Softball Hall of Fame to induct Daniel D. Dolan family of Aurora

Written by Bob on May 27th, 2018

Daniel D. Dolan, right, first sponsored a City League team, the Creative DJs, in 1982. (Brian Dolan)

By Rick Armstrong
Aurora Beacon-News
August 7, 2016

AURORA, Ill. – For decades, the Donlan has been synonymous with men’s fastpitch softball in Aurora. Come next weekend, its reach will be extended even further.

That’s when the Daniel D. Dolan family, longtime sponsors of the men’s fastpitch softball Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks, will be inducted into the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame.

The family is this year’s recipient of the Bob Welby Memorial Recognition of Service Award that will be presented Sunday morning at the Class of 2016 induction breakfast.

The event, which will be held at the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa, is being held in conjunction with the ISC World Tournament Aug. 13-20 at Moline’s Green Valley Softball Complex.

“I got that call and I was flabbergasted,” Daniel D. Dolan, the family’s 85-year-old patriarch, said. “It is such an honor to be included.”

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Sprucing up Pierce Field to revitalize Aurora fastpitch league

Written by Bob on May 27th, 2018


AURORA, Ill
. – It’s old, it’s got an odd-ball configured outfield, and frankly, many a modern-era ball player would most likely prefer newer digs.

But not Kyle Pittman.

He has a fondness for 88-year-old Pierce Field in Aurora. Understandably so. The 27-year-old outfielder grew up learning the fastpitch softball game at Pierce. He’s played league games there since his introduction to the sport at 15.

And he gets to pitch to his heart’s desire in the Pierce Field city league. Not so much with the open-level Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks traveling squad where he primarily patrols the outfield.

But he does admit that Pierce has its peculiarities. Most notably, an outfield fence that starts out normal enough at 245-feet in left-field, but then begins angling out to 261’ in dead center, before cutting sharply back in to 196’ in right.

Odd dimensions, certainly, but none-the-less, Pittman loves the old park with its aging wooden bleachers behind home plate; and being tucked snugly in a residential and industrial area of Aurora only adds to its homeyness.

“Just about every ballpark you play in now everywhere is in a ‘cookie-cuter’ style complex with three to four fields,” said Pittman. “While those places are nice, I love being able to play in this old park a couple times a week.”

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Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks carry on Aurora men’s fabled fastpitch tradition

Written by Bob on May 27th, 2018

JOHN SCHWEIGHART of Camargo, Ill. plays the outfield for the Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks of Aurora, Ill. Photo Courtesy Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks


AURORA, Ill
. – Men’s fastpitch tradition is a fabled one in Aurora, rivaling that of any city, state or nation. The names are legendary: Sealmasters, Home Savings, Coors Silver Bullets, Allsteel Steelers and Creative DJ’s.

Those teams both inspired admiration and struck fear in many a visiting ball club to Aurora’s Stevens-Adamson Field where they once played.

International Softball Congress World Championships? Amateur Softball Association titles? International Softball Federation championships? More than a few, including Stealmasters (formed in 1943) ASA national titles in 1959, 1961, 1965 and 1967. And the list could go on.

As with most things in life, there comes an end. And the great teams that once graced Stevens-Adamson Field have long since disbanded. But not so with the Aurora fastpitch tradition. The Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks have kept that accord very much alive.

For 32 years, the Shamrocks have been a competitive staple in ISC and ASA competition, traveling the Midwest and beyond competing against the best teams in North America.

Kyle Pittman, 27, began playing in a local league at 15 and now patrols the outfield for the Shamrocks. He’s come to know the history of Aurora fastpitch very well.

“Once I started getting into it I started finding out more about the history and legacy of the game in Aurora,” said Pittman. “It seemed like everyone I talked to who was from here new about the game back in its prime. I never got to go watch a game at Stevens-Adamson Field where you could watch the best players in the world compete; it’s something I regret.”

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Newberg NAFA tourney wraps up Sunday

Written by Bob on May 27th, 2018

Shayne Arndt is a NAFA Director for the Northwest Region. Courtesy Photo / Shayne Arndt

By SHAYNE ARNDT
NAFA Director of Northwest Region

NEWBERG, Ore. – The President Hoover Memorial Day Men’s Fastpitch Tournament, May 26-27, being played a Crater Park wraps up Sunday with the playoffs starting at 8:30 a.m., with the title and consolation games scheduled for 11:50.

