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Viessman Trucking captures 6ís Wild Classic


By Don Bowman


The stateís new No. 1 ranked menís B club, Viessman Trucking, topped the talent laden Anytime Fitness ball club, in the finals of the 6ís Wild ASA Tournament held May 14-15 at the Treasure Island softball complex. This tournament featured some the very best softball teams in the state, in what is fastly becoming one of Minnesotaís top events.

Viessman must of needed an armored truck to haul back $2,000 in cash winnings on the softball field at Treasure Island, which ainít nothing to sneeze at! In other divisions, Valley Sports won the menís C bracket while the Silverbacks brought home the bacon in menís D play. Veteran local umpires Alonzo Anthony and Steve Fischer, called em as they Ďheard em,í in the championship finals!


Gopher fastpitch wraps up season

The Golden Gophers womenís fastpitch club wrapped a solid 2011 season, with a dramatic 3-2 win over Illinois at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium on May 14. With the win, the Gophers finished the 2011 regular season with a much improved 31-24 mark overall, including a 9-11 record in the Big Ten.

This team, I believe, has laid the foundation for a much more competitive future, especially with freshman pitcher Sara Moulton coming back for three more years! This season, the righthander from Eagan was dominant and set Gopher records in many categories. Her final win/loss tally was 28-16, while teammates Malisa Barnes (.433) and Kari Dorle (9 HR) helped pace the U of M offensively.


Mike Greenlay pulls up lame

Minnesota Wild TV announcer Mike Greenlay was spotted grabbing not one, but two injured hamstrings while rounding third and trying to score a run in a not-so-competitive Woodbury menís slow pitch league a few weeks ago! Onlookers claim you could hear him yell in pain as far away as Cottage Grove!


Mosquitoland Classic this weekend

This weekendís SPA Mosquitoland Menís Senior Classic in Little Canada, will feature some of the top menís senior slow pitch teams in the nation! Menís 65ís, 70ís and 75ís play kicks of Thursday May 19, while menís 50ís-60ís will play on Saturday and Sunday. Teams from Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Bemidji and more will participate!


MN USSSA umps head to Indiana

MN USSSA sent a car loaded of their finest ďredĒ to umpire the prestigious USSSA Major NIT in Columbus, Ind., this past weekend. Minnesota is nationally recognized as having some of the top umpires in the land, so this is good to see that the tournament requested their services again this year. Among the umpires who worked the event were: recently named hall of famer Mike Ellenz, Reggie Jarrett, Mark Dahlenbach, Earl Ďthe judgeí Thompson and Steve ďThunderĒ Thornton, the wheel man.

Regrettably, the tournament was cancelled late Saturday night after a torrential downpour of rain, so the crew was only able to work into the semifinal games on Saturday night. On the good side, however, the crew did not run out of gas until just outside of Columbus on this go round on the way to the tournament. If you recall last year, this same crew ran out of gas just outside of St. Charles, Minnesota on the way to the tourney, so obviously they are getting MUCH better in attempting to read their gas gauge these days!


Bat testing in full swing

Speaking of Major Softball NITís, umpires are having to pull extra duties with all this bat testing going on now days at major events. In addition to umping the games, and putting up with all the usual chirping for two hours a game, they now have to take up to 20 bats per team/per game, in basket out to the field for each game. After the game, they have to recheck bats for any ďfoul playĒ as well, with players and coaches getting tossed should they get caught adding or taking a bat from the basket during the game as well. These guys earn their money!


Sonnyís wins Corkyís Open title

As predicted in this column, Sonnyís (WY) won the 2011 Corkyís Early Bird Open division last weekend in Owatonna. Also claiming championship booty were: Tryon Gym (SD) in menís tier II and Infinity (MN) in the menís tier III. Congratulations to all teams that participated!


Old Dogs wins USSSA Class D title

In menís class D USSSA tourney action last weekend at BeBops in Blaine, Old Dogs captured the championship with Urban Landworks taking second and Safe Money Solutions finishing third.


Tower Days set for June 10-12

The 2011 Tower Days softball tournament is slated for June 10-12 in Spring Lake Park. For info, call 612-250-6600!


Burnsville looks to defend state title

With the state high school fast pitch sectionals beginning this week, Burnsville, the defending state big school champs, will be hard to beat! Expected to give the Blaze a run for their money will be Hastings, North St. Paul and Jefferson, among others.


RIP Tim Hunt

Letís Play Softball would like to offer their sympathies to the family and friends of Tim Hunt of North St. Paul, who passed away suddenly, earlier this week. Tim played with long-time Eastside (St. Paul) powerhouse ďthe Whiz Kidsí in the 1970ís.