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Annual Rice Lake Invitational in Rice Lake, Wisconsin

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

By RONN KOPP
NAFA President

RICE LAKE, Wisc. – The 39th Annual Rice Lake Invitational Men’s Fastpitch Tournament will be held June 9-11 at Fred Tate Memorial Park in Rice Lake.

    TOURNAMENT DETAILS
  • Team Classifications: NAFA “AA,” “A-Major,” and “A”
  • Tournament Size: 12 Teams (The first 12 to submit complete entries, including roster)
  • Tournament Format: NAFA 3-game guarantee
  • Entry Fee: $225 payable to Rice Lake Orangemen Fastpitch
  • **Send separate check for $35 to “Wisconsin NAFA” if year 2017 NAFA team registration is desired. This is not required for Invitational entry.**

  • Rosters: Teams may list a maximum of 18 players on their roster. Rosters MUST be on the attached form and completely filled out, and MUST be submitted along with the tournament entry fee for entry to be accepted.
  • AWARDS (Based on 12 team field)

    • 1st place $600 sponsor’s expense money plus trophy
    • 2nd $450 sponsor’s expense money plus trophy
    • 3rd $300 sponsor’s expense money plus trophy
    • 4th $150 sponsor’s expense money plus trophy
    • Individual trophies to tournament MVP and All-Tournament team selections
    • MAIL CHECKS TO

      Rice Lake Orangemen
      Post Office Box 202
      Rice Lake, WI 54868

      2017 TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR
      Loren Lathrop, Phone 608-422-5781 or 608-228-2430)

    Bud Olson helps foster the revival of men’s fastpitch in La Crosse

    Monday, March 20th, 2017

    BUD OLSON, NAFA Hall of Fame member (2014), is helping lead the effort to revive men’s fastpitch in LaCrosse, Wisc. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2014 NAFA World Series

    LA CROSSE, Wisc. – Some call them diehards. Some call them loyalists. Some call them movers and shakers. They’re the backbone of any worthy cause who roll up their sleeves and get the job done.

    And when it comes to men’s fastpitch, Ronn Kopp, Loren Lathrop and Bud Olson fit those labels perfectly.

    While many have long since given up, these three men continue the mission to revive the sport in Wisconsin. Maybe that’s why the state is the North American Fastpitch Association’s (NAFA) leader in team registration within the organization.

    Kopp is the NAFA president and Lathrop a vice president. Both have been with the organization since its inception in 1993. They run NAFA Wisconsin affairs, conduct tournaments and leagues, and help run one of the most successful national tournaments in the sport: the NAFA World Series.

    No doubt, they are true warriors.

    Though Olson isn’t a NAFA official, he’s leading an admirable effort to revive fastpitch in the La Crosse area: he runs a team, he recruits younger players and helps form leagues, he encourages city officials to support fastpitch, and he will be hosting the NAFA state tournament for the next three years.

    If every state had this type of commitment, the sport would be in much better shape.

    Olson grew up on a Wisconsin farm, attended a country school where he began playing fastpitch in first grade. At 14 he was playing in a 4-H league. By 15 his burgeoning talent landed him a spot on the Sioux Creek Farmers team in a men’s league.

    “I got my first hit when I was 10 against Bob Davis one of the top pitchers in the Barron County traveling League,” said Olson. “I made Chetek’s traveling team as a 16-year-old shortstop. When our 4-H team entered the Sand Creek Sunday Night league, I was playing four nights a week.”

    Click to continue reading “Bud Olson helps foster the revival of men’s fastpitch in La Crosse”

    Umpiring friends head to NAFA World Series one last time for special honor

    Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

    OAKCREEK, Wisc. – The miles to league games and tournaments add up into the thousands, the games into the hundreds. And the pay doesn’t make them rich.

    For fastpitch umpires, that’s the price they pay to officiate the game they love. And Wisconsin umpires Steve Komoroski and Tom Ueberroth, certainly have a soft spot in their hearts for the game of fastpitch softball.

    The two good friends started umpiring together about 1996, figures Ueberroth, 58. They’ve officiated the girls and women’s side from college division I to high school and tournaments.

    ST CLAIR THE CATALYST

    But they’ve umpired the men’s side as well, mainly with the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA) in Wisconsin and at the NAFA World Series.

    “Henry St. Clair (the late, former NAFA UIC) got me started in men’s fastpitch about 20 years a go,” said Komoroski. “You don’t make much money, but I love it.”