    Saturday’s Schedule (scores not available)

8:30 a.m.
C1 Desparados vs All Star

10:10
C1 Desparados vs Braves

11:50
C1 All Star vs Cleons
C2 Braves vs K Club

1:30 p.m.
C1 All Star vs Braves
C2 K Club vs Cleons

3:10
C1 Cleons vs Jack’s

4:50
C1 K Club vs Jack’s

6:30
C1 Desparados vs Jacks

    Sunday Playoffs

8:30 a.m.
C1 seed 6 vs seed 3
C2 seed 5 vs seed 4

10:10
C1 seed 3/6 vs seed 1
C2 seed 4/5 vs seed 2

11:50
C1 Championship
C2 Consolation game

 

Team USA stays perfect in Fargo Memorial Tournament

Written by Bob on May 27th, 2018

JASON OBREGON, JR. of Pico Rivera, Calif., led Team USA batsmen with a 4-of-4 performance in defeating Len’s Automotive of St. Paul, Minn., 9-5, in the Fargo Memorial Tournament, Saturday, May 26. Courtesy Photo / USA Softball

FARGO, No. Dak. – The USA Jr. Men’s National Team capped an impressive fastpitch day by winning its third straight game, 9-5, over Len’s Automotive of St. Paul in the Fargo Memorial Tournament at North Softball Complex, Saturday.

JASON OBREGON, Jr. led Team USA’s 13-hit barrage with a perfect 4-of-4 at the plate and an RBI, while ALEXANDRO IBARRA, Jr. picked up the win, allowing a pair of runs in four innings. The Texas native struck out one and walked two to notch his second win of the tournament.

CRAIG LEWIS hurled the final three frames, allowing a run on two hits with a strikeout.

Team USA broke the game open with a seven-run barrage in the bottom half of the first inning, along with solo scores in the sixth and seventh to improve to 4-0 in the tournament.

Along with Obregon, Daniel Stangel was 3-of4, RBI, run; Jeff Lewis, 2-of-4, RBI; Tony Wark, 1-of-4, RBI, run; Dalton Gray, 1-of-3, run; Chayton Lloyd, RBI, 2 runs; Dustin Thompson, RBI, Jose Dominguez, Jr., 1-of2, run.

In the tournament, the bats have been prolific, driving in 34 runs, while opponents have plated 11.

And in the circle, Ibarra, Lewis and Nathan Landry have allowed just 4 earned runs in 25 innings for a team ERA of 1.67.

The tournament closes Sunday with Team USA meeting Notre Dame at North Softball Complex at 7 p.m.

 

USA Junior Team upends Knights to stay perfect in Fargo tournament

Written by Bob on May 26th, 2018

DEREK GOMEZ of Austin, Texas drove in four runs to lead Team USA to a 10-1 victory over the Fargo Knights in the Fargo Memorial Weekend Tournament, Saturday. Courtesy Photo / USA Softball

FARGO – DEREK GOMEZ drove in four runs, CRAIG LEWIS fired a three-hitter and the USA Jr. Men’s National Team pounded the Fargo Knights, 10-1, to push Team USA’s record to 3-0 in the Fargo Memorial Weekend Men’s Fastpitch Tournament at North Softball Complex, Saturday.

In the five-inning mercy affair, Lewis struck out four and allowed three walks and the one earned run. Gomez, batting cleanup, was 2-for-3 and belted a bases-loaded triple in the second inning that saw Team USA scored five times to take a 7-0 lead.

The Knights plated a run in the top of the fourth on Paul Ness’s single, but the national team answered right back in their bottom half of the inning with three runs, highlighted by Gomez’s run-scoring single.

Lewis struck out the side in the fifth to end the game and push his record to 2-0.

Gomez led the offense, but had help from Jeff Lewis leading off, who was 1-for-2 with an RBI and scored twice; Paul Miklovic, 1-for-1, RBI, 3 runs; Tony Wark, 1-for-2, RBI, 2 runs; Daniel Stangel, 1-for-2, 2 runs; and Ethan Rodriguez, 1-for-2, and a run scored.

For the Knights, Patrick Gaylord, Ness, and Tim Tweiten each had a hit, while Andrew Potter was saddled with the loss in two innings of work.

***The Jr. men’s national team is preparing for the World Baseball Softball Confederation Junior Men’s World Championship in Prince Albert, CA, July 8-15.***

 

Farmington Men’s Fastpitch League Hosts Reunion To Remember The Good Times

Written by Bob on May 26th, 2018


PAUL HARRINGTON, who coaches the Farmington High School girls’ softball team and directed the men’s city league, shows former Farmington High school pitcher Ashley Betzold how to throw the rise ball. Ashley’s father, Daren Betzold, was a top pitcher in the Farmington league for 25 years (1976 – 2001). Contributed photo.

FARMINGTON, Minn. – For 54 years (1958-2011) men’s fastpitch softball was played in Farmington. The list of teams and sponsors, players, managers and umpires would as the saying goes, “stretch for an arm’s length.”

