Fifty Men’s Fastpitch Softball Teams Heading To Las Vegas Road Trip

Written by Bob on March 19th, 2019

Press Release
Jesse Ortiz
SCIFL President

LAS VEGAS – This year the Las Vegas Road Trip XII will have 50 teams maximum; the most ever participating in the event. Teams from Canada, Mexico, and the United States are all represented in this tournament.

The tournament will be using SCIFL rules. Teams will have the option to bat up to 10 players using the Extra Hitter (EH), a Designated Runner (DR), and a Courtesy Runner (CR) may be used for the pitcher or catcher ONLY but it must be the last recorded out.

Three Games Guaranteed

All divisions will use the 3-game guarantee NAFA bracket. The championship games are scheduled for 3:00 PM on Sunday with “IF” games immediately after if necessary, except for the A-Division which will not have an “IF” game.

“All winners will have paid berths to the NAFA World Series except for the A-Division which will have the top two teams with paid berths,” Ortiz said.

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Guzman, Hackett, Hicks, McCurry and Muizelaar tabbed Assistant Coaches for 2019 Men’s National Team

Written by Bob on March 12th, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball has announced the USA Softball Men’s National (MNT) assistant coaches that will join Head Coach Gregg Leather (Staten Island, N.Y.) during the 2019 season.

Ron Guzman (Salinas, Calif.), Ron Hackett (Richmond, Va.), Greg Hicks (Bakersfield, Calif.), Nick McCurry (Ashland, Ohio) and Gerald Muizelaar (Grand Forks, N.D.) will assist Leather as the team competes at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru and select international events on the 2019 calendar.

This will be the first stint on the coaching staff for Hackett and Muizelaar while Guzman, Hicks and McCurry have each previously held roles on the MNT coaching staff.

Guzman, along with Hicks and McCurry, helped lead the 2018 U.S. team that competed at the Intercontinental Cup in Prague, Czech Republic. Despite a 1-4 showing at the event, Team USA proved they are a Top Five contender with a 5-4, walk-off win over Argentina.

“I am extremely honored to be a part of the USA Softball Men’s National Team program this summer,” said Guzman. “I’m looking forward to working with Coach Leather and the entire staff. This is the absolute pinnacle in your career to be able to wear the Red, White and Blue while representing your country.”

Hicks and McCurry have served as Assistant Coaches for the MNT since the 2014 season. In their tenure with Team USA, the duo has coached at two WBSC Men’s World Championships and the 2015 Pan American Games.

“As a player or coach, the highest honor you could ever get is to represent the United States,” said McCurry. “There is no better feeling to have a jersey with ‘USA’ on your chest. I’m very thankful that I am chosen for this prestigious honor. Softball has been in my blood ever since I was a very young man. I want to thank everyone that is involved in USA Softball for selecting me. I will never forget this honor. We are looking forward to working with the athletes to win a Gold Medal.”

Hicks and McCurry were also a part of the 2017 coaching staff that helped Team USA claim the Bronze Medal at the Pan American Championship – the first international medal for the U.S. since 2003.

“Being selected to be part of the coaching staff for the 2019 season is very special,” said Hicks. “Any time you can stand on a ball field with ‘USA’ across your chest – it is an unbelievable feeling and never gets old. I feel unbelievably blessed with the opportunity to represent my country in international competition. It is a unique experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

Hackett joins the USA Softball MNT program for his first stint as Assistant Coach after being around the men’s game for a number of years. A native of Elkland, Pa., a hotbed for men’s fast pitch, Hackett played a number of years at the men’s major level. Beginning in 2015, Hackett transitioned into administrative roles, coaching and sponsoring several teams who finished in the Top 5 at the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship.

“It’s an honor to be selected as part of the Men’s National Team coaching staff,” said Hackett. “To represent your country competing against the best in the world is the pinnacle of our sport. I’m humbled and appreciative for the opportunity USA Softball has given us to represent our country this year.”

Muizelaar is making his first appearance as a coach for the MNT program, though he packs plenty of experience as an alumni of the program. A member of the 2013-2015 MNT rosters, Muizelaar competed in two WBSC Men’s World Championships and the 2015 Pan American Games. Muizelaar compiled a 2-3 record in 36 and one-third innings in the circle for Team USA at the World Championships, fanning 53 batters while he went 1-0 at the Pan American Games with 11 strikeouts in 10 and two-third innings pitched.

Gerald Muizelaar, a veteran on the USA National Men’s Fastpitch Team, has now joined the coaching staff on Team USA. Photo By BOB OTTO / 1999 ISC World Tournament

“I am very excited to continue my involvement with the USA Softball Men’s National Team,” said Muizelaar. “I know that my desire to compete on the field will never go away, but I look forward to the new challenge of coaching this group of talented athletes. With the right preparation, I believe that we can compete with the best in the world and have a legitimate opportunity to achieve our goal of winning Gold this summer.”

