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12-9-2017 NFCA Hall of Fame

At the conclusion of the event, NFCA First VIce President Lisa Navas (University of South Carolina) announced the Class of 2018- Salisbury University head coach Margie Knight, North Davidson High School head coach Mike Lambros (posthumously) and University Tennessee co-head coach Karen Weekly. The banquet and induction ceremony will be held, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 in Chicago.

Gulas, who retired after the 2017 season, enjoyed a 31-year career as a collegiate head coach, the last 21 years as the Eagles’ skipper. Compiling 30 wins in her final season, she surpassed 900 career victories and won nearly 66 percent of her games with a 929-487-1 record. In her final 21 seasons guiding the Eagles, Gulas collected 723 wins. Additionally, she served as Ashland’s Assistant Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator during her final two years at Ashland.

She compiled a winning record in all 21 of her seasons at Ashland, leading the Eagles to 12 NCAA Division II tournaments and collecting five Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) titles and three conference Coach of the Year awards. In 1998, Gulas guided Ashland to a school-record 53 wins and a No. 3 national ranking. The Eagles collected 40 wins five times during her tenure.

Prior to her stint with Ashland, Gulas made stops as the head coach at Wittenberg (1991-96) and Allegheny (1987-90). In her first head coaching position at Allegheny, she posted a 123-38 mark, guiding the Gators to a national runner-up finish in 1988 and fifth in the country in 1987, 1989 and 1990. Gulas was named the NCAA Division III national coach of the year in 1988 and 1989, and was the regional coach of the year from 1987-89.

Haning is our first Travel Ball member to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He helped build the Batbusters into one of the most well-known and successful travel ball organizations in the nation, with more than 30 national championships. His team rosters have been a who’s who of the top names in softball. 

Under Haning’s guidance, four-time All-American and four-time Olympic medalist Laura Berg and her twin sister Randi delivered the Batbusters’ first 18-and-under national title in 1992 on a loaded team that also featured former UCLA standouts Nicole Odom Reis (Reese) and Leah Poulson, former Arizona stars Leah Braatz and Andrea Doty, and Cal-Berkeley star Gillian Boxx. Fellow Olympic star and Women’s College World Series champion Jennie Finch won a 1997 national crown and had a 1998 runner-up finish with the Batbusters, along with teammate Toni Mascarenas. 

NFCA Convention | Las Vegas | December 6-9, 2017


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10-25-2017 Softball Hall of Fame

Nine softball legends forever enshrined into the National Softball Hall of Fame at 37th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony


GREENSBORO, N.C. — Nine individuals received softball’s highest honor on Saturday evening as USA Softball inducted nine members to the National Softball Hall of Fame at the 37th Annual celebration at the Sheraton Greensboro.

A night to remember, the 2017 class consisted of Mike Candrea (Tucson, Ariz.) – Meritorious Service, Jimmy Derrick (Douglasville, Ga.) – Umpire, Gary Evans (Mason, Mich.) – Umpire, Dick Gulmon (Valley City, N.D.) – Meritorious Service, Mark Martin (Fayetteville, Ark.) – Slow Pitch Player, Rick Minton (Cerro Gordo, Ill.) – Fast Pitch Player, Bob Quinn (Branchville, N.J.) – Fast Pitch Player, Willie Simpson (Oak Lawn, Ill.) – Slow Pitch Player and Evans Telegadas (Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Fast Pitch Player.

Read more about the 2017 National Softball Hall of Fame Class:


Mike Candrea (Tucson, Ariz.) – Meritorious Service


Mike Candrea is synonymous with softball success.  His resume with the USA Softball Women’s National Team spanned over a decade, starting first as an assistant coach in 1994 on the Women’s World Championship team that captured the Gold Medal in Canada.  Beginning in 2002, Candrea took over the helm of the Women’s National Team, during which time the U.S. captured two World Championship Gold Medals, two Pan-American Gold Medals, two World Cup titles, one Olympic Gold Medal and one Olympic Silver Medal.  With a passion for making world-class athletes and individuals, Candrea was a driving force behind some of the most dominating performances in international softball.  “I don’t just want to win, I want to dominate,” is a phrase Coach Candrea echoed during the journey to the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.  Making his words a reality, Team USA recorded one of the most dominant Olympic performances in history, outscoring opponents 51-1.  After retiring from his Head Coach duties following the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Candrea continued his involvement with USA Softball as the Director of Coaching Education, where he took on a series of educational roles to continue the development of the sport both domestically and internationally.


