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Team effort helps NAFA pitcher John Desaulniers achieve special honor

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

“Being selected to the 20th Anniversary Team is a true honor that I can’t accept alone because there have been so many players, coaches, managers and sponsors that have helped me out…” – Johnny Desaulniers

In 2012, Johnny Desaulniers was selected to the NAFA 20th Year Anniversary Team. Contributed Photo

PINEWOOD, ONTARIO, CA – Johnny Desaulniers remembers his early fastpitch days when as a 12-year-old new to the sport, he did a lot of sitting. But he didn’t idle his time away. He soaked in the action on the ball diamond, and it has paid handsome returns.

“I spent lots of time on the bench watching and learning from my peers how to play the game,” said Desaulniers, 38. “I was always waiting for the opportunity to get an inning in, or to pinch run. I had lots of people to look up to at the start of my journey in this game, but two men stand out. They are George Oltsher and Bryan Bonot.

“These two men gave myself and lots of other kids a place and a chance to play. I consider them to be responsible for what I have become as a player today.”

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Fargo Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament scores

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Founded in 1993, NAFA will celebrate its 25th anniversary by holding its 2017 World Series at the new Northside Softball Complex in Fargo, North Dakota, Aug. 8-20. On May 27-28, the Fargo Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament is being held.

FARGO, No. Dak. – Saturday’s pool-play scores of the Fargo Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament (May 27-28) provided by John Kegel.


Fargo Bombers 13, Winnipeg Bullets 4
(W) Jace Holm

Fargo Bombers 6, Montana 0
(W) Justin Feist

Winnipeg 12, NWO Selects 4


Rooters Bar 11, Manitoba Redmen 4
(W) Ben Askagaard

Colorado Knights 9, Rooters Bar 8
(W) Kelly Freed


West Fargo Knights 7, Cross Lake, Manitoba 6
(W) Andrew Potter

Kegel / Apex 5, West Fargo Knights 0
(W) John Desaulniers (Read feature story on his selection to NAFA 20-year team)

SCIFL Tournament Coming To Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Yusef Davis Jr., reaches up and slaps a high rise ball off BC A’s pitcher Gregg Garrity and reaches safely on an infield single during a 2016 SCIFL Tournament. SCIFL men’s fastpitch action returns, June 24, at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2016 SCIFL Tournament

BURBANK, Calif. – The next So. Calif. Independent Fastpitch League Alliance tournament will be held June 24, 2017 at Camp Pendleton, Calif. It will be a one day tournament, maximum of eight teams, with a two game Round Robin followed immediately by a Single Elimination.

Teams interested in participating will need to contact the tournament director, Jesse Ortiz, at by June 10, 2017 because all personnel entering Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton must complete a “Sponsored Visitor Request Form” (attached). This is a simple process, but again, ALL personnel must do this, or risk being denied entry to the Base.


This process will expedite entry; specifically, when the vehicle comes to the gate, the “occupants” will simply have to show appropriate identification (Driver’s License or State issued ID).

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Canadian and Midwest men’s fastpitch teams battle in Fargo Memorial weekend

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Saturday, May 27 pool play schedule.

FARGO, No. Dak. – Twelve teams from four states and Canada will compete for the Fargo Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament, May 27-28, at the Northside Softball Complex in Fargo on diamonds 11, 12 and 13.

  • The tournament features teams rated no higher than NAFA A-Major.
  • Games start Saturday morning at 10 with the final game of the day scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Then on Sunday, the playoffs kick off at 9 a.m.


    NWO Selects
    CO Knights
    Len’s Auto
    WF Knights
    Cross lake MB
    Kegel / Apex
    Notre Dame

  • Visit Fargo Fastpitch on Facebook and Fargo Fastpitch for more information.
  • Bill Hopeman put Hingham, Wisc. on the fastpitch map

    Thursday, May 18th, 2017

    Since the late 1930s, hundreds of softball players have played fastpitch at the Hingham ballfields. Courtesy Photo

    “I have skipped class reunions and some marriages because of ball. It was probably wrong, but nothing was more important than playing ball. I just loved the game.” – Bill Hopeman

    HINGHAM, Wisc. – When he was six years old, Bill Hopeman got his first taste of fastpitch softball on Hingham’s grade school playground.

