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A Step Back In Time: Mark Rako Joins Elite Company In Fastpitch Hall of Fame

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Mark “Vinnie” Rako poses with legendary U.S. Olympic softball player Dot Richardson during the University of Dubuque’s spring trip to Florida in March, 2013


Platteville pitcher to join SW Wisocnsin Fast Pitch Hall of Fame

By Jason Nihles
sports@theplattevillejournal.com
SWNEWS4u.com
POSTED June 5, 2013 2:27 p.m.

BOSCOBEL, Wisc. – Mark Rako’s fast-pitch softball career began 41 years ago as a 14-year-old boy on the old field in Arthur.

Over the course of a career that spanned five decades “Vinnie”, as he was better known by teammates and opponents alike, developed into one of the best pitchers in the area.

“I don’t think some people even know my real name,” Rako joked.

Click to continue reading “A Step Back In Time: Mark Rako Joins Elite Company In Fastpitch Hall of Fame”

USA Softball Men’s National Team finishes Father’s Day Tournament with 8-4 victory over JB Titans

Monday, June 19th, 2017

PAT SAGDAL belted a double and later scored to help the USA Men’s National Team defeat the J.B. Bombers, 8-4, to claim the championships of the Houston Father’s Day Tournament, Sunday, June 18. USA Softball Photo.

JUNE 19, 2017, 2:06 A.M. (ET)
USA Softball Media Report

HOUSTON — The 2017 USA Softball Men’s National Team (MNT) won their fifth-straight game of the weekend, 8-4, to complete their impressive outing at the Father’s Day Tournament in Houston, Texas, USA Softball announced today. The U.S. scored eight runs on nine hits with no errors.

Tyler Dudley (Battle Creek, Mich.) got things going with a lead-off double in the second inning before tagging up and reaching third on a flyout by Chase Turner (San Jose, Calif.). A walk to Nick Mullins (Toms River, N.J.) put two runners on for Team USA and a homerun by Pat Sagdal (Richland, Wash.) made it a 3-0 lead.

Click to continue reading “USA Softball Men’s National Team finishes Father’s Day Tournament with 8-4 victory over JB Titans”

Men’s fastpitch teams heading to San Francisco Bay Area for top-flight tournament

Friday, June 16th, 2017

  • For more details, contact tournament committee members Fred Williams, Ricky Sivilla, and Marcus Tan.
  • Pools, Schedule announced for 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship

    Thursday, June 8th, 2017

    WHITEHORSE, Canada — The World Baseball Softball Confederation today announced the pools and official tournament schedule of the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship taking place in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada from 7-16 July.

    NEW ZEALAND will once again be a contender to win the 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in Whitehorse, Canada, July 7-16, after finishing runner-up in 2015 to Canada. New Zealand leads all countries in the medal count with 12 gold, silver and bronze, including tops in gold with six, while Canada is a close second with 11 total medals, and No. 2 in the gold count with four. WBSC Photo

    The 15th edition of the men’s flagship softball event will showcase more than 80 games — 64 games taking place in the round robin over the first seven days, followed by three days of playoff action.

    The participating nations in the WBSC Men’s Softball Championship represent a global reach that spans across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania.

    Nations will be divided into two pools to compete in a challenging round-robin, with the top four finishers from each pool advancing to the double page playoff round. The remaining teams will compete in the placement round.

      Pool A

    No. 3 Argentina
    No. 5 Australia
    No. 4 Canada
    No. 11 Dominican Republic
    Hong Kong
    India
    No. 14 South Africa
    No. 6 USA

    USA Men’s National Team pitcher Duane Weiler of Bedford, Penn. hurls a pitch during the USA Softball Men’s National Invitational Fast Pitch Tournament in Ashland, Ohio, June 9-11. Photo courtesy of USA Softball

      Pool B

    No. 19 Botswana
    No. 8 Czech Republic
    No. 13 Denmark
    No. 10 Great Britain
    No. 20 Indonesia
    No. 2 Japan
    No. 1 New Zealand
    Turkey
    No. 7 Venezuela

    Click to continue reading “Pools, Schedule announced for 2017 WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship”

    Team USA beats one of fastball’s best in big win over Globe to claim Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament championship

    Sunday, May 21st, 2017

    PAT SAGDAL belted a two-run home run to help the USA Men’s National Softball Team defeat Globe, 8-0, in the 2017 Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament, Sunday, May 21, 2017. USA Softball Photo.

