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USA splits at Softball World Championships events


By Don Bowman


It was a bittersweet finish for the USA women’s and men’s softball teams in world championships this past week. The USA women’s fast pitch team, despite losing one game on the way to the title game, defeated Japan 5-1 in the finals of the World Cup of Softball played in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Jennie Finch, in her last game in the red/white/and blue, struck out 12 and allowed just three singles in the whipping of Japan. Finch, 29, who will retire after this last tournament, wants to spend more time with her young family.

The USA men’s slow pitch all-star team was shocked by Team Canada 30-29, in a gut-wrenching Border War match-up last week. The U.S. had Canada on the ropes in the seventh with two on and no outs, but did not get the job done in losing the battle of North American powerhouses. Scott Brown of Oakdale was a member of the USA team. He now plays for Dan Smith/Combat Softball out of California.


TC Longhorns win Fireman’s

The Bloomington Fireman’s Softball Classic had to battle heat and thunderstorms on July 16-18, but finished play with the TC Longhorns winning the 2010 championship in men’s open play. The Longhorns, a USSSA state powerhouse, had to overcome the No. 1 rated team in the state, Mr. D’s, in winning the 2010 championship trophy. All tourney utility man Geno Burdick Jr. even used his Andy Purcell ‘game worn’ softball glove, but it was not enough to ‘hook the horns’, and D’s had to settle for second place.

The tournament was played with a new ball, a synthetic Trump softball, and it had mixed reviews for the event, but was a necessity to keep the “ball in the yard” and keep the games on time. Once again, tourney director Jeff Barnes (#164) and his staff, put on a softball extravaganza that was second to none, and still has to be rated one of the very best softball tournaments in the nation!


Outpost claims Frolics title

Speaking of first class events, the Outpost men’s class C powerhouse, won the Crystal Frolics title, and along with it a $2,000+ championship check! Jim Wayda and his staff put on one of the best tourneys in the nation, along with a terrific fireworks and home run hitting contest to boot! The tournament also put on a 35 and over ‘Wood Bat’ tournament that was a big hit with the aging softball stars in the area.


Oakdale: Titletown

The City of Oakdale might now be known in softball circles as“Titletown” these days, after the city won state championships in girls 14U, 16U and 19U USSSA State Tournaments in the past two weeks! Credit goes to Oakdale youth softball director Gary Masterman, and city softball director Curt Russell, for all the work they put into the program!


MN Lawmen take second in nation

The talented MN Lawmen softball team had to settle for runner-up in national honors last month, as they got double dipped by the Ohio Lawmen in the finals of the National Lawmen Championships in Ohio. The MN squad is as good as it gets not only in ‘Lawmen play’, but these guys could just as easily compete in men’s ‘open play’ nationally.

The Ohio team was led by major softball star Rusty Bumgardner (North Carolina) in their championship run at this tournament. Our locals were not sure if it was the big budget of the Ohio team to get Rusty to play, or if maybe he was playing to work off some ‘community service’ after getting pulled over for a speeding ticket. Either way the ‘Tower of Power’ made a difference.


Bat contest/review another success

Let’s Play Softball would like to thank all the major bat manufacturers in the 2010 Let’s Play Softball Bat Contest/Review event. It was a huge success!


Kittenball Classic this weekend

The 28th Annual Little Canada Kittenball Softball Classic will be held July 31 and August 1 at Spooner Park in Little Canada. The 20-team field is sold out, but come out and check the bands, beer tents, and other entertainment for a great time! All proceeds go to support youth athletic programs in the area!

Speaking of Little Canada, the city is now taking requests for fall softball leagues beginning in mid August. Men’s D/E doubleheader leagues are played on Tues/Wednesday/Thursday nights, while the women’s C/E league is played on Tuesday nights. For more information, call 651-766-4041!


MN Masters go .500 at nationals

The MN Masters men’s 60’s team went 2-2 at the SPA (Softball Players Asscociation) National Championships in Dalton, Ga., two weeks ago.


Hall of Fame suggestions

The Hall of Fame softball committees in both ASA and USSSA are now taking applications for the 2011 HOF class of nominees. A couple of guys I think should be considered should be Dave Slack, Greg Schwab, Jerry Otto Sr., Jessie Adamez, among several other worthy candidates!