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What's Happening in Senior Softball

TWO REPEAT AT MID-SOUTH NIT

The TENNESSEE COMETS (50 AAA) and GAS (60 AAA) defended their 2017 crowns at the VALLEY, ALABAMA SPA MID-SOUTH NIT.

The April 19-22 held at the VALLEY SPORTSPLEX facility saw 33 teams battle it out for titles in eight divisions.

The TENNESSEE COMETS went undefeated in pool and bracket play finishing it off with two wins over MAJOR LEAGUE (21-17, 24-20) for the 50 AAA title.

MAJOR LEAGUE took runner-up honors in the five-team bracket followed by BLUEGRASS, ATLANTA 50's and KENT"S PLAYERS.

GAS bested ELITE SOFTBALL 21-16 and 20-18 along with a 25-9 win over SEASONED VETS in bracket play for the 60 AAA crown.

ELITE SOFTBALL was second followed by SEASONED VETERANS and SOUTHERN THUNDER in the four-team bracket.

DUDLEY rolled over the competition going 5-0 in pool and bracket play to take the 55 MAJOR CROWN.

The champs beat DT EXPRESS 38-21, MONSTER 55 SOFTBALL 23-19 and MONTGOMERY SWARM 29-27 in bracket action.

DT EXPRESS finished second followed by MONSTER SOFTBALL and MONTGOMERY SWARM.

DOC'S also went 5-0 in taking the 50 MAJOR title.

DOC'S beat LIGHTHOUSE LOOKOUTS 31-30, 33-24 and RIVER ROCK RENTALS 30-21 in bracket play.

LIGHTHOUSE LOOKOUTS was second in the five-team group followed by WALKER BROTHERS, S.E.SWARM. RIVER ROCK RENTALS and ATLANTA MONARCHS.

The 65 AAA title went to T.A.G. in the five-team bracket. T.A.G. edged COLUMBUS LXV twice 19-18 and 22-20 in the finals. They also defeated RPR 31-22 in bracket play.

COLUMBUS XLV who only lost to T.A.G. (4-2) in the tournament was second. RPR, (BY) GRACE REDEEMED and THE FIRM rounded out the bracket.

TRAVELERS beat 2017 champ TIME BANDITS in the "IF" game 21-6 to win the 70 AAA title. In the march to the crown, TRAVELERS beat FOR FREEDOM 24-11, TIME BANDITS 17-2 and lost 19-15 to the TIME BANDITS forcing the "IF" match.

FOR FREEDOM was third followed by DEEP SOUTH (who went 2-0 in pool play) and SOUTHERN HEAT.

ATLANTA RECYCLING 60'S took the 60 MAJOR TITLE while JR SMITH was 55 AAA champ. Others competing in the 55AAA/60M bracket were TENNESSEE COMETS, SOUTHERN SILVERBACKS and DARRELL HARRIS.

"After last year's rain problems this was quite an upgrade," SPA CEO RIDGE HOOKS said." PETE (FOWLER) did a great job in setting this year's event up and making it an enjoyable experience for the participating teams and their fans."

CAROLINA A’S WIN SPA WARM-UPS

The CAROLINA A’S beat both the weather and five other teams to win the SPA WARM-UP TOURNAMENT April 6-8 at FRANK LISE PARK in CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA.

CAROLINA A’S was the only 55M team with the others being 50 AAA.

The champs beat C3 RAGS twice (26-22, 20-10) to capture the crown.

The C3 RAGS reached the finals beating CAROLINA FIVE-O by a 22-11 count and BLACKBURN TRUCKING 19-18.

BLACKBURN finished third, PREMIER ELECTRIC four, CAROLINA PROPERTIES fifth and CAROLINA FIVE-O sixth.

Tournament Director was RICK TUCKER.

SPA 2018 TOURNEY SEASON UNDERWAY

The SOUTHERN SPRING NIT kicked off the SPA 2018 tournament season March 15,16,17,18 in Montgomery, Alabama with thirty teams taking part in the event which saw winners crowned in eight divisions.

“It was a very competitive tournament,” SPA Director Lonnie O’Haver said. “We also had great weather which made it a very enjoyable tournament.”

The TENNESSEE COMETS won the 50 AAA eight team division going undefeated (6-0) in both pool and bracket play. It wasn’t a walk though as the COMETS edged SE SWARM 21-18 in the title contest and Brickyard 21-18 in the winner’s bracket game.

The SE SWARM (5-3) got their money’s worth in the tournament when after losing their opener in bracket play they had o beat BLUEGRASS, KENT PLAYERS, and BRICKYARD Sunday to reach the finals.

