2017 NAFA World Series

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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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2017 Cinquo De Mayo men’s fastpitch tournament

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Ray Foster inducted into NAFA WoodBat Hall of Fame

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

NAFA WoodBat Hall of Fame member Ray Foster with Jeff Tarwater, left, and Dave Parker, NAFA WoodBat Commissioner. right. Courtesy Photo

By DON CAMERON

Missouri ace savors NAFA WoodBat Hall of Fame induction

ST. JOSEPH, MO – “It’s the way the game should be played.”

That’s how Ray Foster, the pride of St. Joseph’s, Missouri, describes the game of wood-bat fastpitch. It also aptly reveals Foster’s approach to the game of fastpitch itself, an approach founded in competitiveness, passion and sportsmanship.

“Softball has been my life, my blood supply,” said Foster, 58, the newest member of the NAFA WoodBat Hall of Fame.

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2017 Midwest Men’s Fastpitch Tournament Schedule

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Checkout 2017 men’s fastpitch tournaments in the Midwest provided by Richard Quigley and Ostrander Fastpitch of Minnesota.

Animal House of LaCrosse plans busy fastpitch season

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

LaCrosse, Wisc. – From May to August, Animal House ball players had best set aside most of their weekends. Because they will be playing a lot of fastpitch softball.

BUD OLSON has arranged a busy schedule with 12 tournaments slated – highlighted by a grand finale come August in the NAFA World Series.

Animal House will be traveling a bit to neighboring Minnesota and Illinois. Why the out-of-state excursions?

“Fastpitch has gotten to the point that neighboring states need to come together to make quality tournaments happen,” said Olson, 71. “simply put, ‘if we expect to take, we better be ready to give.'”

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Someone to know: Bob Rockwood of the 2017 Maccabi USA fastpitch team

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

BOB ROCKWOOD pitching for MACCABI USA, began his fastpitch career as a shortstop for the Prescott (AZ) Mustangs, but took up pitching at age 39. Now he’s being relied on to help lead the USA Maccabi Masters team (35-older) to a gold medal in the 20th MACCABIAH GAMES to be held in Israel in July.

Rockwood along with a pitching staff that included Russ Snow, helped the ball club finish third (4-2) in the 16-team, A-Major Division in the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament, April 7-9 at Sunset Park in Las Vegas. Photo By BOB OTTO

Coyotes overcome huge deficit to claim A-Division Las Vegas Road Trip title

Monday, April 10th, 2017

THE 2017 LAS VEGAS ROAD TRIP X CHAMPION BEAUMONT COYOTES includes Jeremy Dean, Gilbert Valdivia, Gabriel Valdivia, Jesse Mullen, Jason Martinez, Jesse Martinez, George Valdivia, Johnny Ray, Damon Valdivia, Richard Soriano, Derek Soto, Devon Valdivia, Justin Martinez and manager David Valdivia. Photo By BOB OTTO

LAS VEGAS – The Beaumont Coyotes had dug themselves a hole, a huge hole.

Now, could they dig themselves out of it?

Of top priority, the man in the circle had to stop the hemorrhaging. That’s exactly what Jesse Martinez did.

Trailing 5-0 in the fifth inning in the A-Division championship game of the Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament, Martinez told his teammates he wouldn’t give up any more runs.

Now all they had to do was show some offensive punch. And like lighting a fuse, the Coyotes bats caught fire in the fifth and sixth innings.

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The workhorse leads A1 Rockies to Las Vegas Road Trip championship

Monday, April 10th, 2017

DAVID BEETS pitched back-to-back games to lead the A1 Rockies of So. California to the A-Major Division championship in the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament at Sunset Park, April 9.

LAS VEGAS – In men’s fastpitch lingo, pitchers who shoulder the load are referred to as the workhorse, the guy that takes the ball inning after inning, game after game.

He doesn’t look to the bullpen for relief. He doesn’t complain that he’s tired, or that his arm aches a little.

He just goes out and does his job.

David Beets, a big, hard-throwing right-hander from Oklahoma fits that description most assuredly.

And he proved it Sunday afternoon in the 2017 Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament championship pitching for the A1 Rockies of So. California.

Dropped into the losers bracket by All Star Auto of Grass Valley, 6-0, in the winners bracket final, the Rockies fought back through the losers bracket to defeat All Star Auto twice to take the A-Major Division title.

And Beets hurled both games: an eight-inning 7-4 victory in game one, followed by a seven-inning 2-1 gem in the deciding contest.

Rockies manager and catcher Tony Acedo had a good view of Beets’ performance from behind home plate.

“Dave Beets was pretty much the man of the day,” said Acedo. “He was lights out for sure.”

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J&B Bombers roll into Las Vegas Road Trip final

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

JORGE SEGURA BONILLA fires a pitch during J&B Bombers 7-0 win, Sunday, in the AA/AA-Major Division winners bracket final. Photo By BOB OTTO

LAS VEGAS – The Bombers lived up to their name in the winners bracket final of the AA/AA-Major Bracket by pounding out a 7-0 win over the Northeast Naturals.

Pitchers Tony Mancha and Jorge Segura Bonilla combined for the win with Mike Hoadley slugging a three-run homer, and Mancha rapping out a pair of hits with two RBI.

Mark Aranda and Jesse Palacios reached safely and drove in a run each.

With the win, the Bombers improve to 3-0 and await the survivor of the losers bracket in the championship game scheduled for 3 p.m. at Sunset Park in Las Vegas.

  • Check out the: AA/AA-Major bracket
  • Bombers bats bash way into AA/AA-Major winners’ final

    Sunday, April 9th, 2017

    PAT BURNS, pitching for the J&B Bombers, blows his rise ball past a Marchio Sausage Co. batter in the AA/AA-Major Division contest, Saturday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    LAS VEGAS – For most of the game, the J&B Bombers struggled offensively and found themselves on the short end of a 4-1 score to Marchio Sausage Company.

    But in the fifth, their bats got hot, scoring five times on six hits to survive the Minnesota squad, 6-4, and advance into Sunday morning’s AA/AA-Major winners bracket final.

    The big blows came from Cam Schiller and Blake Hunter, who drove in a pair of runs – with Hunter’s two-out single driving in the game winner.

    YUSEF DAVIS singles in the first inning for Marchio Sausage Co. during a AA/AA-Major game with the J&B Bombers at Sunset Park in Las Vegas. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Right-hander Tony Mancha then came on to close out the game and earn the save in relief of starter Pat Burns.

    The Bombers (2-0) in the 10-team tournament, take on the Northeast Naturals at 9:45 a.m. at Sunset Park. The Naturals (2-0) slipped past Mexico’s TJ Fastpitch, 3-2, to advance.

    The winner will advance into Sunday’s 3 p.m. championship game, while the loser must battle back through the losers bracket to get back into title contention.

  • A BIG thank you to J&B Bombers Facebook posting for the game’s results.
  • Checkout SCIFL’s AA/AA-Major Bracket