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What's Happening in Senior Softball

SPA TWITTY ROCKS WITH 33

The SPA TWITTY SENIOR WOMEN’S NIT TOURNAMENT honored the 25th anniversary of CONWAY TWITTY’s passing with 33 teams participating in the tournament named in his honor.

Held at DRAKES CREEK PARK ATHLETIC COMPLEX at HENDERSONVILLE, TENNESSEE the tournament saw an increase in teams from the previous year.

“I believe there is a bigger and brighter future out there for all women in slow pitch softball,” JUDY LEE SCHREIBER, SPA NATIONAL WOMEN’S DIRECTOR said. “This tournament named for CONWAY is typical of how the program is growing.”

Nine division winners were crowned during the event held MAY 16-20 with two teams EAST COAST GEMS (55) and GOLDEN GIRLS of VIRGINIA (70) the only repeat champion.

Adding another 2018 tournament title after winning the SPA WOMEN’S SPRING NATIONAL, the GEMS also remained undefeated for 2018 taking four team 55 DIVISION crown.

On the way to the title the EAST COAST GEMS downed the SLUGGERS (4-7), SERIOUS FUN (28-10) and SHO ME 24-8..

The SLUGGERS beat SERIOUS FUN 13-11 for runner-up honors.

The GOLDEN GIRLS OF VA took their title beating the CALIFORNIA SPIRIT 20-5 and 18-8 as well as CHATTANOOGA CHARGERS 10-9.

The. Bested the CHARGERS 17-8 for second place.

The three-team 75 Crown went to the OHIO TRI STARS who beat the TENNESSEE STARS 22-4 and FREEDOM SPIRIT 10-2 in bracket play. The STARS beat the SPIRIT 15-12 to reach the finals.

Four teams squared off in the 65+ group with JOLICO SENIORS 65’S taking home the top prize.

JOLICO took care of the OHIO CARDINALS twice (11-10, 10-6) and SENIOR DIAMONDS 10-6 for the title.

The CARDINALS dropped their first game in bracket play to JOLICO but fought back through the loser’s bracket beating DIAMONDS (12-3) and SMOKEY MOUNTAIN STARS (18-4) to reach the finals.

The JOLICO 60’S followed their sisters’ lead winning the 60 + crown besting five other teams.

JOLICO had a close call in the finals edging HAMEL LADIES 15-14 but had an easier time beating HAMEL 19-6 the first time around. The champs slipped by the NOR’EASTERS 13-10 in their opening round game.

HAMELS beat SUNNY BEACHES 13-1`0 to reach the title game. MD ROADRUNNERS and SHO ME were the others in the bracket.

TN SR STARS downed FIFTY CALIBER 20-8 in the “IF” game to take the 50’s division crown. The STARS lost 11-15 to FIFTY CALIBER forcing the “IF” game. In earlier bracket play the STARS beat FIFTY CALIBER 17-12 forcing them into the loser’s bracket.

The STARS also beat FIRE and ICE 19-4, JWP AR MIX 18-4 and SUNNY BEACHES 17-12 in bracket play.

ARKANSAS ENERGY defeated PITCHES BE CRAZY 40’S 14-13 AND 28-9 for the 40/45 title. PITCHES beat WICKED 21-18 to make the finals.

OUTER LIMITS beat MIDWEST MAYHEM 13-5 in the “IF” game to capture the 35’s division bracket. OUTER LIMITS also beat MAYHEM in the bracket opener 24-20 forcing them into the loser’s bracket.

MAYHEM fought their out of the loser’s bracket beating SAVE SECOND BASE (15-6), pitches (19-9), wicked game (15-14) and OUTER LIMITS 18-3 before running out of gas in the “IF” game.

“Two great tournaments and turn out for the ladies,” SPA PRESIDENT RIDGE HOOKS said about the TWITTY and SPRING NATIONAL. “The SPA women’s program is going great thanks to JUDY, MIKE DESORBO, SHELBY WILLIAMS, the teams and the managers.”

“We look forward to seeing everyone back in TENNESSEE for the ROCKY TOP TOURNAMENT July 5-8 in KNOXVILLE at CASCADE PARK”

HEART OF OHIO HOSTS 47 TEAMS

The COLUMBUS HEART OF OHIO enjoyed their new dates welcoming FORTY-SEVEN teams MAY 9-13 to the BERLINER COMPLEX.

“We moved the tournament up from the end of June to the beginning of May and it worked well,” TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR LARRY MILLIRON said, "Based on the initial response this year for the new dates I expect the tournament to top fifty teams in 2019.

Ten teams, also up from 2017, went home with division titles.

