SPA News

What's Happening in Senior Softball

Tennessee Stars Shine, Win SPA 50 Women World

The Tennessee Senior Stars 50’s team taught the younger 50 teams at Dalton a lesson in winning the SPA 50’s Women’s World Championship September 22-24 in Dalton, Georgia.

The Nashville area team is made up mostly of 55 and older ladies.

“We are a little older than most of the teams in the 50 division and in senior ball those five years make a big difference,” Senior Stars and SPA 50 20117 Manager-of-the-Year Will Grandstaff said. “We are thinking next year of having a 50’s and 60’s team and then in two years going 55 and 60 if we can get enough players to fill the rosters”.

At Dalton, the Tennessee Senior Stars looked anything but “senior” as they won all three bracket games plus their three pool games for a 6-0 record.

“This was probably our best total (offense/defense) of the year,” Grandstaff said. “We won our first tournament of the year in Pensacola and now our last. We had a great start and outstanding finish. We will forget about the middle.’

At Dalton they disposed of Fire & Ice 15-13, 22-2 and JWP AR Mix 8-2 in bracket play. Pool play saw them beat ShoMe 50’s 18-7, Sunny Beaches 18-12 and JWP 13-7.

Unlike a lot of the teams the Stars are mostly “home-grown” with all but four players from Tennessee.

“You will senior teams from players from all over the country because it is not easy to find senior ladies who still play softball,” the manager said.

Jackie Wright is from Kentucky, Terry Rhian Florida, Deeneen Benson Florida and Patrice Maxwell South are the out-of-state players.

Tournament MVP was Myra Goodson while Eula Daniels, Debra Gill, Wright, Rhian and Connie Morland were selected to the All-American All-Tournament team.

“If they would have had an MVP Defensive player we would have had another Award winner,” Grandstaff said. “Deenen (Benson) was the best shortstop in the tournament, she was a huge factor in us winning the title.”

Members of the championship team are: Andera Hinton, Daniels, Sheila Classock, Mary Wesson, Natalie Baugh, Martha Ann Cowan, Barbara McKissack, Gill, Teresa Pendergrast, Goodson, Wright, Rhian, Patrice Maxwell, Pamela Dedmon, Morland, Regina Kirk, Benson and assistant coach Sherry Chamin.

So the million dollar question, “How did Grandstaff become coach on a women’s team?”

“I managed a class A team in Tennessee for 40 years and when I retired my wife (Juanita) asked me to coach her women’s team.” Grandstaff, who also managed the team to a title in 2012 said. “Now my wife has moved up to 60-ball and I am still enjoying this team but maybe next year if we have a 60’s team I can do both.”

The 50’s order of finish 1, Tennessee Senior Stars, 2. Fire & Ice, 3. ShoMe 50’s, 4. Sunny Beaches, 5. JWP AR Mix and 6. Diamond Girls.

Trinity/Rizzo Wins SPA 50 Worlds

Rochester’s Trinity Home Renovation/Rizzo TR Painting ran the table at the Softball Players Association (SPA) World Championships September 7-10 at Heritage Park in Dalton, Georgia to win the organizations 50 AAA bracket.

Competing with fourteen other teams from Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio, Texas, Carolina’s, Nebraska, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Indiana and New York. Trinity/Rizzo's won not only The World Tournament but also the Regional Qualifier in Barberton, Ohio and the World Series between the four SPA regional winners.

“Considering we had never won a tournament prior to this year, it was quite an honor for us,”

Trinity/Rizzo manager Tony Rizzo said. “This year everything fell in to place and we played great ball.”

The trifecta was the Triple Crown championship and the only team to win the Triple Crown in the SPA 50. 54, 60, 65, 70. 75. 80 AA,AAA and major brackets.

Trinity/Rizzo’s started the tournament with wins over SE Swarm (16-14), Atlanta 50’s (22-3) and Bulletts (17-8). The pool came win over Bullets was for the title in the of the four regional winners.

In the bracket play the Rochester team Beat Roadhouse Blues (28-13), Team 757 15-14, Bulletts 28-18 and KC Classic 19-7.

In the title game with KC, Trinity/Rizzo erupted for 13 runs in the top of the seventh to rally from a 7-6 deficit.

In addition to the team title individuals also were honored. Rizzo was named SPA 555 Manager of the Year and Rod Richardson was tournament MVP. Selected to the All-American Tournament team are John Hoagland, Ray Thornton, Steve Horton, Jeff Drain, Darren Mack and Ray Tramonto.

Members of the team were: Donato Fazio Jr, Robert Shaffer, Salvatore Gallo, Horton, Tramonto, Jose Munoz, Rizzo, Mark Lapoma, Christopher Parsons, Richardson, Don DiCrasto, James Canfield, Jeffrey Drain, Darren Mack, David Perkins, Thornton, Hoaglund, Steve Holmes and Thomas Rickard.

