SPA News

What's Happening in Senior Softball

Dayton First Flight Soars

Dayton's First Flight tournament continues to grow  reaching 32 teams this year.

The event held April 11-14 had contests in 70 AAA, 75 AAA, 65 AAA, 60 AAA, 60 AA, 55 AAA, 50 AAA and 50 Major. The 70 and 60 AAA divisions were the most popular with each drawing six teams.

The Dayton Legends won the 70 AAA bracket beating COSSA twice (24-14, 20-16) and Chicago Strikers 15-11 on the way to the title. COSSA was second followed by the Strikers, LifeGuard, Fricker's Sports Bar and Indy 70's.

The Golden Vipers took the 60 AAA bracket ahead of Universal Softball. Cincinnati 60's, Steel Dawgs, Chicago

 Prime 60's and Sideline Financial.

Doc Martens won their first tournament of the year beating Jim N' Joes 21-18 in the finals of the 65 AAA bracket. Jim N' Joes was second followed by Sylvania 65's,Universal softball  and Dayton Legends.

In a neighborhood battle Legends of Dayton beat the Dayton Legends 16-2 and 14-13 for the 70 AA  crown.

Indy Classics beat Kindred Healthcare two-out-of-three (19-0, 8-13, 15-0)) to win the 75 AAA bracket.

The two-team 60 AA championship was won by Indy Fog with 19-15, 12-11 wins over Dayton Diamond Dawgs.

The Dayton Legends 55's kept another title in the home city beating Detroit Connection 18-16, 23-20 for the 55 AAA crown. Buckeye Classics were third.

Flytime kept Dayton from winning another championship beating Dayton Legends 36-14 in the title game of the 50 AAA bracket. Ohio Hitmen finished third.

Team Champion beat LS Softball in the "if" game 34-25 to win the 50 Major crown. The two teams split the previous two games with Team Champion winning 27-12 to force the "if" game. LS Softball won the opener 29-28. Gem City Merchants finished third.

"It was a great tournament with a lot of new teams and larger brackets," tournament director John Zampatti said."I really expect us to have 40 teams and more four-team brackets in 2018."

Eyes of Texas on Layla Bryan Memorial

The Layla Bryan Memorial Georgetown, Texas SPA tournament played host to 32 teams with eight champions crowned.

The April 20-23 event had participants in the 65, 70 Gold, 75 Plus, 80 Plus, 60 AA/AAA, 50 AAA, 50 Platinum, and 55/60 plus, AAA and Major brackets

The largest group faced off in the 70 Gold bracket with San Antonio Legends beating Hendricks Sports 26-19, 27-11 and Texas Legends 26-20 to win the title.

Hendricks finished second followed by Oakies, Austin Merchants, Texas Greyhounds and Still.

Houston Classics captured the 65 Plus title beating second place  Texas Rattlers 12-4, 27-11 and the third place

Texas Legends 26-20. Centex was the fourth team in the bracket.

Hill Contracting with wins over the runner-up Texas Greyhounds 26-14, 21-12 and Alamo City finished on top in the 75 plus group.

Team Classics lost 15-19 to the Kansas City Antiques 16-19 in their  first game but bounced back to win the next two 26-14, 24-18 for the 80 Plus championship. The Texas Greyhounds were third.

The 60 AA/AAA went to Texas Thunder who beat  second place Texas Rangers 23-19 and Dallas Spurs 25-14.

ETX lost to Bullets 21-13 in their first game but rallied to beat them 20-13 and 18-10 for the 50 AAA title.

The 50 Platinum crown went to the Texas Mavericks with two wins (35-27, 30-23) over runner-up Legends of Texas  and a 37-17 victory over Texas Rock 55.Others in the group were Texas Vets and  Mixed Breed.

The 55/60 Plus AAA and Major combination bracket saw Smith Mason, Dudley downing second place Gonzales Insulation 32-10, Crossfire 30-15 and Texas Rampage 22-7 for the crown.

"This tournament continues to grow," SPA president Ridge Hooks said. "Last year we had 28 teams and we get bigger each year. This was Layla's tournament and teams attend to show their respect and honor her memory. We all miss her."