For more information on the USA Softball National Team program, please visit USASoftball.com.

About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations. USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch. USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships. The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game.

As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.

About the World Baseball Softball Confederation
Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland — the Olympic Capital — the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 208 National Federation and Associate Members in 135 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually.

The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Premier12, World Baseball Classic, Baseball World Cups, Softball World Cups and Softball World Championships, as well as baseball and softball events at the Olympic Games.

For more information, visit www.wbsc.org, which is available six languages: English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.
Copyright © 2019 USA Softball, All rights reserved.
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Masters Open SCIFL Men’s fastpitch season in So. Calif.

Written by Bob on March 8th, 2019

SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. – The Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) opens it’s 2019 season with the Masters division (ages 40-50-60-plus) at Little Lake Park in Santa Fe Springs, Sunday, Mar. 10.

The first pitch will be thrown in the one-day event at 9 a.m. with the final game scheduled for 3 p.m. Ten teams will compete in the round-robin format.

SCIFL Masters Teams

  • RPM
  • Casa Trejo
  • Budmen 40
  • Budmen 50
  • Bandits
  • Quakes
  • Patriots
  • Max Air
  • So Cal Knights / Syndicate Air
  • Bandits 50
  • Knights
  • SCIFL Masters schedule for Sunday, Mar. 10 at Little Lake Park in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Photo Courtesy of SCIFL

    To watch the action, click on Directions to Little Lake Park.

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    Jesse Ortiz commits to save SCIFL

    Written by Bob on March 7th, 2019

    JESSE ORTIZ is kept busy at the 2017 NAFA World Series checking bats to certify that they meet NAFA specifications. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series.


    SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif
    . – Someone had to step up, and if he wouldn’t, who would?

    In 2015, the Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) was facing a leadership crisis. Its long-time president, Robert Hernandez, was retiring with no one willing to take the reins. Except for one man.

    Realizing the league was in danger of folding when Hernandez stepped down, Jesse Ortiz essentially said, “I’ll do it.”

    “It was going to fold unless someone took over,” said Ortiz, 44. “So I decided to step up and do it to keep it going.”

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    Baseball and softball not included among shortlisted sports by Paris Organizing Committee for 2024 Olympics

    Written by Bob on March 1st, 2019

    Baseball and softball not included among shortlisted sports by Paris Organizing Committee for 2024 Olympics

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    February 26, 2019
    Web Release: Link

    OKLAHOMA CITY – The Paris Organizing Committee met recently to determine which sports would make up the 2024 Olympic Program and decided upon breakdancing, surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing to make the final cut of shortlisted sports.

    The decision comes after the groundbreaking Olympic Agenda 2020 passed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that gives Olympic host cities the right to propose sports that are popular in the host country and add to the appeal of the Games.

    “We’ve taken our time to truly take in what Paris 2024’s decision means, not only to USA Softball as a whole but to the sport that means so much to people all around the globe,” said USA Softball Chief Executive Officer, Craig Cress. “While disheartening, the response we’ve seen from the softball community is a resounding display that our sport will continue to thrive and grow. We won’t give up, the work never ends – but we can promise you that our athletes will continue to compete each year and proudly represent our great nation on the international stage and we encourage fans to continue their loyal support of softball. We also stand with the international softball community in the fight for inclusion in future Olympic Games and we will continue to work with groups who value the growth of our sport both domestically and internationally.”

    The IOC still needs to give final approval to the choices made by the Paris 2024 organizers during the executive board in December 2020.

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    Japan tops host New Zealand to win men’s softball TAB Challenge Cup

    Written by Bob on March 1st, 2019

    AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Men’s softball No. 3 nation in the world Japan shocked the host crowd and claimed the TAB Challenge Cup 2019 with a 3-1 victory over No. 1 New Zealand in the final of the tournament.

    A two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning off the bat of HIKARU MATSUDA provided the Japanese pitching staff enough difference to secure the title at Rosedale Park in Albany, Feb. 10.

    Both national teams had advanced to the final after crushing victories in the semifinal. New Zealand beat New Zealand B, 7-0, and Japan defeated Australia by a score of 10-2.

    Australia, Japan and New Zealand are tunning up for the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship 2019, to be held from 13-23 June, in Prague and Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic. New Zealand is the defending world champions.

