Silver Medal For Mike Ashley and Team GB

Access Point slowpitch lion

In the midst of the wettest January on record, Access Point's very own Mike Ashley headed to sunny Florida as part of the Great Britain Slow-Pitch Softball team.

This year’s International Softball Federation’s Co-ed Slow-Pitch Softball World Cup was held at the sports head quarters in Plant City, Florida. Mike was honoured to be part of the Team GB coaching staff and proud to represent his country overseas for the second time in less than a year.

The team and coaching staff flew to Orlando from all corners of the UK on Saturday 18th January; they would be staying together in Davenport for the next 10 days and had a packed itinerary starting with a local tournament the very next day! Mike felt that there was a definite buzz in camp and they were more than ready to show players from across the world what Team GB were made of. 

 

Access Point team gb

Team GB

After winning two practise games against US teams, the tournament started proper with a game against Canada on the morning of January 23rd, this was won convincingly 13-3 by Team GB and was followed by two further compelling wins against France (25-2) and Curacao (30-5). 

Access Point Florida Pitch

"Randy" stadium in Fort William

The show has over 6.4 million UK listeners and I had calls & messages from people as far as New Zealand who had heard me talking about Slow-Pitch Softball and our plans to dominate the European Championships next year!

Mike said "As the first day went on we realised there were two main rivals to our chances, Plant City USA and USA Fort Walton Beach who we were to play in the evening. Both teams had produced high scores earlier in the day but this was a much closer battle and after two innings we were winning, but only just at 3-2. Unfortunately we couldn’t hold on to that lead and lost the match 7-12 but it made us realise we had to tighten up in defence."

All eight of the tournament teams went into a Double Page Playoff round in day two, with the top four moving on to what effectively are semi final matches. Team GB defeated both USA teams, relegating them to the losers bracket to secure their place in Sundays final. The US teams then had to play each other to establish who was to take on Team GB in the tournament final.

Sunday afternoon was sunny and Team GB was prepared for a tough game in the final. Although they had beaten USA Ink Daddyz the day before, the Americans had learned from the defeat and adjusted their team and tactics which resulted in a convincing 18-3 loss for Team GB. 

Access Point silver medal winners

Silver Medal Winning Team GB

Mike says...

 

“Although we were disappointed not to win Gold it was a fantastic learning curve. Our team consisted of quite a few newcomers and even more with limited international experience, so we have grown both in skills and confidence and look forward to retaining our Gold for the 10th year running in the European Championships next year."

Access Point mike medal

Our very own Mike Ashley with his Silver medal

Mike has now even been interviewed by Simon Mayo on his BBC Radio 2 Drivetime show.

 

Click on the link below to hear the interview in full...

Access Point simon mayo

 

We are very proud to have a World Cup Silver medalist in our midst and we are happy to have him transfer his GB coaching skills to our sales team.

Access Point Operations Director Jeanette Morgan