    Click to continue reading “Umpiring friends head to NAFA World Series one last time for special honor”

    The Natural heads into the NAFA Hall of Fame

    Saturday, July 30th, 2016


    Trevor Knight will be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame at ceremonies during the 2016 NAFA World Series in North Mankato and Mankato, Minnesota.

    OLYMPIA, Wash – Pat Bucknell has managed and coached his share of teams and players over his long career in men’s fastpitch. He has won NAFA World Series championships with some very fine athletes in his stable.

    One of the finest? Shortstop and third baseman Trevor Knight of Olympia, Washington.

    “He was a natural,” said Bucknell, “one heck of a ball player. If he had chosen, I think he could have played pro ball. He was that good.”

    Just how good?

    Click to continue reading “The Natural heads into the NAFA Hall of Fame”

    NAFA Announces 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees

    Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
    The North American Fastpitch Association offers World Series tournaments for all caliber of players - from age 23-Under to Masters, 65-over. Visit www.nafafastpitch.com for information to register your team.

    The North American Fastpitch Association offers World Series tournaments for all caliber of players – from age 23-Under to Masters, 65-over. Visit www.nafafastpitch.com for information to register your team.

    DAYTON, OR – The North American Fastpitch Association announced that eight individuals – six players, one umpire and a coach / sponsor – will be inducted into the NAFA Hall of Fame at ceremonies held at various World Series during the 2016 season.

    2016 HALL OF FAME MEMBERS

    Umpire

  • Steve Komoroski, Wisc.
  • Coach / Sponsor

  • Doug Smith, New Jersey
  • Players

  • Kyle Goslee, Minn.
  • Chad Osterman, Minn.
  • Colin McKenzie, BC, Canada
  • Trevor Knight, Wash.
  • Duane Clarkson, Manitoba, Canada
  • Mario Pereira, Calif.
  • The 2016 NAFA World Series

  • Open World Series, Fife (Seattle), Wash., July 22-24
  • Boys Youth, Vassar, Mich., July 30-31
  • AA-Major, Quad Cities, IA/IL, Aug. 19-21
  • A-Major, Mankato / North Mankato, Minn., Aug. 11-14
  • Wood Bat Nationals Upper Midwest, Mankato / North Mankato, Aug. 12-14
  • Wood Bat Nationals Lower Midwest, Newton, KS, July 30-31
  • Wood Bat Nationals West, Albuquerque, NM, Aug. 27-28
  • A and AA Divsions, Mankato / North Mankato, Aug. 18-21
  • 23-Under, Mankato / North Mankato, Aug. 19-21
  • Masters East, Niagara Falls, NY, Aug. 26-28
  • Masters Midwest, Quad Cities, Sept. 9-11
  • Masters West, Carson City, NV, Sept. 16-18
  • NAFA CONTACT INFORMATION
    Benjie Hedgecock, Executive Director
    email: Nafafastpitch@gmail.com
    cell: 503-559-5398
    work: 503-864-4487
    fax: 503-864-3939
    P.O. Box 566
    Dayton, OR 97114

    Tin Cup of St. Paul Repeats As Rice Lake Invitational Tournament Champions

    Thursday, June 16th, 2016

    MinnCompBouley.371lrTyler Bouley of Tin Cup was selected to the all-tournament team at the Rice Lake Invitational Tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2014 NAFA World Series

    By RONN KOPP / NAFA President

    RICE LAKE, Wisc. – After falling 7-5 to Ostrander Images in the winner’s bracket final, defending champion Tin Cup of Saint Paul posted four wins in a row including a pair against the same Ostrander squad, 4-1 and 5-1, in the championship series to capture the top spot in the 38th annual Rice Lake Invitational Men’s Fastpitch Tournament held in conjunction with the city’s Aquafest celebration. It was the second straight Invitational crown for Tin Cup.

    The champs opened with a 6-0 win over Striker’s Lanes of Baldwin followed by a 6-2 triumph over the host team Rice Lake Orangemen to advance to their first confrontation with Ostrander. A 13-0 whitewashing of Odin Fastpitch of southwestern Minnesota paved the way for the championship rematch with Ostrander Images.

    The Images of southeastern Minnesota opened tourney play with a 13-6 triumph over Odin and a 9-8 win over Meister Dairy of Muscoda, Wisconsin to reach the winner’s final versus Tin Cup.

    Odin Fastpitch claimed third place honors and Striker’s Lanes finished fourth.

