NAFA selects AA-division top performers for world series honors

Written by Bob on August 22nd, 2017

By BENJIE HEDGECOCK
NAFA Executive Director

The top performers in the 2017 NAFA AA World Series. BJ Hunhoff, Greg Cascaes and Peter Reimer of the Kegel Knights Old Timers; Braden Arcand, Keagan Arcand, Bryn Redhead, Wyatt Berube of the Calahoo Chiefs; John Wilson, Aaron Davis, Jon Gwizdala and Kyle Riemenapp of Willkomm Mobil / Optimum Crush; Jake Dalton and Chris Bambanek of Hennager Plumbing & Heating; Craig Geisler of ECL Bronx; Chris Brams, Surrey Rebels. (some missing from picture) Photo By BOB OTTO

FARGO – The NAFA AA World Series saw exceptional athletes perform outstanding feats on the fastpitch field, but some reached even greater heights, and were honored at post-tournament ceremonies.

MOST VALUABLE PITCHER
Joel Cooley, Kegel Knights Old Timers

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Lucas Goring, Kegel Knights Old Timers

ALL-WORLD TEAM

Calahoo Chiefs KEAGAN ARCAND batted .350 (7-for-20) with 7 RBI and 2 home runs to help the Calahoo Chiefs finish second in the NAFA AA World Series. Arcand was selected to the NAFA AA All-World team. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series, Fargo, ND

KEGEL KNIGHTS OLD TIMERS, FARGO, ND
BJ Hunhoff, Kegel
Greg Cascaes, Kegel
Pete Reimer, Kegel

CALAHOO CHIEFS, ALBERTA, CA
Braden Arcand
Keagan Arcand
Bryn Redhead
Wyatt Berube

WILLKOMM MOBIL / OPTIMUM CRUSH, WI
John Wilson
Aaron Davis
Jon Gwizdala
Kyle Riemenapp

HENNAGER PLUMBING & HEATING, LAKE CRYSTAL, MN
Jake Dalton
Chris Bambanek

ECL BRONX, SASKATCHEWAN, CA
Craig Geisler

SURREY REBELS, British Columbia, CA
Chris Brams

 

Masters Tourney Wraps Up SCIFL Season

Written by Bob on August 22nd, 2017

By Jesse Ortiz
SCIFL President / Commissioner
661-510-8928

SANTA FE Srings, Calif. – The So. Calif. Independent Fastpitch League will be hosting its final Masters Tournament (40-over) of the year on August 26-27, 2017 at Little Lake Park, Santa Fe Springs, CA.

*** Click on SCIFL Masters Tournament to see the eight tournament teams ***

This tournament will simulate the format used at the World Series in Carson City, but it will be modified just a bit. It will start off with a two-game round robin followed by the beginning of the tournament where the winner will go into the Gold bracket and the team who lost will go into the silver bracket.

The entry fee will be $330.

Teams interested in participating in the event need to contact the tournament director, Jesse Ortiz, at scifastpitch@gmail.com by Saturday, August 12, 2017 so the fields can be paid on Monday, August 14, 2017, per the City of Santa Fe Springs.

Click to continue reading “Masters Tourney Wraps Up SCIFL Season”

 

BMK survives Conquest to claim NAFA 23-Under World Series championship

Written by Bob on August 22nd, 2017

2017 NAFA 23-Under World Series Champions, Bowen Fastpitch-Minnesota Computers-Kegel of Fargo include coaches Rocco Ramsey and Richard Quigley, and players Julian Fernandez, Facundo Gonzales, Conrado Zanuttini, Alejo Munoz, Eneas Erbes, Adam Hosey, Joe Reinert, Michael Skola, Josh Michaels and Nate Loft. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series, Fargo N.D.

FARGO – NAFA World Series championships are rarely won the easy way. Bowen-Minnesota Computers-Kegel of Fargo (BMK) and the Conquest Coyotes of Saskatchewan, Canada are a fitting example.

The two squads slugged it out like two heavyweight fighters for nine innings before BMK escaped with a 6-4 victory to claim the 23-Under championship at Northside Softball Complex, Sunday.

“You couldn’t ask for a better championship game,” said BMK manager Rocco Ramsey. “That was really a good team we beat and to go extra innings is the way a championship game should be.”

Click to continue reading “BMK survives Conquest to claim NAFA 23-Under World Series championship”

 

Hennager Plumbing and Heating Fastpitch takes fourth in NAFA AA World Series

Written by Bob on August 20th, 2017

Earning fourth place in the NAFA AA World Series in Fargo, N.D., this weekend is the Hennager Plumbing and Heating Fastpitch Softball Team of Lake Crystal, Minn., Jake L Dalton, Lake Crystal, Minn., left, and Chris Bambeneck of Minneapolis, far right, received All-World honors. Coach Blake Meshke, Lake Crystal, holds the winning trophy, received from NAFA Executive Director Benjie Hedgecock. Photo By SHERYL DOERING MESHKE

 

Saunders championship dream comes true in NAFA AA World Series

Written by Bob on August 20th, 2017

JOEL COOLEY pitched four innings of one-hit ball to help the Kegel Knights Old Timers defeat the Calahoo Chiefs 2-1 to claim the NAFA AA World Series championship at Northside Softball Complex, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017. Photo By BOB OTT / 2017 NAFA World Series, Fargo, N.D.

