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MN Vets College Showcase displays area talent


By Don Bowman


The 2010 Minnesota Vets College Fast Pitch Showcase was another great success this past weekend in White Bear Lake! Teams from Nebraska, Wisconsin and Minnesota played in this tremendous softball event in an effort to showcase their skills for several collegiate coaches who were on hand to view this spectacle.

The defending champion, Diamond Devils Softball Club out of Mounds View, was back and better than ever, in claiming a 2-0 championship win over Spring Lake Park in the girls 18A bracket. The Devils, coached by Frank Roth (Mounds View Mustangs), beat the Panthers in a hard-fought duel with Spring Lake Park all-state pitcher Sara DuPaul. DuPaul, by the way, is heading to the Golden Gophers softball club this fall, and should be a welcome addition not only on the mound, but at the plate as well!


Vets Classic results


Champion†††† Diamond Devils

Runner-up††† Spring Lake Park



Champion†††† MN Twisters

Runner-up††† NE Metro



Champion†††† Hastings

Runner-up††† Hudson

Third Place†† North St. Paul



Champion†††† Spring Lake Park

Runner-up††† MN Synergy

Third Place†† Tartan


Hats off to tournament director Gary Moos (St. Agnes) and his staff for another SUPER weekend of fast pitch, with proceeds going to help servicemen and women fighting for our country abroad!


Dudley Classic round-up

The Dudley/Bud/Easton Classic NIT was another crowd pleaser in Brooklyn Center on Fatherís Day weekend, with the weather being perfect! Toprated Resmondo/Specialty Tank/PhoneMasters (FL) went undefeated, topping Dan Smith/Menosse/Chaney (CA) in the finals, while GTL Cartel/Worth grabbed third-place honors. Local slugger Scotty Striebel is still playing great ball and was a key performer for Resmondo.

Eighty-seven dozen softballs were used at the Dudley this year, with most of them landing in the marshy wetlands 400 feet from home plate at Central North Fields in Brooklyn Center. Hats off to parks and rec director/tourney grounds master Joe Erickson and his staff for having this ballpark in such BEAUTIFUL shape for this event! The PGA would love to play on a course that looked this good!


Local clubs shine at the Dudley

Several area softball clubs, particularly some menís class ĎCí powerhouses, put the nation on alert that they will be a threat for the World Championships this fall! Among the big wins at the Dudley, Elite beat AJS/Easton/Supreme/Mike Foulks/Mojo, Blue Line Collision/CRís/Blondies knocked off Aubreyís/TaylorMade/Mizuno and C&A/LJís/HMK slapped around Pipac/TCP/Easton. What made these results more impressive is that all three of the teams they beat were class ĎBí or above!

Later in the event C&A topped the No. 3 rated ĎBí team in the land, EWS/Shirts and Logos (IL), won four games overall and finished a very respectable ninth at the 2010 Dudley!


A Dudley dust-up

Rumor has it that a ĎPier 9í brawl erupted at a local pub during the Dudley Classic that featured members of as many as three separate teams playing in the Dudley. One local star, in an effort to break up one bout, was sucker punched by on outstate player, and had to be carted off on a gurney for medical attention. All three of the teams that were involved in the fisticuffs are scheduled to play in several more events together later this season. I donít think this one is over!


Blueline earns world berth

In a four-team playoff, Blue Line Collision/CRís/Blondies (MN) outlasted Elite, TC Longhorns and TAI Sports/Combat/Elite (CA) for the menís class ĎCí world berth at the Dudley.


OíNeil out as Suncoast manager

Scotty OíNeil, the veteran softball manager who has coached successful teams not only in Minnesota but across the country as well, is out as the manager of the Suncoast/Reebok team. From this viewpoint, the fault is not his but rather should be pointed to a team of underachievers whose lack of chemistry is the real problem.


Gopher softball coach wanted

Still no word on who will be the new coach for the Golden Gophers Big Ten softball club yet. Last year in this column, it was first written that St. Thomas coach John Tschida would be an ideal replacement. At the moment however, Tschida seems to be comfortable staying in his role as a Division III coach at the St. Paul-based school. He was spotted last weekend at an area fast pitch tournament scouting talent, and still wearing purple.


Tim McNiff, infielder extraordinaire

KARE 11 television anchor Tim McNiff was spotted playing some slick infield in a menís over-35 league in Little Canada this past spring!


Auto Rescue wins Summerfest title

Auto Rescuse went 6-0, and won the Summerfest Tournament in Oakdale this past weekend. Several area softball personalities were spotted at this event, which featured some very competitive softball teams. Accepting the championship trophy for Auto Rescue were Bill Dehkes and Kevin Zenk, who last teamed up to help coach the Showcase club to a world championship just a couple of years ago! These guys donít work cheap. Iím not sure what the price tag was to get these two in the Ďfoldí for this event.


Long Haul/Ancell wins in Rochester

The Long Haul/Ancell menís over-50 softball club won the Rochester SSUSA Invitational a few weeks ago, going undefeated. Jerry Otto Sr., a man that should be enshrined in the softball hall of fame very soon, had his team playing on all cylinders and played very impressively! The tournament field featured the top menís masters teams from Minnesota and Wisconsin as well, with Long Haul defeating the Milwaukee Merchants in the finals.

If Otto can keep this team away from motorcycles, tournament disbarment committees and the judicial system, this team could go ALL-THE-WAY!