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Fastpitch powerhouses showcase talent in

North St. Paul


By Don Bowman


The state’s top AA girls’ fastpitch teams gathered at the prestigious North St. Paul Polar Invitational a couple of weeks ago, only to get short changed by rain after the tournament’s first day of action. Well, three weeks later, most of the tournament’s games were made up, illustrating that Eagan, Hastings and Burnsville should be the teams to beat in the postseason!

In the tournament’s biggest game, No. 1 rated Eagan knocked off then-No. 2 North St. Paul in a battle of the titans, 8-4. After a round robin format, Eagan, Hastings and Burnsville each posted perfect 3-0 records to garner co-championship honors for these varsity powerhouses!

This year’s postseason and state tournament action should have the most parity in talent in the last several years, with no clear cut favorite!


No WSL events slated for Minnesota

It seems that the World Softball League (WSL), and this state’s ASA, due to indifferences, will not be hosting any WSL events any time soon in Minnesota. The WSL, meanwhile, is flourishing in other states, and still will be hosting the annual WSL North American Nationals Championships in Panama City, Fla., again this September. For more information, go to Hopefully these two forces can patch things up for the sake of the game sometime soon, as they both need each other!


Gopher fastpitch finishes season

The University of Minnesota women’s fastpitch team held on for a 10-9 win over Wisconsin, before succumbing to No. 18 Illinois 10-0, to finish the last week of the season. Finishing the season 16-37 and in sole possession of last place, has to have Gopher AD Joel Maturi scratching his head for answers.


Kevitt/Combat wins title in Blaine

Kevitt Excavating steamrolled to a championship win last weekend by double dipping Blue Line Softball in the finals of the USSSA World Class ‘C’ NIT held in Blaine. The ‘Diggers’ avenged a first round loss to Blue Line in going the distance for the championship win. Another Class ‘C’ powerhouse, C&A, coached by the legendary Bill Dehkes (just ask him!), battled back from an early loss to grab third-place honors in this outstanding tournament. Dan “Yo-Yo” Yochum, pitcher extrordinaire, was tabbed the tournament’s most valuable player!


Mr. D’s captures crown in Red Wing

Led by Chaun, don’t call me Sean, DeMars, Mr. D’s Softball Club won the big payout at the Treasure Island 6’s Open Division tourney in Red Wing last weekend! After getting tooled by arch rival BBS/Johnny’s in the opening round, Mr. D’s came back in style for the championship win. BBS is a hard hitting squad featuring the likes of Matt Kelsey, Jeff Thompson and Jimmy Thurman, some of the top players ever to play in this state. Good luck to Seth Brown, another of this state’s best, who separated his shoulder during the tournament, and is expected to be out about a month.


Dehn Bros. earns World berth

In yet another World NIT, this time in men’s Class ‘D’ USSSA play, Dehn Bros. Painting continued their sizzling play to win the D World berth at BeBops and a ticket to ride to the Class D Worlds at Disneyworld come September. Dehn Bros., fresh off their national invitational berth win at the Dudley Earlybird on April 25, has now laid claim to the No. 1 rated ‘D’ spot in the state! Good luck at worlds!


Vitcak leads EWS Softball Club

One of Minnesota’s top slowpitch players, Andy Vitcak, has made a name for himself at the national level. Vitcak led his Illinois based EWS Softball Club to a second-place finish at the USSSA Major NIT in Columbus, Ind., last weekend, only to lose in the finals to nationally-ranked PIPAC in the finals. Vitzak’s outstanding play earned him a spot on the all tourney team in Indiana, in an event that was bolstered by some of the top A and B teams in the nation! Two other Minnesotans, Dustin Palm and Tim Nelson, also on the EWS roster, did not make the trip.


Minnesota umps work in Columbus

Speaking of the Columbus NIT, several of this state’s top slowpitch umpires were chosen to work the event. They included Mike Fluegge, Mike Ellenz, Cathy Hoffman and more. Congrats to the men and women in red who represented this state so well!


Nordkamp wins ASA tournament

Nordkamp topped the gritty Defiant/Imperial team to win the big ASA tourney in Red Wing last weekend. One of top Class ‘C’ teams in the state, Defiant/Imperial Room Softball finished second in the talent-laden Treasure Island 6’s Wild tourney in Red Wing, looking good. AARP card carrying pitcher Brooks McLeod, at 50 something, carried the team on his back to earn runner-up honors!


LPS/LPB Bat Review underway

The 2010 Lets Play Softball/Baseball Bat Review/Contest is now underway! In late June LPS/LPB, will announce the champions for this year’s 2010 bat(s) of the year! Categories include: 1.20 bats (USSSA), 98 MPH bats (ASA), Fastpitch bats, Senior bats, and last but not least, Baseball bats! Bat reps may call Don at 651-208-3909 for more information. Just a reminder that June 15 is the deadline to submit demos. Good luck to all manufacturers!