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Reliving Memories of one of fastpitch softball’s greatest pitchers

Monday, May 15th, 2017

WITH THE GREATEST OF EASE
Roy Burlison of the St. Louis Browns flies through the air before delivering a pitch to the plate in last night’s (June 16, 1973) professional softball game at Koch Park. Burlison tossed his third straight shutout, whipping the Philadelphia Patriots, 8-0. St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photo By W. Thomas Stewart

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –Roy Burlison was one of the greatest fastpitch pitchers the sport has ever known. When his 27-year playing career came to an end in 1992, he had won over 770 games against the best teams in the world.

In 1997 he was inducted into the Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame for an arm’s length of accomplishments: nine times competing in the ASA national tournament; twice selected Most Valuable Pitcher, and twice leading his teams to runner-up in the national championship.

Burlison was also renowned as a coach, teaching hundreds of girls how to play the game the right way. But sadly on May 11, Burlison, 71, passed away (see Roller Homes obituary).

His fastpitch legacy will live on, however, in the girls he coached, and with the players he both played with and against in his long and distinguished career.

Let’s relive some of Burlison’s prowess with a stroll down memory lane…

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Midland County Sports Hall of Fame: Isenhart’s induction an honor to family, friends, fastpitch

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Midland Daily News
Joel Barnhart
sports@mdn.net
Monday, May 1, 2017
Read original story

MIDLAND, Mich. – To those who knew him best, the late Leland “Lee” Isenhart was an unselfish man who loved fastpitch softball and worked tirelessly to grow the game in Midland.

With his upcoming induction into the Midland County Sports Hall of Fame in a May 13 ceremony at Dow Diamond, the humble man who spent his life dedicated to helping others will be honored in a way he never would have asked for, but certainly deserved.

“I think everyone in the softball community around town thinks this is well-deserved,” said Eric Isenhart, one of five children of Lee and the late Mary Jane Isenhart, who were married for 58 years. “My dad did a lot getting fastpitch softball here. He and Lefty (Bartos) did so much for the game to keep it alive in Midland.”

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2017 George L. Cournoyer Sr. Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Expect plenty of fast-paced and exciting fastpitch action at the George L. Cournoyer Memorial Men’s Fastpitch Tournament. Photo By BOB OTTO

WAGNER, So. Dak. – The 20th Annual George L. Cournoyer Sr. Men’s Fastpitch Tournament will be held in Wagner, South Dakota, June 16-18.

For serious fastpitch teams, take note of the payout. It is impressive!

TOURNAMENT DETAILS

  • Dates: June 16, 17, 18
  • Location: Wagner, So. Dak. (Two hour drive west of Sioux Falls.)
  • Entry Fee: $400 plus one softball
  • Deadline: June 1, 2017
  • PAYOUT
    1st place $3,000 and Hoodies
    2nd place $2,000 and Hoodies
    3rd place $1,500 and Sweatshirts
    4th place $1,000 and Sweatshirts
    *All prize money is guaranteed*

    AWARDS

  • Most Valuable Player: Hoodie and Star Quilt
  • Second Base: Bat, Bag and Star Quilt
  • Ten All-Tournament Sweaters
  • CONTACT INFORMATION
    Nick Cournoyer (605) 469-5336
    Krystle Cournoyer (605) 481-2764
    Joey Cournoyer Sr. (605) 384-3068
    On Facebook: George Cournoyer Memorial Tournament

    McCarrie’s blast gives Budmen a walk-off in Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament

    Sunday, April 9th, 2017

    ROBERT McCARRIE had a game to remember for the Budmen of So. Calif. Down by a run with two out in the final inning with a man aboard, McCarrie blasted an inside-the-park home run to give his team a walk-off 10-9 victory over Wololok, Calif. in the A Division of the Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament, Saturday. Photo By BOB OTTO

    LAS VEGAS – Robert McCarrie has many years of fastpitch softball ahead of him. Years in which to create memories playing the grand old game.

    And what he did Saturday will surely be stashed away in his memory bank to savor after retires.

    In the bottom of the seventh with the Budmen of East Los Angeles down to their last out and trailing by a run, McCarrie came to the plate with a runner aboard. He needed to keep the inning alive. He needed to at least get on base any way possible.

    Well, McCarrie did more than that. He abruptly ended the game.

    “I got a rise ball,” he said. And did he ever jump on it.

    Click to continue reading “McCarrie’s blast gives Budmen a walk-off in Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament”

    Check out SCIFl website for up-to-date bracket results

    Saturday, April 8th, 2017

    LAS VEGAS – So. Calif. Independent Fastpitch League (SCIFL) President, Jesse Ortiz, who is also the tournament director for the Las Vegas Road Trip X tournament, is up-dating the the NAFA A, A-Major, and AA / AA-Major brackets as quickly as possible on the SCIFL website.