    STEVENS, Penn. – The USA Men’s National Team bullied their way to a 4-0 mark in the Rodney Fox Memorial Fastpitch Tournament on Saturday. They bludgeoned opposing pitchers for 38 runs, and on Sunday in the opening game of the playoffs they kept on swinging those hot bats, beating Elanco, 13-3.

    That set up a matchup with Globe for the tournament championship.

    Now surely this title game would present a far greater challenge for Team USA. For the guy toeing the rubber for Globe was an internationally renowned pitcher: Sean Cleary.

    The hard-throwing Canadian right-hander has an impressive resume:

  • He’s a Canadian national team pitcher.
  • He’s the 2016 International Softball Congress Most Outstanding Pitcher for hurling the Toronto, Ontario Gators to the ISC World Tournament championship.
  • In 2015, Cleary helped pitch Canada to the World Softball championship.

    But on this day, the United States’ batsmen got the better of Cleary and Globe for an 8-0 victory that gives Team USA its first tournament title of the season, and great preparation for the 14th World Softball Championship tournament at Saskatoon, Canada, June 26-July 5.

    In the quest for the title, they roughed up Cleary for five runs on five hits in four innings before he gave way to reliever Jon Gwizdala in the fifth.

    Bryce Kay hammered a two-run homer in the second inning, Nick Mullins drove a run-scoring double into left-field that ignited a four-run fifth, and Pat Sagdal homered with one aboard to close out the scoring in the sixth, ending the game on the mercy rule.

    That was more than enough runs for Team USA veteran pitcher Tony Mancha who held Globe to two hits with nine strikeouts and a walk. Both runs were unearned.

    Team USA had seven hits, with Mullins perfect at 2-for-2, and Jeff Nowaczk, Bryce Kay, Kevin Castillo, Sagdal and Matt Ratliff getting one hit each. Both Sagdal and Kay homered, and Mullins and Castillo doubled.

    (I wasn’t aware this was the championship game. Congratulations Team USA. Off to a great start in preparation for the 2017 WBSC World Championship.)

  • Mancha hurls USA Men’s National Team to top seeding

    Saturday, May 20th, 2017

    Tony Mancha

    STEVENS, Penn. – Tony Mancha hurled a shutout as the USA Men’s National Team extended its winning streak to four by defeating Farmersville, 6-0, in the Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament, late Saturday, in the final game of round-robin play.

    The right-hander allowed just two hits – one each by leadoff batter Yusef Davis and Steve Mullady – and then proceeded to handle the rest of Farmersville’s lineup by striking out 21 batters. Only one other batter reached base, a walk to James Gilbert in the fifth inning.

    Wth the win, Team USA moves into Sunday’s playoffs as the No. 1 seed.

    Mancha, a right-hander from Las Cruces, New Mexico, picked up his first win of the tournament, but he had plenty of support in getting it. Led by hot-hitting Eric Ochoa, Team USA roughed up Farmersville’s Jonas Mach for six runs on 12 hits.

    Ochoa (2-for-3) hit his third home run of the tourney and drove in three runs, while Tyler Dudley had two RBI and was 2-for-4 at the plate with a homer.

    As in their previous three games, Team USA started strong by plating three runs in the first inning on Ochoa’s three-run homer; picked up a run in the fourth on Derrick Zechman’s sacrifice fly, and pushed two runs across in the seventh when Dudley hammered a two-run homer deep over the left-field fence.

    The USA Men’s National Team returns to action Sunday morning at 11, opponent yet to be determined.

