May 4th, 2017

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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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A Step Back In Time: Bob Moore’s No-Hitter Too Much For Keg Bar in La Crosse Tourney

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

BOB MOORE pitching in the 1991 ASA Masters National Tournament in Las Vegas for Bank of Melrose of Wisconsin. Photo By BOB OTTO

By BOB LAMB / Sports Writer
La Crosse Tribune
July 22, 1974

“Moore (40-9) is always tough and it’s hard to get runs if you don’t get any hits.” – Keg Bar Manager Gary Betz

LA CROSSE, Wisc. – Question: How do you describe Bob Moore?

Answer: He’s the veteran ironman left-hander who throws no-hitters at his opponents.

Moore, a school teacher at Eau Claire North high school, pitched Eau Claire’s She-Nanigan’s to a 3-0 victory over the Keg Bar of La Crosse in the championship of the (1972) ninth annual La Crosse Invitational fastpitch softball tournament at Carroll Park last night.

And Moore was superb once again, tossing his second no-hitter in two weeks while facing the minimum number of Keg batters.

Moore lost his bid for a perfect game in the sixth inning when Keg left fielder Paul Dunham drew a walk on a three-two count.

A double play erased the mild threat, however.

Moore drew praise from both his manager Bill Roulette and from Keg field boss Gary Betz.

“Bob does everything,” said Roulette, whose club improved to 50-17. “He hits, pitches and does everything except drive the bus…and sometimes he does that.”

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2017 Wisconsin NAFA Men’s Fastpitch State Tournament

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Todd Lubkeman selected Wisconsin NAFA Pitcher of The Year

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Todd Lubkeman has been the mainstay of the Willkomm Mobil pitching staff since 1992 and has helped the team achieve great success in NAFA World Series competition. In 2016 he was selected “Wisconsin NAFA Pitcher of The Year.” Photo By BOB OTTO

BRISTOL, Wisc. – Over 130 men’s softball teams play the fastpitch version in Wisconsin, and on those teams, the anchor is the pitcher. Without a pitcher, there is no fastpitch team.

And if a team has a hurler with talent that usually transpires into success.

For many years, Willkomm Mobil of Kenosha has been fortunate to have Todd Lubkeman anchoring its pitching staff. The big right-hander – about 6-foot-6, throws the ball hard with all the accompanying assortment of batter-baffling spinners – riser, curve, drop and change-up.

Over the years, Lubkeman has been as productive a pitcher as any Wisconsin has ever produced. 2016 was no exception.

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