FARGO – Rick Saunders has won his share of tournaments and awards playing for the Kegel Black Knights of Fargo. But winning a national or international championship has eluded him.

But that all changed when the Kegel Knights Old Timers defeated the Calahoo Chiefs of Alberta, Canada in a dramatic walk-off 2-1 victory to claim the NAFA AA World Series championship at Northside Softball Complex, Sunday.

And Saunders played the leading role.

With two out in the bottom of the seventh, he hammered a clean single up the middle scoring pinch runner Andrew Kutnikoff from second base with the winning run.

“This feels really good,” said Saunders. “I’ve never been on a championship team and to be with these guys years and years, and be able to contribute when we need it, feels great.”

Click to continue reading “Saunders championship dream comes true in NAFA AA World Series”

 

Kegel Old Timers playing like knights in NAFA AA championship

Written by Bob on August 20th, 2017

Kegel Knights Old Timers, DUANE CLARKSON, laces a pitch during the Old Timers 4-2 victory over the Willkomm Mobile / Optimum Crush, Saturday, in the NAFA AA World Series. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series

FARGO – The name on the bracket board says Old Timers, but the lettering on their uniforms spells out Knights.

The middle aged men wearing the uniforms don’t play anything like any preconceived notion of “old timers.”

Instead they’re playing like knights – as in former Kegel Black Knights – which several of them were at one time over the years.

After going undefeated in the NAFA AA World Series, the 3-0 Knights have reached Sunday’s championship game and have to be considered the odds-on favorite to take the title, needing just one more win to cap it.

Still in the running with one loss are the Wisconsin’s Willkomm Mobil / Optimum Crush, Minnesota’s Hennager Plumbing of Lake Crystal, and the Calahoo Chiefs of Calahoo, Alberta Canada.

In the eight-team tournament, the Knights have defeated the Surrey Rebels, 6-3; Optimum Crush, 4-2, and the Chiefs in the
winner’s bracket final Saturday night at Fargo’s Northside Softball Complex.

Knights Old Timers 7, Chiefs 4

Tony Kunka, 2-for-4, doubled and drove in two runs to head the Knights six hits, and Lucas Goring tripled in three trips, going 3-for-4, and scoring three times.

Joel Cooley and BJ Hunhoff split the pitching duties with Hunhoff getting the win, allowing three runs on seven hits with with six strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings.

Also seeing pitching duty is Gerald Muizelaar, a veteran hurler who has led teams to success in the International Softball Congress World Tournament, and he has pitched for the USA Softball National Team in softball world championships.

Old Timers? Anything but.

  • Click on NAFA AA World Series for team and individual results.
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    Final four pursue NAFA Gold in 23-Under Division

    Written by Bob on August 19th, 2017

    ISAIAH GILBERTSON of Mike Steiner Construction 23-Under team, slides into third base, but was called out on a close play with Minnesota Computers, Saturday, in pool play. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series

    FARGO – Four top young men’s teams will take to the ball fields on Sunday to decide the NAFA 23-Under World Series championship at Northside Softball Complex.

    At 8 a.m., Kegel / Minnesota Computers battle the Seadogs of Massachusetts, while Peguis Redmen take on the Conquest Junior Coyotes of Saskatoon, Canada.

    Then at 9:45 the two winners square off in the title game.

  • Click on 23-Under Championship Bracket
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    Len’s Auto wins the battle of Minnesotans in NAFA World Series

    Written by Bob on August 19th, 2017

    Duluth Fastpitch catcher BRETT SCHEEVEL attempts to tag KYLE POBANZ when he tried to score on a fly ball, but Pobanz was called safe, giving Len’s Auto it’s final run in a 3-0 victory in the NAFA A World Series winner’s bracket that sends the St. Paul club into the NAFA A championship game on Sunday. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series

    FARGO – In a battle of two of Minnesota’s top fastpitch teams, Len’s Auto of St. Paul defeated Duluth Fastpitch, 3-0, in the winner’s bracket final of the NAFA A Division World Series late Saturday.

    The win sends Len’s Auto into the championship game, Sunday, at 11:30 a.m. at Northside Softball Complex.

    Len’s Auto swept through the 38-team A Division with a clean slate at 6-0, while Duluth (4-1) lost for the first time, and drops into the loser’s bracket needing a win to qualify for the title game.

