USA Softball Men’s Fast Pitch Futures Team set to compete at 10th Amigo’s Fast Pitch Tournament

Written by Bob on November 10th, 2018

Hayward, Calif. — The USA Softball Men’s Fast Pitch Futures Team will head to Hayward, Calif. this weekend for the 10th Amigo’s Fast Pitch Tournament, a USA Softball of Northern California-sanctioned event.

The Futures Team will open the tournament with a 10:45 a.m. PT matchup on Saturday, Nov. 10 against Wololoks, followed by a 12:30 p.m. PT game against Team TJ’s, a 2 p.m. PT game against NW Braves and a 3:45 p.m. PT game against EB Bashers to close out the day. Sunday’s schedule will be determined by seeding following Saturday’s results.

  • Athletes selected to the Amigo’s tournament roster include Anthony Aresco, Mick Baker, Ryan Barnes, Dante Biagini, Tyler Bouley, Ryker Zane Chason, Dalton Gray, Peyton Hall, Brad Kilpatrick, Jeff Lewis, Mike Lewis, Chayton Lloyd, Brent Meshke, Chris Norris, and Tony Wark.
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    Some of the greatest in Minnesota fastpitch history to receive the sport’s highest honor

    Written by Bob on October 30th, 2018

    Meet the 2018 Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame class: Of these 19 slowpitch, modified and fastpitch inductees, 13 starred in the fastpitch game as either players, umpires, managers and coaches, promoters, sponsors, administrators, or in some cases, were involved in every facet of the game. Photo courtesy of Perry Coonce / Executive Director of the Minnesota Softball Federation

    SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. – Some like the late Walter Nelson were great fastpitch pitchers in leading their teams to state and regional championships. Others like Tom Niederkorn, Bill Olson and Dan Lee could belt the riser, drop and change-up as well as any hitter to ever step into the batter’s box.

    And still others, made their mark in the sport in nearly every conceivable way possible. Including Jim Langowski and Jack Norman, who first excelled as players and then remained in the sport for years volunteering, managing, promoting and serving in any capacity needed in continuing the great legacy of Minnesota men’s fastpitch softball.

    For the following 13 men, whose time in the game stretches as far back as six and seven decades, they will receive the highest honor possible in Minnesota softball lore: induction into the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame during a ceremony banquet at the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center, Nov. 2nd, under the direction of the Minnesota Sports Federation.

      Meet The Outstanding 2018 Hall of Fame Fastpitch Class
  • Wayne Dahl, player, from Dawson
  • Gary “Meatball” Holtz, player, Hutchinson
  • Dick Erickson, player, Dawson
  • Dan Huisman, player, Ellsworth
  • Charlie Johnson, umpire / meritorious service, Detroit Lakes & Hitterdahl
  • Jim Langowski, player, manager, promoter, meritorious service, Winona
  • Dan Lee, player, Dawson
  • Dick McNally, player, St. Charles & Ridgeway
  • *Walter Nelson, player, Hastings & St. Paul
  • Tom “Weed” Niederkorn, player, Hastings & St. Paul
  • Jack Norman, volunteer, organizer, meritorious service, Mankato & Lake Crystal
  • Bill Olson, player, Duluth
  • Jim Prestholdt, player, sponsor, manager, meritorious service, Dawson
  • Many superlatives were spoken about the inductees, including this accolade from Wayne Dahl and Ken Club, who led the nomination of Jim Prestholdt.

    “In his career as a pitcher, Jim won over 450 games,” said Dahl. “(He) was always organizing fastpitch leagues, teams and games at his own time and expense! He started a four-team league in Dawson (pop. 1,600). He would implore players to participate, and they would. Jim raised $20,000 in a week for a new concessions stand at Prestholdt Fields in Dawson…Jim also coached and mentored many developing players in the local league, particularly pitchers.”

    And this from Stan Knopick, who nominated Jim Langowski, who starred as a pitcher for 15 years in Minnesota and five in Northern California.

    “Jim was a great pitcher and fine hitter,” said Knopick. “But Jim was very active off the softball field also. He arranged tournaments, started the Winona Softball Association and was a manager for over 15 years in Minnesota and five in California. Jim organized tournaments, hired the umpires, took care of the media work, selected volunteers to help at games and tournaments, helped prepare the fields, and used his knowledge to mentor young softball players, both boys and girls.”

    And the tributes for the others are just as inspiring.