Teams Turnout at Valley City NIT

The Men's Mid-South NIT at the Valley Sportsplex Valley City, Alabama saw thirty-eight teams suit up for the April event.

Nine teams went home with championship trophies during the April 21-23 event.

"We has some weather problems but we got through it and all divisions got a lot of games in," Pete Fowler. tournament director said. "It was a very competitive tournament with "if" games and close games throughout the tournament."

One of the "IF" games was in the 70 AAA bracket where Time Bandits after losing 16-18 to Freedom bounced back to edge them 14-13 for the title. LA Legends were third.

In the 65 AAA Crystal Heat beat The Farm 17-0 and 22-18 for the championship while Tag was third and Deep South fourth.

Edge beat the Travelers 28-6 and 26-14 in a best two-out-of-three in the 65 Major bracket.

GAS never ran out of it running the table for the 60 AAA crown. The champs downed RDG 20-0, Atlanta Recycle 23-9 and Boys of Summer 13-12. Following GAS in the standings were RDG, Atlanta Recycle, Boys of Summer and Columbus LX.

The Tennessee Comets did not have time to take a breath in winning the 50 AAA bracket. The Comets beat runner-up SE Water Swarm 14-12 and 19-17 to go along with 24-23 first round decision over third place Maj LG Miken.

Kent's Players and Atlanta 50's rounded out the five-team bracket.

Team One took the rain shortened 50 Major Crown. Others in the group were Walker Bothers, Monster Softball, Lighthouse, Doc C's, Team Kitty, Good Times and Atlanta Monarchs.

Rain also shortened the 55 Major bracket with Florida Automated the winner. Others in the six-team field were Montgomery Swarm, Alpha Life, Tennessee Connection, Next Level and Darrel Harris,

Carolina A's were the 55 AAA champs while David Bowen won the 60 Major crown. Others in the mixed 55 AAA/60 Major bracket were JR Smith, Southern States and DT Express.

Pensacola Hosts Womens Spring National

The 50, 55 and 60 women's teams met in Pensacola April 7-9 for a rain shortened Spring Nationals Tournament.

The 50 bracket was won by Tennessee Stars who beat Pensacola Sr. Ladies 30-15, 37-11 and Bat Girls Return 33-6. Fire n' Ice rounded out the group.

Serious Fun had a lot of it beating East Coast Gems twice and Jolico 55's once to take the 55's title. Sunny Beaches was the fourth team in the bracket.

Sunny Beaches downed runner-up Road Runners 30-13 and 13-4 along with a 21-7 win over the Southern Stars for the 60's title.

The 35/40 bracket was rained out.

Military Appreciated at Mustang

Mustang, Oklahoma appreciated the Military with  an April 6-9 tournament in their honor.

Carriage Homes won the 60 plus bracket with Nebraska Silver Bullets crowned 55 champs. Second place went to Okla. Street Outlaws and K.C. Thunder.

The 65 Plus crown went to Boyd Metal. Dallas Spurs were second followed by Ola City Relics and USA Patriots.

Midwest Driving School won the 75 tournament with a pair of wins (12-11, 18-1) over the Texas Greyhounds.

SPA Salutes Veterans

College Station, Texas played host to the 27-team SPA Salute to Veterans Tournament crowning eleven divisional champions in the process.

The March 20-April 2 event featured brackets in 50 AAA, 50 major and major plus, 55 AAA, 60 AA, 65 AA, 65 AAA, 70 AAA/Major, 70 AA, 75 AAA and 75 Major.

The largest group was the 50 Major/Major plus bracket with seven teams squaring off for the title. Escobar Body Shop took the top spot by beating Texas Mavericks (31-11) and Texas Players (32-31, 29-24).Texas Players took second followed by Mixed Breed, Team Woodlawn, Texas Mavericks, Texas Vets and Team Arkansas.

The 55 AAA division saw S.A. Softball Club beating Scrap Iron RMT (23-22, 27-13) and Legends of Texas 29-11 to win it all. Scrap Iron RMT was second with Crossfire fourth.

The Bullets beat ETX  50's two out of three (18-9, 12-13, 15-11) for the 50 AAA crown.

Dallas Spurs beat the Texas Legends 9-3 and 11-9 to capture the 60 AA title.

