Web Release: Link OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball has announced the USA Softball Men’s National (MNT) assistant coaches that will join Head Coach Gregg Leather (Staten Island, N.Y.) during the 2019 season.  Ron Guzman (Salinas, Calif.), Ron Hackett ...

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Guzman, Hackett, Hicks, McCurry and Muizelaar tabbed Assistant Coaches for USA 2019 Men’s National Team and more...

Guzman, Hackett, Hicks, McCurry and Muizelaar tabbed Assistant Coaches for USA 2019 Men’s National Team

Web Release: Link
OKLAHOMA CITY – USA Softball has announced the USA Softball Men’s
National (MNT) assistant coaches that will join Head Coach Gregg Leather (Staten Island, N.Y.) during the 2019 season.  Ron Guzman (Salinas, Calif.), Ron Hackett (Richmond, Va.), Greg Hicks (Bakersfield, Calif.), Nick McCurry (Ashland, Ohio) and Gerald Muizelaar (Grand Forks, N.D.) will assist Leather as the team competes at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Men’s World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic, the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru and select international events on the 2019 calendar.
This will be the first stint on the coaching staff for Hackett and Muizelaar while Guzman, Hicks and McCurry have each previously held roles on the MNT coaching staff.
Guzman, along with Hicks and McCurry, helped lead the 2018 U.S. team that competed at the Intercontinental Cup in Prague, Czech Republic.  Despite a 1-4 showing at the event, Team USA proved they are a Top Five contender with a 5-4, walk-off win over Argentina. 
“I am extremely honored to be a part of the USA Softball Men’s National Team program this summer,” said Guzman.  “I’m looking forward to working with Coach Leather and the entire staff.  This is the absolute pinnacle in your career to be able to wear the Red, White and Blue while representing your country.” 
Hicks and McCurry have served as Assistant Coaches for the MNT since the 2014 season.  In their tenure with Team USA, the duo has coached at two WBSC Men’s World Championships and the 2015 Pan American Games.
“As a player or coach, the highest honor you could ever get is to represent the United States,” said McCurry.  “There is no better feeling to have a jersey with ‘USA’ on your chest.  I’m very thankful that I am chosen for this prestigious honor.  Softball has been in my blood ever since I was a very young man.  I want to thank everyone that is involved in USA Softball for selecting me.  I will never forget this honor.  We are looking forward to working with the athletes to win a Gold Medal.”
Hicks and McCurry were also a part of the 2017 coaching staff that helped Team USA claim the Bronze Medal at the Pan American Championship – the first international medal for the U.S. since 2003.
“Being selected to be part of the coaching staff for the 2019 season is very special,” said Hicks.  “Any time you can stand on a ball field with ‘USA’ across your chest – it is an unbelievable feeling and never gets old.  I feel unbelievably blessed with the opportunity to represent my country in international competition.  It is a unique experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Hackett joins the USA Softball MNT program for his first stint as Assistant Coach after being around the men’s game for a number of years.  A native of Elkland, Pa., a hotbed for men’s fast pitch, Hackett played a number of years at the men’s major level.  Beginning in 2015, Hackett transitioned into administrative roles, coaching and sponsoring several teams who finished in the Top 5 at the Men’s Major Fast Pitch National Championship.
“It’s an honor to be selected as part of the Men’s National Team coaching staff,” said Hackett.  “To represent your country competing against the best in the world is the pinnacle of our sport.  I’m humbled and appreciative for the opportunity USA Softball has given us to represent our country this year.”
Muizelaar is making his first appearance as a coach for the MNT program, though he packs plenty of experience as an alumni of the program.  A member of the 2013-2015 MNT rosters, Muizelaar competed in two WBSC Men’s World Championships and the 2015 Pan American Games.  Muizelaar compiled a 2-3 record in 36 and one-third innings in the circle for Team USA at the World Championships, fanning 53 batters while he went 1-0 at the Pan American Games with 11 strikeouts in 10 and two-third innings pitched.
“I am very excited to continue my involvement with the USA Softball Men’s National Team,” said Muizelaar.  “I know that my desire to compete on the field will never go away, but I look forward to the new challenge of coaching this group of talented athletes. With the right preparation, I believe that we can compete with the best in the world and have a legitimate opportunity to achieve our goal of winning Gold this summer.” 
For more information on the USA Softball National Team program, please visit USASoftball.com.
About USA Softball
USA Softball is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Okla., and is designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) of Softball in the United States and a member of the United States Olympic Committee. One of the nation’s largest sports organizations, USA Softball sanctions competition through a network of Local Associations, which includes all 50 states and select metro associations.  USA Softball is dedicated to providing people of all ages the opportunity to play the game they love at a variety of levels by offering recreational, league, tournament and competitive play for fast pitch, slow pitch and modified pitch.  USA Softball annually conducts thousands of tournaments throughout the country including over 100 National Championships.  The USA Softball umpire program is among the nation’s largest and are widely known as the best trained umpires in the game. 
As the NGB for the sport of softball, USA Softball is responsible for training, equipping and promoting the six USA Softball National Teams that compete in events such as the Olympics, Pan American Games, World Championships and other international and domestic events. For more information on USA Softball, including its founding and history as the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA), please visit, www.USASoftball.com.
About the World Baseball Softball Confederation 
Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland — the Olympic Capital — the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) is the world governing body for baseball and softball. WBSC has 208 National Federation and Associate Members in 135 countries and territories across Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, which represent a united baseball/softball sports movement that encompasses over 65 million athletes and attracts approximately 150 million fans to stadiums worldwide annually. 
The WBSC governs all international competitions involving official National Teams. The WBSC oversees the Premier12, World Baseball Classic, Baseball World Cups, Softball World Cups and Softball World Championships, as well as baseball and softball events at the Olympic Games.
For more information, visit www.wbsc.org, which is available six languages: English, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Traditional Chinese.