    REO KOYAMA, key member of the WBSC Junior Men’s Softball World Championship 2016 title for Japan, had a stellar outing in the final and claimed the win, pitching 6.33 innings with 5 hits, 1 run, 3 walks and 6 strikeouts. He kept the powerful Black Sox line up quiet for six innings before leaving the circle in the bottom of the seventh, with the score 3-1.

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    Remembering Mike Solz, Minnesota men’s fastpitch icon

    Written by Bob on February 27th, 2019

    MIKE SOLZ manages Danny’s Northeast men’s fastpitch team and he’s also the president of the Park Classic Men’s Fastpitch League. Minneapolis Star Photo by Russell Bull / July 17, 1965

    By JOE HENNESSY
    Minneapolis Star Staff Writer

    The Star Salutes: Softball Pilot Loop Prexy

    MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Being a manager of a team in the league of which he is president doesn’t seem unusual at all to a veteran of 35 years of Minneapolis men’s fastpitch softball.

    Saluted by the Minneapolis Star today, MIKE SOLZ is manager of Danny’s Northeast team and president of the Park Classic Men’s Fastpitch League.

    And for good reason.

    “At a meeting last spring with Park Board officials, I agreed to the job to help keep the league going and even try to expand it at fields in south and northeast Minneapolis,” said Solz.

    Of about 500 softball teams in Minneapolis, 88 per cent of them are in the slowpitch category, the rest in Solz’ type of league.

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    2014 NAFA World Series book can still be ordered

    Written by Bob on February 27th, 2019

    The front cover of 2014 NAFA World Series features, JOSH JOHNSON, left, of the CR Brewers of Portland, Ore., DEVON McCULLOUGH, J&B Painting, So. Calif., and ROCCO RAMSEY, Bowen Fastpitch, Bowen, Ill. Photo By BOB OTTO

    (I was asked if I had any books left that I wrote about the 2014 NAFA World Series. Yes! You can order directly by clicking on BLURB Publishing.)

    YUCAIPA, Calif. – The North American Fastpitch Association celebrated its 22nd year hosting men’s and young men’s (age 23-Under) championship tournaments in the Quad Cities of Iowa and Illinois in 2014.

    After covering and photographing the World Series, I wrote a book about it entitled, “2014 NAFA Men’s Fastpitch World Series”.

    THE BOOK INCLUDES

  • Over 200 photos
  • Championship game stories of the AA-Major, AA, A-Major, A and 23-Under divisions
  • Feature stories of players and managers, who have helped make the game as great as it is.
  • Hall of Fame stories and listing of members from 1997 to 2014
  • NAFA World Series records and amazing accomplishments by incredible players
  • Listing of NAFA 10 and 20-year anniversary players, “the best of the best”
  • Masters World Series results
  • Wood Bat World Series results
  • You can preview the book and if you like what you see, you can order a PDF or a softcover book (8 1/2 x 11) with semigloss pages from the publisher, Blurb (Online only) from the menu below.

    Click on the SHOPPING CART in the menu to visit my Blurb page.

     

    Nation’s best softball teams and stars compete in 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

    Written by Bob on February 27th, 2019

    Beautiful blue skies with the San Jacinto Mountain range in the background made for perfect playing conditions at Big League Dreams in the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic that featured outstanding women’s college fastpitch softball teams from throughout the country, Feb. 21-24 in Cathedral City, Calif. Photo By BOB OTTO

    CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Softball fans could travel to all parts of the United States, Canada – in fact the world – and find no higher caliber of women’s fastpitch softball than at the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, Feb. 21-24.

    On hand for the 16th annual showcase were NCAA Div. I powerhouses such as the No. 2 ranked UCLA Bruins, 14-0, (5-0 Mary Nutter), Oregon Ducks, Arizona Wildcats, BYU Cougars, Kentucky Wildcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, North Carolina Tar Heels, Oklahoma Sooners, Washington Huskies…and the list could go on – included on that list was Japan’s national team.

    The collegiate classic started with dreary, cold and rainy weather on Thursday, Feb. 21st, but on Friday the sun broke free under beautiful blue skies and warm temperatures that lasted through the final day on Sunday.

    On a gorgeous Saturday, thousands packed Big League Dreams five ball diamonds to enjoy, applaud and cheer for many of the best softball athletes in the world.

