2012 NAFA World Series

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Red Cedar Men’s Fastpitch League going strong

Monday, July 1st, 2013

By RONN KOPP / Wisconsin Fastpitch
NAFA Vice President

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto taken in 2005, and prior to a game where Lyle Lieffring would face 13-year old Sam Hall. Hall (now 20) recently pitched in the NAFA 23-under World Series for Ramsey Financial of Bowen, Illinois and garnered all-tournament honors. Hall is now primarily an outfielder on my Orangemen team and happened to be playing on an adjoining diamond when Lieffring made his return (on June 16). As often as he could, Hall would jog on over to the other diamond to watch his hero in action. Photo courtesy of Ronn Kopp

RICE LAKE, WISC – 77-year-old Lyle Lieffring returned to the Red Cedar Men’s Fastpitch League pitcher’s circle for the first time since June 16, 2010 and his return was a successful one as his Shaun Carr Agency/Tobaggon Run Dental Oredockers downed GB Sales/Independent Sanitation and Recycling 16-2.

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San Antonio Titans claim NAFA AA-Major title

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

By Eric Gomez
Contributed Story

TOPEKA, KS – The San Antonio Titans swept through the AA-Major World Series after an initial disappointing turnout of teams. As the NAFA AA-Major (Aug. 17-19) kicked off Friday evening, tournament organizers found themselves scrambling to find teams to compete in the high profile tournament.

Teams from the A-division were encouraged to enter the AA-Major, so the tournament went forward, featuring top teams such as the Topeka Toros, New Image (WI), and the San Antonio Titans making their first NAFA World Series appearance in over five years.

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Newspaper coverage of ISC and NAFA national tournaments vary greatly

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

The Midland Daily News did a good job of covering the 2012 ISC World Tournament in Midland, Michigan with several game stories, scoring summaries and a few feature stories.

But the same can’t be said of covering the NAFA World Series in Topeka, Kansas by the Topeka Capital-News which through my searches, only published three articles.

And that coverage was of the first week of the tournament. I’ve found nothing written or photographed in the Capital-Journal about NAFA’s AA-Major, A and 23-under divisions being played out from Thursday through Sunday.

One would think that when a major sports organization such as NAFA brings in over 100 teams to their fair city, which brings in a huge infusion of spending money (players, families and fans have to eat, need a place to stay, entertainment, and various shopping) that the local newspaper would cover the event.

Apparently not in Topeka. Maybe city officials and the business community should have a talk with the newspaper’s publisher.

Young Venezuelan spends summer in U.S. working on his fastball pitching

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Erick Chaparro, 18, of Venezuela has spent part of his summer pitching fastball in the U.S. Courtesy Photo

OMAHA, NEB – A summer of travel, sight seeing, meeting new people and making new friends. And of course softball – fastball style. And lots of it.

Erick Chaparro of Maracaibo, Venezuela has experienced all of the above. But the last part, the fastball; he’s gotten a heavy dose of that, and he loves it – USA style.

By Sunday, August 19, the 18-year-old right-hander will have played in the NAFA World Series in four divisions, which just might be a NAFA record. He pitched in the A-Major division with the Winnipeg Bullets and for Black Gold of Missouri in the AA last week.

And this weekend, he’s back in Topeka, Kansas for the NAFA A and the Young Men’s 23-Under championship. This is his first experience pitching in NAFA, and he likes what he’s seen.

“The competition is really good,” he said. “They’re pretty good hitters, and compared to Venezuela fastball, they are similar. I play with my college team (National College in Maracaibo) and here the hitters are better than my college teams.”

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Bucknell Park A’s Double Dip Toros to win AA World Series

Sunday, August 12th, 2012


TOPEKA, KS – The Bucknell Park A’s of Olympia, Washington beat the undefeated host Topeka Toros twice, 9-0 in the first game, and 9-5 in the “if necessary” final to win the NAFA AA World Series, Saturday.

Bucknell’s Shawn Koster and Rob Gunter each picked up a win in the championship games, with Koster selected as the tournament’s Most Valuable Pitcher with a 4-0 record in 29 innings, allowing just 21 hits. He also notched 50 strikeouts (second highest among all pitchers) and had a 1.45 ERA.

First baseman and DH Scott Anderson of Bucknell was selected the Most Valuable Player leading the tournament with four home runs – two against the Toros, along with eight RBIs and a hefty .462 batting average.

“The tournament was incredibly exciting as the pitching was excellent and strategy was displayed every round with speed and skill,” said NAFA Executive Director Benjie Hedgecock.

    Pat Sagdal and Darren Michael – Bucknell
    Zane Siolo, Chris Leaf, Boomer Berry and Duane Corcoran – Topeka Toros
    Josh Pettit and Brent Hothan – Topeka Wave
    Todd Lubkeman and Mark Nelson – Willkomm Mobil
    Tony Mancha and Mark Aranda – El Paso Steel
    Garrett Hone and Matt Ratliff – SAA.

Pitchers speeds were clocked during the tournament with Tony Mancha and Josh Pettit topping all pitchers at 80 mph.

Other pitchers showing high velocity include, Zane Siolo, 79; Shawn Koster, 77; Chris Bigelow, 75; Garret Hone, 74; Todd Lubkeman, 74; Tony Buckley, 73; Ryan Nichols, 72; David Beets, 74; Eric Steinbeck, 71; Josh Lochridge, 71; Lewis Weldon, 71; German Sacks, 71; Jeremy Kinney, 73, and Jordan Mcdonald, 71.