2019 Austin Castro Concrete Jokers 23rd Annual Fastpitch Tournament

Austin, Texas – May 25-26

From our friend John Limon, in the Great State of Texas:

“Hello Fastball Friends and family, once again it is that time of year. Fastpitch Softball at it’s finest in Austin Texas on Memorial Weekend. This year’s 23rd Annual Castro Concrete Jokers Men’s Fastpitch Softball Tournament is being dedicated to Our Long-time sponsor of 56 years Mr. Lee Castro Sr.

In December The City of Austin, Austin Fastpitch and the Jokers Athletic Club lost a Great Man. Mr. Lee was a loving, caring and giving man who supported the Jokers since their second year in existence back in 1963 to this up and coming season.

As a token of our appreciation to all the teams who have participated in our past Tournaments and to any new teams coming to this year’s event, we are waving our usual $375.00 entry fee and ask that you only pay the $50.00 Umpire fee at the plate before every game. (Tournament will cover the cost of the Championship Game)

Our Tournament is like no other and unmatched, Good Old Time Fastpitch Softball. No gate fees, and although we have a great concession stand ice chests are allowed along with outside food. We even have some teams who take advantage of the covered picnic area and Bar-b-que. The park has plenty of shaded area that helps everyone stay cool in the Texas heat.

We are known for showing teams a good time and our hospitality is well known. I hope your team will consider playing in Our 23rd Annual Tournament and help me bring a little comfort to Mrs. Castro, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Castro Jr. and their loving grandchildren.      

Date: May 25th and 26th

Place: Del Valle Softball Complex (just past the Austin Airport)

Entry Fee: NONE (pay $50 at the plate before each game)

Format: 3 Game Guarantee

Time Limit: 1 hour and 30 min (Championship game 7innings)

Championship Game: 1 Game only

Rules: 2019 ASA Rules – Pitching Rule: ISF (Pitcher must start with two feet on the rubber)

Balls: K-Master (Provide by Tournament)

Awards:  1st – 4th Place

12 All Tournament Team

Most Valuable Player

Most Valuable Pitcher

Most Valuable Hitter

Lee Castro Sportsmanship

More Information to follow, any questions please contact myself

Tournament Director, John Limon 512-317-8502             


Your Friend In Softball”
        John Limon
Texas ISC Commissioner    


Video archives from the 2019 Softball New Zealand National Fastpitch Championships (Feb. 14-17)

Archives of the live video streamed games from the 2019 Softball New Zealand National Fastpitch Championships (Feb. 14-17), courtesy of Cantebury Softball TV Facebook page. Ballpark Broadcasting’s Jason “Chopper” Gerbes on the broadcast crew.


Tournament info


Grand slam home run by Conor Peden clinches softball title for Auckland

From Stuff.co.nz, by TONY SMITH

Connor Peden was the toast of Auckland softball after his grand slam home run lit up the National Fastpitch Championship men’s softball title.

Peden blasted five RBIs (runs batted in) in Auckland’s 9-3 win over a Wellington controversially deprived of Black Sox pitcher Josh Pettett.

Player-coach Nathan Nukunuku’s Auckland team scored eight runs in the final two innings at Christchurch’s Mizuno Ballpark on Sunday.

Peden – a former catcher who has found a niche in the outfield – showed his power hitting prowess with three hits from four at-bats for a .750 average.

Auckland finished with six safe hits to Wellington’s four, but Thomas Makea’s capital city team showed plenty of spirit to recover from the enforced loss of ace pitcher Pettett due to a concussion stand-down.

Pettett- later awarded the tournament’s top pitcher award- was hit in the face by a ball driven by Nukunuku in Saturday’s semifinal, and although cleared of concussion, had to face a 24-hour stand-down under Softball New Zealand’s concussion protocols.

The NFC tournament showcased the talents of players determined to force their way into Black Sox coach Mark Sorenson’s team for the June world championship title defence in Prague.

None more so than Peden, and Wellington second baseman Dante Matakatea, who batted two from four in the final to cap a fine weekend.

Matakatea blew the game open with a first inning home run to give Wellington a 1-0 lead.