     

    Men’s Fastpitch Tournament Returning to Yakima, Washington

    Written by Bob on October 30th, 2018

    YAKIMA, Wash. – For way to long Yakima – once a hotbed for men’s fastpitch softball – has gone without a men’s fastpitch tournament. But that is going to change in 2019 as Yakima resident, player, coach and manager, Satero Ramos, has taken the initiative to restart the tournament scene, along with the support of the Yakima Parks & Recreation Department.

    “I am having a men’s tournament here in Yakima next year, May 4th and 5th, for the first time in over six years,” said Ramos. “Yakima has a rich history of men’s Fastpitch and I’m trying to bring it back. I’ve been playing the game since 1975. It’s a NAFA affiliated tournament. Benjie Hedgecock (NAFA Executive Director) and Jim Williamson (NAFA founding member and Washington state director) are helping with the logistics.”

    The tournament not only benefit’s the men’s game but it helps Yakima youth as well. Ramos said the tournament will help fundraise for the non-profit baseball and softball facility, Baseball Advantage Yakima Dirt Dawgs youth age divisions 10-under and 16-under. Ramos is a 10-year board member of the organization.

    THE DETAILS

  • Tournament Name: Cinco de Mayo Men’s Fastpitch Tournament
  • Dates: May 4-5, 2019
  • Entry Fee: $400
  • Monetary Award: $500 for 1st place
  • Affiliation: NAFA (North American Fastpitch Association)
  • NAFA Awards: 1st, 2nd, 3rd place team trophies; All-Tournament plaques, and Most Valuable Pitcher and Player plaques
  • Tournament Format: Round Robin with single elimination (4-game guarantee)
  • ENTRY FEE DETAILS

  • Make entry fee payable to Satero Ramos and mail to P.O Box 621, Moxee, WA 98936
  • CONTACT INFORMATION
    Satero Ramos
    509-961-4693
    ramosfam3@wabroadband.com
    ***Be sure to request hotel information***

     

    Minnesota Fastpitch History: When the ‘World Championship’ came to Parade Stadium

    Written by Bob on September 26th, 2018

    In the 1958 ASA Men’s Major Fastpitch National Championship at Parade Stadium in Minneapolis, TOM NICHOLS of Toledo, left, WILL BRADY, Miami, JOHN SPRING, Stratford, and ROY STEPHENSON, Long Island display their prowess as pitchers in the national championship. SPRING went on to pitch Stratford to the championship over Lake Charles, La. Minneapolis Tribune Photo By Paul Siegel

    Minneapolis hosted the ASA Men’s Major National Championships at Parade Stadium in 1954 and 1958. Here’s some brief information about the teams and players who made the 1958 championship special in the state’s fastpitch history.

    Cloquet upsets Farmington 2-1 on Three Hits
    By AUGIE KARCHER / Minneapolis Tribune Sports Writer
    Sep 16, 1958

    MINNEAPOLIS – Northwest Paper of Cloquet, Minnesota’s ASA Northern Regional champion, shocked favored Farmington, New Mexico, 2-1, in one of the tightest games of the day.

    BOBO JOHNSON set the Builders down on two hits, one of them a 250-foot home run by Gehrig Garrison in the first inning. The only other hit was in the sixth, but fine defensive work prevented what could have been the tying score.

    Cloquet didn’t get a man on base until the fourth, which LES SALO opened with an infield hit. He was sacrificed to second and scored on JIM ARNTSON’S single to left. Arntson took second on an error and scored on a blooper to center by Dave Holmes.

    Farmington…100 000 0—1 2 3
    Cloquet………..000 200 x—2 3 1
    Bill Lingle and M.T. Autry; Bobo Johnson and Herb Huard

    ***Cloquet was eventually eliminated by Stratford, Conn., 8-2, who went on to win the the championship over Lake Charles, La.***

    “JUNK’ NETS ONE-HITTER

    A drop pitch that “didn’t drop” cost CHUCK HAYS a no-hitter Tuesday when Minneapolis Soo Line nipped St. Louis 3-0 in the World Softball tournament. St. Louis shortstop Chuck Stiebel got the only hit – a sharp single to center in the fifth.

    “I threw a lot of junk,” said Hays, “never have been a really fast pitcher.”