    The local Orangemen opened the tournament with a 8-0 win over Ben’s Northern Bar-Eagle Strategies of Luck and followed with a 10-1 victory over Len’s Automotive of Saint Paul. After the 6-2 loss to Tin Cup an 11-2 defeat at the hands of Odin Fastpitch eliminated the Rice Lake squad from further play.

    Also taking part in the tourney were Wisconsin entries Animal House of La Crosse, C.J.’s Bar-Pleasantville Lions of Whitehall, and Dugout Bar & Grill of Cushing. A 12th team, 18-year entry Sawdust City of Eau Claire, withdrew just prior to the start of the event.

    ORDER OF FINISH

    1. Tin Cup, St. Paul MN 5-1
    2. Ostrander Images, Ostrander MN 3-3
    3. Odin Fastpitch, Odin MN 5-2
    4. Striker’s Lanes, Baldwin WI 4-2
    5. Orangemen, Rice Lake WI 2-2
    Meister Dairy, Muscoda WI 1-2
    7. Animal House, La Crosse WI 1-3
    Dugout Bar & Grill, Cushing WI 1-3
    9. C.J.’s Bar-Pleasantville Lions, Whitehall WI 2-2
    Len’s Automotive, St. Paul MN 1-3
    11. Ben’s Northern Bar-Eagle Strategies, Luck WI 0-3

    GAME BY GAME RESULTS

    1. C.J.’s Bar-Pleasantville Lions 3, Dugout Bar and Grill 2
    2. Orangemen 8, Ben’s Northern Bar-Eagle Strategies 0
    3. Striker’s Lanes 6, Animal House 2
    4. Ostrander Images 13, Odin Fastpitch 6
    5. Meister Dairy 11, C.J.’s Bar-Pleasantville Lions 8
    6. Orangemen 10, Len’s Automotive 1
    7. Tin Cup 6, Striker’s Lanes 0
    8. Odin Fastpitch 7, Ben’s Northern Bar-Eagle Strategies 6
    9. C.J.’s Bar-Pleasantville Lions 11, Animal House 3
    10. Len’s Automotive 7, Dugout Bar and Grill 0 (forfeit)
    11. Animal House 5, Ben’s Northern Bar-Eagle Strategies 4
    12. Striker’s Lanes 7, Len’s Automotive 6
    13. Dugout Bar and Grill 7, C.J.’s Bar-Pleasantville Lions 6
    14. Odin Fastpitch 2, Len’s Automotive 1
    15. Striker’s Lanes 7, Animal House 1
    16. Odin Fastpitch 5, Dugout Bar and Grill 4
    17. Ostrander Images 9, Meister Dairy 8
    18. Tin Cup 6, Orangemen 2
    19. Striker’s Lanes 8, Meister Dairy 4
    20. Odin Fastpitch 11, Orangemen 2
    21. Ostrander Images 7, Tin Cup 5
    22. Odin Fastpitch 5, Striker’s Lanes 2
    23. Tin Cup 13, Odin Fastpitch 0
    24. Tin Cup 4, Ostrander Images 1
    25. Tin Cup 5, Ostrander Images 1

    ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
    PITCHER – Justin Davis, Odin Fastpitch
    PITCHER – Grady Wold, Stiker’s Lanes
    CATCHER – Tyler Bouley, Tin Cup
    CATCHER – Travis Thompson, Orangemen
    INFIELD – Sam Nieman, Tin Cup
    INFIELD – Brandon Meiners, Ostrander Images
    INFIELD – Luke King, Ostrander Images
    INFIELD – Brandon Friedrichs, Odin Fastpitch
    INFIELD – Mike Groch, Rice Lake Orangemen
    OUTFIELD – Brett Legler, Ostrander Images
    OUTFIELD – Mark Mohar, Odin Fastpitch
    OUTFIELD – Miles Helgeson, Striker’s Lanes
    OUTFIELD – J.W. Dachel, Bol’s Lanes
    DESIGNATED BATTER – Hepa Monk, Tin Cup
    UTILITY – Matt Stuhr, Rice Lake Orangemen
    MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Pita Rona (pitcher-centerfielder), Tin Cup
    Ronn Kopp – ronnkopp@charter.net

    12 TEAMS TO COMPETE IN 38th RICE LAKE AQUAFEST INVITATIONAL MEN’S FASTPITCH TOURNAMENT

    Saturday, June 11th, 2016

    rice.lake.8web Men’s fastpitch action takes place at the 38th Annual Rice Lake Invitational Men’s Fastpitch Tournament, June 10-12, in Rice Lake, Wisc. Photo By BOB OTTO

    By RONN KOPP / NAFA President

    RICE LAKE, Wisc. – Eight teams from Wisconsin and four from Minnesota make up the roster of teams for the 38th Rice Lake Invitational Men’s Fastpitch Tournament to be held June 10-12, once again as part of the city’s Aquafest celebration.

