OKLAHOMA CITY – Close games, phenomenal pitching, defensive web-gems and offensive power. Those are just a few of the many sights that fans attending the USA Softball Men’s Fast Pitch National Invitational Tournament (NIT) will have the opportunity to experience. Held June 9-10 at Brookside Park in Ashland, Ohio, this marks the third year of the annual men’s fast pitch event and the first time all games will be live streamed for free at USASoftball.com.
“We look forward to welcoming all participants, coaches, umpires and fans to the USA Softball Men’s Fast Pitch National Invitational Tournament,” said USA Softball Executive Director, Craig Cress. “The USA Softball of Ohio staff and the coaches within our Men’s National Team coaching pool have done a tremendous job of bringing in some of the top teams in men’s fast pitch for what will surely be a very competitive event.”
The Men’s Fast Pitch NIT serves as an opportunity for men’s fast pitch players to be evaluated by the USA Softball Men’s National Team Selection Committee (MNTSC) and USA Softball Men’s National Team (MNT) coaching staff in hopes of making it into an elite athlete pool.
“In only its third year this tournament has proven to be a valuable tool in identifying players for the Men’s National Team Pool,” said Men’s National Team Head Coach, Gregg Leather. “We hope to continue to identify and develop players competing in this event and expand the talent pool for our National Team.”
Teams participating in this year’s Men’s Fast Pitch NIT are: Ashland A’s, Bear Bottom Lodge, Globe, NE Naturals, Ohio Battery and R.M. Kurtz Enterprize. The tournament kicks off Saturday, June 9 at 8 a.m. ET on the main diamond at Brookside Park (123 Parkside Dr. in Ashland, Ohio). A three-game guarantee bracket, play continues through Sunday, June 10 with the Championship Game slated for 3:45 pm ET and an if-necessary game at 5:45 pm ET.
Since the inception of the USA Softball Men’s Fast Pitch NIT, several athletes have been identified and added to the Men’s National Team athlete pool and would later go on to represent Team USA at the 2017 Pan American Championship: Jenner Christiansen, Joel Cooley, Yusef Davis, Jonathan Lynch, Travis Nevin, Cameron Schiller and Duane Weiler. Participants at this year’s event have the opportunity to join the athlete pool, from which the 2018 Intercontinental Cup roster will be determined.
“We look forward to hosting the tournament for the third year in row and watching the incredible talent of men’s fast pitch teams from across the country,” said USA Softball of Ohio Commissioner Warren Jones. “This tournament continues to bring in the best in the country, and will help build the future of USA Softball men’s fast pitch.”
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 69 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 www.USASoftball.com.