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Sooke Loggers claim NAFA Open-Holm Classic title

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

FARGO, ND – In fastpitch softball, ball players must have short memories. They must put bad outings and disappointing losses behind them.

Sometimes easier said than done. The Sooke Loggers would know.

In last year’s NAFA Open World Series championship, the Loggers suffered a gut wrenching, 9-8, loss to the Circle Tap Dukes. After leading by four runs in the seventh inning, the Loggers saw that hefty lead vanish as Circle Tap rallied for five runs to seize the title.

But there would be no gut-wrenching loss this year. No going back to British Columbia, Canada disappointed. Loggers’ pitcher Scott Lieph made sure of that.

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Sooke Loggers and Randy’s A’s advance to semifinals

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

FARGO, ND – Newton and Gabriel lead Randy’s to victory, while hard-hitting and high-scoring Sooke Loggers continue to roll in the NAFA Open-Holm Classic.

    Randy’s A’s 3
    Kegel Black Knights 2

The Black Knights trailed 2-1 heading into the top of the seventh inning and were two outs away from defeat. But Travis De Jong worked Randy’s pitcher Brian Newton for a walk, and B.J. Boom made him pay dearly by belting a triple that plated De Jong to tie the game.

After a scoreless eighth, the tiebreaker went into effect in the ninth. Kegel threatened in their top of the inning by putting runners on first and third with two out. But Newton struck out Rob Geisbrecht to end the threat.

Now the A’s had their opportunity. It started with tie-breaking runner Cory Giroux placed at second base, and Vegas Antoine at the plate. Jim Hartman, who was pitching a solid game, struck out Antoine.

But he couldn’t get Kevin Gabriel.

The third baseman hit a clean single, driving in Giroux with the game winner. Gabriel, batting in the No. 6 spot, led the A’s with two RBIs, while going 2-for-4. First baseman, Eli Jules also drove in a run and went 2-4, and catcher Chad Ghostkeeper was 3-4 with a run.

Newton turned in a gem in the circle for Randy’s. He allowed two runs, scattered four hits and struck out nine Black Knights to pick up the win and move his team on in the playoffs.

But Kegel’s Jim Hartman was tough too. The right-hander from South Dakota held a very good hitting A’s (3-1) to two earned runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts. Kegel’s exits the tournament with a 1-3 record, but all its games were decided by one run.

    Sooke Loggers 9
    Circle Tap Dukes 2

The Loggers were leading 3-2 into the fourth inning and then broke the game open by scoring six runs, highlighted by Adam Schnarr’s solo home run, Chad Bryden’s bases-loaded double that scored two runs; Blake Hunter’s two-run triple, and Brian Banners run-scoring single.

Loggers’ pitcher, Scott Lieph, made the lead stand up by holding a good hitting Circle Tap to two earned runs on eight hits with nine strikeouts and two walks.

Sooke roughed up Circle Tap starter Rob Schweyer for 12 hits and nine earned runs, including three home runs by Kris Walushka, Kyle Cowick, and Schnarr.

The win advances Pool B, No. 1 seed, Loggers (4-0), into the semifinals of the lower bracket where they will meet Pool A, No. 2 seed, Randy’s A’s (3-1) in a noon game at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. The 2012 NAFA Open defending champion Circle Tap leaves the tournament at 2-3.

Angels knock off D-Backs, and Bullets survive Toros
Minnesota Angels 8 Saskatoon Diamondbacks 2 (no information available)
Winnipeg Bullets 1 Topeka Toros 0 (no information available)

The Angels and Bullets will battle in the upper bracket semifinal for the right to play for the 2013 NAFA Open-Holm Classic crown.