August 14th, 2017 browsing by day


Volunteers make it happen at NAFA World Series

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Andrew Breitzke and Mary Beth Lathrop are the NAFA Stats Team’s Terrific Tabulators, who analaize all the score sheets, figure out the hits, runs, RBI, and pitcher’s stats and then enter the data on the NAFA website. They are two of the busiest NAFA staff at the 2017 NAFA World Series in Fargo, N.D. Mary Beth is a seven-year veteran of statistical analysis, while Andrew is in his third season with NAFA. Photo By BOB OTTO / Aug. 11, 2017

FARGO – You’ll find them everywhere. They score games. They tabulate and enter game stats in the computer. They serve as courtesy drivers. They hand out programs, sell tickets, answer fan’s questions.

We call these people who generously give of their free time volunteers.

Like busy ants, they scurry about doing their best to make sure players and fans alike have an enjoyable experience at Northside Softball Complex during the NAFA World Tournament.

Mary Beth Lathrop from Wisconsin is one such volunteer. She along with Andrew Breitzke are as she says, “the NAFA Stat Team.”

Mary Beth is married to Loren Lathrop, a NAFA Vice President (whom you also see scurrying around the ball park). Mary Beth has served NAFA on the stat team for seven years. Andrew is starting his third season.

You’ll find them in the media room, eyes focused on score sheets, figuring the game’s stats. When finished, it’s time to log them into the computer.

They don’t get many breaks; they aren’t able to watch a lot of ball games.

What is appealing about being part of the NAFA Stat Team?

“I used to play softball and I like the specificity of working with numbers and statistics,” said Mary Beth.

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The future of fastpitch in ‘good hands’ with today’s young stars

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Catcher DEVIN MARTIN tags out an A1 Rockies, Calif. runner in R.M. Kurtz, 5-1, victory in the NAFA A-Major Division, during the 2017 NAFA World Tournament.

FARGO – Sometimes we old timers grumble that today’s youngsters don’t appreciate fastpitch softball like we did. And that they don’t play the game with the same devotion we had.

I sometimes fall into that negative trap.

But that perception got shattered at the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Series in Fargo this past week.

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Matt Gable, a leader on and off the fastpitch field

Monday, August 14th, 2017

FARGO – Most young fastpitch players in their prime focus on one thing: improving their skills to become the best they can be. To win league titles. To win tournament titles. To win national titles.

Matt Gable has that same focus.

But he’s gone beyond the typical player’s tunnel vision and assumed leadership roles in the sport as well.

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