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Jesse Ortiz, pitching in for NAFA and his league

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

JESSE ORTIZ is kept busy at the NAFA World Series checking bats to certifiy that they meet NAFA specifications. Ortiz is in his third year assisting at the NAFA World Series. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2017 NAFA World Series.

FARGO – At his home ballpark in Southern California, Jesse Ortiz can be found hustling from one field to another. He’s an administrator, a resolver of disputes, he oversees the scorekeepers, and he even does some field maintenance when the need arises.

Ortiz is the executive director of the Southern California Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL). It’s a job with a lot of duties and some headaches, but he sets all of that aside when it’s his turn to pitch.

He works diligently for long hours on several weekends throughout the fastpitch season to ensure that SCIFL Alliance tournaments run smoothly.

“The SCIFL tournaments went well this year,” said Ortiz, 42. “We did have to cut back on some tournaments because of a conflict with the city (Santa Fe Springs). We had one tournament at Camp Pendleton (Marine Corps Base) and that went well.”

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Midland County Sports Hall of Fame: Isenhart’s induction an honor to family, friends, fastpitch

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Midland Daily News
Joel Barnhart
sports@mdn.net
Monday, May 1, 2017
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MIDLAND, Mich. – To those who knew him best, the late Leland “Lee” Isenhart was an unselfish man who loved fastpitch softball and worked tirelessly to grow the game in Midland.

With his upcoming induction into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame in a May 13 ceremony at Dow Diamond, the humble man who spent his life dedicated to helping others will be honored in a way he never would have asked for, but certainly deserved.

“I think everyone in the softball community around town thinks this is well-deserved,” said Eric Isenhart, one of five children of Lee and the late Mary Jane Isenhart, who were married for 58 years. “My dad did a lot getting fastpitch softball here. He and Lefty (Bartos) did so much for the game to keep it alive in Midland.”

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A Step Back In Time: Scandia honors local Fastpitch Hall of Famer Wayne Erickson

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

SOFTBALL CHAMPS – Scandia, Minn. defeated River Falls, Wisc. 8-6, in nine innings Sunday night, July 24, 1967, at Eau Claire’s Carson Park to win the first Open Softball Tournament. Members of the championship team were front row, left to right: Choc Junker, Tom Thompson, Barney Barnholdt, Jim Lindberg, Wayne Erickson and Joe Junker. Back row, George Lindgren, Dean Carlson, Dennis Lofboom, Greg Benson, Phil Anderson, Manager Don Seguin, and Dan Jacobson. Staff Photo / Eau Claire Leader

SCANDIA, Minn. – For the thousands of batters who faced Wayne Erickson, it was most-often a frustrating and fruitless endeavor. But his teammates? They loved him. After all Erickson was a huge factor in helping Scandia win four state men’s fastpitch championships.

And for Erickson’s great exploits for Scandia fastpitch, the city renamed its softball field (simply called “Scandia lighted ball field”) to Wayne Erickson Memorial Ball Park, in 2011.

Erickson is the only Minnesota Sports Federation Softball Hall of Fame (1984) member to come from Scandia.

In his youth, Erickson played baseball, but at age 16 he began pitching fastpitch for Scandia, and continued throwing for his hometown team for the next twenty years.

FOUR TIMES CHAMPS

Those attending the dedication remembered Wayne for his perfection of the art of pitching that helped take the Scandia team to four ASA Class A state championships in 1963, 1966, 1967 and 1968.

“I’m one of four ball players from Scandia that got to play with and against Wayne Erickson in his prime,” Doniver Ahlm said. “Before playing with Wayne I played against him. I had the opportunity to strike out against every type of pitch he threw.”

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Norman gives back for the love of the game

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

LAKE CRYSTAL, MINNESOTA – A bum knee forced Jack Norman from behind home plate, but it didn’t force the former fastpitch softball catcher out of the game.

Instead it launched a whole new career.

The 58-year-old Norman began playing fastpitch softball as a 10-year-old in 4-H. And at 17 he was matching his skills against veteran players in the New Ulm League. Then for the next 35 years he plied his trade in the sport he says he loved the moment he began playing as a kid.

And the sport he still loves today.

But in 2003 it all came to an end. Though his mind said, “go,” his bad knee said, “no.”

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