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Boys’ Fastpitch Softball Fun Days In Michigan!

Friday, April 20th, 2018

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. – Gary Compau and volunteers are offering an opportunity for boys between the ages of 8 to 18 from Frankenmuth, Saginaw, Midland, Flint, Birch Run, and Reese to learn more about and play the game of fastpitch softball. So they’ve organized a Fun Days that will run from Sundays in April and May.

Fun Days organizer, Gary Compau of Frankenmuth, realizes that to revive and expand the game, young players need to be brought into the game.

“It’s up to us,” he said. “We can make this a success.”

    THE DETAILS
  • All boys, 8 to 18, are invited from inexperienced to experienced
  • Experienced fastpitch past and present players will be there offering tips on catching, fielding, and hitting
  • Veteran pitchers will be helping and advising players who want to learn how to pitch
  • The Fun Days are FREE and will not interfere with Little League or baseball
  • Balls and bats will be provided
    • THE FUN!
  • Teams will be formed and games will be played
    • WHERE
  • The two ball fields at Frankenmuth St. Lorenz Lutheran School. One field for the younger players and one for the older. (We request that an adult accompany the young players)
    • WHEN

    April 22-May 20, and May 6, starting at 4 p.m.

      CONTACT INFORMATION

    Gary Compau at 989-262-8452; Email is tawasgary@att.net

    “This is not tryouts,” said Compau. “Come out and enjoy the experience. We will provide the fun. Just come out and enjoy it and see where it goes.”

    24th Annual Best of the West Tournament In Beautiful Santa Barbara, Calif.

    Monday, April 16th, 2018

    Yusef Davis, Jr., left, and Bryan Lathrop are two of the best players in the game.
    Photo By BOB OTTO

    Could there be a better place to play men’s fastpitch softball in America than Santa Barbara? I’ve played there. The answer is NO. So make plans now to enter this great tournament.

    TOURNAMENT DETAILS

    Event Name: 24th Annual Best of the West Tournament

    Location: Elings Park, Santa Barbara
    Date: June 2-3
    Entry Fee: $400
    Entry Fee Deadline: May 18, 2018
    Format: Round Robin into single elimination. 4-game guarantee.
    Time Limit: Saturday 90 minutes; Sunday no time limit

    Contact: Clyde Bennett; email: clydebennett50@gmail.com; 805-895-9007
    Mailing Address: 6600 stagecoach Rd Santa Barbara Ca. 93105

    Softball is ‘back where it belongs’ according to Canada coach Mark Smith

    Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

    CANADA WILL BE AMONG THE MEDAL FAVOURITES IN THE WOMEN’S SOFTBALL AT TOKYO 2020, AND THEIR COACH MARK SMITH – A WORLD CHAMPION AS A PLAYER – BELIEVES THAT JAPAN IS THE PERFECT PLACE FOR THE SPORT TO ENJOY AN OLYMPIC RENAISSANCE.

    Ottawa, ON – Softball is ‘back where it belongs’ according to Canada coach Mark Smith.

    “I think Tokyo will put on an absolutely phenomenal show for softball,” said Mark Smith, coach of the Canada women’s team. “Japan is the ideal place to profile the intensity of this great game. Last year I was at the Tokyo Dome for a match between Japan and USA, and there were 31,000 fans, all absolutely loving it.

    Smith is a softball veteran. He has experienced the dizzying highs of winning a world championship gold as a player for Canada’s men’s side in 1992, and two world championship bronze medals as a coach of the women (2010 and 2016). He also had to face the disappointment of seeing the sport lose its Olympic status.

    “It’s funny, when you’re in the middle of your career as a player and win a big title, you don’t really appreciate it – you’re naive enough to think you’re going to be doing it again next time around,” he said.

    Click to continue reading “Softball is ‘back where it belongs’ according to Canada coach Mark Smith”

    Mission accomplished as USA men medal in the Pan American Fastpitch Championship

    Thursday, September 28th, 2017

    2017 USA SOFTBALL National Team that won the Bronze Medal at the 2017 Pan American Fastpitch Championship in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sept. 15-24 The team bottom row from left, Kevin Castillo, Duane Weiler, Jenner Christiansen, Yusef Davis, Jr., Tyler Dudley, Jonathan Lynch, Cameron Schiller and Nick Mullins. Top row from left, Bruce Sidel, Joel Cooley, Jeff Nowaczyk, Greg Hicks, Alfonso Malaguti, Tony Mancha, Chase Turner, Gregg Leather, Travis Nevin, Chris Seben, Erick Ochoa, Ray Gutierrez and Nick McCurry. USA Softball Photo

    SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – The USA Softball Men’s National Team embarked on a mission heading into the Pan American Fastpitch Championship, Sept. 15-24, in Santo Domingo: play outstanding softball and earn a medal.

