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Southern California fastpitch leader Robert Hernandez to retire

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

HernandezRobert.3lr SCIFL President and NAFA Pacific Coast Vice President Robert Hernandez, right, presents David Dziengel of Goring Lawn Care (Minn.) his NAFA A-Major All-World award during the 2010 NAFA World Series in Des Moines and West Des Moines, Iowa. Hernandez served as the World Series Tournament Director. Photo By BOB OTTO

“He is very dedicated and involved and gives fastpitch 110-percent.” – Lou Enriques

ANAHEIM – Someone had to step up to the plate, so Robert Hernandez did.

In 2007, he saw the alarming decline of men’s fastpitch teams in Southern California. Something had to be done to reverse the trend. So he took on a most ambitious project – helping to start a new league.

This new league, the Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL), was a success from the beginning. Up to 16 teams compete, along with an age 40-older Masters Division.

“Doing a startup was tough,” said Hernandez, who became the league’s president, master league supervisor, and tournament director. “But the first year went well with very few hiccups.”

His ambitions for the league soon went higher.

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Multi-sport athlete Jonathan Lynch choses fastpitch

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

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Jonathan Lynch shows his speed as he races around the bases at the 29th Annual Kelso Klassic tournament where he was selected the Most Valuable Player. Contributed Photo

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO – Sporting choices – young Jonathan Lynch has so many. Soccer? Yes. Baseball and basketball? Certainly.

And fastpitch softball? Most definitely.

The 19-year-old Lynch has played all four sports. He excelled in soccer, basketball and baseball in high school, and he recently finished his freshman year of baseball at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.

But he’s set aside this summer for a sport he professes to love – fastpitch softball. And if his performance in the 14-team, 29th Annual Kelso Klassic tournament, June 8-9, is any indication, he’s off to a great start.

TOUGH OUT MVP
Lynch, who plays first base and outfield for Kelso Fastpitch, lit up some pretty good pitchers to the tune of a .667 batting average (8-for-12), four RBIs, one double, two triples and three stolen bases.

And when the awards were handed out, Lynch carted off the Most Valuable Player trophy. And well-deserved said tournament media coordinator, Jerry Wolsey, who also plays for Kelso Fastpitch (12-4), winner of two tournaments.

“He had an outstanding tournament. His stats were against some of the top pitchers in the tournament,” Wolsey said.

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Winnipeg Bullets, “A” NAFA World Series Champions!

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

YUCAIPA, CA – It’s a rare, very rare occasion when an athlete can proclaim that they are a “World Series” champion. In a short seven games, either the San Francisco Giants or the Texas Rangers will soon have the title bestowed on them.

But for the Winnipeg Bullets, they’ve already earned it as the 2010 NAFA World Series Champions. Congratulations Bullets!

Meet the World Series Champions:

From front row left, Stephen Ceslak, Guy Levesque, Kyle Koterba, Tyler Bruner, Luke Koterba, Bryan Erstad. Top row from left, Bob Lanoie, Stew Sabiston, Brad Popik, Joe Vannett, Dean Govereau, Jared Purdy.

Northwest Implement at the top of its game in rolling to NAFA 18-Under championship

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

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The 2010 NAFA World Series Age 18-Under Champion Northwest Implement of Maryville, Missouri. Front row, from left, Clayton Schieber, Colton Holtman, Brody Abell, Tanner Walter, Jacob Stoll. Back Row, from left, Coach Greg McQuinn, Coach Rod Walker, Ryan McQuinn, Kyle Schieber, Norbert Henry, Gilbert Henry, Brett Walker, Troy McQuinn, Coach Steve Henry.
Photo By BOB OTTO

DES MOINES & WEST DES MOINES, IA – The hitting? Explosive. The pitching? Solid. The defense? Sound.

Northwest Implement put on a clinic in demonstrating how winning fastpitch softball is played in rolling to a 7-0 victory over Ramsey Financial in the NAFA World Series Age 18-Under Championship, Sunday, Aug. 15, at Raccoon River Park Softball Complex.

Northwest swept through the tournament with a 3-0 record and was never headed on its way to its first NAFA championship.

