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Softball and baseball’s favorite newspaper since 1987

It’s rock ‘em, sock ‘em time at the Dudley!


By Don Bowman


It’s that time of year again for the greatest softball show on earth, the Dudley Classic! Get there early, because the top softball players in the land will be struttin their stuff June 15-17 at Central Park/Evergreen Fields in Brooklyn Center! Over 7,500 fans are expected at the event over three days.

While the tourney championship is always up for grabs, look for the big three in major softball – Laservision, Resmondo and Team Combat – to duke it out for the title on Sunday. My pick for this one: Laservision in a slugfest win on Sunday!

The 30th edition of the Dudley will feature 32 teams with proceeds from the tournament going to the Brooklyn Center Crime Prevention Fund. There will be a special Veterans Ceremony on Friday night at 6:45 p.m., entitled “For the Fallen.”


454 Worth wins Windy City NIT

454 Worth won the Windy City/Joliet Major NIT in Illinois last weekend, with a thrilling double dip win over Laservision. Sadly, 454 will not be at the Dudley this weekend, claiming ‘high airfares’ as the excuse. Local Andy Vitzak does much of the pitching for 454; it would have been nice if the team had a better budget. How you don’t put the Dudley on your schedule is ridiculous.


Resmondo wins Music City NIT

Resmondo captured the championship at the Music City Major NIT in Tennessee a couple of weeks ago, finishing with a 6-1 mark. Laservision again finished in the bridesmaid role. Resmondo’s Howie Krause, Jr. was tabbed tournament MVP, while Minnesotans Scott Brown (Team Combat) and Scott Strieble (Resmondo) were named to the all tournament team.


Combat hosts Dudley Home Run Derby

Scott Brown and Combat Sports again provided area softball fans with a lot of great entertainment in hosting his annual pre-Dudley Classic Home Run Contest at the BeBops Sports Complex in Blaine on Thursday night. Seventy-two players, 36 elite players plus 36 locals, were paired up to play in the event with over a $1,000 prize package being offered! The bikini contest didn’t suck too much either! Thanks to Scott and Combat for putting this show on, the players had a blast!


Stillwater gallops to fastpitch title

The Stillwater Ponies stunned the MSHSL fastpitch world and knocked off Maple Grove 6-2 in winning the 2012 big school state fastpitch tourney in Mankato last weekend. Despite a mediocre regular season, pitcher Heather Heacox got on a roll and never looked back in guiding the Ponies.


Minnesota umps shut out at Dudley

Again this year the USSSA corporate offices will be flying a three-man crew of umpires to work all the ‘big games’ including the semi’s, undefeated and championship games. Minnesota umpires, who are as qualified as any in the land, are shut out again. Their roles this season are to work the foul lines, crowd control, cleaning the portable toilets and just trying to stay out of the way of the chosen few. Evidently, all calls will be correct again this year ... sad.


Bat Reviews/Contest now underway

The Let’s Play Softball Bat Reviews/Contest is now underway! All the great bats for 2012 are being tested and reviewed with the results and a champion being announced in early July! Among the contestants expected: Combat, DeMarini, Easton, Miken, Mizuno, Reebok, TPS/Louisville Slugger, Worth and more!


Heads up!

Our prayers go out to a young baseball player in Joliet last weekend who while shagging balls at the tournament, misjudged a home run ball and was seriously hurt. He was airlifted to nearby hospital and is recovering. A reminder to keep your head on a swivel at this tournament, missiles will be flying everywhere!


Nordap wins Combat NIT

Nordkap/Easton (UT) won the Combat Major NIT in Seattle the first weekend of June, defeating West Coast (CA) in the finals. Anthony Dress (MN) was named to the all-tournament team, while MN Class B powerhouse Xtreme/Combat finished a respectable fifth, going 4-2!


Little Canada Invite champions

Golden Gopher fastpitch player Erica Meyer (Mounds View), guided her 14U Mounds View fastpitch club to the championship win at the Little Canada Invitational Tourney last weekend. Other area youth fastpitch winners were: Lakeville 12U (Little Canada Invitational), and Stillwater 12u (White Bear Lake Invitational).


Prayers go to the Botof family

Our condolences go out to area senior softball player Tim Botof and his family, who’s mother passed away in a car accident earlier this month.


Senior Softball NIT hits Rochester

The SSUSA 10,000 Lakes Senior Softball NIT will take place this weekend at McQuillan Park in Rochester. Director Steve Simmons expects nearly 32 teams from throughout the Midwest to participate, with all teams qualifying for the 2012 Worlds in Las Vegas in September.