The Third Annual NSF North American Championships got started Friday evening at Sandquist Family Park in Cambridge when all-star mom Teresa Mauer threw out the ceremonial first pitch to wrestling standout and Cambridge native Tony Nelson. The weekend came to an exciting conclusion on Sunday evening with a string of championship contests.

In the
Men's DD/D bracket, Impact Technology out of Hewitt and the Pirates from Pierz faced off in the winner’s bracket final. The Pirates came out on top 14-10 to secure their spot in the championship game. In order to get their second chance at the Pirates, Impact Technology had to defeat the Young Bucks out of Albert Lea in the third place game. On the strength of an explosive nine run first inning, Impact was able to hold on for a 16-14 victory to find their way back in the championship mix. The two tournaments losses for Young Bucks were by a combined three runs. Impact Technology, needing two victories against the undefeated Pirates was able to do something no else had – keep the Pirates’ offense at bay. Impact forced the “if” game with a 10-3 win and backed it up with a 12-4 victory to seal the DD Championship. Danny Benning, Joey Gaida and Tim Zastrow were named to the All-Tournament Team for the champs. Cody Meyer and Chuck Boser were All-Tournament representatives for the Pirates. In the D championship game, Ringers from North Pine defeated Total Automotive Shockers (Inver Grove Heights) 8-5. The game starred two All-Tournament players: Bobby Gajewski (Ringers) and Matt Hanse (Total Automotive Shockers).

Men’s EE bracket title game featured Cambridge Collision and MCO out of Brainerd. Both teams were coming off state tournament victories, so the matchup had plenty of appeal. Cambridge Collision earned their way to the championship game through the winner’s bracket, while MCO had to fight all the way back – six consecutive wins to be exact – after being sent to the loss bracket by One-N-Only (Crookston). Cambridge Collision snapped MCO’s streak at six and went on to pull off the championship with a 9-7 victory. Kyle Grell, Kellen Kersten and Nick Hammond were named to the All-Tournament Team for Cambridge Collision. Eric Holmvig, Kyle Decent and Eddy Decent received the honor for MCO.

Women’s Tournament started off with pool play after which teams fell into their respective brackets. The opener for local representative Chaos was notable because they put up a whopping 27 runs, the most runs any team would score in a single game the entire weekend across all divisions. Campbell/Elfmann out of the Maple Lake league was the only team to play the entire weekend without a defeat. Campbell/Elfmann outlasted the Yellow Sox (Chisago County) in the semi-final 16-11, then showed their ability to win low scoring affairs as well with a 5-3 victory of Hanson/CJ’s/Andrie (Chisago County) in the C/DD championship game. Heidi Goelz, Emily Webb and Angel Stuhr were All-Tournament Team
honorees for Campbell/Elfmann. Hanson/CJ’s/Andrie had three All-Tournament members of their own – Kailey Hanson, Kasey Eichten and Darla Fehlandt. In the EE championship bracket, Ringers 2 out of North Pine defeated Dozers (Chisago County) by a score of 9-5.

2013 RECAP

Results are in, Champs are Crowned

The Second Annual NSF North American Championship results are in. The tournament took place at Bob Cross Park in Sauk Rapids over Labor Day Weekend. Sauk Rapids Softball Association President and longtime softball supporter Dennis Kenning kicked off the tournament with the ceremonial first pitch during Friday evening's Opening Ceremonies.

In the DD/D Bracket, a few early round upsets turned some heads. It appeared no matter the matchup, anyone was capable of winning any given game. Some of the most exciting games on the sun-soaked Saturday included Fountain Industries (Faribault, MN) edging Gampers (North Pine County, MN) 15-14, MN-Kota (Detroit Lakes, MN) outlasting Rison Homes/Ellingson Companies (Owatonna, MN) 23-22 and Young & Reckless (Pine River, MN) had a pair of three-run victories out of the gates. Perhaps no game on Saturday had fans more on the edge of their seats than the winners' bracket pairing between Stony Creek Dairy (Albany, MN) and Allegiance Auto/DC Drywall (Chisago County, MN). Facing a 5-1 deficit, Allegiance put up 15 runs in the 4th inning to take a commanding lead. With no thoughts of quitting, Stony Creek fought back with 14 unanswered runs of their own and wound up winning the game 19-17. The loss put Allegiance Auto/DC Drywall in the precarious position of having to win 7 straight games in order to win the DD Championship. Turns out that is exactly what they did. The streak was due in large part to their hot offense that averaged an impressive 20 runs per game. The championship games were a rematch with Stony Creek Dairy. Stony Creek just couldn't keep up as Allegiance put 27 runs in both games. Brian Morris, Jarret Sachs and Jake ReMine were named to the All-Tournament Team for Allegiance Auto/DC Drywall. Joel Middendorf, Nick Primus and Theo Jacobs were All-Tournament honorees for Stony Creek. Christian Builders/Herc-U-Lift/Xtreme Detail (Elk River, MN) took the D bracket. They walked off a 10-9 victory over Young & Reckless in the championship game. The game featured four All-Tournament players: Travis Kreuter and Alex Halverson from Christian Builders -- and Russell Burgoyne, Sr. and Ben Kepner from Young and Reckless.