    Mission accomplished.

    On the final day of play, on a late Sunday afternoon, 15 USA players and three coaches were all smiles as bronze medals were slipped over their heads, the reward for finishing third among 16 of the best men’s fastpitch softball teams in the world.

    “The feeling I got was so amazing when I got the bronze medal,” said Yusef Davis, Jr., who earned his first selection to the national team and finished with a .429 batting average. “It was awesome to represent my country and wear those three letters (USA) across my chest. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.”

    JEFF NOWACZYK proudly displays his Bronze Medal and the trophy during the awards presentation at the 2017 Pan American Fastpitch Championship in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sept. 15-24. USA Softball photo

    Team USA finished with a 5-2 record in Pool A, 1-2 in the playoffs. Among their victories, were impressive decisions over Dominican Republic and Cuba, along with beating tournament favorite Canada in the playoffs.

    Gregg Leather, appointed head coach after Denny Bruckert resigned in August due to health reasons, praised his ball club for its fine performance.

    “I am tremendously proud of this team and what we accomplished,” said Leather in a USA Softball press release. “We came into this tournament with some goals; to get double life in our pool, win a medal, and be on top of the podium receiving a medal. We came up short on the last goal, but are very happy with the Bronze Medal we did earn.”

    Click to continue reading “Mission accomplished as USA men medal in the Pan American Fastpitch Championship”

    USA Men’s National Fastpitch Team putting up impressive stats

    Thursday, September 21st, 2017

    SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Team USA has finished pool play in the X WBSC Pan American Fastpitch Championships with a 5-2 record, which gives the Americans
    second place in the pool.

    It was an important accomplishment, as Team USA secured a double life in the playoffs that begin Sept. 22 and conclude with the championship scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 24.

    Many of you fastpitch fans are “stats” conscious, so to check out how our American boys are doing at bat, pitching and fielding, just click on to Team USA Pool Play Statistics

    USA Clinches Second, Meets Canada In Pan American Fastpitch Playoffs

    Thursday, September 21st, 2017

    With two consecutive victories over Cuba and Puerto Rico, the United States clinched second place in Pool A of the 2017 WBSC X Pan American Fastpitch Championship, Wednesday, Sept. 20. Team USA will now meet Canada, which went undefeated at 7-0 to finish first in Pool B. Courtesy Photo WBSC

    World Baseball Softball Confederation press release

    SANTO DOMINGO, DR — The round robin has finished at the X Men’s Softball Pan American Championship held in the Dominican Republic and the playoffs were set with the eight teams to compete for the five spots for Lima 2019 Pan American Games.

      USA CLINCHES SECOND

    Venezuela ended unbeaten in Pool A and clinch first place in the standings, followed by USA, Cuba and Colombia. These three teams finished with the same record of 5-2, but the US team earned the second place by the tie-breaker criteria.

      CANADA UNDEFEATED MEETS USA

    On the other hand, Canada claimed first place in Pool B with no losses, followed by Argentina, Mexico and Guatemala.

    This way, the payoffs will begin on Friday with two historic rivalries between Venezuela and Argentina, and Canada versus USA.

    Click to continue reading “USA Clinches Second, Meets Canada In Pan American Fastpitch Playoffs”

    Mancha pitching powers USA over Cuba In Pan American games

    Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

    TONY MANCHA seen earlier in his career pitching for Steel of Texas in the NAFA World Series. Photo By BOB OTTO

    SANTO DOMINGO, DR – Team USA needed a dominating performance from Tony Mancha if it was going to get past a very good Cuban ball club. And the right-hander responded in splendid fashion in leading the United States to a 5-1 victory in the Pan American Fastpitch Championship Wednesday afternoon.

    Cuba’s bats just couldn’t catch up with Mancha’s sharp breaking rise ball, as he fired a two-hitter, along with six strikeouts and just two walks.

    This was a much-needed win for the USA as it sat in fourth place in the eight-team Pool A with an uninspiring 3-2 record, while Cuba was firmly planted in second at 5-1. Another loss and any dreams of contending for a Pan Am title could begin fading fast.

    After dropping a disappointing 3-2 decision to surprising Colombia a day earlier, Team USA didn’t show any signs of a hangover.

    The United States took command from the beginning, plating a run in the top of the first on Erick Ochoa’s run-scoring double. Then after Cuba tied the game in the third, Mancha slammed the door shut while his teammates tacked on solo runs in the fourth and sixth, and put the game away in the seventh on Kevin Castillo’s two-run homer deep over the centerfield wall.