    To follow Team USA, visit: Rodney Fox Memorial Schedule

    USA men’s national softball team hammer third opponent in Rodney Fox Memorial

    Saturday, May 20th, 2017

    TYLER DUDLEY an infielder for the USA Men’s National Team is one of the bright young stars helping to elevate the national team back to worldwide prominance in men’s faspitch softball. Through four games at the Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament, Dudley is batting .583 (7-for-12) with five RBI and three home runs, along with five runs scored. Courtesy Photo USA Softball

    STEVENS, Penn. – Performing like they’re in mid-season form rather than gathering together for the first tournament of the season, the USA Men’s National Softball Team hammered it’s third opponent, Kurtz, 8-1, to improve to 3-0 in the Rodney Fox Memorial tournament, Saturday afternoon.

    For the stat conscious, Team USA has scored 32 runs in three games – all shortened to four innings because of the mercy rule. While the hitters certainly have stared, the pitchers have performed well, too.

    Against Kurtz, Duane Weiler picked up his second win, allowing a run on three hits over 3.2 innings, with a strikeout and a walk. B.J. Hunhoff finished the final 1 1/3 innings holding Kurtz hitless while striking out four – every batter he faced.

    After plating a run in the first inning on Eric Ochoa’s double, Team USA chased home three more in the second on Gil Saenz’s run-scoring triple and Jonathan Lynch’s bunt single that brought home Saenz. Cameron Schiller’s single and an error scored Bryce Kay with the third run.

    Team USA broke loose for three final tallies in the fourth on Ochoa’s solo homer and Tyler Dudley’s two-run bomb over the right field fence.

    USA pounded out nine hits led by Marcus Tan, 2-for-2 with an RBI, and Ochoa, 2-for-3, and two RBI. In the tournament, Ochoa has been opposing pitchers nightmare, ripping out four hits in six trips, with five RBI, along with a two home runs and a double.

    USA National Softball Team stays perfect in Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament

    Saturday, May 20th, 2017

    Jonathan Lynch led a 16-hit attack to power Team USA to victory in the Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament, Saturday, May 20. Photo By BOB OTTO

    STEVENS, Penn. – Jonathan Lynch was perfect at the plate, B.J. Runoff dominated in the circle, and Team USA cruised to a 16-0 victory over Kelly’s in the second-round of the Rodney Fox Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament in Stevens, Saturday morning.

    Click to continue reading “USA National Softball Team stays perfect in Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament”

    Reliving Memories of one of fastpitch softball’s greatest pitchers

    Monday, May 15th, 2017

    WITH THE GREATEST OF EASE
    Roy Burlison of the St. Louis Browns flies through the air before delivering a pitch to the plate in last night’s (June 16, 1973) professional softball game at Koch Park. Burlison tossed his third straight shutout, whipping the Philadelphia Patriots, 8-0. St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photo By W. Thomas Stewart

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –Roy Burlison was one of the greatest fastpitch pitchers the sport has ever known. When his 27-year playing career came to an end in 1992, he had won over 770 games against the best teams in the world.

    In 1997 he was inducted into the Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame for an arm’s length of accomplishments: nine times competing in the ASA national tournament; twice selected Most Valuable Pitcher, and twice leading his teams to runner-up in the national championship.

    Burlison was also renowned as a coach, teaching hundreds of girls how to play the game the right way. But sadly on May 11, Burlison, 71, passed away (see Roller Homes obituary).

    His fastpitch legacy will live on, however, in the girls he coached, and with the players he both played with and against in his long and distinguished career.

    Let’s relive some of Burlison’s prowess with a stroll down memory lane…

    Click to continue reading “Reliving Memories of one of fastpitch softball’s greatest pitchers”

    USA men’s national team prepares for world championship

    Saturday, May 6th, 2017

    USA SOFTBALL – The USA Softball Men’s National Team will be playing in three tournaments leading up to the World Baseball Softball Confederation World Championship, July 7-16, in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.

    2017 USA MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM TOURNAMENTS

  • May 19-21, Rodney Fox Memorial Tournament, Stevens, Penn.
  • June 16-18, Father’s Day Memorial, Houston, Tex.
  • July 1-3, Vancouver Challenge, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • *Shedule subject to change

    TEAM USA is coached by Head Coach Denny Bruckert, and assisted by coaches Greg Hicks, Gregg Leather and Nick McCurry.