Hoaglund (Trinity) and Rizzo were the team sponsors.

Order of finish: 1. Trinity/Rizo,2. KC Classics, 3. Bulletts, 4. SE Water/Swarm, 5. Tennessee Comers, 5. Team 757, 7. Roadhouse Blues, 7. Carolina five-0, 9. Blackburn Trucking, 9. MLG Seniors, 9. Brickyard Softball, (. Flytime Seniors, 13. Atlanta 50’s, 13. Colorado Elite.

Team USA Repeats at SPA 50 MajorPlus Worlds

Team USA may soon force SPA into creating a new division. Two years ago they won the 50 AAA and were moved up, in 2016 they won the 50 Major crown and moved up. This year they added the SPA 50 Major Plus crown to their list of accomplishments.

Team USA went 3-0 in bracket play beating Suncoast Addias 13-12 in the title game. They didn't exactly run away with the championship as they only beat Team 1 Sports 31-29 and Suncoast Addias 21-20 in earlier bracket games.

”It was an evenly matched tournament with all four teams being very equal, “ manager Mike Rose said. “The difference for us was our depth.”

Playing in 100-degree weather conditions, Rose used his entire roster of 15 players.

“If they didn't start one game then they were runners in that game, the next game they started and we used other runners. I just wanted to keep everyone as fresh as I could..” Rose said.

It has been a good season for Team USA winning five of the seven tournaments they played compiling a 45-7 record. They still have a couple of tournaments left on the 2017 schedule.

Members of the 2017 SPA 50 MAJOR PLUS World champions are: coaches Dutch Detwiler Jr and Jimmie Johnson. Players are Michael Allegretti, Verdell Blackston, John Casner, James Devine, Michael Dill, Ernest Donaldson Jr, Jay Ehrhart, Edward Farrell, Stephen Heller, Bob Jones, William Kelly, Reid Miller, Kenneth Shemonski, Charles A. Smith and Ronald Wenrich.

Final Standings: 1. Team USA, 2. Suncoast Addias, 3.Team 1 Sports, 4. Mid-Atlantic

Team Kitty Claws Way to SPA 50M Title

Alabama's Team Kitty only used eight of its nine lives to take home the 2017 SPA World 50 Major crown.

They did it by going 2-0 in pool play and 5-1 in bracket play beating RB Lawncare 22-10 in the “IF” title game.

RB forced the “IF” game by beating Miami Power 18-17 in the loser's bracket finals and then beat Team Kitty 25-21 to force the extra game. Team Kitty had sent RB Lawncare into the loser's bracket with a 23-17 win earlier in the tournament in the battle berween two underfeated teams in the winner's bracket finals.

With the tournament win Team Kitty upped their season record to 46-9 with eight tournament titles in the ten events they participated.

“We played a tournament about every rwo or three weeks if we could find them,” Head coach Richard Otinger said. “We have been playing mostly in the South but would like to play some Northern tournaments if they took majors and/or major plus.”

It will really be hard to find tournaments in 2018 now that they are Major Plus.

“I know that,”Otinger said. “But that is what we were shooting for, to be one of the best 50 division teams. We will just have to add to our roster and get a little stronger but it will be great to compete at the highest level.”

Twenty teams took part in the double-elimination SPA World Tournament held in Dalton, Georgia July 20-22.

Team Kitty went 2-0 in pool play with wins over TeamWood Law 17-14 and Goodtime/Clean Planet 27-12.

The Cats rolled in bracket play beating Walker Beothers 23-8, Texas Vets 24-20, Miami Power 23-22 and RB Lawncare 23-17 before losing to RB and then beating them in the “IF” game

RB Lawncare was second followed by Miami Power, Team Champion, Phenix Tube, Team Wood Law, Lighthouse, Texas Mavericks, Hit N' Run, Texas Vets, Ohio Elite, Walker Brothers, LS/DTN, Atlanya Monarchs, Team Elite Miken, Doc C's, Goodtime/Clran Planet, Team Arkansas, Monster Softball, and Public Enemy.

Coach of Team Kitty is Richard Otinger.

Members of the SPA WORLD'S50 Major championship team are: Paul Hardin, Robert Brown, Spencer Kennedy, Charles Miller, Davod Reynolds, Timothy L.Lee, Ronald Hollingshed, Roger Teate, Bert Moore, Gerald Donaldson, Kevin Gillor, Joel Majoes, Partrick Madden, Robbie Clark, Paul Robinson and Otinger.