    Defending champion Tin Cup of St. Paul returns as does last year’s runner-up Ostrander Images of Ostrander, Minnesota. Len’s Automotive of St. Paul is once again in the tourney field while Odin Fastpitch of Odin, Minnesota makes its initial Aquafest Tournament appearance.

    The Rice Lake Orangemen, the only team to have played in all 37 previous events, will once again serve as host team.

    Other Wisconsin entries include Saw Dust City of Eau Claire, Animal House La Crosse, Striker’s Lanes of Baldwin, C.J.’s Bar-Pleasantville Lions of the Whitehall-Pleasantville area, Dugout Bar and Grill of Cushing, Ben’s Northern Bar of Luck, and 2015 NAFA class A national runner-up Meister’s Dairy of Muscoda.

    Play begins Friday evening at Rice Lake’s Tate Park with games at 7:30 and 9:00 p.m. and continues all day Saturday with opening games at 9:30 a.m. and Sunday starting at 9:00 a.m. The event concludes early Sunday evening.

    Ronn Kopp
    ronnkopp@charter.net

    38th Annual RICE LAKE INVITATIONAL MEN’S FASTPITCH TOURNAMENT

    Thursday, January 28th, 2016

    Bowen vs Rude Pac.39web

  • Dates:
  • June 10-12, 2016

  • Location:
  • Fred Tate Memorial Park Rice Lake WI

  • Announcement:
  • Tournament Director Loren A. “Fab” Lathrop has announced that the Rice Lake Invitational Men’s Fastpitch Tournament has been moved one week ahead of its traditional Fathers Day weekend and will again be part of the city’s Aquafest celebration.

    Ronn Kopp – ronnkopp@charter.net
    Wisconsin NAFA

    St. Paul Tin Cup Captures Championship of 37th Rice Lake Invitational

    Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
    Joel Cooley pitched Tin Cup of St. Paul  to the championship of the 37th Annual Rice Lake Invitational Men's Fastpitch Tournament and was selected to the all-tournament team. Photo By BOB OTTO /  2014 NAFA World Series

    Joel Cooley pitched Tin Cup of St. Paul to the championship of the 37th Annual Rice Lake Invitational Men’s Fastpitch Tournament and was selected to the all-tournament team. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2014 NAFA World Series

    By Ronn Kopp / NAFA President
    ronnkopp@charter.net
    Wisconsin NAFA
    NAFA National Website

    RICE LAKE, Wisc. – Riding the right arm of Joel Cooley and the hitting of Dave Marchio and Tyler Bouley, Tin Cup of St. Paul reeled off four consecutive victories and captured the championship of the 37th annual Rice Lake Invitational Men’s Fastpitch Tournament held during Father’s Day weekend at Fred Tate Memorial Park. Six teams from Wisconsin and five from Minnesota comprised the field of teams for the event.

    The champs opened play by blanking last year’s third place finisher La Crosse Classic 8-0 and followed by whitewashing Dugout Bar and Grill of Cushing 7-0. A 4-3 10 inning win over fellow Gopher state entry Ostrander propelled the St. Paul squad to the championship contest.

    Tyler Bouley of Tin Cup belted a two-run homer to help the St. Paul team beat Ostrander, 4-3, in the title game. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2014 NAFA World Series

    Tyler Bouley of Tin Cup belted a two-run homer to help the St. Paul team beat Ostrander, 4-3, in the title game. Photo By BOB OTTO / 2014 NAFA World Series

    A two-for-three hitting performance by Marchio and a two-run home run by Bouley powered Tin Cup to a second 4-3 triumph over Ostrander in the title game.

    Ostrander opened play by edging the defending champion Orangemen of the host city 2-1. They followed with respective 12-2 and 10-4 wins over Harley Davidson of Lewiston, Minnesota and Len’s Automotive of St. Paul.

    After falling to Tin Cup in the winner’s bracket final the southeastern Minnesota club outlasted Striker’s Lanes of Baldwin 10-9 to earn their spot in the championship showdown.

    Striker’s Lanes claimed third place honors and Dugout Bar and Grill finished fourth. Also taking part in the tourney were Wisconsin entries Sawdust City of Eau Claire and Highway 53 Bar of Whitehall along with Minnesota Computers of St. Paul.