  • Click for Final Scores and Stats
  • The Mary Nutter In Pictures…

    Utah Utes senior, Hailey Hilbum, laces a hit during the Utes 2-0 loss to Ohio State, Sat. Feb. 23 at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Thousands of fastpitch softball fans lined all sides of the ball fields at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, Calif., Feb 23. The annual tournament features top-ranked NCAA Div. I teams from througout the country that most fans wouldn’t be able to see all in one place if not for this outstanding tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Vendors at the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic offered a wide variety of merchandise for kids and adults, including bats, gloves, softball shoes, softballs, uniforms, jackets, batting gloves, jewelry and pins, and of course t-shirts, which were a hot seller. Photo By BOB OTTO

    North Carolina pitcher BRITTANY PICKETT winds up to fire a pitch to the plate during the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, Sat., Feb. 23. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Long Beach State 49ers slugger ALYSSA GONZALEZ is greeted at home plate after she scored a run in the 49ers, 8-4, victory over North Carolina. Gonzalez had two hits with an RBI. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Cal Poly Mustangs pitcher STEFFI BEST winds up to hurl a pitch during the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, Calif., Feb. 22. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Ohio State pitcher KAT DUVALL warms up her pitching arm during Saturday’s action at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, Calif. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Arizona Wildcats freshman pitcher Marissa Schuld works on spinning the ball for the proper rise ball rotation with coach RAY CAMACHO during pre-game warmups during the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, Sat., Feb. 23 at Big League Dreams, Cathedral City, Calif. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Japan’s national team played in the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, and in a match-up with the Arizona Wildcats, lost in 1-0 pitching duel during Saturday’s action at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, Calif. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Arizona head coach MIKE CANDREA greets DEJAH MULPOLA after she blasted a long home run over the left field fence to give the Wildcats a 1-0 victory over Team Japan in the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, Calif., Sat., Feb. 23. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Army shortstop, MADDIE KIM, squeezes her glove after she caught a high infield pop up during an Army game on Saturday, Feb. 22. The West Point Black Knights played well in the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic that featured top-ranked NCAA Div. I teams from throughout the country. Photo By BOB OTTO

    UCLA Bruins coach KIRK WALKER has some fun hitting fungos to the Bruins in a pre-game warmup before the Bruins took on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City. Looking on are ALANA SNOW, left, BUBBA NICKLES, ZOE SHAW and SHEA MORENO. Photo By BOB OTTO

    UCLA shortstop BRIANA PEREZ leaps for a high throw as Nebraska’s RYLIE UNZICKER slides into second base. Unzicker was safe on the play, but the Bruins went on to beat the Cornhuskers 9-1 in the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, Calif., Feb. 23. Perez had a great game at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBI in the leadoff spot. Photo By BOB OTTO

    UCLA Bruins BRIANA PEREZ, left, ANNA VINES, and ALANA SNOW show their jubilation as RACHEL GARCIA trots to home plate after hitting a home run in the Bruins, 9-1 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, Calif., Feb. 22. Photo By BOB OTTO

    BYU pitcher KERISA VIRAMONTES fires a pitch during the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, Calif. Viramontes started and pitched four innings allowing but four hits and two run in the Cougars, 3-2, win over UC Santa Barbara, Sat., Feb. 22. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Univ. of Calif. Santa Barbara’s RAYNA COHEN beats the throw to third base during the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, Feb. 22. Photo By BOB OTTO

    In the battle of inter-service teams, beating Navy is a high priority for the West Point Army team. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Army pitcher MACEY NEWBARY fires a pitch that scorchers the outside corner of the plate to Duke’s KYLA MORRIS during Army’s 10-0 victory in the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. Newbary allowed but two hits with a strikeout to notch the win in the 5-inning game, Sat., Feb. 22. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Army second baseman, ASHLEY YOO, appeals to the umpire for a force out at second base of Duke’s JAMESON KAVEL, as Army shortstop MADDIE KIM looks on. Kavel was called safe on the play. Army went on to defeat Duke, 10-0, in the 2019 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, Calif., Feb. 22. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Make plans to attend next year’s Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at Big League Dreams in Cathedral City, Calif. that features top-ranked NCAA Div. i women’s fastpitch softball teams from throughout the country. Photo By BOB OTTO

     

    Castro Concrete Jokers 23rd Annual Men’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament

    Written by Bob on February 26th, 2019

    AUSTIN, Texas – The Castro Concrete Jokers will host its 23rd Annual Men’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament Memorial weekend at the Del Valle Softball complex near the Austin Airport, May 25-26.

    The Details

    Date: May 25th and 26th
    Place: Del Valle Softball Complex (just past the Austin Airport)
    Entry Fee: NONE (pay $50 at the plate before each game)
    Format: 3 Game Guarantee
    Time Limit: 1 hour and 30 min (Championship game 7innings)

    Championship Game: One game only
    Rules: 2019 ASA Rules – Pitching Rule: ISF (Pitcher must start with two feet on the rubber)
    Balls: K-Master (Provide by Tournament)

    Click to continue reading “Castro Concrete Jokers 23rd Annual Men’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament”

     
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