The opening round in the EE Bracket featured a number of close matchups, most notably a back and forth game between Whistling Pickle and Third Base Bar from the North Pine County league. Whistling Pickle outlasted Third Base Bar and won the game in thrilling walk-off fashion 12-11 in nine innings. Whistling Pickle ran into their only hiccup of the tournament in their second game when they were edged 9-8 by the local representative Benton Station. After defeating MCO (Brainerd, MN) 8-4, Whistling Pickle went on to score 20+ runs in the next four games en route to claiming the championship. Whistling Pickle was led by All-Tournament honorees Casey McEachern, Chayse Barrett and Jeff Pegues. They defeated Budweiser/Anderson Beverage (Crookston, MN) in the final by a score of 23-12. Kyle Swenson and Casey Sannes were named to the All-Tournament Team from Budweiser/Anderson Beverage.

2012 RECAP

Five Champions Crowned at Inaugural NSF North American Championships

The NSF North American Championships took place over a beautiful Labor Day Weekend in Faribault, MN and the results are in. The first pitch was thrown by local Minnesota Softball Hall of Famer Jerry Hatfield to get things started on Friday. The last pitch was thrown early Sunday evening to put a cap on a great weekend of softball.

In the Women's Bracket, Vanilla Gorilla Tattoo out of Burnsville, MN ran the table, going a perfect 4-0 on the weekend. Vanilla Gorilla Tattoo was consistent the whole weekend with a solid offense and stellar defense. They held their opponents to only 3.75 runs per game. Vanilla Gorilla Tattoo defeated heavy hitting Hanson Accounting (Chisago County, MN) in the championship game by a final score of 10-6. Hanson scored a whopping 87 runs on the weekend, by far the tournament high. The championship game featured six All-Tournament Team selections - Sarah Palmer, Jessie Meyer, Cinta Wachman (Vanilla Gorilla Tattoo) and Darla Fehlandt, Karen Guillard, Ashley Gross (Hanson Accounting). Thompson Ward from Rochester, MN won the EE division. They defeated the JG Girls (St. Paul) 11-5 in the EE Championship Game. Angela Zieman and Michele Kolasa were named to the All-Tournament team from Thompson Ward.

The Men's DD/D Bracket got under way Friday night. The Gamblers out of Pine River, MN did not get their start until 9:00AM the next morning, but after a 9-6 and 9-2 victory on Saturday, they quietly put themselves in good position to make a run on Sunday. That is exactly what they did, reeling off three more in a row to claim the championship. The Gamblers only allowed double-digit runs once the entire tournament (Gampers scored 10 game 34). Representing the Gamblers on the All-Tournament Team includes Jason Gilles, Steve Snavely and Chris Klabo. The Gamblers defeated Easton Jax out of Belle Plaine, MN in the championship game. Rick Martin and Jason Sunderman earned All-Tourmament honors from Easton Jax. Crooks Club out of Crookston, MN took the D bracket. Crooks Club defeated Dan Gruber Construction/Bashers (Faribault) in the final by a score of 10-4.

In the Men's EE Bracket, it was hometown team S&S Woodworking/Breakroom/Mich Golden representing Faribault well. S&S was remarkably consistent with the bats en route to their championship averaging 10.75 runs on the weekend (never scoring more than 12 in one game, but not less than 9). S&S was led by All-Tournament honorees Brandon Thibodeau, Matt Savoie and Jason Birdsell. They defeated Sunshine Depot (Elk River, MN) in the championship game by a final score of 9-1. Evan Johnson, Matt Schleppenbach and Jared Orrock were named to the All-Tournament Team from Sunshine Depot.