“We had timely hitting with runners on base and I don’t think we had an error,” said Northwest Manager, Greg McQuinn. “Brody (Abel) pitched real well and he had good defense behind him.”

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Fastpitch needs more Roccos

Monday, September 27th, 2010


Sawdust City, Ramsey Financial Services, Northwest Implement, and Jack Daniels started the A-Major Division of the NAFA World Series at 2:30 p.m., Thursday at Raccoon River Park Softball Complex
Photos By BOB OTT0

WEST DES MOINES, IA – For most softball managers, running one team is often enough work and enough headaches. But not for Rocco Ramsey of Bowen, Illinois.

The 50-year-old fastpitch enthusiast entered four teams in four separate divisions in the 2010 NAFA World Series: An age 18-Under, 23-Under, A, and A-Major. And all four played under the banner of Ramsey Financial Services, which is owned by his brother, Ryan Ramsey.

Now why would Rocco spend so much time running four ball clubs?

“I just love the game,” said Rocco.

All four of his teams based out of Bowen (population about 500) spend hours traveling to ball games and tournaments because there is but one team – besides his ball clubs – within 120 miles of Bowen.

“We travel everywhere to find ball games,” he said.

Rocco’s fastpitch career began in 1974 as a 15-year-old catcher. Then in 1980 he expanded his fastpitch horizons and embarked on a managing, coaching, and recruiting career that is still active today – 31 years later.

“I started my own team in 1980 and was a player / manager until 2005 when I managed full time,” he said, adding that he also runs a 486-acre farm and coaches boy’s basketball from the fifth through the eighth grades.

Now if that’s not enough work for one man, there’s also that recruiter job. During the baseball season, Rocco visits the local high school ball diamonds searching for talent he can recruit into the underhanded game.

“I go around to the high schools looking for players,” he said. “I scout and talk to the kids’ parents about playing fastpitch and when they start playing they love it.”

Fastpitch softball needs more Rocco Ramseys.

For more on the 2010 NAFA World Series tournament, visit North American Fastpitch Association

Rice Lake (WI) Orangemen keep rolling, Lathrop throws a beauty

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

WEST DES MOINES, DES MOINES, IA –After Bryan Lathrop had thrown his seventh game, a 7-4 victory over Willkomm Mobile, Orangemen’s Manager, Loren Lathrop, feared his son’s tank was near empty.

Not hardly. Lathrop fired a two-hit, five strikeout gem against the heavy hitting Sioux Falls Sox in a 4-0 victory that sends Rice Lake into the championship against Keating Fitness of Wilkes-Barre (PA) for the NAFA “AA” World Series championship.

So, is the tank empty now?

“My groin muscle is feeling pretty tight, but I’m working through it,” Lathrop said, as he relaxed in the duggout as the ground crew manicured the infield for the upcoming championship game.

The Sox came into the game as one of the best hitting teams in the “AA” division, but Lathrop tied them up in knots with an inside rise ball on the Sox right-handed hitters, he said.

The Orangemen scored a run in the third inning and three in the fifth.

Tim Hall had an RBI double in the fifth, and Nick Goddremote was 2-for-3 to lead the Orangemen. Andy Bayer made the play of the game in left field by racing with his back toward the the fence to make a diving catch. And against Willkomm, Bayer belted a two-run homer.

The game is about to start. Keating has right-hander, Joe Hineline, on the rubber.

Opening day’s news and views from the NAFA World Series

Friday, August 20th, 2010

WEST DES MOINES, DES MOINES, IA – The NAFA “A” and “AA” World Series tournaments got off without a hitch, Thursday. The weather was great with low humidity. And the ball games in most cases, evenly matched.

…Every ball game has an official scorekeeper, and they are doing a stand up job. I’ve seen some score sheets with penmanship that would make my grade school teacher, Mrs. Lydia Pretzer, proud. And the scorekeepers I’ve talked with love being at the ballpark – take Randy Tharp of Des Moines.

Randy scored in last week’s A-Major, Age 23-Under, and 18-Under tournaments and he said he’s had a good time. “I get to watch games and score keeping makes me feel like I’m involved in the games,” he said.

