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Corky’s Earlybird will draw 125 teams!

  

By Don Bowman

 

Every hotel, farm-house and park bench will be taken for this weekend’s Corky’s Earlybird Classic in Owatonna, as nearly 125 teams are expected! With a GREAT prize package, live music and concessions set up, this trip is worth the drive to take in all the great action!

Among the favorites expected to challenge for the open division championship are: Sonny’s (WY), T 13’s (NE), BBS Softball (MN) and my favorite new team nickname, the Bra Snappers, also out of the gopher state (MN).

 

Gopher softball splits with Spartans

The Golden Gophers women’s softball club split a pair last weekend with Michigan State winning 6-3 on Saturday, before bowing on Sunday to the Spartans 12-2. Both games were played in very brisk weather, they were lucky to get the games in at all.

Pacing the Gophers in their Saturday victory were slugger Kari Dorle (North St. Paul), who went 2-3 with three RBI, and had a nice defensive play at the plate. On the hill, super freshman Sarah Mouton (Eagan) won yet another, pitching the U of M to a 6-3 win.

Next up, the Gophers go on the road, with a twin bill at Northwestern on May 4 before heading over to Illinois on May 7 and 8 for two more. The Gophers now sport a 28-20 record heading to this week’s play, and are still in contention for a Big Ten conference tourney spot at 6-7.

 

Resmondo, GTL win USSSA Major NITs

Two Major NITs (USSSA) were held this past weekend, one in Kansas and one in Arizona. Top-rated Resmondo/Worth went undefeated in claiming the title of the Tunney/Worth Classic (KS), defeating Sonny’s of Wyoming, 44-27 in the finals. Minnesotan Scott Striebel of  Resmondo was named to the all-tournament team. Sonny’s, incidently, will be making an appearance at Corky’s Earlybird this weekend in Owatonna.

Meanwhile in Arizona at the Cactus Classic, Minnesotan Anthony Dress of GTL/Cartel (No. 2 rated), led his club to a 44-27 championship win over RFC (Kansas).

 

Rain wreaks havoc in North St. Paul

The weather jinx has haunted everybody to some degree this spring, but probably nowhere worse than in North St. Paul. The prestigious Polar Fast Pitch Classic, which boasted some of the top teams in Minnesota and Wisconsin, had to be halted after the first round of play due to heavy rain. In addition to the “Classic,” a freshman tourney had to be canceled on April 9, and a JV tourney was nipped in the bud due to weather on April 16 as well ... that’s tough luck!

Among the top teams that got the opening round in, Hastings topped North St. Paul 4-2, Eagan clubbed Irondale 12-6, and Jefferson shut out a tough Stillwater club 3-0.

 

Long Haul Bombers tour set to begin

Softball long ball enthusiasts beware, the Long Haul Bombers tour kicks off in Miami on May 22! The tour plans stops in nearly 16 major league ballparks, including beautiful Target Field (Minneapolis) on July 1, before it concludes for the finals at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on September 18.

If you haven’t seen these guys launch softballs before, check out the action in downtown Minneapolis on July 1, and/or on cable and satellite TV outlets Fox Sports North and ESPN!

Last year’s champion, Chris Larson of Team DeMarini, will have a new partner in Kevin Filby who can really smash it as well. In 2010, Larson’s partner was Red Wing native Geno Buck, who allegedly was “left on the porch” this year and not able to agree to a contract with the promoters.

Team Easton will have Brett Helmer and Brian Wegman; TPS is represented by Tim Cocco and JD Genter; Miken will have former champ Denny Crine and Jeremy Isenhower; and Worth’s dynamic duo will be BJ Fulk and Greg Connell.

 

Xtreme/Combat wins C/D title

Despite freezing temperatures, a cold rain, and weather delays over three hours, several of the state’s top men’s C and D teams battled for a USSSA World NIT berth this past weekend. Xtreme/Combat captured the championship with Outpost taking second, All Star Sports/EAI finishing third and Compass Commercial Flooring taking fourth.

 

Fastpitch tournaments on the horizon

Several youth fastpitch tournaments are on the horizon. They include: the Woodbury ‘Wildpitch’ tourney May 7-8, the MN Sting Open in St. Paul also on May 7-8, the Eastview open on May 20-21, the Little Canada Classic on June 4-5 and the White Bear Lake Invitational on June 11-12. For more information, go to fastsports.com and click on Minnesota tournaments!

 

Eddie Brandt to retire this summer

Popular long-time softball umpire administrator/assigner Eddie Brandt of St. Paul Municipal Athletics is looking to retire sometime this summer. This guy has put more pork and beans on the plates of umpires than anyone in the business, and will be hard to replace! Look for fast Eddie to stay active as a major league baseball scout during his spare time as a “retiree.”

 

Bat Review Contest back again

The always popular Let’s Play Softball Bat Review Contest is coming soon! Our annual feature depicting the top slow pitch, fastpitch and baseball bats around the country will be featured in our coming issues! Stay tuned for information on all the HOT bats to buy, and for information on the best prices!