Jimmy Derrick (Douglasville, Ga.) – Umpire


With an infectious enthusiasm, professional pride, and love for the game of softball, Jimmy Derrick’s resume speaks for itself.  Regarded by his peers as one of the top slow pitch umpires in the game, Derrick has worked some of the highest levels of men’s slow pitch softball.  Whether at the Slow Pitch Championship Series or the international Border Battle, Jimmy has proven to be the consummate professional both on and off the field.  Boasting a resume of 19 National Championship appearances, he continues to share his love for the game through his contributions to the USA Softball Umpire program as a member of the National Umpire Staff. Serving as the Region 3 Umpire-in-Chief, Derrick is a skilled instructor through National and Local Umpire Schools and Clinics.  A dynamic instructor, he is a leader in the interactive learning process for the umpire program.  With a belief that “you must give respect to earn respect,” Derrick’s approach to the game truly encompasses what being a USA Softball Umpire is all about.


Gary Evans (Mason, Mich.) – Umpire


Having been involved with USA Softball for almost 50 years, Gary is considered one of the top umpires within USA Softball of Michigan.  A firm believer in taking advantage of the valuable training USA Softball offers to its umpires, Evans applied the lessons learned and always gave 100% on the ballfield.  His dedication to his craft led him to a path of national excellence, as he got the call at eight National Championships and served as an Umpire-in-Chief or Assistant Umpire-in-Chief in five National Championships.  A true mentor for his fellow umpires, Evans took on the role of Michigan UIC, a position he held for 15 years, where he helped lead countless District and State clinics and National Umpire Schools.  His insight, knowledge and love for the game will have an everlasting impact on the Michigan umpire community.


Dick Gulmon (Valley City, N.D.) – Meritorious Service


At a time when the sport of softball was at a crossroads with new equipment technology, Dick Gulmon played an integral role in the Certified Equipment standards of USA Softball.  Having been involved in the game at a variety of levels, Gulmon personifies leadership through his contributions to the sport.  In addition to his playing and management of teams during his career, Gulmon has also served in a variety of leadership capacities.  Serving on the North Dakota Board of Directors and Classification Committee since 1989, Gulmon was appointed President of USA Softball of North Dakota in 1996 and became Commissioner in 2013.  At the National level, Gulmon has served on the USA Softball Board of Directors and has served on the Council for over 20 years.  Gulmon has also served on various USA Softball Committees.  His most noteworthy position is his role as Chairman of the Equipment Testing & Certification Committee, a role he has held since 2005.  In this role, Gulmon spearheads the efforts in the development of state-of-the-art bat and ball testing protocol which help level the playing field.  A great ambassador for USA Softball, Gulmon is and has been a leader of change throughout the sport of softball.


Mark Martin (Fayetteville, Ark.) – Slow Pitch Player


When you talk about champion slow pitch players in the game of softball, Mark Martin is one of the names that comes to mind.  With a playing career that spanned over 20 years, Mark was an unselfish teammate who inspired his teammates both on and off the field.  A seven-time All-American, Martin was a member of four National Championship teams as a member of Bell Corp.  In 1989, Martin was selected to play in the Olympic Festival at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium and led the East Team with a .743 batting average.  Known for hitting some of the longest home runs ever witnessed in the game, Martin had a 535 ft. home run recorded in 2009 in Las Vegas while playing in the 50-Over division for Hollis Appraisals at a Senior National Championship.  His dominance in the game helped earn him the title of “Outstanding Softball Player” by the Orlando Amateur Athletic Association three times and he is also a member of the Orlando Hall of Honor.  Martin also contributed to the game through his role on the Wilson Sporting Goods Advisory staff from 1990-97.


Rick Minton (Cerro Gordo, Ill.) – Fast Pitch Player


With a career at the major level that spanned 15 years, Rick Minton was a sparkplug and vocal leader of the legendary Decatur Pride.  A six-time All-American, Minton collected two Men’s Major National Championships, his first in 1994 and his second in 1995, as a member of the Pride and also earned two Men’s 40-Over National Championships in 1999 and 2000.  With his quick glove, great anticipation and accurate arm, Minton was a renowned defensive magician at second base with play so steady that it earned him a spot on four Men’s National Team rosters.  Twice Minton earned a Pan American Games Silver Medal, 1987 and 1991, and in 1988 he was a member of the last Gold Medal winning United States team at the World Championship.  He also was named to three U.S. Sports Festival teams, earning a Silver Medal finish at each appearance.