    Swinging a bat, catching and throwing a softball soon became a passion. His favorite position?

    “Anywhere they would let me play,” said Hopeman, who was younger than many of the school kids back in the early 1950s. “But mostly I played third base, shortstop and some first base.”

    But over the ensuing years, “let me play,” became a plea of sorts to “please pitch for us,” as Hopeman switched from infielder to pitcher. An outstanding one at that – who many claim the best to hurl a softball in the Hingham fastpitch league.

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    SCIFL tournament at Little Lake Park in Santa Fe Springs

    Thursday, May 18th, 2017

    SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. – A So. Calif. Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) Alliance tournament will be held at Little Lake Park in Santa Fe Springs, May 20-21. It will have a round robin format on Saturday followed by a single elimination on Sunday.

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    NAFA Men’s Fastpitch Tournament Memorial Day Weekend In Newberg, Oregon

    Monday, May 8th, 2017

    NEWBERG, Ore. – The first annual President Hoover Fastpitch Tournament, Memorial Day weekend, May 27-28, 2017 will be held in Newberg Oregon.

    Tournament Director, Shayne Arndt, NAFA Oregon State Director is initiating this tournament with the support of Benjie Hedgecock, NAFA President, to keep the spirit of the historic Boatnik tourney in Grant’s Pass, Oregon going.

    “I want to help fastpitch continue in Oregon and the northwest,” Arndt said. “I see this tournament having the potential to thrive as part of the NAFA circuit with the holiday weekend and close proximity to the Portland airport for teams traveling in the future.”


    North American Fastpitch Association
    Benjie Hedgecock, Executive Director
    503-559-5398 cell,503-864-4487 work, fax 503-864-3939
    PO Box 566 Dayton, Or, 97114

    Bud Olson, Wisconsin NAFA Manager of The Year

    Monday, May 8th, 2017

    Bud Olson, left, was inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame in 2014 and was presented by NAFA Vice President Mike Watson (2015 NAFA Hall of Famer). Photo By BOB OTTO

    LA CROSSE, Wisc. – Most managers are quick to down play their contribution when their team has a winning season.

    They usually spin it like, “I was fortunate to have great players,” or “we played well together,” or “we had good leadership on the field,” or “everybody knew their job and went out and did it.”

    You get the point. Taking credit for winning is not in most manager’s character. And that includes Bud Olson of La Crosse Animal House, who was selected Wisconsin NAFA 2016 Manager of The Year.

    “Over the years, I’ve learned managing is easier when you get runs and your pitcher shuts them down,” said Olson, 72. “It takes good players and I’ve been very fortunate to have players that have stayed around a long time.”

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    So. Calif. Independent Fastpitch League Hosting Alliance Tournament

    Saturday, May 6th, 2017

    SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. – The next SCIFL Alliance Tournament will be held May 20 – 21, 2017 at Little Lake Park, Santa Fe Springs, CA. This tournament will have a round robin format on Saturday followed by a single elimination on Sunday.

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    TJ Nereng selected Wisconsin’s player of the year

    Thursday, May 4th, 2017

    2016 NAFA WOPLD SERIES, A Division All-World selections from Animal House of La Crosse are, from left, Brian Leonhard, Ethan Ringlien and TJ Nereng. The three award winners helped Animal House finish third in the A Division with a 7-2 record. After losing its opener, Animal House won seven games straight before falling in the losers bracket final. Courtesy Photo.

    “T.J. could have jumped ship and played with stronger teams, but chose to stay and help us grow.” – Animal House Manger Bud Olson

    LA CROSSE, Wisc. – To make Bud Olson’s ball club takes more than just talent. His measuring stick extends yards beyond just physical skills into what lies within the heart, soul and mind of any player wishing to wear the Animal House uniform.

    Mention the name T.J. Nearing and a smile spreads across Olson’s face. He has known T.J. – now in his 30s – since he was a youngster. He watched him evolve into a good athlete in football, basketball and finally fastpitch softball.

    “T.J. is the totally consulate unselfish player,” said Olson. “He is willing to play where we have our greatest need. We value character, too, because it plays a huge role in the overall success of any team.”

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