    ORDER OF FINISH

    1. Tin Cup, St. Paul MN 4-0
    2. Ostrander, Ostrander MN 4-2
    3. Striker’s Lanes, Baldwin WI 6-2
    4. Dugout Bar and Grill, Cushing WI 2-2
    5. Minnesota Computers, St. Paul MN 3-2
    Len’s Automotive, St. Paul MN 1-2
    7. Harley Davidson, Lewiston, MN 1-3
    Orangemen, Rice Lake WI 1-4
    9. Sawdust City, Eau Claire 1-2
    La Crosse Classic, La Crosse WI 1-2
    11. Highway 53 Bar, Whitehall WI 0-3

    GAME BY GAME RESULTS

    1. Striker’s Lanes 15, Sawdust City 5
    2. Ostrander 2, Orangemen 1
    3. Minnesota Computers 12, Highway 53 Bar 1
    4. Len’s Automotive 9, Striker’s Lanes 6
    5. Ostrander 12, Harley Davidson 2
    6. Dugout Bar and Grill 10, Minnesota Computers 6
    7. Tin Cup 8, La Crosse Classic 1
    8. Sawdust City 7, Harley Davidson 5
    9. La Crosse Classic 3, Highway 53 Bar 1
    10. Striker’s Lanes 3, Orangemen 0
    11. Striker’s Lanes 7, Highway 53 Bar 0
    12. Minnesota Computers 8, Orangemen 7
    13. Harley Davidson 8, La Crosse Classic 7
    14. Orangemen 9, Sawdust City 4
    15. Ostrander 10, Len’s Automotive 4
    16. Tin Cup 7, Dugout Bar and Grill 0
    17. Striker’s Lanes 8, Orangemen 2
    18. Minnesota Computers 11, Harley Davidson 9
    19. Striker’s Lanes 8, Len’s Automotive 5
    20. Dugout Bar and Grill 4, Minnesota Computers 1
    21. Tin Cup 4, Ostrander 3 (10 innings)
    22. Strikers’ Lanes 10, Dugout Bar and Grill 0
    23. Ostrander 10, Striker’s Lanes 8 (9 innings)
    24. Tin Cup 4, Ostrander 3

    ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM

    PITCHER – Joel Cooley, Tin Cup
    PITCHER – Kevin Kammeuller, Ostrander
    CATCHER – Jeremy Dagstad, Dugout Bar and Grill
    CATCHER – Tyler Bouley, Tin Cup
    INFIELD – Ryan Scheevel, Ostrander
    INFIELD – Luke King, Ostrander
    INFIELD – J.R. Dachel, Striker’s Lanes
    INFIELD – Jason Bohl, Striker’s Lanes
    OUTFIELD – Dave Reiter, Tin Cup
    OUTFIELD – Al Lang, Harley Davidson
    OUTFIELD – Joe Reinert, Minnesota Computers
    OUTFIELD – Rob Krecji, Striker’s Lanes
    OUTFIELD – J.W. Dachel, Striker’s Lanes
    OUTFIELD – Scott Emerson, Orangemen
    MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Dave Marchio, Tin Cup

    For the love of the game

    Monday, June 15th, 2015
    Loren Lathrop has served as NAFA Vice President of The Midwest since 1993, and 37 years as the tournament director of the Rice Lake Invitational Men's Fastpitch Tournament.

    Loren Lathrop has served as NAFA Vice President of The Midwest since 1993, and 37 years as the tournament director of the Rice Lake Invitational Men’s Fastpitch Tournament.

    Rice Lake man has devoted much of his life to men’s and boys’ fastpitch, raising the sport to new levels in Wisconsin, nationally and internationally.

    RICE LAKE, Wisc. – Loren Lathrop has been described as tenacious and passionate, a crusader and a promoter. When it comes to fastpitch softball, those attributes fit Lathrop perfectly.

    For over 50 of his 71 years, Lathrop has been at the forefront of men’s fastpitch in his home state of Wisconsin and on the international scene with the North American Fastpitch Association (NAFA).

    “He is tenacious in promoting men’s fastpitch,” said NAFA President Ronn Kopp, allied with Lathrop in revitalizing the sport in Wisconsin. “He spends whatever time it takes to make Wisconsin NAFA events the highest quality ever. His willingness to make phone call after phone call recruiting teams to sanctioned tournaments is remarkable.”

    Click to continue reading “For the love of the game”