    KEVIN CASTILLO seen batting in the International Softball Congress World Tournament. His two-run homer gave Team USA some breathing room in its victory over Cuba. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Mancha grew stronger as the game went on. He retired Cuba in order in the sixth and seventh, while striking out five-of-six batters. The win improves his record to 2-1 in the tournament.

    The offense collected eight hits with Castillo and Jonathan Lynch each going 2-for-4, with Castillo driving in two runs, while Lynch plated one. Nick Mullins also had an RBI in the sixth when his infield out scored Yusef Davis from third base.

    Cuba’s Alain Roman Gonzalez went the distance, and though he gave up the five runs, he showed he’s one of the best pitchers in the tournament, striking out 11 USA batters. The right-hander has all the pitches: hard rise ball high and low, while mixing in a drop that dipped sharply on both sides of the plate.

    Team USA has little time to celebrate as they take on Puerto Rico in the nightcap.

    The game can be watched live at: Internet TV for a $12 subscription fee that covers the entire tournament.

    Columbia holds off USA in men’s Pan American fastpitch games

    Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

    SANTO DOMINGO, DR – On the men’s fastpitch world stage, Columbia isn’t regarded as a top tier team and a favorite to win a world softball championship.

    But Columbia’s stock in the sport rose sharply after beating the United States, 3-2, in the Pan American Fastpitch Championship on Tuesday to improve its record to 4-1 in Pool A.

    Columbia jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Team USA finally plated a run in the sixth on Erick Ochoa’s solo home run, and pulled within one in the seventh when Derrick Kennedy laced a run-scoring single plating Nick Mullins, who led off the inning with a single down the right-field line.

    But Luis Amaya Fuenmayor struck out the next two batters and got a ground out to end the game with tying run on second base. Fuenmayor hurled the final two innings to pick up the save in relief of starter Elkis Chinchilla Prado.

    Duane Weiler started for the USA and allowed one earned run on five hits with two strikeouts in three innings before giving way to Tony Mancha, who finished the final four innings, giving up a run on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

    Team USA collected seven hits led by Kennedy who was 3-for-3 with an RBI, and Mullins, 2-for-3. Both Cameron Schiller and Ochoa had one hit each.

    Josimar Cardozo Romero was 3-for-3, and and Eduardo Cuesta Baena was 3-for-4 with two RBI to pace Columbia’s nine-hit attack.

    The United States drops to fourth place in the eight-team Pool A with a 3-2 record, and takes on second-place Cuba (5-1) on Wednesday.

      AT A GLANCE

    …Team USA is batting a healthy .313 and has scored 34 runs…Derrick Kennedy leads the team with a .500 average (6-for-12), followed by Nick Mullins at .455 (5-for-11) with four RBI…Jeff Nowaczyk has driven in a team-high nine runs while batting .300 with two home runs…Yusef Davis, in his first promotion to Team USA, is No. 3 in batting at .400 (4-for-10) and has scored four runs.

    Tony Mancha leads the pitching staff with 17 2/3 innings for a 1-1 record. He has struck out 17 and has a 2.37 ERA…Duane Weiler is 1-1 in seven innings, along with six strikeouts and a 2.00 ERA…and Joel Cooley, enjoying his first assignment with the national team is 1-0 in five innings of work, while striking out seven, and he hasn’t allowed any runs for a perfect 0.00 ERA.

    USA Softball men competing in 2017 Pan American Fastpitch Championship

    Friday, September 15th, 2017

    SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – Where would I rather be today than in beautiful Southern California?

    Well, at the top of my list would be Santo Domingo for the X Pan American Fastpitch Championship featuring 16 countries that offer some of the very best in men’s fastpitch softball.

    But since I can’t afford the expense that such travel would command, for just $11.95 I can watch the action by webcast, which I intend to do. (See subscriber link below.)

    The championship features two pools of eight teams each. The United States is in Pool A which also includes Aruba, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

    Team USA begins play Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. (PT) against Brazil.

    HELPFUL LINKS TO FOLLOW THE ACTION

  • USA Softball National Team roster
  • Pan American Games Internet TV
  • Live Stats
  • Successful season earns Yusef Davis a spot on USA Softball’s Pan American fastpitch team

    Friday, September 1st, 2017

    Possessing speed, quick hands, an aggressive style and commitment to the game, YUSEF DAVIS, JR., 23, of Long Beach, Calif. is well on his way to becoming a star in men’s fastpitch. Here he is seen playing for CR Bartels Farms of Portland, Ore. that won the NAFA AA-Major World Series, Aug. 11, 2017. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series

    LONG BEACH, Calif. – During the week, Yusef Davis, Jr. can be found near his Long Beach home either in the gym, at the batting cages, or engaged in any kind of sweat-filled labor that will help improve his fastpitch softball skills.

