Circle Tap men’s fastpitch

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Circle Tap Tournament underway in Denmark, Wisconsin

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

DENMARK, Wisc. – The big-time tournament in the little town of Denmark is underway.

Circle Tap taps international market for top talent

Thursday, August 4th, 2016

Marty Kauffman, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
12:22 p.m. CDT August 3, 2016

DENMARK, Wisc. – The Circle Tap Dukes are a powerhouse in the fastpitch softball circuit, year in and year out. Not just in Wisconsin or the United States, but the world.

And their roster reflects that.

The Dukes, based out of Denmark, were ranked ninth to begin the 2016 season by the International Softball Conference after finishing seventh last season at the ISC World Tournament. Circle Tap has placed seventh or better in the world dating to 1996, including third- and fourth-place finishes in 2004 and 2005.

Being a successful team has helped Circle Tap draw many players from outside of Wisconsin and the United States. This season, Circle Tap’s roster has eight international players from Argentina, Australia and New Zealand, while also having players from Illinois and Minnesota.

According to Circle Tap general manager Dean Kane, the addition of international players began years ago when the team was looking for pitching.

“We’ve always brought pitchers in from New Zealand and Australia because they start playing the game at a young age,” Kane said. “There’s not many American pitchers, so in order to compete with the big teams you have to bring in foreign pitchers, and it steamrolled from there.”

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Lieph zones in and hurls J&B Painting over Circle Tap Dukes

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
Scott Lieph, file photo pitching with Sooke Loggers in California Classic Men's Fastpitch Tournament.

Scott Lieph pitched nearly perfect in helping J&B Paining defeat Circle Tap, Monday, in the 2015 ISC World Tournament. File Photo / By BOB OTTO

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – In sports phraseology, it’s called being “in the zone.” A dimension so frustratingly difficult to achieve and attain where an athlete’s skill is at its mental and physical highest peak.

The Dodgers Clayton Kershaw has been in the zone. So has Stephen Curry of the Warriors and New England Patriots’ Tom Brady, and tennis star Roger Federer.

And on Monday night at the ISC World Tournament, pitcher Scott Lieph of J&B Painting stepped into the zone with them.

Click to continue reading “Lieph zones in and hurls J&B Painting over Circle Tap Dukes”

Circle Tap’s Shannahan homers to beat Cleary and Toronto Gators

Monday, August 10th, 2015

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Toronto Gators right-hander Sean Cleary had his riser hopping, his drop diving and Circle Tap chasing pitches they couldn’t catch up with through five innings as the right-hander was working on a one-hitter.

But Circle Tap’s inefficiency at the plate turned suddenly for the better in the final two innings as the Tappers scored once in the sixth, and then twice more in the seventh to score an impressive 3-2 victory over the world’s No. 5 ranked Gators, Monday, in ISC World Tournament action at the Belleville Softball Complex.

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Wayne Ball’s 45th Annual West St. Paul Tournament features strong teams

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

WestStPaulTourney.1lr West St. Paul tournament bracket.

WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. – The 45th Annual West St. Paul Men’s Fastpitch Tournament got underway Friday night, July 17 and finishes Sunday afternoon with the championship scheduled for 4:30 p.m. If a second game is needed to decide a champion in the double-elimination format, the game will begin shortly after.

The 12-team field includes several top Midwest teams.

(1) Gallaghers (2) Len’s Auto (3) Kegel Black Nights (4) The Bar (5) Tin Cup (6) Odin Fastpitch (7) Sizzler (8) Ostrander Fastpitch (9) Rice Lake Orangemen (10) Jordan Realty (11) Circle Tap (12) Sawdust City

Under the direction of Wayne Ball, the tournament is being held at the West St. Paul Sports Complex.

See Wayne Ball feature story written in 2012: Ball family supports Dad’s goal in West St. Paul Tournament

Umentum family to be honored at Boys of Summer tourney

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Andrew Pekarek, Press-Gazette Media (original story)

DENMARK, Wisc. – The clothesline was put to the test every summer at the Umentum household.

A collection of eight brothers and their numerous fastpitch softball uniforms made sure of it.

“It was kind of a joke when we were younger,” Dan Umentum said. “People would say stuff like, ‘Do you guys have another pair of clothes other than a uniform?’ It was usually almost every day playing for us back then.”

Burt Umentum added, “All summer if we weren’t baling hay, we were playing ball.”

Click to continue reading “Umentum family to be honored at Boys of Summer tourney”

Circle Tap of Denmark, Wisc. claims Bloomington, Ill. men’s fastpitch tourney

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

The Circle Tap Dukes went 5-1 (15-2) to capture the Midsummer classic in Bloomington, Illinois.

By Dean Kane / Circle Tap Information Director

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Circle Tap (CT) opened with a loss to Dolan Murphy of Aurora, IL 3-2. Dolan & Murphy struck first as Jacob Rooke led off the game with a bloop fly ball that fell between four defenders winding up as a double. A walk and a sacrifice bunt later and Jesse Delorit delivered a two RBI single.

Circle Tap evened the score at two in the second inning as Lewis Weldon doubled and scored when Tom Crouch reached on an error. Crouch scored on a wild pitch.

