Washington Evening Journal
https://washington-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1670046

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 20, 2017

First place title for Washington Knights of Columbus softball team

By Bill Gatchel | Jul 19, 2017
Photo by: Contributed photo Members of the Washington Knights of Columbus softball team took first place in a tournament in Gilbertville Sunday, July 16. Members of the team are Colin Brenneman, Micah Berg, Dillon Wertz, Matt Hora, Jeremy Norris, Kyle Kron, Kevin Kron, Jarrod Longbine, Nic Cole, Blake Burich, Keaton Redlinger, Brian Tobin, Reily Kleopfer, Ty Becker, Steve Roth and Nern Norris.

A softball team that has been around for quite some time took first place in a recent tournament and is preparing to play in a national tournament in September.

The Washington Knights of Columbus softball team played in a round robin tournament of five games with teams from Cascade, Cedar Falls, Mt. Pleasant and two from Houghton, says coach Steve Roth.

“We always have the tournament the third weekend in July each year, but this was a special one for us because it was the 40th one,” he says.

“The family of the man from Cedar Falls who started the tournament, Al Shinstine, threw the first pitch during opening exercises, then following a moment of silence for members who have passed, we played a total of five games.

“This year, the tournament was played in Gilbertville and was sponsored by the group from Cedar Falls.”

“Three were played Saturday and two Sunday. The Washington Knights of Columbus 2008 went 5-0.

“We had a walk-off Sunday. We were tied 15-15 in the bottom of the seventh. The first batter up, Colin Brenneman, hit a walk-off home run to win it all.”

But there was more to the tournament than just winning it, Roth says.

“It was a very special weekend. We lost one of our ballplayers, Clint Norris, over the winter in a car accident so we did a lot of stuff for him in remembrance.

“We had jerseys and hats. His daughter was there Sunday and it was very emotional because we won the tournament.”

One interesting part of the tournament was the number of runs scored right away.

“The first day in the first game, we scored 24 runs against Mt. Pleasant and Clint’s number was 24,” Roth says.

“It made it even more special. He was a great young man.”

It’s like a family reunion when the tournament is played each year.

“It’s really cool because it’s usually the same people on the teams every year.

“It’s a Brother Knight reunion. Everybody gets along with each other.

“A lot of people from Washington have played on the team and it’s just a bunch of fun.”

Since the Washington team won the local tournament, they are getting ready for bigger things.

“There is a national tournament, which was also started by Shinstine,” Roth says.

“Each year it’s held in a big city.

Previously, only the winner could go to nationals, but with changes to the sport, anybody can go, so we are.”

Being a national tournament, the competition will be stepped up.

“It’s going to be very tough,” Roth says. “There will be teams from Canada as well as from all over the country.

“I’ve been to five or six tournaments and it’s top-notch. It’s a lot of fun. This bunch has never been to a national tournament, so it’s going to be great.

“There’s three divisions to the tournament,” he adds. “There’s an open division, a paternal division and then a 40-and-over division.

“We’re going to play in the paternal one because we’re just going to have fun and enjoy our time there.”

The tournament won’t be too far away if someone wants to go and cheer on the team.

“It’s going to be held in O’Fallon, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, Labor Day weekend,” Roth says.

“Most people will have that Monday off work, so come and cheer us on.”

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