men’s fast pitch softball

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Missoula Fastpitch Restoring Its Field of Dreams

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
The Missoula Adult Fastpitch League is determined to renovate Orchard Park (also known as Spurgin Field) for league and tournament play. Courtesy photo

The Missoula Adult Fastpitch League is determined to renovate Orchard Home Park (also known as Spurgin Field) for league and tournament play. Courtesy photo

MISSOULA, MT – The need was there, the will was there, but it would take money – and a lot of it – for men’s fastpitch in Missoula to rebuild its Field of Dreams.

Orchard Home Park, known to local fastpitch enthusiasts as Spurgin Field, sits on the corner of Spurgin Road and Tower Street. It’s been home to men’s fastpitch since the 1970s.

But last August a powerful windstorm blew down a third of the grandstand; the fence surrounding the field, along with the infield and outfield are a mess. In other words, the entire ballpark needs a makeover.

    RAISING THE DOUGH

But that costs money. And a lot of it says Dusty St. John, who along with an army of volunteers resolved to bring the ballpark that hosts the Missoula Adult Fastpitch League (MAFL) back to first-rate playing conditions.

“We needed to raise $15,360 to revive the field and run the league this year,” said St. John, MAFL president and co-manager of Shock-N-Awe, one of five teams comprising the league. “It was a lofty goal to ask of five teams, but much to our delight the teams stepped up and exceeded our goals by raising $16,245.”

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Long Lost Fastpitch Friends Reunite

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

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YUCAIPA, Calif. – Reuniting with old friends is such a wonderful feeling. 1995 marks the last time I had seen or heard from Craig Brown. And shortly after the 2000 ISC World Tournament in St. Joseph, MO, Merle Brendeland fell off my radar as well.

But thankfully we three have revived our friendship through a phone call from Craig, and my email to Merle a few years a go.

I found out that a lot had changed in their lives. Not all pleasant. Both had divorced. Both had lost extremely successful careers when the economy tanked, and so on.

But both have bounced back in fine fashion, which hales the toughness of their backbone.

Craig, now remarried, is semi-retired and living in Florida, and Merle is back to his roots, farming in Iowa.

As for fastpitch, Craig is one of the best pitchers in Minnesota history, and maybe the state’s best lefthander all-time. And Merle – like myself – was of average ability, but loves the game like I do.

More importantly, both men are my two best friends.

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City of Montebello, Calif. welcomes men’s fastpitch softball

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

wolfpack.17.Mich.207web Fastpitch softball is alive and well in Montebello.

CITY OF MONTEBELLO, Calif. – David Sosnowski didn’t know a whole lot about men’s fastpitch softball when he got an inquiry about starting a city league a year a go.

But as the sports coordinator for the City of Montebello Park & Recreation Dept., he soon found out it’s popular for competitive athletes wanting the challenge of facing a fast-pitched softball, rather than the slow-pitched variety he was accustomed to.

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New Zealand looks golden against Venezuela

Friday, March 8th, 2013

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New Zealand pitcher Jeremy Manley gave the Black Sox a huge boast with a 15-strikeout effort to hold off a very good Venezuelan ball club in a winner’s matchup in the 13th ISF World Softball Championship.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – Since finishing second to Australia in the 2009 ISF World Championship, the New Zealand Black Sox have been planning, working and striving to bring the title back home.

As host to the World Championship, the Black Sox now have that opportunity.

On Saturday night in a winner’s matchup with Venezuela, the Black Sox punched their ticket into the championship grand finale on Sunday by defeating Venezuela 2-0.

Was finishing runner up in the 2009 event a motivator?

“It was a huge motivator,” said former Black Sox Manager Wayne Small in an interview during the game. “A lot of men here were on that team. They remember that (losing 5-0 to Australia) and have used it to their advantage.”

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New book hails the heroes of fastpitch softball

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Pitcher Matt Stur, just 20 years old, helped his Star Prairie Construction team of Strobel, Wisc. finish second in the age 23-Under Division of the 2010 North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) World Series to Waseda University of Tokyo, Japan. Stur is one of the young men who have found fastpitch softball a great sport to play.
(Contributed photo by Bob Otto)

Just For Fun column
By RUSSELL INGOLD / Editor, Fontana Herald News

FONTANA, CA – All over the United States, and particularly here in Fontana, fastpitch softball is enjoyed by multitudes of young girls, some of whom continue to participate in the sport as adults.

