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Minnesota State softball team advances to nationals

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

The Mankato Free Press
May 21, 2017

SEARCY, ARK. — It took two days to conclude the game, but the wait was well worth it for the Minnesota State softball team.

The Minnesota State University Mankato Mavericks on Sunday afternoon scored four runs in the final two innings and defeated Harding 7-6 to win the NCAA Division II Central Super Regional and claim a berth into the national championship tournament May 25-29 in Salem, VA.

The Mavericks (59-7) and ranked No. 6 in the coaches’ poll, open play against No. 9 Southern Indiana (46-12) Thursday at 4 p.m. (ET).

“It took every ounce of energy and every ounce of fight to come through and get this game,” coach Lori Meyer said. “What can I say about this team? They’ve just been phenomenal. They’ve been fighters all year.”

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NAFA World Series is showcase for men’s softball

Saturday, August 13th, 2016

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By Shane Frederick sfrederick@mankatofreepress.com

MANKATO, Minn. – As mayor of Mankato, Eric Anderson is happy to have the North American Fastpitch Association World Series back in the area.

As a softball player, however, he’s thrilled.

“The thing I personally like is it gives people a chance to come up here and see the game played,” Anderson said before taking the field for the Pub 500 team’s second game of the tournament Friday afternoon. “There’s an added benefit that a lot of people have come here and are staying in the area, but as the (men’s) game shows signs of dying out, people can come out and see some good fastpitch softball.”

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USA! USA! USA!

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

By Jim Rueda / Mankato Free Press
jrueda@mankatofreepress.com

MANKATO, Minn. – It’s not your typical summer job. In fact, it’s not even a paid position.

But for three south-central Minnesota natives, it’s a unique opportunity.

Steve Nessler of Mankato, Jeff Lewis of Amboy and Isaac Hormann of Norwood Young America have been named to the USA Men’s Junior (under-19) fastpitch team which begins play at the International Softball Federation World Championships later this month.

Steve Nessler’s dad, Dan Nessler, who was recently named the head coach of the Bethany Lutheran women’s softball program, will serve as an assistant coach for the team.

“I’m excited,” said Lewis, the youngest of the three players at 17. “My dad was a big fastpitch player and so was my brother, so I’ve been around it my whole life. I look at this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

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Williams gets chance to play against world

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

(Originally published Aug. 14, 2008, but still a good read about why some boys’, young men, and adults choose to play fastpitch softball.)

By Jim Rueda / Sports Editor
Mankato Free Press

MANKATO, MN – With the North American Fastpitch Association’s World Series beginning today at Caswell Park it’s time to talk softball.

Although 18-year-old Kevin Williams of Lake Crystal will not be participating in the NAFA event, he does have experience playing high-caliber fastpitch.

In fact, he has experience playing fastpitch at the highest of levels, having recently returned from the International Softball Federation’s Junior Men’s World Fastpitch Championships in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada…

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Ageless inspiration

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

YUCAIPA, CA – Some men in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and even 90s, still play the sports they grew up with as little boys with the same passion now as then. For these athletes, age is but a state of mind.

The brilliant left-handed fastpitch softball pitcher Bobby Moore of Wisconsin with the great rise ball and change up comes to mind. In the mid-1990s, I saw the silver haired Moore pitch in an ASA Masters (fastpitch) tournament in Las Vegas.

Moore showed the same determination, the same gusto, the same burning desire to win as I saw when he led his Shenanigan’s team to the championship in the Mankato Happy Chef tournament over 20 years earlier.

On a hot, humid July Sunday, Moore pitched four or five games to bring his team back from the depths of the loser’s bracket to claim the championship. On Monday the Manakato Free Press sports page read something like, “Too much Moore on Sunday.”

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