The BAD BOYZ won a SPA DALTON TRIPLE CROWN bid winning the three-team 50 MAJOR championship. The BOYZ downed GEM CITY MERCHANTS 39-18 for the crown. AMERICAN METAL RECYCLING was third.

Another TRIPLE CROWN QUALIFIER was the DAYTON LEGENDS by beating OHIO ELITE/CREATIVE STUCCO 33-22 in the championship game. The LEGENDS also beat the LOUISVILLE SLUGGERS twice as well as a second win over OHIO ELITE in their march through bracket play. OHIO ELITE was second followed by JJ FINANCIAL and LOUISVILLE SLUGGERS.

BRICKYARD took the 50AAA six team group crown beating MJ LOWE PLUS 21-13 in the “IF” game. The champs lost 14-20 setting up the “IF” game.

Earlier in bracket play in the BRICKYARD beat MJ LOWE 21-14 and the OHIO HITMEN 29-13.

FREDERICK WINE AND DINE was third followed by OHIO HITMEN, DAYTON LEGENDS and CIRCLE CITY PLAYMAKERS.

The ANTIQUE ROAD SHOW beat DETROIT CONNECTION twice 33-12 and 25-21 for the 55 AAA crown. DAN CALMES BULL MOOSE, BUCKEYE CLASSICS and PITTSBURGH NORTH rounded out the five-team division.

Hometown UNIVERSAL SOFTBALL 60’s outgunned three other teams for the 60 AAA title. On the way to the winner’s circle UNIVERSAL beat CINCINNATI 60’s (22-16), BRICKYARD CLASSICS (20-17) and MINUTEMEN/PEPCO 28-17.

MCMAHON-COYNE-VITANTONIO-JUST ONE MORE won two titles. The one for the MOST WORDS IN THEIR TEAM NAME and also the 60 AA championship.

The champs beat long-time 60 AA foe INDY FOG 17-10, 17-16 and DURHAM SILVER STICKS 24-17 in bracket play. DAYTON LEGENDS DIAMOND DAWGS was the fourth team in the group.

SIDELINE BULL MOOSE OUTLASTED five others for the 65 AAA title. BULL MOOSE had to win an “IF” game 25-12 over STEEL DAWGS to do it.

After beating DECLAIRE-LEMMACHIA-ORTHOPEDIC INSTITUTE 29-16 and STEEL DAWGS 14-11 earlier in bracket play, they lost 9-14 to the DAWGS forcing the “IF” game.

Others in the group were DAYTON LEGENDS, DOC MARTENS/ROPE COURSE and UNIVERSAL SOFTBALL 65 TEAM.

The DAYTON LEGENDS won the SEVEN-TEAM 70 AAA crown going 4-0 in bracket play.

The LEGENDS opened their run beating INDY 70’s (22-4), LIFEGUARD/PEPCO (13-5) and STEEL CITY (15-6) before beating the STEEL CITY 17-14 in the title game.

Others in the bracket were CHICAGO STRIKERS, INDY 70’S, LIFEGUARD PEPCO, RUSH TRUCKING, MICHIGAN LAKERS and FRICKERS SPORTS BAR.

Five teams battled for the 70AA championship with CHICAGO HITMEN winning the bacon. THE HITMEN downed DAYTON LEGENDS FARM TEAM 24-16, ROCHESTER CLASSICS 17-5 and LEGENDS OF DAYTON 20-18 in the title game.

CENTRAL OHIO COSSA was the fifth team in the bracket.

COSSA 75’S beat FRICKERS twice 15-9 and 13-9 to claim the 75 championship in a best two-out-of-three contest.

Next up in the SPA OHIO CIRCUIT is THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC followed by FIRST FLIGHT OF OHIO and the GREAT LAKES SPA NIT.

GEMS SPARKLE WITH SIX DP’S

Even the famous MLB double play trio of the 2010 CHICAGO CUBS’ TINKER-TO-EVERS-TO-CHANCE couldn’t hold a candle to the DP combination of the EAST COAST GEMS.

The Ladies turned not one, not two, not three but six double plays in one game in winning the 55 Division of  the PENSACOLA 2018 WOMEN’S SPRING NATIONALS.

It just wasn’t two or three ladies participating in the accomplishment, eight of the GEMS contributed in the record setting show.

“The girls looked like they had played together every single day since 2017 “ coach WENDY LEDFORD said, “But in fact most of the ladies haven’t picked up a ball since January when we won the TOC in TAMPA.”

Leading the gold glove defense for the GEMS was SHERRI CLARK (3B). The All-Tournament infielder figured in three of the DP’s with three assists and three putouts.