    SOFTBALL WORLD TOURNAMENT FIRST-ROUND

    Houston, Texas, 2, Cairo, Ga., 0
    Stratford Conn., 2, Miami, Fla. 0
    Seattle, Wash., 8, San Gabriel, Calif., 2
    Long Island, N.Y., 3, Toledo, Ohio, 0
    Washington, D.C., 6, Casper, Wyo. 0
    Cloquet, Minn., 2, Farmington, N.M., 1
    Lake Charles, La., 1, Montreal, 0
    Aurora, Ill., 4, Clearwater, Fla., 0
    Air Force 6, Washington, D.C., 0
    Winnipeg 19, British Columbia 8

    TODAY’S SCHEDULE / WORLD SOFTBALL

      PARADE ONE

    Noon – San Gabriel (0-1) vs. Casper, Wyo. (0-1); 1:30 – Sacramento (0-1) vs Farmington, N.M. (0-1); 3 p.m. – Vancouver, Canada (0-1) vs. Washington D.C. (0-1); 7:30 p.m. – Houston (1-0) vs. Long Island (2-0); 9 p.m. – Stratford, Conn. (1-0) vs. Cloquet, Minn. (1-0).

      PARADE TWO

    Noon – Minneapolis Soo Line (0-1) vs. St. Louis (0-1); 1:30 p.m. – Toledo (0-1) vs. Miami, Fla. (0-1); 3 p.m. – Cairo, Ga. (1-1) vs. Montreal (0-1); 7:30 p.m. – Lake Charles (2-0) vs. U.S. Air Force (1-0); Aurora, Ill. (1-0) vs. Seattle (1-0)

     

    Conquest Coyotes win U-23 division at 2018 NAFA World Series

    Written by Bob on September 25th, 2018

    The Conquest Coyotes roster includes Alex Strautman, Jordan Rock, Clay McKenzie, Ryder Friesen, Quintin Kokesch, Ryan Larocque, Layk Pawluk, Jared Loewen,
    Spencer Schaan, Dillon Silverthorn and Mike Thomson. Courtesy Photo By Conquest Coyotes

    By BILL STRAUTMAN / Conquest trainer and statistician

    FARGO, N.D. – The Conquest Coyotes U-23 fastpitch team from Conquest, Saskatchewan in Canada may have taken the hard way, but they finished strong to win the Under-23 age division of the 2018 NAFA World Series, played in Fargo, ND August 17-19.

      Coyotes 8, Bowen Fastpitch 7

    In their first round robin game, Conquest scored two runs in the top of the seventh to go ahead 7-6, but Bowen, Illinois came back in the bottom of the seventh with two of their own to win 8-7. The Coyotes were led by Quintin Kokesch and Dillon Silverthorn, who both went 2-4 and scored two runs each. Juan Platner scored three runs for Bowen.

    Click to continue reading “Conquest Coyotes win U-23 division at 2018 NAFA World Series”

     

    Northwest Braves Take Silver in NAFA West Masters

    Written by Bob on September 21st, 2018

    The Northwest Braves, top row from left, Shayne Arndt, Todd Kensler, Rich Leffingwell, Tom Inglis, Tony Dinehart, Cleon Tungsvik. Bottom row from left, Luis Guerra, Jeff Lane, Matt Chambers, Dave Cavalier and Bobo Estrella. Missing from photo is Eric Thorn. Courtesy Photo / NW Braves

    CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Northwest Braves of Oregon, finished second to claim the Silver Medal in the eight-team Silver Division at the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Series, 40-Over Division in Carson City, Sept. 16.

    The Braves finished with a 3-2 record and got consistent pitching from Shayne Arndt, who was 3-0 in 23 2/3 innings with a 2.37 ERA and 11 strikeouts. His stellar work in the circle earned him a spot on the NAFA All-World team.

    “We played solid defense including an incredible triple play,” said Arndt, who managed the team. “We had good team chemistry and timely hitting including home runs by Matt Chambers and Jeff Lane.”

    Along with Arndt, third baseman Matt Chambers, right-fielder Todd Kensler, shortstop Jeff Lane and left-fielder Rich leffingwell were also selected to the All-World team.

  • Chambers batted .500, and drove in 3 runs, scored 5 times; Kensler hit a torrid .600 and scored 8 runs; Lane swung the hottest bat on the team, drilling pitchers for a .625 average (10-of-16) with 4 RBI and 6 runs; and Leffingwell hit .467 with 2 RBI and 3 runs.
  • The Northwest Braves won the runner-up trophy in the 2018 NAFA West Masters, 40-Over Silver Division in Carson City, Nevada, Sept. 16. Courtesy Photo / NW Braves

     

    2018 Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame Information

    Written by Bob on September 21st, 2018

    ST. CLOUD, Minn. – The Minnesota Sports Federation will host the 2018 Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame banquet at the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center, Nov. 2. The 2018 class includes 19 of the state’s all-time great slowpitch and fastpitch players.

