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Hennager men’s fastpitch softball team repeats as Minnesota state champs

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

The Hennager Plumbing and Heating Men’s Fastpitch Softball Team repeated as Minnesota Class A Men’s  Fastpitch State Softball Champions, going 4-0 in last weekend’s tournament in Blaine, Minn. Team members include, front row, from left: Chris Bambenek, Minneapolis; Tyler Eickhoff, Fountain; Jake Dalton, Lake Crystal; Spencer Yackel, Rochester; Brent Meshke, Lake Crystal; and David Dewitz, Good Thunder. Back from, from left, is: Coach Blake Meshke, Lake Crystal; Brett Scheevel, Rochester; Ryan Scheevel, Rochester; Brandon Friedrichs, Lake Crystal; Derek Meshke, Brookings, S.D.; Josh Schroeder, Lake Crystal; and Robert Petersen, Pipestone. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

Walk-off home run wins repeat title for Lake Crystal ball club

By Sheryl Doering Meshke
Reporter / Photographer
Aug. 5, 2018

BLAINE, Minn. – The Hennager Plumbing and Heating Men’s Fastpitch Softball Team repeated as Minnesota Sports Federation Class A Men’s Fastpitch State Champions, going 4-0 this weekend at Aquatore Park in Blaine, Minn.

As defending champs, the Hennager team — “Plumbers” — received a first-round bye. In the opening game, the hometown team defeated the Bombers of Fargo, N.D., 6-2. Brent Meshke of Lake Crystal, Minn., took the win, with five strikeouts. Collecting base hits were Jake Dalton, Lake Crystal, and Robert Petersen, Pipestone, Minn. Brent Meshke added a solo homer.

Brent Meshke helped Hennager Plumbing and Heating of Lake Crystal win the 2018 Minnesota Men’s Class A State Fastpitch Championship, Aug. 5 in Blaine, Minn. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

Facing the St. Paul Pawns of St. Paul, Minn., the Hennager men won in a slugfest, 15-9. Brent Meshke and Ryan Scheevel, Rochester, Minn., shared duties on the mound. Collecting multiple hits for the Plumbers were Dalton; Brent Meshke; Petersen; Brandon Friedrichs, Lake Crystal; and Josh Schroeder, Lake Crystal. Petersen and Schroeder delivered home runs.

Following a sixth-inning home run to tie the championship game, Josh Schroeder receives accolades from team members Jake Dalton, center, and Brent Meshke. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

To reach the championship game, the Plumbers defeated Minnesota Computers, St. Paul, 3-1, with Scheevel taking the win. He gave up six hits and struck out one. Dalton and Scheevel went two for four at the plate, with Scheevel securing a solo home run.

In the championship game, the Plumbers defeated Striker’s Lanes of Baldwin, Wis., 6-4. Brent Meshke started in the circle. In the top of the first inning, the Strikers scored three runs. The Plumbers answered with three runs in the bottom of the first. Strikers scored again in the top of the fifth, to take a one-run lead.

Scheevel relieved Brent Meshke in the sixth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Schroeder hit a solo home run to tie the game, 4-4. With a final chance for the win in the bottom of the seventh inning, lead-off batter Dalton bunted for a single. Brent Meshke, in the third spot, hit a walk-off home run to win the title. Scheevel picked up the win.

As Brent Meshke rounds third base, coach Blake Meshke gives a high five for the walk-off home run to win the state men’s fastpitch softball championship. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

Ryan Scheevel of Rochester, Minn. fires a pitch during the 2018 Minnesota Class A Men’s State Fastpitch Softball Tournament. Scheevel picked up the win in the championship game in a 6-4 victory over Striker’s Lanes. Photo By Sheryl Doering Meshke

Stepping back in time with ISC Hall of Fame pitcher Alan Colglazier

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Colglazier97ISC WT Alan Colglazier pitching for the Colorado Ravens of Englewood in the 1997 ISC World Tournament in Victoria, BC, Canada. Photo By BOB OTTO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The storyline goes something like this. A younger brother tags along to watch his older brothers play fastpitch. The team happens to be short a player one night.

“Hey, you want to play?” the younger brother is asked.

Alan Colglazier thought they’d never ask.

And as the saying goes, the rest is all history. And what a history it has been for the 62 year old, right-handed pitcher from Colorado.

“I had two older brothers, Sid a catcher, and Norm a first basemen,” said Colglazier. “I was always going along to watch them play. One day they were short a player and I filled in for them. I played in a junior league during the summers starting around age 14; just neighborhood kids putting a team together.”

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Fastpitch connections lead to three good careers

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

otto.bob.9webThrough two chance meetings threaded to fastpitch softball, Bob Otto has enjoyed three careers in insurance, newspaper and freelance reporting, and photography.

YUCAIPA, CA – While out covering ball games I sometimes run into former insurance clients who ask, “How did you ever get into newspaper work?”

The better question would be, “how did someone like you ever get into the insurance business?”

It all started when I walked into the field house at Minnesota State University (then Mankato State) in 1973. In the far corner I spotted a left-hander windmilling a softball.

In the dead of winter – December – with the season five months away.

So I stopped to watch. I could tell he was pretty good. “Whap! The ball exploded into the catcher’s glove.

“Who do you pitch for?” I asked.

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Mike Trotter plays with passion

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Mike Trotter of the Southern Oregon Bandits, shows his form while pitching for CR Adidas in the 2004 ASA Class A National Tournament.

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EAGLE POINT, OR – Mike Trotter’s not sure how he’ll feel in his final game when he throws his final pitch and steps off the pitching rubber for the final time. But he does know the time has come to finally say goodbye.