CYNTHIA SMITH (SS), DIXIE DALTON (2B), ANITA KIMERY (2B) and, JEANETTE BAILEY-BROWN (1B) each handled three chances. DEB FRANKLIN (2B) and LCF JOANN JONES had an assist and putout while pitcher BRENDA JONES added an assist. All-in-all, the group contributed 12 putouts (11 assists) in a 21-put out game.

Although not a DP. right fielder JODY TRIMMER made an ESPN highlight film catch saving three runs in the championship game against the PLAYERS with the GEMS holding a 6-2 lead.

“The girls really made VIV proud today,” LEDFORD said.

VIV was VIVIAN JONES who along with team manager TERRI HOUPOS founded the team.

“VIV passed away in 2016 and every single game is played for VIVIAN,” LEDFORD said. “We wear her number over our heart every game.”

Defense wasn’t the only highlight in the GEMS tournament win.

All-Tournament LOUISE O’DONNELL led the offense with a .813 average as the GEMS outscored their opponents 82-40 in the four games. 

The team took no prisoners in their run through the tournament beating SHO-ME 19-0 , SUNNY BEACHES 21-16, THE PLAYERS 20-10, SERIOUS FUN 12-11 and THE PLAYERS 10-3.

Also receiving All-Tournament honors were MVP FRANKLIN, DALTON and TRIMMER.

Other members of the EAST COAST GEMS 55’S are: MONA ONYEMELUKWE, CYNTHIA NELSON, BECKY ATKINS, TERRY JERMAN, and DONNA FOLEY, CO-SPONSOR is VALLEY CREEK HUNTING SUPPLY.

SOUTHERN NIT CROWNS CHAMPS

The PENSACOLA SOUTHERN NIT saw twenty teams battle it out May 5-6 at Exchange Park with six going home with championships.

Florida's MATADOR CLUB/DAG ARCHITECT bested three others for the 70-75 title.

The MATADORS defeated LA LEGENDS 23-13 AND FOR FREEDOM 17-10 in bracket play to wrap it up while the LEGENDS took second

The LEGENDS edged SOUTHERN LEFTOVERS 18-17 to make it to the title game.

COLUMBUS LXV defeated RPR SOFTBALL (25-19) and TAG (25-14) to win the 65 bracket RPR defeated THE FIRM 4-13 to reach the finals.

Six teams locked horns in the 60 bracket with ELITE SOFTBALL downing SMITH MASON DUDLEY (24-20), SEASONED VETS (18-12) and  GAS (GEORGIA ALABAMA SENIORS SOFTBALL) 24-23 for the crown.

SMITH MASON came out of the loser's bracket with wins over, the VETS, BAND OF BROTHERS and GAS to reach the finals. SEASONED VETS finished third, BAND OF BROTHERS fourth with GAS and ATLANTA RECYCLING rounding out the bracket.

DOC C'S downed RIVERROCK VENTURES for the 50 MAJOR title while WDMS SENIORS was the 50 AAA champs and JAMES R SMITH TRUCKING the 55 AAA top dog.

Others in the combined bracket were SOUTHERN WATER THE SWARM and FLORIDA AUTOMATED SHADE.

"The tournament ran very smoothly with great competition, "DIRECTOR MIKE DESORBO said. "We were expecting thirty teams but we had a rash of last minute cancellations due to weather, injuries and such."

GLEN BURNIE KEEPS GROWING

The SPA GLEN BURNIE TOURNAMENT closed in on the 50 mark with 48 teams attending the MAY 2-6 at the BACHMAN SPORTS COMPLEX.

“It went real well this year,” tournament DIRECTOR LONNIE O’HAVER said. “The weather was great and we had a very competitive tournament in all brackets.”

Sixteen teams went home with championship awards.

PEACHTREE RESTAURANT defeated the NEW YORK STATESMEN 19-10 and 10-8 to win the 80’s division. The STATESMEN made it to the finals with a 20-9 triumph over HAMEL BUILDERS.

The HAMEL BUILDERS 75’s avenged the 80’s team defeat by winning the 75 BRACKET with a 15-10 win over MONKEY JOE’S. NEW JERSEY MASTERS finished third.

The 55 MAJOR PLUS crown went to BOB JOHNSON CHEVROLET DOMINOES TJ’S PLUMBING (and they needed two plaques because the sponsor name would not fit on just one,,,just kidding)

JOHNSON’S beat OLYMPIAN ATHLETES twice 29-12 and 26-20 along with SWEET CONSTRUCTION 23-22 on the way to the title in bracket play.

