Scott, Skelton joining Charlottetown for senior fastball championship
Two of Canada’s top pitchers will throw for the host Charlottetown Gahan House Fawcetts at the national senior softball championship in August.
The Fawcetts have added righties Donnie Scott and Andy Skelton to front their rotation with Mitch Hardy and Steve Langley.
“Donnie is probably the best big-game pitcher in Canada,” said Fawcetts first baseman Mark Arsenault. “And Andy is probably the best hitter-pitcher combination. He’s a great hitter and a real good pitcher.”
Skelton plays first or second when not pitching, providing the team with another quality stick and flexibility to its lineup.
Scott and Skelton both throw for the Scarborough Force. When the team decided not to attend this summer’s nationals the Fawcetts asked if they were interested in playing for the Island squad. Before long they were both signed.
“It gives us the deepest pitching staff any team from P.E.I. has ever had and definitely as talented as anybody,” the veteran Arsenault said.
Interestingly, Scott started the final against the Fawcetts the last time the tournament was hosted in Charlottetown in 2010. Scott did not get a decision after being replaced by Paul Koert in the Kitchener Rivershark Twins 6-1 victory.
It was the first time the Fawcetts finished in the medals in the event’s first 46 years.
The Fawcetts roster is currently full with 17 players.
Arsenault said it has been able to add six players on Canada’s recently announced 40-man roster that will be used to select the national team for the Pan American Championships next fall in Argentina. The Fawcetts players are Scott, Skelton, Hardy, outfielder Jeff Ellsworth, of St. Lawrence, middle infielder Brandon Horn, of Waterloo, Ont., and outfielder Mark Johnson, of Glencoe, Ont.
A key to building the squad was the early additions of Hardy and Ellsworth to the Fawcetts lineup.
“They’re the two best Island players we have,” Arsenault said.
“Getting those two guys was huge.”
From there the team signed Horne and Johnson while O’Leary’s Jamie Betts, a middle infielder, will also play for the Fawcetts.
The additions join a strong nucleus of players who have worn the Fawcetts’ colours in recent years, including Mike and Chris Craig, Jamie MacDonald and youngsters like Chris Arsenault, Dustan Jones, Seth Hood, Anthony Cummiskey and Tyler Doucette.
“I think we have the team that can win the tournament,” Arsenault said. “There’s pressure, but it’s fun pressure.”
The team will be coached by Darcy Harris with assistants Paul McCart, Doug Hines and George Drover.
“The guys are starting to really get excited,” Arsenault said.
The Fawcetts have been practicing weekly inside and will continue in the new year.