Final standings: 1. TENNESSEE COMETS (6-0), 2. SE SWARM (5-3), BRICKYARD (4-2), KENT PLAYERS (2-3), BLUE GRASS (2-3), MAJOR LEAGUE SENIORS (2-3), ATLANTA 50’S (0-4) AND TEAM ADIKTIVE (0-4)

Eight teams also squared off in the 50 Major with the same result – an undefeated winner.

TEAM ARKANSAS ran the table with wins over RIVERROCK VENTURES (38-25), WALKER BROS (28-24), RESOLVE 50’S (30-14 and 27-14 in the finals.

RESOLVE 50’S (4-3) took runner-up honors. Filling out the bracket were WALKER BROS (4-3), LIGHTHOUSE LOOKOUTS (3-3), DOC’S (3-2, ATLANTA MONARCHS (1-4), SR SOFTBALL SOFTIES (1-3) AND RIVERROCK VETERANS (0-4).

The five-team 55AAA/MAJOR saw AAA MONTGOMERY SWARM beat DARRELL HARRIS 17-12 in the finals for the title. The SWARM also went undefeated in pool and bracket play at 5-0.

In bracket play they earned their way to the finals beating DT EXPRESS 2-19 and JR SMITH 27-21.

AAA DARRELL HARRIS (4-3) took second place after playing four games on Sunday.

The rest of the field were AAA JR SMITH (3-2), MAJOR DT EXPRESS (1-4) AND TENNESSEE CONNECTION (0-4)

The SWARM also took the 207 title going 5-0.

SEASONED VETS (5-1) won the 60AAA/MAJOR crown beating GAS SOFTBALL (5-2) 23-11 in the title game. GAS reached the title game with a 28-27 cliff hanger over ELITE SOFTBALL (3-3).

Also in the bracket were BAND OF BROTHERS (2-4) and SOUTHERN SILVERBACKS (0-5).

The 65AAA,70AAA and 70 MAJOR saw three teams walk away with crowns.

COLUMBUS XLV (4-1) won the 65 title, LA LEGENDS (4-1) were the 70 AAA champions and MATADOR CLUB (2-3) took the 70 MAJOR trophy. DEEP SOUTH (0-5) was the other team in the bracket.

“This was a good way to start off our 2018 season,” SPA president and CEO RIDGE HOOKS said. “Great competition and great weather. You really couldn’t ask for much more. NATALIE NORMAN and her staff did an excellent job, I really appreciate her effort.”

SPA 2017 SEASON WRAPS UP IN PENSACOLA MEN'S WINTER NIT

A highly successful SPA 2017 softball season came to an end with the WINTER NIT at MICHAEL J. DESORBO EXCHANGE PARK in PENSACOLA/ FLORIDA October 13-15.

Twenty-two teams brought down the curtain competing for titles in five divisions.

GAS took the 60 AAA/MAJ Division coming out of the loser's bracket after losing their first game to win five in a row for the crown.

GAS lost to CARRIAGE HOMES 25-26 in the opening bracket game before going on a streak beating BAND OF BROTHERS 21-18, SOUTHERN SLAM 26-22, CARRIAGE HOMES 20-5 and SEASONED VETS twice 18-16 and 33-15.

Following GAS in the standings were SEASONED VETS, CARRIAGE HOMES, SOUTHERN SLAM, BAND OF BROTHERS.

TAG ran the table in the 65 AAA/M bracket running the table beating BOYD'S METAL 20-9 in the title game.. In the run they also disposed of DALLAS SPURS 25-13 and THE FIRM 21-7.

Order of finish was 1. TAG, 2. BOYD'S METAL, 3. DALLAS SPURS, 4. THE FIRM and 5. INDIANA LEGENDS.

The TRAVELERS went undefeated in both and bracket play going 5-0 to capture the 70/75 AAA/ M crown.

The TRAVELERS beat MATADOR CLUB 17-2 in the championship game. They reached the final game by beating FOR FREEDOM (21-6) and MATADOR CLUB (35-15)

MATADOR CLUB was runner-ups followed by FOR FREEDOM, SOUTHEAST LEFTOVERS 75'S and MISFITS.

DOC C'S beat TEAM ARKANSAS three out of five for the 50 MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP.

TEAM ARKANSAS had beaten DOC'S twice in the first thgree games but had to forfeit game four and five.

TEAM LOUISIANNA won the 50/55 title but not without a battle. Although going 3-0 in bracket play they had a pair of nail biters.in wins over SOUTHEAST SWARM (19-18), DT EXPRESS (20-18) and ADIKTIV (32-9).

 

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.