Though the historic Farmington Men’s Fastpitch League and Bobber Men’s Fastpitch Tournament are no more, that doesn’t mean they’re forgotten. And on Aug. 26, a reunion will be held to reminisce about those great times at the Castle Rock & Roll Bar & Grill in Castle Rock.

Of those 54 years, Paul Harrington directed the Farmington league 37 years (1975-2011). He was just 19 when he took the reins after the league director suddenly resigned in the middle of the season.

The league and tournament evolved over the years to become two of the strongest entities in Minnesota fastpitch history.

League teams claimed state championships in 1992 and ’99, along with Castle Rock and Morelli’s of St. Paul who are believed to have also won titles, while playing the league season in Farmington.

“Breaking the door down and winning a state championship in 1992 is a big memory for me,” said Harrington. “But knowing our league teams were always in the mix afterwards with other state championships and high finishes, and giving our league respect and recognition was very fulfilling as a league director.”

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USA Jr. Men’s National Team playing in Fargo Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

Written by Bob on May 26th, 2018

DUSTIN THOMPSON went 3-for-3 with 3 RBI to lead the USA Jr. Men’s National Team to a 10-1 victory over the Fargo Koalas at North Softball Complex in Fargo, Friday May 26. Photo Courtesy of USA Softball

FARGO, No. Dak. – USA Jr. Men’s National Fastpitch Softball team (age 19-under) kicked off its trip to Fargo with a resounding win Friday night in defeating the Fargo Koalas, 10-1, at North Softball Complex.

TEAM USA collected 10 hits with DUSTIN THOMPSON of Nevada City, Calif. a perfect 3-for-3, 3 RBI and a double.

The pitching was shared by starter ALEJANDRO IBARRA (2 innings), CRAIG LEWIS (2 innings) and NATHAN LANDRY (3 innings).

CRAIG LEWIS was dominant in picking up the win over the Fargo Koalas. In two innings he didn’t allow any hits while striking out four and walking two. Photo courtesy of USA Softball


Lewis of Winston, Missouri picked up the win striking out four, walking two and didn’t allow any hits.

CHECK OUT the game stats at USA Jr. Men vs. Fargo Koalas

TEAM USA’s Fargo schedule includes Saturday contests with Cross Lake, Fargo Knights and Len’s Automotive. On Sunday the squad wraps up its trip with a single game against Notre Dame.

***The USA Jr. Men’s National Team roster includes some of the finest ball players from throughout much of the U.S.***

Be sure to visit the Fargo Fastpitch Association website for more information.

 

Twelve Top Teams Battle For Jack Grafmeier Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament Title

Written by Bob on May 2nd, 2018

Beautiful Sunset Park Lower Diamond in Kimberly, Wisc. will be the setting for many of the games, along with the title contest of the 2018 Jack Grafmeier Men’s Fastpitch Tournament, June 1-3. Photo By BOB OTTO

By JUSTIN COLOMBO
Tournament Director

KIMBERLY, Wisc. – Twelve top Midwest men’s fastpitch teams from Wisconsin, Illinois, North Dakota and Minnesota will compete for the annual Jack Grafmeier Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament title at fabled Sunset Park in Kimberly, June 1-3.

The tournament features pool play with four teams in three pools. Play begins Friday night at 6:30 with Bar Buzz and Hitters squaring off. Then at 8:15 Stoneyard battles Bar Madison in the nightcap.

Play continues Saturday and Sunday with the championship scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunset’s lower diamond.

***For rainout information, call 920-687-7890. For tournament information, call Justin Colombo at 920-585-0179.***

POOL A
Bar Buzz, Appleton, Wisc.
Hitters, Kimberly
Optimum Crush, Kenosha, Wisc.
23-Under team, Kimberly

POOL B
Stoneyard, Madison
Bar Madison, Madison
Tin Cup, St. Paul, Minn.
Hustle Hogs, Dekalb, Ill.

POOL C
Kegel Black Knights, Fargo, No. Dak.
Rice Lake, Rice Lake, Wisc.
Animal House, La Crosse, Wisc.
Dolan & Murphy Shamrocks, Aurora, Ill.

See 2018 Jack Grafmeier Tournament Schedule

 

Popular Men’s & Women’s Fastpitch Tournament Returns To Soboba

Written by Bob on May 2nd, 2018

SAN JACINTO, Calif. – The Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians Parks and Recreation Dept. will be holding its 2018 20th Annual Memorial Day Men’s and Women’s Fastpitch tournament on May 25-27.

The tournament features BIG cash payouts and prizes. Please see flier for complete information.

  • For registration forms visit: www.sobobaparksandrec.com.
  • Teams interested should contact Steve Lopez at 951-654-1319 or by email slopez@soboba-nsn.gov.
  • Soboba Reservation Map
  • Fastpitch teams and fans, you don’t want to miss this tournament! Courtesy Photo

     
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