At the end of the season, Trotter will leave fastpitch softball after a 63-year career that began in 1947. And above all else there’s one thing he’d like to be remembered for.

“I would like to be remembered for my passion for the sport,” said the 71-year-old, right-hander. “It’s what has kept me going.”

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Topeka Toros stay perfect in NAFA Open

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

FARGO, ND – Second baseman, Matt Thornton, batting in the two spot, ignited the Topeka Toros offense by blasting a solo homer in the first inning that fueled the Toros on to an 8-1 victory over Rooters Bar of Fargo, Saturday night.

The win gives the Toros a 3-0 record in Pool A of the NAFA Open-Holm Classic and the No. 1 seed going into Sunday’s single elimination playoff.

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Potskin and Kunz too much for Rooters

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

FARGO, ND – Randy Potskin served notice that just because he leads off doesn’t mean he can’t drive in runs. And He did just that in a huge way in leading Randy’s A’s from British Columbia to an 11-0 victory over Rooters Bar of Fargo, Saturday.

Potskin went 4-for-4 with five RBIs and three runs scored to lead the A’s 12-hit attack. Randy’s scored three runs in each of the third and fourth innings, and finished the game with a five-run sixth to post a 1-0 record in Pool A of the NAFA Open-Holm Classic Men’s Fastpitch Tournament.

But Potskin had plenty of help with Chad Ghostkeeper going 2-4, Eli Jules 2-4, RBI, and Cory Giroux (1-4) belting a three-run home run in the sixth to put the game in the win column.

With all that run support, Travis Kunz didn’t let his teammates down. He spun a two-hitter and struck out 15, while walking two. The only Rooter solving Kunz’ pitches was lead off batter and right fielder, Justin Rheault, who had both hits.

Hunter delivers for Sooke Loggers

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

FARGO, ND – The hometown Kegel Black Knights suffered a heartbreaker when the Sooke Loggers’ Blake Hunter ripped a game-winning single to score Chad Bryden in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Loggers a 4-3 victory in Pool B of the NAFA Open – Holm Classic, Saturday afternoon.

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Angels go long ball to power past Circle Tap in NAFA Open-Holm Classic

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

FARGO, ND – As border state rivals, the Circle Tap Dukes of Denmark, Wisconsin and the St. Paul, Minnesota Angels came out swinging the bats Saturday morning in the opening game for both teams in the NAFA Open-Holms Classic.

But when the dust had settled, the Angels held off the Dukes 7-5 for the victory. Josh Wagner’s homer in the top of the seventh was the difference. With the game tied at five-all, Wagner (1-for-3, run, 2 RBIs), who bats No. 2 in the lineup and plays centerfield, belted a two-run blast that gave the Angels the win.

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Mark Sorenson enters the ISC Hall of Fame

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Mark Sorenson, Class of 2010 ISC Hall of Fame, and ISF Hall of Fame in 2009.

NEW ZEALAND – For 18 years the New Zealander boarded a plane and flew halfway around the world. His destination, the United States. His mission, win another International Softball Congress World Tournament championship.

And Mark Sorenson has certainly won a few of those.

During that 18-year span, Sorenson’s teams won four ISC World Tournament championships, along with eight runner-up, and a third place finish. And he was selected ISC All-World 12-times – second only to Cleo Goyette’s 16 in the 62 year history of the World Tournament.

But after the 2004 season Sorenson, just 37, retired from the sport he began playing as a five-year-old in 1972 in the Lower Hutt Valley Leagues.

But come August, he’ll once again board a plane bound for the U.S. His destination, Midland, Michigan where he will be inducted into the ISC Hall of Fame during World Tournament ceremonies.

“Making it into the ISC Hall of Fame is the ultimate honor,” he said. “I was fortunate to come to the U.S. during the mid to late 1980s when the game was really prospering and talented teams were everywhere.”

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NAFA Super Regional men’s fastpitch tournament coming to Reno, Nevada

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013


BAKERSFIELD, CALIF – Bob Chapel has been directing top-flight men’s fastpitch tournaments since 1982.

But on May 18-19 he’s planning a spectacular event: the Reno Shoot-Out. It’s a NAFA Super Regional 3-game guarantee tournament, with a paid berth into the NAFA World Series in Des Moines Iowa.

He’s inviting teams rated NAFA A, A-Major, AA and AA-Major to come and “shoot it out” in Reno.

Chapel also wants this to become a popular tournament and destination for fastpitch teams, players and fans. Much like what takes place in Las Vegas, he said.

“This is my first year there (in Reno / Sparks, NV) trying to do this, and I want it to build up like the Las Vegas Road Trip (April 13-14).”


    DATES: May 18-19
    WHERE: Reno-Sparks, Nev.
    PLAYING FACILITY: Shadow Mountain Ball Park in Sparks. A four-diamond complex.

    SANCTIONING: West Coast Fastpitch Association and NAFA
    FORMAT: NAFA, three-game guarantee bracket


    ENTRY FEE: $425 (Entry deadline, May 10)
    AWARDS: Paid berth to NAFA World Series in Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 8-18.
    (Additional awards based upon number of teams in each classification.)

    HOST HOTEL: Ramada Reno Hotel & Casino, 1000 E. 6th Street, Reno (775) 786-5151
    SPECIAL ROOM RATE: $65 when mentioning “West Coast Fastpitch”
    TOURNAMENT DISCOUNT: $25 refund of entry fee when a team reserves five rooms or more.

    CONTACT: Bob Chapel (406) 690-0664; email
    PRINT A FLIER: Reno Shoot-out Flier