OLYMPIAN ATHLETES beat WOODLAWN FURNITURE 38-19 to reach the championship game and claim the 55 MAJOR title. SWEET CONSTRUCTION was the fourth team in the bracket.

MARYLAND COUGARS downed RUM HUT twice (20-8, 19-13) and SNEAKY PETE SOFTBALL 23-11 to take home the 55 AAA award.

RUM HUT reached the finals with a 19-14 win over SNEAKY PETE. GRIFFITH BROTHERS was the fourth team in the group.

PHOENIX TUBE beat MARK THOMAS LAW 22-21 and TEAM DUDLEY EAST COAST 28-27 to repeat as the 50 MAJOR champ. MARK THOMAS LAW beat TEAM DUDLEY 25-22 for second place.

Others in the 50 M group were TRINITY RIZZOS, ROEBELL PAINTERS PARADISE PAINTING, BH MAINTENANCE and COVELLA SANITATION.

GTO SOFTBALL downed HIGH STREET 50’S 19-18, 17-12 and MARYLAND CLASSICS 21-12 to run the table in the 50 AAA bracket.

HIGH STREET beat the CLASSICS 25-18 for second. Others in the five-team bracket were BRENCO and TIME BANDITS.

The 50 MAJOR PLUS title went to TEAM USA with 22-7 and 20-6 wins over PROVIDENCE AUTO BODY.

PROMOTION beat the 2017 60 MAJOR champs HIGH STREET BUCS 60’s 36-35 and 29-25 for the 60 MAJOR CROWN. PROMOTION lost to HIGH STREET 15-16 early in bracket play and fought their way through the loser’s bracket to force an “IF” game and beat HIGH STREET in the finals.

SWEET CONSTRUCTION was also in the bracket.

BUELL FUEL beat CHESAPEAKE GRAY 20-19, ROADHOUSE BLUES 21-9 and NORTHERN VIRGINIA FORCE 20-13 to take the 60 AAA title.

CHESAPEAKE beat ROADHOUSE for second place.

In round robin play HIGH STREET 65’s won the 65 MAJOR handing CAROLINA COBRA 65 their only loss by 19-18 count.

JERSEY MASTER RED beat ROCHESTER BREWERS 17-14 to finish first in the 65 AAA group. SIMMONS DAY ALL STARS and SPRING FORD were also in the 65 AAA contest.

JERSEY MASTERS was the 70 MAJOR champ while HIGH STREET BUCS 70’s went 4-0 to finish

ahead of DELAWARE AUTO SALVAGE, SPICER PROPERTIES.

ROCHESTER ROYALS were 70 AA champs.

The tournament was played at BACHMAN SPORTS COMPLEX.

PATRICIA ROE THE NEW BABE RUTH

Move over Hank and Babe there is a new long ball basher in the neighborhood. Her name is PATRICIA ROE, a third baseman for the 35-year young MICHIGAN MIDWEST MAYHEM BALLERS.

Roe made her mark April 15 at the SPA WOMEN S SPRING NATIONALS at FLORIDA EXCHANGE PARK in PENSACOLA.

Batting in the last inning with the bases loaded, ROE sent one over the 300-ft fence and not just over the fence. Easily clearing the 12-ft fence the ball hit high up on the 60-ft net behind the fence.

"I would estimate the shot about 350-ft," Tournament Director MIKE DESORBA said. "It was the longest ball I have ever seen hit out in a women's tournament."

It was also ROE's first since it was her first game in senior softball and also her first trip to Florida.

"I have been playing co-ed ball and women's fast pitch in Flint,' the Michigan resident said. "This was my first game ever in senior softball."

Roe, who coaches a high school girls FAST PITCH team at CARMAN AINSWORTH in FLINT thinks coaching others helps her own game.

"Softball is a game of fundamentals and you need proper fundamentals to succeed," she said. "By teaching them everyday it has helped me keep focused, especially at the plate."

Roe, who hit .750 in her first senior softball tournament says there is a difference in senior softball.

"The game is not as fast because everyone is older but talent wise it is really good," she said. "I didn't know what to expect in my first tournament but I was really impressed with the abilities of the ladies who played at Pensacola."

She and her team, the MIDWEST MAYHEM BALLERS are looking forward to the TWITTY SR WOMENS' TOURNAMENT later this month.

Their roster is made up half of MICHIGAN ladies and the rest from MARYLAND, OHIO, FLORIDA, MISSOURI and TENNESSEE.

"We had one practice together before our first game in Florida," ROE said. "Now that we know each other we should do much better at the Tennessee tournament, I am really looking forward to it."

It will be interesting to see how she does at the plate because she only needs 59 more homers to catch BABE RUTH.