Dolan & Murphy struck back in the bottom half on an RBI single by Rooke which proved to be the game winner. Pat Sagdal was 2 for 3 for CT.

WP: Martin Gonzales 2R 4H 3K 2BB
LP: Juan Potolicchio 3R 8H 10K 1BB

Continue reading in Al’s Fastball

Teams wanted for Fargo NAFA tourney

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

NAFA.logo

FARGO, ND – The annual Holm Men’s Faspitch Tournament is adding a special feature this year, a separate tournament for NAFA A and A-Major classified teams.

The entry fee is just $200, with the winner guaranteed a free entry into the 2013 NAFA World Series in Des Moines, Iowa, that runs for all divisions, Aug. 8-18.

“We are looking for a few teams for the NAFA A and A-Major tourney and we will be running it during the annual Holm tourney in Fargo (June 15-16),” said tournament organizer, Mike Oehlke. “It will be held at the same complex as the NAFA Open. This should be a fun weekend as there are some good teams to watch in the Holm.”

Teams committed for the NAFA Open include:
Saskatoon Diamondbacks, CA
Randys A’s, BC, CA
Circle Tap, Wisc
Winnipeg Bullets, CA
West Fargo Knights, ND
Kegel Black Knights, ND
Topeka Toros, Kansas
Fargo Rooters Bar, ND
Sooke Loggers, BC, CA
Minnesota Angels, Minn

URGENT, READ RECENT UPDATE: On Sunday June 9th, Oehlke writes that the NAFA A and A-Major tournament needs one more team on Saturday, June 15. And please note: It’s a three game guarantee with NO ENTRY FEE. That’s right, no entry fee. Please respond to Mike ASAP if interested.

For more information about the Fargo NAFA A and A-Major tournament
contact Mike Oehlke
701-367-3545

Garrity’s bat and arm lead Gators over Builders

Monday, August 13th, 2012

    The 2012 Cal-State Builders
    Photo By Alisha Larkin / Cal-State Builders Official Photographer

MIDLAND, MI – Greg Garrity swings the bat as well as he wings a softball.

And he did both tasks equally well in hitting and pitching the Toronto Gators to a 6-1 ISC World Tournament victory over the Cal-State Builders of Seattle, Washington, Monday in a second-round game for both teams.

Garrity helped his own cause by launching a two-run home run in the first inning and then turned his attention to the pitching rubber.

Mixing in a hard drop with a rise ball and occasional change-up, he held the Builders to three hits along with 12 strikeouts and one walk. And through 4 1/3 innings he pitched perfect softball.

But Duane Christiansen (1-for-3) finally broke up the no-hit and perfect game bid with a single up the middle in the fourth. Then in the seventh, Scot Tomasello’s (1-3) run-scoring double drove in a run, denying Garrity the shutout. But he finished strong by getting two strikeouts to end the threat and move the Gators on to the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

“I felt really strong through the first four innings,” Garrity said. “But I had to bear down and stay focused; they’re a good team.”

Garrity (1-2, run, 2 RBIs, 2 walks), batting in the clean up spot, belted his first-inning homer deep over the left field fence with Donnelly Archibald aboard, who had tripled with two outs. The Gators added a single run in the third and broke the game open with three more in the fifth.


Currie Stadium with Toronto Gators in the field and Cal-State Builders at bat. Photo By Alisha Larkin

In the fifth, leadoff batter Joel Langford tripled to left-centerfield with one out and later scored on a passed ball. John Kemp worked Builders’ starter Brady Woods (0-1) for a walk, and then Archibald (2-4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) doubled him home to push the score to 5-0.

Garrity then came to the plate and Woods intentionally walked him to get to Tyler Whynot. But Whynot made him pay with an RBI single to left field for the Gators final run.

Kevin Kammueller then came on in relief of Woods and held the Gators scoreless the rest of the way, allowing but one hit, while striking out three. While Woods, selected to the Canadian National Team, allowed five earned runs on six hits, four walks, while striking out seven Gators.

The 2-0 Gators now move on to face Pennsylvania Power (2-0) Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the quarterfinal match-up.

Garrity said he likes the way the Gators are playing after opening the tournament with a 1-0 win over the ISC’s No. 5 ranked Circle Tap Dukes of Denmark, Wisconsin, which many consider a big upset.

“That was a big win over Circle Tap,” he said. “(Pennsylvania) Power is tough, but if we do things right, we should be in the game.”

The Builders also come back on Tuesday at 5 p.m. as they battle their way back through the losers bracket.

Tom Crouch, setting high standards in the NAFA World Series

Friday, July 20th, 2012

“The other 35 players on the 20th Year Anniversary Team (1993-2012) are high-class players, and I feel very proud to be in the same category as them.” – Tom Crouch on his selection to NAFA’s 20th Year Anniversary Team.

DEKALB, IL – Tom Crouch has certainly made his mark in NAFA World Series play. For example – and this is a huge example – he may go down in NAFA history as the only player to be selected All-World in the Open, AAA, and AA-Major divisions of World Series championships.

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