SPA News

What's Happening in Senior Softball

CAROLINA A’S WIN SPA WARM-UP

The CAROLINA A’s won the SPA 50 PLUS WARM-UP held APRIL 7-8 at FRANK LISE PARK in CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA.

The A”S defeated C3 RAGS 26-22 in the finals as well as 20-10 earlier to take the crown. The A’s also beat CAROLINA PROPERTIES 18-14 in their march to the title.

C# RAGS edged BLACKBURN TRUCKING 19-18 in the loser bracket finals to make it to the title game.

Others in the field were PREMIER ELECTRIC, and CAROLINA FIVE O

UMBRELLAS REPLACE BATS AT ROCKY TOP

More umbrellas were in demand than bats at the SPA WOMEN'S ROCKY TOP NIT held in KNOXVILLE’S CASWELL COMPLEX JULY -8.

“It was a shame because we had such a great turnout for the tournament and the weather didn’t cooperate, “SPA President and CEO RIDGE HOOKS said.

Despite the weather problems ROCKY TOP was still able to declare champs in the 50, 55, 60 and 65 division with only the 35 and 40/45 groups coming up empty.

The OHIO CARDINALS flew away with the 65 PLUS crown beating the GOLDEN GALS 7-1 and SR DIAMONDS 12-2.

The GOLDEN GALS reached the finals with a 2-1 win over the SENIOR DIAMONDS. SMOKEY MOUNTAIN STARS rounded out the bracket.. The CARDINALS left no doubt as to who was champ, having also gone 3-0 in pool.

SUNNY BEACHES went 3-0 in pool and 2-0 in double elimination to easily take the 60 PLUS bracket.

In bracket play they defeated HAMEL LADIES 10-7 and SHO ME 60’S 12-1 to win the crown.

HAMEL LADIES were the finalist followed by third place MARYLAND ROAR RUNNERS.

EAST COAST GEMS took the 55 PLUS title with SERIOUS FUN the finalist. SHO-ME 55’s rounded out the field..

FIRE & ICE took the 50 PLUS title followed by JWP AR MIX . WAYPOINT FINANCIAL was the third team in the bracket.

No bracket play was started in the 35 and 40/45 Division.

Teams in the 35’s with pool play records were TZKG SOFTBALL (1-1), pitches be crazy (1-0), MIDWEST BALLERS MAYHEM (0-1), OUTER LIMITS (1-0), HILTON 40 PLUS (1-0) and SAVE SECOND BASE (0-2) .

40/45 PLUS pool play results.

TM FORCE (40) 2-0, KRYPTONITE (45) 1-1 and PITCHES BE CRAZY (40) 0-2.

PLAYER AWARDS EXPRESS HAS NAIL BITERS

Talk about close games. The PLAYER EXPRESS TOURNAMENT held July 28-29 at FRANK LISE PARK in CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA saw NINE of FOURTEEN games decided by two runs or less including the loser bracket and winner’s bracket finals.

TENNESSEE COMET took the 50 plus crown defeating CT EXPRESS twice 22-20 in opening bracket play and 20-18 in the title game.

The COMETS other wins in the bracket were 20-18 over EAST COAST and 21-12 over CAROLINA>

CT EXPRESS reached the finals with 22-19 win over REDLINE.

BAT ATTITUDE finished fourth followed by EAST COAST, BLACKBURN TRUCKING, CAROLINA and GEORGIA>

BUCKEYE CLASSIC SPA TOP DRAW

For the eighth straight year THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC is not only SPA’s top drawing qualifier tournament but the highest attended AA/AAA senior tournament east of Vegas.

“Some point to ISSA tournaments who draw 90+ teams as the highest attended,” BUCKEYE CLASSIC director RED BOLE said. “But if you subtract their majors and women’s teams they draw around 50-to-55 teams while we have averaged 76 for the past eight years.”

The year 2017 was no different. Despite a threat of rain and teams which had not paid entry fees pulling out at the last minute THEE SPA 2018 BUCKEYE CLASSIC drew 74 teams.

“We will be making changes on when entry fees are received next year,” BOLE said. “It really hurts your schedule when teams you are expecting pull out one-or-two weeks prior to the tournament.”

No problems on the field JUNE 12-24 as none of the 222 games were canceled due to rain.