But Auckland equalised in the top of the second when tournament MVP and top batter Kallan Compain – tripled and scored on cousin Thomas Enoka’s sacrifice fly.

Wellington went ahead 3-1 in the fifth frame after Matakatea singled and ambled home when Auckland starter Daniel Chapman threw a bases-loaded walk. 

Wayne Laulu followed on a wild throw by catcher Zane van Lieshout as Auckland attempted a home-one double play.

Auckland’s power-packed batting lineup produced the goods in the sixth with three runs, including RBIs by brothers Thomas and Campbell Enoka.

That left Peden to produce the fireworks in the seventh and put the game beyond Auckland’s reach.

Nukunuku said Peden had been “hot [with the bat] all season” and had been “one of the top hitters in the Auckland competition, while Compain – who .550 with 11 hits from 20 at-bats – had bounced back from “a pretty quiet” Challenge Cup tournament with the Black Sox.

Black Sox pitcher Nik Hayes came on in relief to hurl Auckland to their fourth title in the last five years. Click here to continue reading and to view photos at Stuff.co.nz


Tournament info


Wellington ‘disgusted’ after Black Sox pitcher prevented from playing softball grand final despite being cleared of concussion

From Stuff.co.nz

By TONY SMITH, Stuff.co.nz

Softball New Zealand will review its player concussion policies after Wellington’s Black Sox pitcher Josh Pettett was controversially ruled out of the National Fastpitch Championships final despite being cleared of concussion.

Wellington coach Thomas Makea was “disgusted” when Softball New Zealand (SNZ) officials ruled Pettett out of Sunday’s gold medal game against Auckland, and said the rule must be changed.

Makea was “very disappointed” that Pettett could not play despite being cleared of concussion by a doctor following scans and X-rays.

He was also at a loss to understand why Auckland – who beat Wellington 9-3 in the final – had insisted SNZ implement its mandatory stand-down protocol because of their apparent concern at potential further risk to Pettett.

Pettett was hit in the face by a hard-hit drive by Auckland player-coach Nathan Nukunuku in Saturday night’s semifinal at Christchurch’s Mizuno Ballpark.

He got to his feet and wanted to resume, but was prevented from doing so by match umpires in accordance with SNZ protocols.

SNZ chief executive Tony Giles said Wellington “did everything right” in getting medical clearances for Pettett, but SNZ had had to abide by “our concussion protocols, as part of our ACC scheme”.

Giles said that protocol required anyone suspected of suffering concussion to have a “graduated re-entry” to the diamond, “because there is the potential for delayed concussion”.

He said there was initial concern Pettett had suffered a hairline fracture and contusions. 

The 25-year-old Wellington pitcher was taken to hospital for CT scans and X-rays which, Giles said, showed no evidence of a fracture or concussion.  His only injury was “contusions to the neck”.

Giles said following discussions with Wellington and Auckland team officials on Sunday morning, SNZ decided it must “adhere to the policy”.

“But we will be talking to ACC and taking a second look at our policies that are in place to make sure we better align ourselves to other contact sports that have HIA  [head injury assessment] protocols.”

A policy review cannot come quick enough for Makea, who hopes changes will be in place for next month’s national interclub tournament.

The Pettett ruling clearly rankled with the Wellington team, who, pointedly, left the ball park after the final out without waiting for Auckland to be presented with the trophy.

Makea said it was very frustrating to have Pettett ruled out by a “protesting technicality”. He could not understand why the young hurler was sidelined after being cleared by a doctor.

“We did everything right, got all the documents in place.

“There was no concussion at all, in the end it was a neck injury. He was fit to play, ready to go and he wanted to pitch.

“We are pretty disgusted. When you get to a final like that, you want to see the best against the best. We would have had the two number one [pitchers] going right at it, toe to toe. That’s what the softball public wanted to see.

Makea said Pettett had actually been ready to take the mound again on Saturday night. “Once he stood up [after being felled by the hit to his face], he said, ‘Give me the ball’., He had just bitten his tongue; there was a bit of blood, but that was all.”

Makea was surprised that Auckland had been so insistent about the protocol being enforced and wondered if Nukunuku and his team were worried whether they could beat Wellington with Pettett on the mound.

He said the outcome of the final may have been different “if we had our ace up against their ace.

“We would have been right in the hunt.”

Nukunuku, the Auckland player-coach whose hit accidentally felled Pettett, said his team were motivated out of a genuine concern about potential further risk to the Wellington pitcher.

“Half my team are his Black Sox teammates, we don’t want to be responsible for him getting hit in the head again, or something more serious … even if it rarely happens.”

Nukunuku felt it was important the protocols were adhered to and insisted he would have taken the same view had it been one of his own players. Player welfare had to come first, he said. Click here to continue reading at Stuff.co.nz and to see photos and video of the incident.

Scores  https://www.softball.org.nz/site/softballnz/images/Domestic/Tournaments/2017/Day%204%20Results%20NFC.pdf
Tournament info: https://www.softball.org.nz/201718+Tournaments/PAKnSAVE8206+National+Fastpitch+Championship+2017.html


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