Bob Quinn (Branchville, N.J.) – Fast Pitch Player


Best known for his rock solid defense, clutch plays and aggressive base running, Robert “Bob” Quinn was one of the most fundamentally sound players on the field.  A key player on the legendary Raybestos Cardinals, and later Franklin Cardinals, Quinn earned four National Championship titles during his 15-year career.  Regarded as one of the best middle infielders in the game, he also made a name for himself as an offensive igniter.  A two-time All-American, Quinn received softball’s highest honor in 1979 when he was chosen as a member of the Men’s Fast Pitch National Team, which would go on to win the Silver Medal at the Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  He would follow with a Bronze Medal at the 1984 World Championship in Midland, Mich.  In addition to his Team USA and All-American accolades, Quinn was also selected to four All-Star Series during his playing career.  His teammates would say his greatest attribute was that when the game was on the line and you needed a big play, Quinn was your guy. 


Willie Simpson (Oak Lawn, Ill.) – Slow Pitch Player


Regarded as the greatest clutch hitter and toughest competitor in 16-Inch softball, Willie “Steamer” Simpson was one of the last guys you wanted to face when the game was on the line.  Always clutch at the plate, Simpson is a six-time All-American, 10-time National Champion and two-time MVP of the Men’s 16-Inch National Championship.  Spending most of his career with the Bobcats out of Chicago, Simpson helped his team come out of the loser’s bracket in the 1979 National Championship, including seven-straight wins on Championship Sunday.  Finishing his playing career after the 1988 season, Simpson’s loyalty to team play was reflective in his tenure with the Bobcats.  When asked what his strong points were, Simpson quickly replied it was his team mentality, noting: “I got a lot of clutch hits, but you know somebody has to put you in that situation.  There were always guys who were on base ahead of me.  It takes 10 or 11 guys to play a softball game.”


Evans Telegadas (Scottsdale, Ariz.) – Fast Pitch Player


Playing on multiple teams in National Championship Play, Evans Telegadas earned six All-American honors throughout his career.  An outstanding shortstop, he played in nine Men’s Major National Championships and was known to make big plays when the stakes were high.  Winning the 1979 Men’s Major National Championship as a member of McArdle Pontiac-Cadillac, Telegadas and his teammates earned the opportunity to represent the United States at the WBSC World Championship in Tacoma, Wash.  Telegadas earned a Gold Medal with his fellow teammates through his competitive nature and all-around talent.  Holding a .336 lifetime batting average, Telegadas understood the need to put aside personal goals for the accomplishments of the team, a quality that in addition to his career accolades has certainly earned a Hall of Fame honor. 


In addition to honoring eight individuals with their induction into the National Softball Hall of Fame, the Class of 2018 was also announced following the conclusion of the Hall of Fame Committee meeting earlier in the day.  The Class of 2018 inductees include: Dick Brubaker (Fast Pitch Player), Crystl Bustos (Fast Pitch Player), John Daniels (Sponsor), Ricky Huggins (Slow Pitch Player), Todd Joerling (Slow Pitch Player), Bill Silves (Umpire), Christa Williams (Fast Pitch Player), Charles Wright (Slow Pitch Player).


The 38th induction ceremony will take place at the 87th Annual USA Softball Council Meeting, which will be held in Oklahoma City, Okla.  Rules and guidelines to nominate potential Hall of Fame candidates for 2019 are available at  There is a deadline submission of September 1, 2018.