Tom Williams Memorial Celebrates 25th

Johnson City, Tennessee 's Tom William Tri-Cities Memorial Classic celebrated its 25th tournament year July 14 and 16 with twenty teams turning out for the event.

You always hope for more teams but we had a good turnout as the tournament continues to grow, Tournament Director Terry Widener said.

Six champions were crowned in the 50, 60 Gold, 60 Silver, 70 Gold, 70 Silver and 75 AAA divisions.

None were closer than the 50's group where the Tennessee Comets edged RB Lawncare 20-19 and Blackburn Trucking 22-21. In earlier bracket games Blackburn beat RB 24-23 and lost to them 20-18.

Tennessee Comets were first RB Lawncare second and Blackburn third.

The 60 Gold bracket saw Reality Check run the table beating RPR twice 26-23 and 21-11 along with a first round 16-15 win over the Carolina Patriots.

Reality Check was first, RPR second, Carolina Patriots third and Boys of Summer fourth.

The 60 Silver saw Steel Creek go 3-0 in bracket play to win the crown, The Steel Creek gang beat RDG Chattanooga 17-16 and 23-14 as well as Tri-Cities 20-15 in their run.

RDG Chattanooga was second and Tri-Cities third.

The 70 Gold division went to an "IF" game with Charlotte Seniors beating Tennessee Seniors 12-7 in the showdown match.

The two split earlier games with Charlotte winning 16-13 and losing 12-15. Flip Dow lost 15-0 to Charlotte in an opening round game. Flip Dow was third and Time Bandits fourth.

Only two teams took part in the 70's Silver bracket with Eagles II winning 13-12 and 22-16 over Tri-Cities 70's for the title.

The 75's wrapped up the tournament with Sports Lettering winning 17-16 over Carolina Blue Sky in the title game. Blue Sky had lost 18-22 earlier to Sports Lettering in the opening round before beating Tri-Cities 75's 15-3 to get another chance at them.

Georgia Classics were third and Tri-Cities fourth.

Weather Hampers SPA Eastern Nationals

Threat of inclement weather hampered the turnout for the SPA Eastern National Men's Henrico, Virginia tournament but the show still went on and produced five bracket champions.

The tournament held July 7-9 had winners in the 50 AAA, 55 AAA, 65 AAA, 70 AA and 70 AAA divisions.

Virginia's Team 757 outlasted Pennsylvania's Roadhouse Blues for the 50 AAA crown.

Maryland teams finished 1-2 in the 55 AAA bracket with Maryland Cougars winning and Sneaky Pete Softball taking runner-up honors.

A Maryland representative also won the 65 AAA bracket as Simmons Day All Stars outplayed Virginia's second place Tidewater Sixty Fives for the championship.

Jersey Masters won the 70 AAA bracket with two Virginia reams Ancient Mariners and Richmond Classics finishing 1-2 in the 70 AA group.

SPA Mens Southern NIT Draws 30

Thirty teams took part in the SPA May 4-7 Pensacola Men's NIT tournament with seven bracket winners crowned.

The 50 Plus and 55 AAA/60 Major each drew seven teams

Southern States beat runner-up DT Express 17-13 and 11-9 as well as Smith Mason Dudley 22-21 to win the 55 AAA/60 Major title.

David Bowen was third followed by Tn. Connection, J.R. Smith Trucking and Smith Mason Dudley.

South East  Water took five games to win the 50 Plus title after an early bracket 23-22 loss to the Montgomery Swarm. Southeast Water beat Alpha Life 22-13, Doc C's 28-25 and Montgomery Swarm 25-24, 23-13 to swim home with the crown.

Montgomery Swarm was second followed by Doc C's, Alpha Life, Panhandle All-Stars, Major LG Seniors and Team Adiktiv.

The 65 AAA title was decided by the "IF" game as Travelers and The Firm split two bracket games with the Travelers winning 19-5 and losing 16-25. The nail biter 22-21 verdict went to the Travelers.

The Firm was second. Others in the five team bracket were TAG, Matador and Deep South.

RPR took no prisoners beating GAS Softball 22-12, Columbus LX and Band of Brothers 24-15 on the way to the 60 AAA title. GAS Softball was second followed by Columbus LX, Band of Brothers and Slug-A-Bug

In a three-out of-five show down Center for Sight beat Southern Old Hats 23-15, 21-9 and 16-7 for the 80-85 Plus title.

LA Legends won the 70 Plus crown beating Freedom 22-8 and 19-5 along with a 21-4 win over the SE Leftovers 21-4. The Misfits  were the fourth team in the bracket,

"It was a good turnout and great competition," tournament director Mike Desorbo said. "Next year I am shooting for forty teams which is possible."

