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Hastings, Cretin-Derham Hall win fastpitch titles

 

By Don Bowman

 

High school softball complexes across the state have been extremely busy the last few weeks, hosting several top notch varsity level fastpitch extravaganzas.

At the prestigious North St. Paul Polar Classic, on April 24-25, the stateís top four powerhouses battled it out for state supremacy! When the dust settled, the Hastings Raiders were the only team standing, as they defeated a talented Burnsville Blaze club 2-0 for the championship. Other solid performers included: Eagan, the defending big school state champions (third place), and top 5 ranked North St. Paul (consolation champions).

The following week, not to be outdone, the Tartan Titans hosted their annual Titan Invitational at Walton Park in Oakdale. The Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders were the team to beat in this one, as they went undefeated and nipped a gritty St. Francis Saints ballclub 1-0 in a thriller to win championship laurels. Tartan won the consolation championship, as they outslugged New Prague 8-7 to pick up the trophy.

 

Jeb Drywall, Tital Apparel crowned

The Dudley Earlybird Classic National Qualifier, the stateís longest running USSSA National Qualifier, crowned two champions on April 25-26. Jeb Drywall of Champlin Park overcame a strong effort from Priority/Vehitech to win the menís Class D berth 12-4. In womenís play, Titan Apparel of Little Canada stormed the field, went undefeated and knocked off the Wreckers to win the womenís Class C national berth. Both teams will represent Minnesota at the nationals on Labor Day weekend! A big thanks goes out to DUDLEY SPORTS, and BeBops (Dan and Mike ďthe field guruĒ) for their generous support!

 

Resmondo wins Gateway Classic

The Gateway Classic (Mo.) Major World Series Qualifier was a thriller this past weekend! Resmondo/Specialty Tank/Worth (Fla.) double dipped a surprising Bud Light/TPS team (Ill.), 41-23 and 37-15, to avenge a 45-40 loss to Bud Light in the undefeated game, to take home championship honors. It was great weekend for TPS as they also knocked off former No. 1 rated Dan Smith/Combat (Calif.) 38-35 as well. Long Haul Trucking/Miken did not play in this one.

 

O&S Cattle/Povís hits No. 1

O&S Cattle/Povís has jumped to number one in the Lets Play Softball rankings after an outstanding performance in the past weekendís Corkyís Earlybird Classic in Owatonna, Minn. The championship in this one was very interesting as well, as O&S had to overcome a stubborn Sioux Nation ballclub, who gave O&S all they could handle , before succumbing 11-10. Finishing third in the open division was Viessman Trucking, while Theraldson (N.D.) grabbed fourth and Hoffman placed fifth.

In the competitive menís Tier II division at Corkyís, congratulations go out to Blue Line Collision who came home champions as well.

Huge crowds and a great tournament field were on hand for this one, which once again proves why this event is one of the premier tournaments in the Midwest.

 

Donnie Klatt passes away

The slowpitch softball community lost a great asset two weeks ago, when Hall of Famer Donnie Klatt of Osseo passed away suddenly at age 58. Nobody loved the game of softball more than Donnie, as he was a landmark at softball fields throughout the metro area, 24/7! Donnie was part of the hard hitting/slick fielding brother duo with Ronnie Klatt, and was just inducted into the Hall of Fame this past year. He was also a member of national championship teams with the highly successful Minnesota Masters Softball Club, and played on several state championship teams, too numerous to remember. Our heartfelt prayers go out to the Klatt family. Donnie, we will miss you!

 

Senior teams set for Mosquitoland

Twenty four of the Midwest Ďs top senior menís slowpitch clubs, will partake in the 11th Annual SPA Mosquitoland Slow Pitch Classic May 28-31, at Pioneer Park in Little Canada. The Viagra will be flowing as there will be teams playing in 50ís, 55ís, 60ís, 65ís and 70ís divisions! Last year, teams from Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Bemidji and more played in this outstanding event. For more info, call 651-490-0045. Tournament entry deadline is May 15.

 

Gopher women swept by Illini

The Gophers womenís fastpitch clubís postseason chances took a big hit, when they were swept by the Illinois team at Cowles Stadium last weekend. This team needs a serious overhaul if they hope to contend for Big Ten title any time soon.

 

Fundraising opportunity

Hall of Famer Mick Ritter, who starred with some of the stateís top ball clubs during his heyday in the 70ís and 80ís, has a GREAT fundraising plan set up for groups who are trying to raise some funds! Face to Face Solutions, in partnership with the Minneapolis Star Tribune, makes it fast and easy for anybody to raise money for their favorite organization! Visit their site at www.facetofacesolutions.org for more information on this outstanding venture. This would be a great way for a youth baseball/softball organization to raise some badly needed money.

 

LPS Bat Contest slated for June

The 2009 Lets Play Softball Bat Contest is slated for June! Look for more updates in Letís Play Softball soon! Each year the very BEST of softball bats are tested and reviewed to help you, the softball enthusiast, know what choices you have when purchasing a softball bat. This year, there are some incredible new models out there to choose. See more on the contest in our next issue!