The 65 AA Dallas Spurs echoed the performance of their younger brothers downing Robson Ranch Texas 14-13 and 13-7 for the 65 AA championship.

The Houston Classics needed three games to beat the Texas Legends (26-25, 16-31, 19-8) to win the 65 AAA top spot.

Louisiana Legends downed Austin Merchants 13-12 and Hendricks Sports 16-6 to win the four team 70 AAA/70 Major bracket. with the Merchants second, Hendricks third and Texas Classics fourth.

Texas Greyhounds won the 70 AA with the Alamo City Travelers  75 AAA champs. The 75 Major title went to Hill Contracting.

"I expect next year this tournament honoring our veterans will grow into at least 35 teams," SPA president Ridge Hooks said. "Everyone enjoyed themselves and next year we will try to add more teams to the 70 and 75 groups."

Southern Spring NIT Nail Biters

If Montgomery, Alabama's Men's Southern Spring SPA NIT tournament is any indication, close games will be the name of the game in the 2017 season.

The March 16-19 tournament saw one-run deciding games in the 50AAA, 60AAA,55 Major, 55 AAA and 50 Major/Major Plus divisions in the semi-finals and finals deciding the title.

'It was a well-balanced tournament in all divisions, tournament director Lonnie O'Haver said of the 32-team event. One-run games were more of the rule than the exception.
Typical was the 60AAA bracket where Atlanta Recycling beat  26-25 RPR Softball in the finals after downing Columbus LX 20-19 in the tournament opener.

Following Atlanta Recycling and RPR Softball in the standings were Columbus LX, RDG Chattanooga and Gas Softball.

Not to be out done, the 50 AAA bracket saw champion Southeast Water Swarm win the title with a 23-19 championship game over Blue Grass after earlier downing Team Akiktiv 19-18 and Blue Grass 19-14.

Blue Grass finished second followed by Team Adiktiv, Maj League Seniors and Atlanta 50's.

Montgomery Swarm had a couple of close calls edging Darryl Harris 21-20 and Alpha Life 28-27 before beating Alpha Life 28-19 in the 55 Major title game. Tn Connection was third with Darryl Harris fourth.

Southern States Seniors had a close call in winning the 55 AAA crown, Southern State Seniors beat DT Express 19-18 in the finals, JR Smith 8-6 in the semi's and DT Express 24-23 in the opener

DT Express was second followed by JR Smith and JR Logistics.

David Bowen took the 60 Major crown beating Smith Mason Dudley 27-12 and 23-7 in a two-game showdown.

The 65 AAA crown went to TAG 65 with Travelers grabbing the 65 Major crown, Also participating were Edge 60 and Deep South Softball 60.

Team Kitty downed Walker Brothers twice including 41-40 in the semi's to win the 50 Major/Major Plus crown,

Lighthouse was third followed by Monster Express, Atlanta Monarchs, Alabama Brick and Team Arkansas.

SPA On The Move!!

The 2017 softball season looks to be the best in the history for the Softball Players Association.

Fifty-six tournaments have been scheduled for this summer from Colorado in the west, Maryland in the east, Ohio in the north, Alabama and Texas in the south and states like Indiana , Illinois and Missouri in the mid-west.

"This is our best schedule ever," SPA president and CEO Ridge Hooks said. "I mean best in both terms of tournaments and teams."
Hooks also pointed out SPA has been asked to put on tournaments in Florida, Arizona. Michigan, Pennsylvania and the Carolina's but just does not have the manpower to handle it.

"We would love to set up men's or women's tournament in those areas but we need directors to run them," Hooks said. "If you know of a site with quality fields and a director who would like to run a tournament, have them give us a call. We definitely would love to work with them."

Actually that is the way the Ohio corridor of tournaments (Dayton, Barberton, Sylvania)  started.

Six years ago Columbus was the only SPA tournament in Ohio but in succession Barberton, Dayton and Sylvania called SPA to set up a SPA tournament in their area. Today the four Ohio tournaments average 50 teams an event and next year Cincinnati may also become part of the Ohio group.

"That is the way it starts, just a phone call and we will help in anyway to get a tournament started in the callers area but he or she has to work with us," Hooks said,

In addition to new tournaments old reliable ones at Glen Burnie, Shelbyville, Georgetown, Pensacola, College Station, Hendersonville, Waxahachie, Hot Springs and Powder Springs rerun in 2017.