NAFA Fastpitch

Hard working Eric Lewis earns NAFA’s top honors

Friday, August 10th, 2012

“He (Eric Lewis) often had big hits in key spots. I remember one timely home run that he bounced off the scoreboard in Fargo. He’s definitely in the clutch category.” – Teammate Mike Wells

LE SUEUR, MN – The most gifted athlete to ever step onto a ball diamond? No, Eric Lewis won’t be known for owning extraordinary fastpitch talent.

But his work ethic, his fastpitch instincts, and his willingness to watch, listen and learn from those who came before him, that indeed, Lewis excelled at. And Exceptionally so.

And those fine traits have carried him far in the sport. Now comes the payoff.

At the 2012 NAFA World Series in Topeka, Kansas, Lewis will be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame. But that’s not all. He also was selected as just one of 36 players on NAFA’s 20th Year Anniversary Team (1993-2012).

“These are such great honors,” Lewis said. “To be considered one of the best is very exciting and humbling.”

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Elite (NAFA) fast-pitch series starts Thursday

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

By The Topeka Capital-Journal

TOPEKA, KS – The top-ranked Topeka Toros and the Topeka Wave are the host teams for the North American Fastpitch Association AA World Series that begins Thursday at the Shawnee County North and Rueger Park complexes in Topeka.

The AA tournament is one of five NAFA events hosted by the capital city from Thursday to Aug. 19.

The Topeka Wave kicks off its AA tournament appearance at 4 p.m. at Shawnee North against Wilkomm Mobil, Wis., and if the Wave wins that game it plays again at 8:45 p.m. against S.A.A. from Utah.

The top-ranked Topeka Toros play at 7 p.m. against the winner of the Michigan Blues FP Club and the Maple Farm Equipment Bronx team from Balcarres, Saskatchewan, Canada. If the Toros win they play at 5:45 p.m. Friday at Shawnee North field 1.

The AA tourney continues Friday and Saturday with the championship game at 5:45 p.m. Saturday on Shawnee North field 4.

The A-major tourney begins at 12:30 p.m. Thursday and finishes Sunday with the championship game at 1:15 p.m. at Shawnee North field 4.

The Wizards of Oz is the Topeka entry in the A-major tourney.

The A tournament starts Aug. 16 with local teams Wizards of Oz, Team Topeka and Terry’s Bar and Grill each playing on the opening day.

Terry’s opens its A tournament appearance against the Colton (Calif.) Dirtbags at 4 p.m. on Shawnee North field 3. The Wizards of Oz play Springfield (Mo.) Howard Johnson’s at 7 p.m. on Shawnee North 3, and Team Topeka plays Duluth (Minn.) FP at 8:45 p.m. on Shawnee North 3.

Opening ceremonies each week are at 6 p.m. Thursday with team introductions, NAFA hall of fame inductions, U.S. and Canada national anthems and local welcomes from Topeka city officials.

Follow the World Tournament on Play NAFA and on the Topeka Capital-Journal sports section Capital-Journal Online

Fast-rising Topeka Toros not resting on NAFA laurels

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

2011 Topeka Toros men’s fastpitch team. Contributed photo

“We have had a pretty successful season so far (but) we believe our best ball is ahead of us.” – Toros Manager, Josh White

TOPEKA, KS – The climb has been fast and the destination reached. But the Topeka Toros men’s fastpitch team desires far more.

Since their inaugural 2007 season, the Toros have claimed a NAFA World Series championship with some top-five finishes as well.

But a defining moment does stand out that helped make that NAFA success possible.


“About halfway through the 2007 season, I was able to get (pitcher) Tony Buckley to come out of (a five year) retirement,” said Toros’ Manager Josh White. “Tony has been a big key to our success over the years.”

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Beautiful and creative NAFA logos

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Topeka, KS – Art Director, Julie Kiser, of Fine Designs Inc. created beautiful logos to commemorate the 2012 NAFA World Series and the organization itself.

    We would like to share them with all fastpitch fans.

For more information about Julie Kiser’s design work, you can reach her through the following avenues:

Phone: 800-644-6954 ext. 210
email: FnDesignArt@aol.com

NAFA request for World Series information needed now

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Three days from the start of the NAFA World Series and these ball diamonds will be busy with fastpitch action! The AA and A-Major divisions start the action on Thursday. See Play NAFA.org (below) for more information.

TOPEKA, KS – The start of the NAFA World Series AA and A-Major tournaments are two days away and NAFA needs confirmation that teams have their game starts times. Also, NAFA needs each team’s list of pitchers.

Along with rosters, which include full names, and jersey numbers. If you need a roster, please visit the new player and team statistics website at: Play NAFA www.playnafa.org.(However, that does not replace NAFA’s primary website, Nafafastpitch.com

Please mail that information requested to Nafafastpitch@gmail.com today. And visit play NAFA for more current information.

Play NAFA is only the website where all future World Series stats for players and teams will be located. We are also trying to go backward and enter data from previous years as well.


    1. Check in time for each team WITH PICTURE ID is one hour prior to your first game at the complex where you start at.

    2. Tournament Opening Ceremonies (6 p.m. Thursday at Shawnee North Complex) with all teams in uniform is mandatory and will be just as awesome as it was last year with Hall of Fame Inductions of Ryan Nichols of the Blues, Dan Kolda of K Club, etc…

We will honor the founders of NAFA (We have 4 of the 7 attending). We will honor our 20th Year Anniversary NAFA Team (posted on the website).

Each team will be introduced during opening ceremonies with the information coming from your TEAM INFO SHEET that I emailed to you.

Fill it out and bring it to the ceremony and give it to me there. We will have an official welcome by the Visit Topeka organization, the Topeka Parks & Recreation Department, and the U.S. and Canadian National Anthems will be played.

Thank You,
Benjie Hedgecock
NAFA Executive Director