That’s great for the girls and the women. But what about the boys and the men?

Well, that’s a different story…

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For ISC Hall of Famer Lanny Rupp, softball was his life

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011


The late Lanny Rupp was inducted into the class of 2011 ISC Hall of Fame and he is also a member of the Long Beach (Calif) Hall of Fame.
Courtesy Photo / Ronnie Rupp

LONG BEACH, CA – In the 1970s and ’80s, great players, great teams and great managers abounded in Southern California’s Western Softball Congress.

But when it came to recruiting, no one was greater than the late Lanny Rupp.

Rupp was the general manager and manager of the Lakewood Jets. If Rupp wanted to sign a top-caliber player, he went after him with a salesman’s charm and a bulldog’s gusto.

Most times, he landed his target.

“He worked, he plotted, he planned and he recruited, recruited, recruited,” said Hice Stiles, who played with and against Rupp in the Western Softball Congress (WSC).

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ISC tournament returns to Q-C with a few changes

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

QUAD CITIES – When the International Softball Congress World Tournament came to Moline’s Greenvalley Complex two years ago, a lot had changed since the glory days of the 1960s and ’70s, when the tournament was played in the Quad-Cities 10 times in a span of 13 years.

When the tournament returns today, it will look very much as it did when it was here in 2009, other than the fact that it will have a few less teams and will be played in a few less days.

The ISC World gets under way tonight with two games at Greenvalley, then really gets going with 28 games Sunday…
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Morongo tops Soboba in Beaumont Fourth of July Men’s Fastpitch Tourney

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Photos By BOB OTTO

BEAUMONT, CA – The action heated up Friday night in the opening game of the 35th Annual Beaumont Coyotes Fourth of July Tournament with the Morongo Hostiles defeating the Soboba Beernuts 8-0 behind the shutout pitching of Anthony Loza, along with a two-run home run in the first inning by Lou Martin that proved the deciding runs in the Hostiles victory. Photos By BOB OTTO

The eight-team tournament continues through Sunday with the championship game scheduled for 12:30.

In today’s play, the Morongo Men’s Club meets the San Bernardino Aztecs at 8 a.m., while the host Beaumont Coyotes tangle with the Corona Rebels at 9:30 a.m. Games are scheduled throughout the day with the final game set for 6:30 p.m.

Sunday’s playoff round starts at 8 a.m., leading up to the championship game.

2011 NAFA Men’s Fastpitch Tournament in Topeka, Kansas

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011


The 2010 NAFA World Series, A-Major champion El Paso Steel. The NAFA World Series, where some of the best men’s fastpitch is played with teams and players coming from the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Japan, South America, and Australia. Get in on the action…Go NAFA in 2011!

TOPEKA, KS – The North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) is hosting a men’s A and A-Major tournament in Topeka. Here’s the details:

What: NAFA Midwest Super Regional Men’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament with three-game guarantee

When: July 30-31

Where: Shawnee County North Community Center
300 NE 43rd Street, Topeka, KS

Cost: $310 per team (entry fee deadline July 20)

Awards: The first place team in each division receives an entry into the 2011 NAFA World Series in Rockford, Illinois.

Contact Information:
Mike Watson (608) 444-7768 or Josh White (785) 554-8186 or Anthony Villegas (913) 461-1448

** Teams and pitchers rated according to NAFA classifications **
** NAFA balls and scorekeepers provided **

It’s all about the challenge for Midland Explorers Frank Cox

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

By BOB OTTO
botto3@verizon.net

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CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI, CANADA – When Frank Cox toes the rubber and stares in at his catcher’s glove, this is what a batter sees from 46-feet away:

A 6-foot-2, 245 pound, menacing, right-handed windmiller with one goal in mind. Send the batter back where he came from – the bench.

If Cox’s eyes were a neon sign, they’d probably flash, “get ready batter, it’s just you and me.”

The 39-year-old Cox has played fastball for 25 years, for one compelling reason – the challenge.

“That’s why I play, for the challenge of it,” Cox said. “I want to pitch against the best. The Patsy’s (Broken Bow) and Kitcheners (Rivershark Twins) are the ones you want to play against.”

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