Dalton, Georgia is the site for all men and women World Championships.

Exact dates for these and other SPA events may be found at: http://softballspa.com/

You may also call the SPA office for information at 405-376-7034.

"I am really excited about our 2017 schedule," Hooks said. "This promises to be our greatest year ever."

 

Eyes of Texas On Layla Bryan Memorial

GEORGETOWN TOURNAMENT AGAIN DRAWS THIRTY TEAMS

GEORGETOWN,TX - The recording stars ALABAMA said, ".....if you're going to play in Texas, you have to have a fiddle in the band."

Senior softball players say, "If you're going to play in TEXAS, you have to play SPA'S LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL tournament."

Not to sound like a broken record but the MCMASTERS ATHLETIC COMPLEX in GEORGETOWN, TEXAS again drew THIRTY PLUS teams to the ANNUAL LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL SPA tournament.

" I think the drawing power of the event is a great tribute to LAYLA," SPA PRESIDENT/CEO RIDGE HOOKS said, "This tournament was LAYLA'S baby, she put her heart and soul into it every year and today it continues to flourish in her memory."

Seven divisional bracket champions were crowned this year starting with HILL CONTRACTING in the four-team 75/80 bracket.

The TEXAS team went 3-0 in bracket play beating TEXAS CLASSICS 24-9, HARRIS AUCTION 18-11 and edging HARRIS AUCTION 12-11 in the title game. ALAMO CITY TRAVELERS rounded out the field.

Five teams squared off in the five-team 70 PLUS group. OKC RELICS ran the table on the way to the title. OKC disposed of STILL (25-10), TEXAS LEGENDS 70's (24-18) and beat the TEXAS LEGENDS again, this time 15-13 for the championship. Others in the bracket were AUSTIN WIZARDS and TEXAS CLASSICS 70's.

In a three-team 65 PLUS SILVER bracket the DALLAS SPURS took the top prize after beating TEXAS RATTLERS (41-19) and TEXAS EAGLES (22-17).

CENTEX 65'S won the 65 PLUS GOLD wrapping it up on a forfeit win over SAN ANTONIO LEGENDS. Earlier CENTEX beat BOYD METALS 29-14 and SAN ANTONIO 23-19. The TEXAS LEGENDS were the fourth team in the bracket.

HOUSTON FIRE beat AUSTIN WIZARDS 18-16, OOPS SOFTBALL 23-8 and TEXAS THUNDER 23-18 in the title game of the five-team 60 PLUS group.

TACOMA MB FLYING also was in the 60 PLUS bracket,

The 55/60 MAJOR CROWN was won by SAN ANTONIO 55 SOFTBALL CLUB. LEGENDS OF TEXAS were SECOND followed by GONZALES INSULATION 60's.

A neighboring state team, TEAM ARKANSAS won the 50 PLUS PLATINUM crown beating TEXAS PLAYERS twice including 37-19 in the title game. The TEXAS PLAYERS reached the finals by knocking off TEXAS MAVERICKS 37-24.

TEXAS ELITE swept the competition in winning the 50 PLUS GOLD bracket championship. TEXAS ELITE beat MIXED BREED 26-15 in the finale. MIXED BREED came out of the loser's bracket by beating AUSTIN ROCK 29-24.

It was a tough tournament for AUSTIN ROCK who lost their two bracket games by a total of only six runs, five runs to MIXED BREED and one run (15-14) to TEXAS ELITE.

SPA will return to the LONE STAR state AUGUST 26-30 when COLLEGE STATION will host the SPA SALUTE TO VETERANS NIT.

Please contact SPA OFFICE at (405) 376-7034 or E-MAIL spaoffice@softballspa.net for further information.

SPA 2015 Montgomery Tournament Tops Forty Teams

LAGOON PARK SOFTBALL COMPLEX IS A GREAT HOST

 MONTGOMERY, ALABABMA - Combine a great location with the reputation of a well-run tournament and the result is predictable.

For the third straight year the SOUTHERN SPA NIT IN MONTGOMERY ALABAMA an increased attendance, this year attracting FORTY TEAMS.

