May 18th, 2017

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After Gophers’ NCAA softball snub, it’s Big Ten vs. the world

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

By JACE FREDERICK | jfrederick@pioneerpress.com | Pioneer Press
PUBLISHED: May 18, 2017 at 7:06 pm | UPDATED: May 18, 2017 at 7:14 pm

Big Ten softball coaches are a tight-knit group.

Illinois coach Tyra Perry has received many well wishes from the conference’s other coaches leading into the Illini’s NCAA tournament opener against Marshall on Friday.

Nebraska coach Rhonda Revelle, knowing her team wouldn’t be playing in the postseason, only watched the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday night for one reason.

“To try to decide if I was going to drive to Minneapolis the first weekend (for regionals) or the second weekend (for Super Regionals) to watch (the Gophers),” Revelle said.

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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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In losing a chance to host NCAA regional, Gophers became the country’s Cinderella

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

By DANE MIZUTANI | dmizutani@pioneerpress.com | Pioneer Press
PUBLISHED: May 18, 2017 at 7:00 am | UPDATED: May 18, 2017 at 11:34 pm

A week surrounded by controversy will come to a head for the Gophers softball team Friday when it starts regional play in the NCAA tournament at the University of Alabama.

More than 1,000 miles away, Jane Sage Cowles Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus — home to the top-ranked team in this week’s USAToday/NFCA Coaches poll — will sit idle.

As early as last week, it seemed a foregone conclusion that the Gophers would be host to an NCAA Regional, and maybe even a Super Regional. Instead, the NCAA deemed there were 16 teams more deserving.

It raises the obvious question: What does Minnesota stand to lose?

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Gophers softball coach Jessica Allister: ‘We’re going to prove them wrong.’

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

By BRIAN MURPHY / brianmurphy@pioneerpress.com
Published: May 17, 2017

TWIN CITIES, Minn. – The suddenly No. 1-ranked Gophers softball team was so certain it would be among the 16 schools to host an NCAA regional this weekend that travel plans were nonexistent — until Sunday night’s selection committee snub.

“Shame on us for assuming anything,” Minnesota coach Jessica Allister said Wednesday.

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For more NCAA softball coverage, visit: ESPN

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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Step Back In Time: Keg Bar Captures Prairie Du Chien Title

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

La Crosse Tribune
June 6, 1972

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wisc. – The Keg Bar fastpitch softball team downed four straight opponents, including S&H of La Crosse to take the Prairie du Chien Minor Tournament title over the weekend.

The Keg plundered three unknowns before facing S&H in the championship, rapping the La Crosse Classic League foes 8-4 for the crown.

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