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 in every state through a network of 70 local associations and has grown from a few hundred teams in the early days to over 150,000 teams today, representing a membership of more than 2 million.  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,


10-17-2017 WBSC Elects New Division Leaders

WBSC Baseball and Softball Divisions elect new leaders
GABORONE, Botswana – New leaders of the WBSC Baseball and WBSC Softball divisions were elected at the 12-14 October WBSC Congress at the Gaborone International Convention Centre in Botswana’s capital.
Italy’s Riccardo Fraccari ran unopposed to win the seat as the Chairman of the WBSC Baseball Division, while Puerto Rico’s Tommy Velazquez was elected as the new Chairman of WBSC Softball Division. Fraccari is also the current president of the World Baseball Softball Confederation.
“At the next WBSC Baseball Executive meeting in Paris next March, we will outline our strategic plan covering the next four years,” said Fraccari, “laying out the important roadwork needed to build a billion-strong baseball/softball community and secure a long-term place on the Olympic Programme.”
“We have a very clear goal: Paris 2024,” Velazquez added.
WBSC Baseball Division:
  • Chairman: Riccardo Fraccari
  • Treasurer: Angelo Vicini (San Marino)
  • 1st Vice Chairman: Tom Peng (Taiwan)
  • 2nd Vice Chairman: Paul Seiler (United States)
  • Member at-Large: Ms. Hiroko Yamada (Japan)
  • Member at-Large: Luis Melero (Spain)
  • Member at-Large: Benicio Robinson (Panama)
  • Vice Chairman – Africa: Saber Jlajla (Tunisia)
  • Vice Chairman – Americas: Tito Pereyra (Dominican Republic)
  • Vice Chairman – Asia: Xu Chen (China)
  • Vice Chairman – Europe: Didier Seminet (France)
  • Vice Chairman – Oceania: Laurent Cassier (France)
WBSC Softball Division:
  • Chairman: Tommy Velazquez
  • Treasurer: Javier Anaya (Colombia)
  • 1st Vice Chairman: Ms. Beng Choo Low (Malaysia)
  • 2nd Vice Chairman: Craig Cress (United States)
  • Member at-Large: Ms. Maria Soto (Venezuela)
  • Member at-Large: Ms. Taeko Utsugi (Japan)
  • Member at-Large: Tirelo Mukokomani (Botswana)
  • Vice Chairman – Africa: Mashilo Matsetela (South Africa)
  • Vice Chairman – Asia: Hiromi Tokuda (Japan)
  • Vice Chairman – Europe: Gabriel Waage (Czech Republic)
  • Vice Chairman – Rex Capil (New Zealand)
Cuba’s Antonio Castro was also confirmed as WBSC Global Ambassador, holding a seat on the WBSC Executive Board.


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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 184 National Federation and Associate Members in 128 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 Softball World Championships (Men, Women, U-19 Men, and U-19 Women), Premier12, World Baseball Classic, and Baseball World Cups (U-12, U-15, U-18, U-23 and Women’s).

For more information, visit:

7-22-2017 NY Times Column Worth Reading

This is surprising!