…Now Randy, who played fastpitch and slowpitch (Bless me Father for I have sinned…) for 35 years, isn’t the only family member keeping the books at the tournament. His sister Carrie Rowe is involved too.

…At some of the games, I’ve been asking pitcher’s ages. This is encouraging for the future of the sport: 29, 30, 24, 18…

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Action heats up in NAFA young men’s divisions

Saturday, August 14th, 2010


The future’s rising stars showcase their talents today
Saturday, Aug. 14

DES MOINES, WEST DES MONIES, IA – The Age 23-Under World Series tournament continues its pool play today, while the 18-Under tournament gets underway starting this morning at 9:15 at Raccoon River Park Softball Complex.

Four teams make up the 18-Under tournament: Northwest Implement (MO), Ramsey Financial (IL), Peguis / Kakabeka, (Canada), and the Free Agents. Pool play games will continue throughout the day at both Raccoon and the Greater Des Moines Softball Park.

The 18-under championship game is slated for 3 p.m., Sunday.

The 12 teams comprising the 23-Under teams in three pools have games scheduled for 12:45 with the playoffs beginning at 7:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. Then on Sunday the playoffs continue starting at 8 a.m. at Raccoon with the championship scheduled for 3 p.m.

Check the NAFA website for team schedules, times, and location.

Current 23-Under pool play standings
Pool A
Waseda University 2-0
Westerville, OH, Capitals 1-1
K.C. Indios, Kansas 1-1
West Fargo Knights 0-2

Pool B
Stadium Lanes, MN 2-0
Bar of Appleton, Wisc. 1-1
Ramsey Financial, IL 1-1
Kakabeka Brewers, CA 0-2

Pool C
Sand Prairie Const., WI 2-0
Cary’s Trucking, MI 1-1
Northwest Impl., MO 1-1
Peguis Braves, Canada 0-2

For more information, please check the NAFA website:
North American Fastpitch Association

Play continues in the world’s largest men’s fast-pitch softball tournament

Friday, August 13th, 2010


Friday, Aug. 13, 2010

WEST DES MOINES and DES MOINES, IA – The North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Series men’s fastpitch softball tournament continues Friday through Sunday at Raccoon River Park Softball Complex in West Des Moines, and at the Greater Des Moines Softball Park.

Play begins in the A-Major Division at 12:45 p.m. at both softball parks with the final game scheduled for 6 p.m. Then the Age 23-Under Division takes to the ball fields with games starting at 6 p.m. and 7:45 at both ballparks.

The 23-Under division has 12 teams from nine U.S. states, Canada, and Japan entered in the tournament, which will conclude with the championship game scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at Raccoon River Park.

Waseda University from Japan highlights the 23-Under Division and begins play at 6 p.m. against the West Fargo Knights of Fargo, ND. The Japanese university team flew over 6,100 miles to compete in the tournament in its fourth appearance.

NAFA was founded in 1993 and offers the largest men?s fastpitch softball tournament in the world with six divisions vying for championships from Aug. 12 to Aug. 22.

Spectator admission is $8 per day, or $20 for a tournament pass.
Raccoon River Park Softball Complex is located at 2500 Grand Ave., West Des Moines. And the Greater Des Moines Softball Park is at 4980 NE 46th Street, Des Moines.

For more information on schedules and game times, visit the NAFA website. North American Fastpitch Association

NAFA’s A-Major’s put on a good show on opening day of World Series

Thursday, August 12th, 2010


The action at the Greater Des Moines Softball Park, Thursday, offered some of the finest games in the NAFA A-Major Division.
Photos By BOB OTTO

DES MOINES and WEST DES MOINES, IA – For fans who favor some offense, some good pitching, and some big defensive plays, then the place to be was opening day of the NAFA World Series A-Major Division at the Greater Des Moines Softball Park, Thursday.

Kirk Smock of Mile High Denver and The Bar of Appleton’s, Jordan MacDonald, hooked up in a pitching duel in which MacDonald come out on top, 2-1, in the opening game for both teams.

The right-handed MacDonald, a 24-year-old Canadian from Nampa, Ontario, had all his pitches working, especially his go-to pitch.

“My change up is my best pitch and about the third inning it started working,” MacDonald said.

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