August 8th, 2017

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Setbacks can’t keep Lon Andersen off the fastpitch field

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Long-time South Dakota fastpitch sponsor, manager and player will be inducted into the North America Fastpitch Association Hall of Fame during the NAFA World Series in Fargo, North Dakota

SIOUX FALLS, So. Dak. – It takes mental and physical toughness and a deep desire to continue pursuing a sporting passion when your body hurts and your doctor orders, “give it up.”

Lon Andersen has battled cancer that nearly claimed his life, he’s undergone two hip replacements, he was in a coma for four days. Yet despite these debilitating setbacks that would sideline those of a weaker constitution, Anderson stubbornly refuses to give up fastpitch softball.

“My doctor told me it’s time to quit,” said the 62-year-old Andersen. “I can’t play basketball anymore, but I’ve kept on playing fastpitch against his advice.”

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Tony Aresco earns NAFA Hall of Fame honor

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Father Tony Aresco and son Anthony, 21, will bring a men’s team and an age 23-under team to the 2017 NAFA World Series in Fargo, No. Dak. Aug. 9-20. A highlight of the trip will be Tony Aresco’s induction into the NAFA Hall of Fame. Courtesy Photo By Tony Aresco

STONEHAM, Mass. – Some give a little, some give a fair share, and a few give a lot to men’s fastpitch softball.

And then there’s Tony Aresco. You’ve heard of the 110-percenters? Well, Tony leaves them in his dust.

For over 30 years his contributions to the game – and to the North American Fastpitch Association in particular – are remarkable.

Aresco of Stoneham, Massachusetts, plays, manages, sponsors, recruits, teaches, promotes…You get the idea: he’s a man of many hats, many talents.

NAFA LOYAL, NAFA WINNER

He’s been bringing teams to the NAFA World Series for 11 years. In that time, he’s won championships at nearly every level – Masters, 21-Under, and an assortment of other men’s divisional championships – six in all.

With his Boston-area ball club, the Sea Dogs, Aresco has been selected Most Valuable Player once and All-World five teams, his most recent in the 2016 A World Series. This at the age of 51. As a catcher.

No doubt he has earned the respect and the admiration of all who have ever played with or against him. And what he has accomplished with NAFA is now being rewarded.

THE HALLOWED HALL

Aresco will receive the highest honor the game can offer back – a beautiful plaque and jacket – and membership in one of the sport’s most exclusive clubs: The NAFA Hall of Fame.

Aresco will be inducted during ceremonies in Fargo at the World Series.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame,” said Aresco, who is also a Massachusetts ASA Hall of Famer. “There’s a lot of great players and managers in the Hall of Fame and now to be included with them is an amazing feeling. I attribute a lot of this to my players. Without them I wouldn’t get this recognition. They are reason we are successful.”

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Hennager fastpitch softball team is Minnesota state champions

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

The Hennager Plumbing and Heating Fastpitch Softball Team of Lake Crystal, Minn., is the 2017 Class B Men’s Fastpitch State Champion. Members include, back row, from left: Coach Blake Meshke, Lake Crystal; Derek Meshke, Volga, S.D.; Jace Holm, Fargo, N.D.; Dan Pawelk, Northfield, Minn.; Josh Schroeder, Lake Crystal; and Robert Petersen, Pipestone, Minn. Front row, from left, is: Chris Bambeneck, Minneapolis; Brent Meshke, Lake Crystal; Spencer Yackel, Rochester, Minn.; Jake Dalton, Lake Crystal; Blaid Friedrichs, Lake Crystal; and Brandon Friedrichs, Lake Crystal. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

LAKE CRYSTAL, Minn. – The Hennager Plumbing and Heating Fastpitch Softball Team of Lake Crystal, Minn., is the 2017 Class B Men’s Fastpitch State Champion. The team posted a 4-0 record this weekend at Sand Creek Fields, Coon Rapids, Minn.

The “Plumbers” won the opening round, 8-7, defeating Striker’s Lanes of Baldwin, Wis. Jace Holm, Fargo, N.D., secured the win, relieving Brent Meshke, Lake Crystal, in the third inning. Holm struck out nine batters and, at the plate, hit a three-run homerun. Meshke was 2-3 at the plate.

Next up was the Odin, Minn., fastpitch team. In a heated battle with a longtime rival, the Plumbers won 4-3. Holm started the game and pitched until the third inning. With the game tied 3-3, Meshke was called to the circle and earned the win.

Collecting two hits each were Jake Dalton, Lake Crystal; Holm; and Josh Schroeder, Lake Crystal. Brandon Friedrichs, Lake Crystal, hit a solo home run in the sixth inning. Defensive plays by Schroeder and Blaid Friedrichs, Lake Crystal, in the bottom of the seventh inning, were key to the victory.

In game three of the championship run, the Plumbers defeated Minnesota Computers of West St. Paul, 1-0. Meshke got the win on the mound, striking out five and giving up two hits. Dalton collected two hits in the contest.

In the championship game, the Plumbers defeated Minnesota Computers, 3-2, who worked their way through the losers’ bracket. Meshke took the win with two strikeouts, giving up five hits. Schroeder was 2-3 at the plate; and Holm had a two-run homerun.

This is the second time in three years that the Plumbers have earned the state title. The team will now travel to Fargo for the North American Fastpitch Assoc. (NAFA) AA World Series, Aug. 18-20. In the opening game, the team will face ECL Bronx of New York.