    ***Click for Hall of Fame Ticket Order Form***

    Reservations and hotel Information

     

    Bennett hurls Ladner to NAFA Masters Championship

    Written by Bob on September 21st, 2018

    MARK BENNETT was named the Most Valuable Pitcher after helping the Ladner Masters win the NAFA West Masters 55-Over championship in Carson City, Nevada, Sept. 16.

    CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Ladner Masters of British Columbia, Canada, won five-consecutive games to claim the championship in the 2018 North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) West Masters 55-Over World Series in Carson City, Sept. 16.

    And pitching them to the title was Mark Bennett of Santa Barbara, Calif. The right-hander won three games and was selected to the NAFA All-World team as the Most Valuable Pitcher. Bennett is the son of long-time catcher, manager, tournament director, and umpire Clyde Bennett of Santa Barbara.

     

    Sluggers power Casa Trejo to NAFA World Series Silver Medal

    Written by Bob on September 20th, 2018

    The 2018 Casa Trejo Bombers of Yucaipa, Calif. won the Silver Medal in the NAFA West Masters 40-Over Gold Division at Carson City, Nevada, Sept. 16. The team includes Dave Hess, Eddie Arnal, Herlen Yeomans, Joe Janicke, Albert Garcia, Joaquin Juarez, Chapo Ramirez, Shawn Campa, Sergio Padilla, Donovan Reyes, Vincente Cervantes, Benito Flores and Ralph Roybal. Courtesy Photo By Ralph Roybal


    Carson City, Nev
    . – The Casa Trejo Bombers of Yucaipa, Calif., outscored its foes 41-to-12, had four players hit over .400, and had a .381 team batting average with 10-of-12 batters smashing the ball over the .300 mark.

    As anyone familiar with men’s fastpitch softball knows, such stratospheric numbers lead to lots of wins.

    And win the Bombers did in claiming the Silver Medal at the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) Masters West World Series, age 40-plus Gold Division with a 4-1 record in Carson City, Nevada, Sept. 14-16.

    Manager Ralph Roybal credited his players – a blend of local talent, and players from Arizona and Mexico – for peaking at the right time and bringing the second-place trophy home to sponsor Ruth Trejo Garcia and her Casa Trejo restaurant on County Line Road in Yucaipa.

    This is the second consecutive year that the Bombers have placed runner-up in a NAFA Masters men’s World Series that features top-rated teams from the United States and Canada.

    “As a player and coach, as long as I see our guys playing hard, giving 100-percent and having fun, that’s all I can ask,” said Roybal. “We have put the Bombers on the map in Masters fastpitch.”

    Click to continue reading “Sluggers power Casa Trejo to NAFA World Series Silver Medal”

     

    Meet the NAFA Masters Players And Teams That Still Play “for the love of the game.”

    Written by Bob on September 20th, 2018

    CARSON CITY, Nev. – From age 40 to well past 60, there are fastpitch softball players on teams across the U.S. and Canada whose fastpitch flame refuses to flicker or die out.

    These Masters, who have played the game they have loved for 30, 40, and 50-plus years, stubbornly refuse to allow achy throwing arms, balky knees, nagging hamstrings, sore backs, or doctors orders (“you need to find a sport more suitable for your age!”) to usher them from the game.

    Here’s a salute to just a few of NAFA’s Masters

    Jim Decoter, Steve Korsa, Paul Carlton, Mike Drew, Andy Watson, Gil Gardner, Kevin Kammueller, Mike Massine, Paul Rubin, Eric Linnell, Ray Biggini, Troy Morrison, Bobby Smith, Darren Zack, Kelly Wenstrom, Gregor Morgan, Ned Waters, Donovan Reyes, Anthony Fabrizio, Fernando Ramirez, Mike Hoadley, Andy Martinez, Ralph Roybal, Craig Piccock, Bob Steehler, Chuck Smith, John Givens, Bobby Doe, Curt Culver, Monte McCrary, John Melchiari, Tim Jacobs, Mike Hopkins, Billy Frank, Shawn Samson, Doug Erock…and so many, many more.

    ***For the results of ALL the 2018 NAFA World Series, including Masters East and West, click on: 2018 NAFA World Series.***

     
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