 Over the past three years the MONTGOMERY TOURNAMENT has increased from thirty teams to thirty-five teams and this year to forty teams,” SPA PRESIDENT RIDGE HOOKS said, “ That is an increase of over ten-percent each year and this year's total of FORTY TEAMS is higher than THIRTY-SEVEN other senior tournaments conducted east of VEGAS by all other senior organizations in 2014.”

 Tournament Director for the 2015 MONTGOMERY TOURNAMENT DON CHERRY also was excited about the continued increase in teams.

 The increase has a lot to do with LAGOON PARK ,” CHERRY said, “ LAGOON PARK is one of the best complexes on the senior softball circuit and the people in charge of the facility do a tremendous job in keeping it that way. we had a great tournament with lots of new teams and new winners”

 The forty-team tournament at MONTGOMERY, MARCH 12-15 saw EIGHT CHAMPIONS crowned in the 50, 55, 60, 65 and 70 age groups.

 ADIKTIVE MERCHANTS ran the table in the 50 MAJOR BRACKET downing TEAM ARKANSAS (31-14), DOC C'S (34-33), MONSTER SOFTBALL (32-25) and MONSTER SOFTBALL again, this time in the title game 35-24 to take the top prize.

 Others in the six team bracket were ALABAMA BRICK and ATLANTA MONRACH MIKENS.

In the 50 AAA team, another GEORGIA TEAM, MAJOR LEAGUE MIKEN, went home with the “brass ring”.

 MAJOR LEAGUE MIKEN downed AFINITY ELEVATOR 10-5 and BLUEGRASS SOFTBALL twice (20-15, 28-15) for the 50 AAA crown.

 Filling out the five-team bracket were MONTGOMERY SWARM and NORTH GEORGIA OUTLAWS,

 Three teams battled in the 50/55 MAJOR PLUS BRACKET with TSC MIKEN coming out on top, TSC had to beat PLE 41-34 in the “IF” game to escape with the title after PLE forced the deciding match with 31-25 win over the “champs”.

 NEXT LEVEL was the third team in the field

 TENNESSEE'S EDGE SOFTBALL bested FLORIDA'S DAVID BOWEN SPORTING GOODS 34-15 and 23-22 in a best two-out-of-three showdown for the 5/60 MAJOR CROWN.

 The 55AAA title went to DT EXPRESS, who had to survive a late rush by GAS.

 In the four-team bracket, DT EXPRESS sent GAS into the loser's bracket with a 19-18 win in the opener. The EXPRESS gang took care of the BAMA OLD GUYS 31-20 in the next game and then sat back and waited for their next opponent.

 In the meantime, GAS eliminated JR TRUCKING 24-9 and the BAMA OLD GUYS 17-7 to earn another shot at DT EXPRESS. This time GAS won 24-15 to force an “IF” game. The title game was close all the way but DT EXPRESS held on for the 16-12 win and claim the 55 AAA crown.

 SIX TEAMS squared off in the 60 BRACKET with RANDY SMITH going undefeated to win the championship. It wasn't easy though as the champs had to survive a pair of one-run wins on their way to the title.

 RANDY SMITH knocked off COLUMBUS LX 24-19 and BOYS OF SUMMER 23-22 before beating COLUMBUS LX 16-15 in the title match.

 COLUMBUS LX after losing the opener to RANDY SMITH beat ATLANTA RECYCLING, STRYKERS and BOYS OF SUMMER to make it to the championship game.

DIXIE SOFTBALL and RANEW rounded out the six-team bracket.

 MUSTANGS won the four-team 65 BRACKET with three straight wins over EXTREME HEAT and HUFFMAN ELECTRIC twice.

 SLO SOX was the fourth team in the bracket.

 SOUTHEAST LEFTOVERS made up for their 2014 runner-up spot by winning this year's 70/75 title. The 75 MAJOR LEFTOVERS claimed the crown beating 70 AAA BROOKS AND CRIM 12-11 and 75 MAJOR ED'S ALUMINUM 20-4.

 The 75 AAA GEORGIA CLASSICS filled out the four team bracket.

"It was a great tournament and we expect to increase attendance again next year," concluded CHERRY.