    Tim Schuhwerck spun a four-hitter and struck out seven to improve his tournament record to 2-0, and he’s yet to give up and earned run, according to NAFA statistics.

    Duluth’s Dave Meyer held Len’s Auto to just three hits by Kyle Pobanz, 2-for-2, and Alex Farber 1-for-3. Meyer also walked three and struck five.

    Bud Joyce was 2-for-2 to lead Len’s Auto and Brett Scheevel and Brett Klosowski had one hit each.

    Along with Len’s Auto and Duluth Fastpitch, the Whitetail Husky Bucks of Lancaster, Penn., and West Fargo Knights remain in contention for the championship.

    The Bucks and Knights square off at 8 a.m. with the winner taking on Duluth at 9:45.

  • Click on NAFA A WORLD SERIES RESULTS for team and individual information.
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    Young fastpitch stars on both sides of the border showcasing their talent at NAFA World Series

    Written by Bob on August 19th, 2017

    ALEX STRAUGHTON, 20, and KYNAN TARNOWSKI, 23, play for the Coyotes of Conquest, Saskatchewan, Canada in the age 23-Under NAFA World Series. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series

    FARGO – Hundreds of miles and a border separate Parker Lyga and Kynan Tarnowski, but for one weekend at the NAFA World Series they come together to share a common bond, a fondness for the game of fastpitch softball, and an intense desire to take home a World Series championship trophy.

    Lyga, 22, from La Crosse, Wisconsin and Tarnowski, 23, of Conquest, Saskatchewan, Canada, are playing in the NAFA 23-Under World Series.

    Tarnowski with the Coyotes of Conquest, Lyga with Mike Steiner Construction.

    As a pitcher, Tarnowski has seen double duty in the 23-Under and in the A Division. So far, so good.

    He’s pitched four innings of relief in the Coyotes first 23-under game, coming out on top 7-5, and in the A Division, he’s allowed just a single run in 12 innings and has crafted a 2-0 record.

    Though he’s only 23, he’s a veteran in years of experience.

    “I started playing fastpitch when I was eight,” he said. “I switched to baseball, but only played a year and came back to fastpitch. It’s more fun and it’s faster.”

    Alex Straughtman, 20, is also seeing action with the Coyotes at shortstop and third base. He started out playing hardball, but three years a go made the move to fastpitch.

    Why?

    “My friends were playing (fastpitch) and it’s fun playing the game with them,” said Straughtman.

    For the most part, the Coyotes came with the same team that plays together in a men’s league. They’ve won two of three pool play 23-Under games, with the goal of reaching Sunday’s championship game.

    For Lyga, he would like nothing better than seeing his Mike Steiner Construction team reach that title game and square off with the Canadians.

    A “border battle,” so to speak.

    But regardless of the World Series outcome, he’s already making plans for next season.

    “I want to learn to pitch,” Lyga said. “We’re starting a league-team of young guys in La Crosse next year. I’ve got seven guys who want to play right now.”

    ISAIAH GILBERTSON of Mike Steiner Construction hits a single up the middle, then stole second base in a 23-Under pool play game against Minnesota Computers, Saturday. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series

    Isaiah Gilbertson is another young fastpitch player, who like many, transition to fastpitch when their baseball playing days wind down.

    “I played (baseball) at Western Tech College in La Crosse,” said Gilberston, 21. “I still play a little baseball, but I like the fast pace of fastpitch.”

    Now, if only the sport can find more just like them – on both sides of the border.

    Click on 23-Under World Series to follow the results

     

    Home runs power Len’s Auto into NAFA A World Series semifinals

    Written by Bob on August 19th, 2017

    JUSTIN OLSON is greeted by his teammates after he hit a two-run home run in the second inning to help Len’s Auto of Minnesota defeat Lifetime Seamless Gutters of Wisconsin, 7-1, in the NAFA A Worlds Series, Friday, at Northside Softball Complex. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series

    FARGO – Justin Olson and Alex Farber hammered two-run home runs to lead Len’s Auto of Minnesota past Lifetime Seamless of Wisconsin, 7-1, in the NAFA A World Series, Friday.

    After Lifetime’s Peyton Hall belted a homer to lead off the game, Olson countered in the second with his blast to give Len’s Auto the lead for good. And Farber drove the ball over the fence in the third to extend the lead to 4-1.

    Farber had a huge game going 4-for-4 with two RBI and two runs to pace Len’s 11-hit barrage.

    After Chad Washenberger gave up the first inning dinger, he settled in to hold Lifetime Seamless scoreless the rest of the way.

    The win keeps Len’s Auto undefeated at 3-0 and sends them into Saturday’s 4 p.m semifinals against the West Fargo Knights, also 3-0. The lower bracket semifinal features Minnesota ball clubs, Scandia and Duluth. The winners will advance into the winners bracket final at 8 p.m.

  • Click here for more A Division results.
  • Check out the NAFA A bracket.
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