Top teams in Ashland for two weekend series

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July 23, 2008
T-G Sports Writer

A bit of happenstance will be happening around Ashland’s once-bustling softball fields this weekend.

For the only time this summer Ashland’s International Softball Congress men’s fast-pitch teams will be in town, as the Ashland Mets and Ashland Stockpack will combine with the Midland (Mich.) Explorers for a six-game superseries Saturday and Sunday.

Unrelated to the ISC competition, there also will be seven other teams converging on Ashland for an Ohio ASA Class C State Fastpitch Tournament.

The whole thing should kick up memories of softball summers past in Ashland.

“It just happened that we were both playing in town the same weekend,” Ashland Mets coach Kevin Scott said. “The games we’re playing are just games to get us ready for the (ISC) World Tournament (Aug. 10-16 in Kimberly, Wisc.).”

Scott said the Mets, who have roughly a 15-12 record, have traveled out of state every other weekend, going as far as Chicago last weekend and into Michigan the weekend before that. Trotting onto the home dirt against Ashland Stockpack (coached by Chad Honaker and Jim Saffle, and formerly known as Ashland Merchants), as well as the team from Midland, will be a treat for performers and fans alike.

“Midland has been a top 10 team in the world for most of the past 25 years,” said Scott, who said the Mets are 2-4 against the Michigan squad this summer. “They’re one of the oldest fast-pitch groups who have been able to stay together all this time.”

The current Ashland Mets roster includes Scott, coach Craig Scott, Luke Reymer, Martin Humphries, Sean Zaborowski, Tom Botkins, Tyler Sammy, Luke Painter, Justin Blair Jr., Brian Culler and Joe Massie.

“(Such ISC competition in Ashland) is something that hasn’t happened for the last 10 years,” said Stockpack coach Jim Saffle, who has been involved with men’s fast-pitch in town for more than two decades.

Saffle said Ashland Stockpack has played roughly 17 games and is preparing for the ISC II’s Tournament of Champions in Appleton, Wisc., Aug. 10-13. The team’s roster includes Tyron McKinney, Jeff VanHooser, Barry VanHooser, Jim Yates, Shane Flinner, Chad Honaker, Trevor Urban, Rick Yoder, Brad Yoder, Shane Queer, Jason Whitley, Junior Rodriguez, Scott Robinson and Nick McCurry.

And while those local teams are locking up, the double-elimination Class C State tournament will be featured in town the same two days. That tournament is made up of out-of-town teams West Liberty, Chillicothe, Findlay, Westerville and Columbus Jack Daniels, along with Buffalo Wild Wings and Akron squads that feature Ashland players.

“There used to be 30 or 40 teams in this,” said ASA District 6 commissioner Dave Honaker, “now it’s down to seven. But there are still some teams who like to play.

“This weekend will definitely bring some of the top fast-pitch teams to town, so we’ve got a solid schedule together.”

n Contact Doug Haidet, sports writer, at 419-281-0581, ext. 245, or

Softball Congress Superseries



n Midland Explorers vs. Ashland Mets, 7 p.m.

n Midland Explorers vs. Ashland Stockpack, 9 p.m.


n Ashland Mets vs. Ashland Stockpack, 4 p.m.



n Ashland Mets vs. Midland Explorers, 9 a.m.

n Ashland Stockpack vs. Midland Explorers, 11 a.m.

n Ashland Stockpack vs. Ashland Mets, 1 p.m.

Class C State



n Buffalo Wild Wings (Ashland) vs. West Liberty, 9 a.m.

n Findlay vs. Westerville, 10:30 a.m.


n Chillicothe vs. Akron, 9 a.m.

n Columbus Jack Daniels vs. winner of Chillicothe/Akron game, 10:30 a.m.

Note: Listed games are first-round games in the double-elimination tournament. Additional state tournament games with those same teams will be played Saturday at Brookside Main (noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m.) and Brookside West (noon, 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m.) following the first round.



n Finals of the Class C Tournament will be held at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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