in the first and sixth innings had Interiors claim the win after six innings under the mercy rule. Trevor Ethier picked up the decision on a three-hitter. Grant Patterson and Mike Bishop pitched for PEI as Patterson was the loser. Joy Darrell and Ethier had two hits with a home run. Ryan ONeill also hit a homer. Jason Hitchings and Mike Lawton added two hits each.



STANDINGS AFTER 38 GAMES



TeamWL

Host70

Ont. One51

B.C.51

Sask. Two42

Alberta43

Ont. Two33

Defending Champs33

Impact Signs34

P.E.I.24

Sask. One15

Grumpy Stump15

Nova Scotia06

Organizations: Vancouver Grey Sox, International Softball Congress, Hunters Ale House Fawcetts of Prince Edward Island Twiliters Twins Softball Canada Poly Plus Diamondbacks of Saskatchewan 3

Geographic location: Vancouver, Freshwater, Ontario Nova Scotia Saskatchewan Stony Plain Alberta Newfoundland St. Thomas Kitchener

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