    THE DIRECT LINKS

    A Bracket
    A-Major Bracket
    AA / AA-Major Bracket

    TWO BIG GAMES Saturday feature Minnesota’s Marchio Sausage Co. vs. So. California’s J & B Painting in a AA-AA/Major semifinal takes place at Sunset Park (Field 11) at 1:15 p.m., followed by the Northeast Naturals taking on TJ Fastpitch of Mexico at 3 p.m.

    Come out to Sunset Park and Warm Springs Park softball fields to watch some top-caliber men’s fastpitch played by ball clubs from Mexico, Canada and the United States.

    Memorial tournament to honor Cecilio E. Smalling

    Monday, April 3rd, 2017

    CECILIO E. SMALLING will be remembered at a memorial tournament in his honor April 22-23 at Little Lake Park in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Photo Courtesy SCIFL

    To All Managers: SCIFL will be hosting its first annual Cecilio E Smalling Memorial Tournament on April 22 – 23, 2017 at Little Lake Park, Santa Fe Springs, CA.

    This tournament will have a round-robin format on Saturday followed by a single elimination on Sunday.

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    25th Anniversary of NAFA World Series Heads To North Dakota

    Saturday, April 1st, 2017

    Founded in 1993, NAFA will celebrate its 25th anniversary by holding its 2017 World Series at the new Northside Softball Complex in Fargo, North Dakota, Aug. 9-20.

    FARGO, N.D. – The North American Fastpitch Association was formed in 1993, offering a World Series for boys’ and men’s fastpitch softball teams of all skill levels.

    2017 marks the 25th year the organization has hosted championship tournaments in six divisions: Young men (age 23-under), Open, AA-Major, AA, A-Major and A. And new this year, will be a recreation division for ball clubs recent to the sport.

    The North Dakota cities of FargoWest Fargo and Moorhead, Minn. have the honor and are proud to host the event at its new softball facility: Northside Softball Complex.

    Click to continue reading “25th Anniversary of NAFA World Series Heads To North Dakota”

    Will to win boosts Craig Brown into Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame

    Saturday, November 26th, 2016
    Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame members, Dan Nessler, left, and Craig Brown, who were inducted in 2016, and Jeff Nessler, Dan's brother, who was inducted in 2004. Courtesy Photo

    Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame members, Dan Nessler, left, and Craig Brown, who were inducted in 2016, and Jeff Nessler, Dan’s brother, who was inducted in 2004. Courtesy Photo

    St. James, Minn. – His speed wind-milling a softball? Average. His spin to make it rise, drop or curve? Good but not great. His physical stature? Not imposing.

    Craig Brown may not have had all the physical tools to become a great fastpitch pitcher. But what Brown did have speaks to the internal rather than the external.

    Call it what you may: guts, drive, intense desire. As his former teammates would attest, Brown possessed the one quality all great athletes have: a relentless will to win.

    No one knew Brown any better than Dennis Johnson, St. James’ softball statistician, historian, and devoted fan of the town’s fastpitch teams.

    “He was an intense competitor,” said Johnson, who holds memberships in the International Softball Congress and Minnesota Softball Federation hall of fames. “He wanted to prove that he could beat the good teams and prove his skeptics wrong. That motivated him. He just hated to lose.”

    Click to continue reading “Will to win boosts Craig Brown into Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame”

    A Step Back In Time: the 1976 Casey Truckers

    Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

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    CASEY, IL – In 1976 the Casey Truckers hosted the ASA National Class A Invitational Tournament. I was lucky enough to be drafted to pitch for St. Paul Merchants. And while there, I got a Truckers official program.

    Looking through the program, I discovered that the Truckers were quite a team, and from 1963 to 1975 had a record of 695-329. The Truckers best year was 1973 when they finished 80-24 and were ASA Class A state champions along with finishing third in the national tournament.

    Click to continue reading “A Step Back In Time: the 1976 Casey Truckers”

    Santa Barbara Men’s Fastpitch Tournament in November

    Tuesday, October 4th, 2016
    Clyde Bennett will host a men's fastpitch tournament in beautiful Elings Park in Santa Barbara, Nov. 4-5. Photo By BOB OTTO

    Clyde Bennett will host a men’s fastpitch tournament in beautiful Elings Park in Santa Barbara, Nov. 4-5. Photo By BOB OTTO

    SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Tournament director Clyde Bennett is holding a men’s fastpitch tournament, Nov. 4-5, in Santa Barbara.

    “Im having a low key fastpitch tournament with a four-game guarantee,” said Bennett, tournament director of the Best of The West tournament for several years.

    THE DETAILS

  • Entry fee, $350.
  • Four-game guarantee
  • Phone numbers: home, 805-964-2114; cell 805-895-9007
  • Email: clydebennett50@gmail.com