Maureen Dowd’s NYT Column Really worth reading

From the depths of the Democrat’s sinkhole, a surprise from one of their own,


Maureen looks like a defector.  First NYT article with good balance and realism I have read.  Let’s pray that reuniting has begun and the country benefits.  This is a thought-provoker!  Having been a reader of The New York Times, I’m amazed that Maureen Dowd wrote this.  However, I find the wisdom behind the words very rewarding and encouraging.   It’s to be hoped that every wild-eyed liberal devotee of the New York Times reads liberal columnist Maureen Dowd’s column several times, reproduces it in large print, frames it, and mounts it on their bedroom ceiling so it’s the first thing they read every day: The most amazing part of this well-written piece is the fact Maureen Dowd, a very liberal columnist from the New York Times wrote it! Maureen Dowd Election Therapy From My Basket of Deplorables The election was a complete repudiation of Barack Obama: his fantasy world of political correctness, the politicization of the Justice Department and the I.R.S., an out-of-control E.P.A., his neutering of the military, his nonsupport of the police and his fixation on things like transgender bathrooms.  Since he became president, his party has lost 63 House seats, 10 Senate seats, and 14 governorships. The country had signaled strongly in the last two midterms that they were not happy.  The Dems’ answer was to give them more of the same from a person they did not like or trust. Preaching — and pandering — with a message of inclusion, the Democrats have instead become a party where incivility and bad manners are taken for granted, rudeness is routine, religion is mocked and there is absolutely no respect for a differing opinion.  This did not go down well in the Midwest, where Trump flipped three blue states and 44 electoral votes. The rudeness reached its peak when Vice President-elect Mike Pence was booed by attendees of “Hamilton” and then pompously lectured by the cast.  This may play well with the New York theater crowd but is considered boorish and unacceptable by those of us taught to respect the office of the president and vice president, if not the occupants. Here is a short primer for the young protesters.  If your preferred candidate loses, there is no need for mass hysteria, canceled midterms, safe spaces, crying rooms or group primal screams. You might understand this better if you had not received participation trophies, undeserved grades to protect your feelings or even if you had a proper understanding of civics.  The Democrats are now crying that Hillary had more popular votes.  That can be her participation trophy. If any of my sons had told me they were too distraught over a national election to take an exam, I would have brought them home the next day, fearful of the instruction they were receiving.  Not one of the top 50 colleges mandate one semester of Western Civilization.  Maybe they should rethink that. Mr. Trump received over 62 million votes, not all of them cast by homophobes, Islamaphobes, racists, sexists, misogynists or any other “ists.”  I would caution Trump deniers that all of the crying and whining is not good preparation for the coming storm.  The liberal media, both print and electronic, has lost all credibility.  I am reasonably sure that none of the mainstream print media had stories prepared for a Trump victory.  I watched the networks and cable stations in their midnight   meltdown — embodied by Rachel Maddow explaining to viewers that they were not having a “terrible, terrible dream” and that they had not died and “gone to hell.” The media’s criticism of Trump’s high-level picks as “not diverse enough” or “too white and male” — a day before he named two women and offered a cabinet position to an African-American — magnified this fact. Here is a final word to my Democratic friends.  The election is over. There will not be a do-over.  So let me bid farewell to Al Sharpton, Ben Rhodes and the Clintons.  Note to Cher, Barbra, Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham: Your plane is waiting.  And to Jon Stewart, who talked about moving to another planet: Your spaceship is waiting.  To Bruce Springsteen, Jay Z, Beyoncé and Katy Perry, thanks for the free concerts.  And finally, to all the foreign countries that contributed to the Clinton Foundation, there will not be a payoff or a rebate. As Eddie Murphy so eloquently stated in the movie “48 Hrs.”: “There’s a new sheriff in town.”  And he is going to be here for 1,461 days.




6-29-2017 Jennifer Steele New Marshall Coach


Marshall University has tapped a coach from the Atlantic Sun Conference to replace the 2017 Conference USA Softball Coach of the Year.

Marshall announced Wednesday it has hired Jennifer Steele as its new head softball coach. Steele replaces Shonda Stanton, who led the Thundering Herd to the C-USA regular-season crown and an NCAA tournament berth before taking the head coaching job at Indiana.

Steele comes to Huntington after a successful tenure at Jacksonville, where she led the Dolphins for the past three seasons. In that time, Jacksonville won 86 games and is coming off a 30-win season in 2017.

“I would like to thank Mike Hamrick for the incredible opportunity to be the next softball coach at Marshall University,” Steele said in a statement. “From the moment I stepped on campus there was a contagious, infectious energy and it was evident that everyone bled Green and White.”


Marshall’s NCAA tournament bid was its first since 2013. The Herd finished with a 42-12 record after being eliminated by Illinois in the Lexington, Kentucky, Regional. On top of the regular-season conference title and Stanton’s coach of the year award, Marshall also captured the Conference USA Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year awards.

The program is expecting to return several key contributors from last year’s group, including first-team All-C-USA performers Taylor McCord and Elicia D’Orazio. McCord led the team with 12 home runs in 2017 and D’Orazio’s 59 stolen bases were the most in the nation.

“I am thankful for the strong foundation set by the previous staff and am excited to meet the student-athletes in the coming weeks,” Steele said. “I am committed to ensuring that we are excellent in the classroom, on the field and in the community. I am looking forward to connecting with alumni and the Huntington area, as well as representing Marshall out on the road as we continue to target competitive, high-character, quality student-athletes.”

Steele spent time as an assistant coach at George Mason and her alma mater Longwood and also served as a head coach at Randolph College, where she was named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2009. During her time at Jacksonville, she hit the ground running as the team made an eight-win improvement in her first season and never won fewer than 28 games in her three years leading the program.

“We are fortunate to have Jennifer lead our softball program,” Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick said. “She brings great experience and will ensure that Marshall athletics’ tradition of producing high-character student-athletes continues. We are all very excited for her to get started in