    During most weekends, however, he’s anywhere but home.

    A search could find him in fastpitch havens such as Wisconsin, New York, Nevada, North Dakota, Pennsylvania or Michigan competing in high-caliber fastpitch tournaments.

    Only 23 and in his fourth year playing fastpitch, the demand for his talents just keeps on growing.

      TWO GREAT TOURNAMENTS

    Prime examples: During the NAFA World Series, he was in Fargo, North Dakota helping CR Bartel Farms, Portland, Ore. win the AA-Major World Series.

    And soon after the championship game ended, he was off to Grand Rapids, Michigan to join his Bear Bottom Haymakers of Ephrata, Penn. for the most exclusive of open-caliber tournaments – the International Softball Congress World Tournament.

    Those two tournaments were exhilarating for Davis, who possesses great speed both in the outfield and at the plate, and who is rapidly becoming recognized as one of the up-and-coming young stars of the game.

    “The experience playing in the ISC and NAFA was breathtaking,” said Davis, who throws and bats left-sided. “Once you realize you’re on the same ballfield as some of the best players in the world, you just can’t help but be proud and humbled.”

    CR Bartels swept through the NAFA AA-Major undefeated at 5-0, and the Bear Bottom Haymakers finished ninth in the 24-team ISC World Tournament at 4-2.

    Bear Bottom Haymakers manager, Merlin High, was pleased how Davis played the entire year and at the ISC World Tournament for his squad.

    “He’s a great defensive player, one of the best who ever played for me,” said High. “His speed is unmatched by anyone in the game, and he’s a good hitter too with some of those hits coming from his speed beating out ground balls. He’s a great teammate, upbeat and positive. I’m hoping he comes back with us next year.”

      SWEAT & TOIL TO BE BETTER

    Though he played well and had a successful season, Davis acknowledges that there are areas that need improvement.

    “If I could improve in two areas, it would be pitch selection when I’m in the batter’s box,” he said, “and getting even better jumps on the ball in the outfield. During the off season, I’m going to hit the batting cages even more and work on the fundamentals of hitting, and keep working on my slapping and bunting.”

    But the off-season workouts will have to wait for he has one very important and prestigious tournament remaining: The World Baseball Softball Confederation X Pan American Fastpitch Championship in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sept. 15-24.

      PROUD FATHER, SEASONED MENTOR

    When Davis got the word that he had been selected to the 15-man roster, he was ecstatic, and he called the one person he knew would be delighted about this honor.

    “I called my dad and told him I had made the team,” Davis said. “I know it meant a lot to him. And it means so much for me to represent my country in the sport I have so much passion about.”

    Leading up to the Pan Am games, Davis will be consulting with a veteran of USA Softball: Kevin Castillo, who is a teammate of Davis on Those Guys and Patricia’s Mexican restaurant ball clubs from Long Beach.

    Castillo, and his father, Paul Castillo, were instrumental in bringing Davis into the sport and nurturing his development.

    “Kevin’s always pushing me to be better,” Davis said, “I’ve gotten a lot of help from him on hitting lessons and strategy on defense. Just the confidence he gives me to play at my best is what’s so meaningful.”

      REACHING HIGH, SETTING GOALS

    Though he’s still learning, growing, and going through the trials and successes that the sport both challenges and rewards, Davis has set some short-range and long-range goals as well.

    In the immediate future, he wants to help USA Softball win the Pan American games, and then if it can be arranged, he would like to take a second trip to New Zealand for a season of “down-under” fastpitch with the Waitakere Bears.

    And as for long-range?

    “I would love to run softball clinics and coach kids and work with outfielders,” Davis said. “I would like to travel the world playing ball and make as many memories and impact as many young athletes to take the right path as I can – teach one, reach one.”

    2017 USA SOFTBALL PAN AMERICAN ROSTER
    Kevin Castillo
    Jenner Christenson
    Joel Cooley
    Yusef Davis
    Tyler Dudley
    Derrick Kennedy
    Jonathan Lynch
    Tony Mancha
    Nick Mullins
    Travis Nevin
    Jeff Nowacyzk
    Erick Ochoa
    Cameron Schiller
    Chase Turner
    Duane Weiler

    COACHING STAFF
    Gregg Leather, Head Coach
    Greg Hicks, Assistant Coach
    Nick McCurry
    Assistant Coach