Rocky Tops Welcome SPA Ladies

Knoxville Tennessee  put the welcome mat out for the SPA Women Rocky Top NIT tournament and 24 teams took advantage of the invitation.

Seven champions were crowned in the 70+ Gold, 70-75+ Silver, 50+, 55+, 60+ and 35/40+ divisions in the July 6-9 SPA event..

The 35/40+ was the biggest bracket with seven teams competing for the championship with Hilton Forty Plus ending up on top of the heap.

Hilton 40 Plus earned their title with two wins over runner-up Motown Magic 12-5, 22-14 and another against third place Batgirls Return. Others in the bracket were Pitches Be Crazy, Signmasters, Outer Limits and Save 2nd Base. Batgirls was the only 40+ team in the tournament as the other six were 35.

East Coast Gems ran the table in the five-team 55 bracket beating Sunny Beaches 12-3, 21-1 and Sluggers 10-4 to claim the crown. Sunny Beaches was second followed by Sluggers, Serious Fun and Sho-Me 55's.

The Hamel Ladies beat Nor'Easters 15-6 and 24-11 after losing to them 7-5 in the first round to win the 60 division. Nor'Easters were second and Southern Stars third.

In a best-two-of-three showdown Fire & Ice downed Sassy Seniors 11-9 and 12-10 for the 50 Division crown.

Four teams battled it out for 70/75 Silver title with Ohio Tri-Stars beating Blue Chicks 21-8, 12-7 and NW Mountain Moma's 19-4 for the title with Blue Chicks taking second. The Classics were third and NW Mountain Mama's fourth.

Chalk Line beat Golden Girls (Virginia) 8-7, 10-5 and Chattanooga Chargers 4-3 to claim the 70 Gold crown. The Golden Girls were second.

Heart of Ohio Beating Strong

The Columbus, Ohio Heart of Ohio tournament shows no signs of slowing down as 42 teams participated in the Berliner Park event.

Eight champs were crowned in the 6/21-6/25 tournament.

The Dayton Legends WHC started the titles flowing winning the 75+ division besting Akron 75's 28-14 and 16-9. Central Ohio COSSA was third.

The  five-team 70 bracket saw another Dayton team take home the bacon with the Legends 70's finishing on top. Second place went to Lifeguard Financial/Pepco followed by Central Ohio COSSA 70's, Frickers Sports Bar and the Dayton Legends Farm Team.

Jim & Joe's Ice out of Louisville broke the Dayton monopoly winning the seven-team 65 bracket. Universal Softball Team took runner-up honors. Third went to Chicago Classic Bobcats, followed by Ohio Silverado's, Dayton Legends 65's, Lifeguard Financial/Strategies For Success and Doc Martens/Ropes Course.

Indiana's Brickyard Classic was crowned 60 AAA champs. Universal Softball was second followed by Sideliners/Bull Moose, Cincinnati 60's an Central Illinois Chiefs. AstroTurf

The 60's AA bracket had three teams with Dayton Legends Diamond Dawgs besting Indy Fog for the crown. McMahon-Coyne-Vitantonio was third.

The 1 Undercraft Beer and Eats continued their winning ways taking the Heart of Ohio 55 AAA championship besting Antiques Road Show 18-17 and 21-16.

The Antiques were second with Team Elite third and Dayton Legend 55 fourth. Rounding out the bracket were DC Connection, Windsor Chiefs and Central Illinois Chiefs.

It was Brickyard Softball winning the 50 bracket followed by Circle City Playmakers, Dayton Legends 50's, Ohio Hitmen, Blacksheep and Lakeshore Contracting.

Ohio Elite A/B won the 50/55 Major title. Team Champion Real Estate, Kluver Snap on Tools, Gem City Merchants and Six Pac/Louisville Thunder finished behind the champs.

"It was a great tournament," SPA director Larry Milliron said. "We had some rain which caused delays but with Astro Turf fields once the rain stopped we were back on the fields."

"It was a good turnout and we are hoping for 50 teams in 2018," he concluded.

Rain Wins Lone Star

Rain was the big winner at the Waxahachie, Texas Lone Star tournament.

Only the 60 Plus and 50/55 Major Plus were able to play the June 6-June 11 event.

Texas Thunder won the 60 AAA title, Dallas Spurs took the 60 AA crown and Texas Legends was 60 AA runner-up.

Escobar Body Shop won the 50 Major crown beating Team Texas WoodLawn 29-17, 25-22 , Oklahoma Rhino and Texas Players,

Texas Mavericks were the 50 Major Plus champ, Bulletts 50 AAA champ and Legend of Texas 55 Major champ. Others in the bracket were Texas Wood Lawn, Texas Players, Mixed Breed, Oklahoma Rhino and Team Arkansas,

All other brackets were cancelled.