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Inspired Len’s Automotive defeats Duluth Fastpitch to claim NAFA A Division World Series

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

2017 NAFA A Division World Series Champion Len’s Automotive of St. Paul, Minn. includes back row from left, Alex Farber, shortstop and NAFA A MVP, West St Paul;  Pat Hoban, right-field, St. Paul; Joe Ganther, pitcher, NAFA A Honorable Mention, Apple Valley; Tim Schuhwerck, pitcher and co-Most Outstanding Pitcher, St. Paul; Justin Olson, first base, St. Paul; Jim Washenberger first base and manager, St. Paul; Nick Leach, third base, Burnsville. Front Row, from left, Corey Noren, catcher and NAFA A Honorable Mention, St. Paul; Willie Faricy, second base and NAFA A All-World, Rosemount; Dave Zschokke, catcher, Little Canada; Chad Washenberger, pitcher and NAFA A All-World, St. Paul;  Kyle Pobanz, centerfielder and NAFA A All-World, St. Paul, and Chris Bogie, left-fielder, St. Paul. Photo By ANNIE SATTERLEE

FARGO – At the start of the season, Len’s Automotive was searching for some sort of positive message that would unite and inspire the team in every game, in every inning.

Kyle Pobanz and Nick Leach fashioned just the right slogans for the St. Paul squad to rally around.

“The start for each day was Kyle Pobanz telling the team, “why not us, why not now,” said Joe Ganther, who pitches and plays the infield. “And the rally cry for every inning was Nick Leach bellowing, “we’re winning every inning!”

    DOMINATING PERFORMANCE

Len’s Auto responded to the inspiring mantras by rolling through the NAFA A Division World Series undefeated and defeating Duluth Fastpitch, 5-1, in the title game at Northside Softball Complex, Sunday, Aug. 20.

Len’s clung to a 1-0 lead in the early going before breaking the game open with three runs in the fourth inning and a solo in the sixth.

In the fourth, Justin Olson got the offense started with a single, followed by Willie Faricy’s double and Nick Leach’s hit, with all three batsmen driving in a run.

    RELIEVER PUTS THE FIRE OUT

Duluth responded by loading the bases in the sixth on two hit batters and a single. A third hit batter brought in a run, but Tim Schuhwerck, called on to relieve starter Chad Washenberger, stopped the hemorrhaging by spinning a drop ball and getting a double play to end the inning.

Len’s got the run back in its half of the sixth on Olson’s sacrifice fly to deep centerfield that sent Pat Hoban trotting home. Hoban opened the inning with a triple to the base of the right-field fence.

Schuhwerck hurled a clean seventh and after his last pitch, Len’s Auto commenced to celebrating. In the previous five years of competing in the World Series, the highest Len’s Auto had ever finished was ninth.

Living up to Pobanz and Leach’s slogans surely helped in an inspirational way, but to win NAFA championships takes skillful gloves, arms and bats.

    LINEUP OF TOUGH OUTS

“We’ve always been strong on defense and pitching,” said first baseman and manager Jim Washenberger, “it’s the backbone of the team. But our hitting got hot here.”

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Important Information about 2017 NAFA World Series in Fargo, North Dakota

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

FARGO, ND – For teams, players and fans, please read this important information about the NAFA World Series that will be held in Fargo, Aug. 9-20.

  • Northside Softball Complex.
  • Hector International Airport
  • Traveling Amtrak
  • Hotel Reservations (Contact Rachel at housing@fargomoorhead.org for more information.)
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    2017 NAFA World Series heads to Fargo, ND and Northside Sports Complex

    Saturday, December 17th, 2016

    THE 2017 NAFA WORLD SERIES will be held at the Northside Sports Complex in Fargo, ND. Courtesy Photo

    By Benjie Hedgecock
    NAFA Executive Director
    Nafafastpitch@gmail.com
    503-559-5398 cell,503-864-4487 work, fax 503-864-3939
    PO Box 566 Dayton, Or, 97114

    DAYTON, Ore. – NAFA’s 25th Anniversary in 2017 will be in Fargo, North Dakota at the beautiful brand new 13-field Northside Sports Complex.

    DATES OF DIVISIONAL TOURNAMENTS

  • AA-Major August 9-11
  • A-Major August 10-13
  • 23-U Gold August 11-13
  • Men’s REC August 11-13
  • A August 17-20
  • AA August 18-20
  • 23-U Elite August 18-20
  • NAFA West Championships, July 21-23 – 57th Seattle Invitational,Fife, Wash. Contact Ryan Daly at Rdaly24@gmail.com for more details.
  • DATES AND HOTEL INFO TO FOLLOW

    Please make plans with your team soon to join us for this special event. Please contact us to let us know that you will attend. See you in Fargo. – Benjie Hedgecock

  • Contact Hedgecock and visit NAFA Website for more information.
  • Large Softball Complex in North Fargo, Mickelson Renovation Taking Shape (Previous story about the construction of the New softball complex that will be hosting the 2017 NAFA World Series.)

    Boom time: Barnesville man hopes to go out on top at world fastpitch tourney

    Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

    CHAD BOOM pitching for Junker’s Bar & Grill of North Mankato, Minn. in the ISC World Tournament. Boom, a feared hitter, was selected All-World three times in the ISC World Tournament (1999, 2002, 2006) Photo By BOB OTTO / ISC World Tournament

    Chad Boom was born in a fastpitch family. His father Marlin Boom a player and manager was inducted into the 2016 Minnesota Sports Federation Softball Hall of Fame, and brother B.J. Boom was inducted into the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) Hall of Fame in 2015.

    And Chad played for the USA Men’s National Team, and was selected All-World three times (1999, 2002, 2006) in the International Softball Congress (ISC) World Tournament.

    Good read about Chad Boom’s 2004 national team experience and his life growing up with fastpitch.

    INFORUM / Fargo, ND
    By Hayden Goethe on Feb 3, 2004

    Growing up in Ellsworth, Minn., Chad Boom immersed himself in fastpitch softball. As an adolescent, he watched his dad, Marlin, play in fastpitch leagues, awaiting the day when he could do the same.

    Boom never imagined he would make it this far.

    As a member of the U.S. fastpitch softball team, the Barnesville, Minn., resident now finds himself in New Zealand, competing in the men?s fastpitch world championships.

    Boom has already flexed his strength at the tournament, leading the team to a 3-0 mark.

    He blasted a home run in Friday’s game against Hong Kong and followed that with a 3-for-3 performance on Monday against Japan, scoring two runs in a 7-3 victory.

    “He’s really our swingman,” said USA manager Pete Turner. “He gives a yeoman-like effort every game out. “If I had 15 of those, I’d be real happy.”

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