There were also no repeat champs from 2017 as 15 new champs were crowned.

75”

SCARLET – INDY CLASSICS (6-0,4-0) took the top sot ahead of MONKEY JOE’S (4-2,2-2) and PITTSBURGH GOLD (3-3,-2). MICHIANA MERCHANTS (2-4,1-3) and BAILEY TALENT CAVALIERS (3-2,1-3) rounded out the five-team bracket.

GREY – JERSEY MASTERS (5-1,4-0) beat COSSA (3-3,3-1) 13-11 to win the 75 GREY BRACKET. SYRACUSE (3-3,1-3), BROOKHOUSE (1-5,1-3) and FRICKERS (1-5,1-3) were also in the bracket.

60’s

SCARLET – JP MOTORMEN (5-1) beat MADALINA (5-1) 16-4 for the 60’s GREY title. CHICAGO PRIME (3-3), BUELL FUEL, CINCINNATI 60’s and BULLMOOSE were also in the six-team bracket.

GREY – ROC CITY beat the MINUTEMEN 26-12, 5-9 and 9-7 to take the AAA GREY crown.

MCMAHON-COYNE-VITANTONIO-ONE MORE THING )3-3,3-1) won the GREY AA title edging out FLEX STRUT and GLORY DAZE.

80’s

The 80’s were split into two complexes at FIRESTONE STADIUM and BARBERTON.

PROHEALTH (5-1) outlasted FITTEAM (4-2) and CENTER FOR SIGHT 85’s (4-2) to win the FIRESTONE group. Others at AKRON were CHICAGO GEEZERS, SYRACUSE and LOUISVILLE THUNDER.

PFEIFFERS (5-1) edged PEACHTREE (4-2) at BARBERTON to the MAGIC CITY 80’s crown. The rest of the six-team group were KV SPORTS, HAMELS, LEFTOVERS and LOTA SOFTBALL.

70’s

NORTHER VIRGINIA FORCE went 5-0 with a 14-13 victory over LIFEGUARD (4-1) to take the 70’s Scarlet BRACKET. RUSH TRUCKING, INDY 70’S, FRICKERS and DELAWARE AUTO SALVAGE filled out the six-team bracket.

ROCHESTER CLASSICS (4-0-1) TOOK THE 70’S AA GREY GROUP followed by ROCHESTER ROYALS (2-2-1). COSSA, MAGIC CITY and HEWCOR BANDITS also were in the AA group. SYRACUSE 70’s (4-1) took the AAA crown.

65’s

The 65’s SCARLET title went to undefeated SPRING FORD (6-0,5-0) by virtue of a 15-3 win over runner-up BULL MOOSE )5-1,4-1). CAVCO was a close third followed by LIFEGUARD, BOMB SQUAD and RUSH TRUCKING.

AKRON SILVERADOS beat the ROCHESTER ROYALS 17-12 for the AA 65 Crown. DOC MARTENS ROPE COURSE (5-1,4-0) edged ROCHESTER BREWERS (5-1,3-1) 15-14 for the GREY 65 AAA title. Other AAA teams in the hunt were MICHIGAN LAKERS and STEEL DAWGS.

55 and 50

The nine-team 50’s group went down to the final game and second tie-breaker with DIVERSIFIED MACHINE (5-1) edging GTO (5-1) and LAKESHORE CONTRACTING (5-1) for the championship. OHIO HITMEN (4-2) just missed. Others in the group were BRICKYARD SOFTBALL, POTOMAC SPORTS, OREA BLACK SHEEP. MJ LOWE and FREDERICKS WINE AND DINE.

Also going down to the final game BUCKEYE CLASSICS (6-0) beat BUELL FUEL (4-2) to win the 55 title.

Others in the bracket were CPOA, SENIOR PSYCHOSIS and BULL MOOSE.

TEAMS HONOR STEVE SIMMONS AT MOSQUITALAND

Over 40 teams showed up to play in the June 7-10 STEVE SIMMONS MOSQUITALAND CLASSIC at LITTLE CANADA, MN PIONEER PARK.

“STEVE was a director for both SPA and SSUSA and TERRY (HENNESY) and I decided to honor his memory with a combined tournament in his home state,” SPA President and CEO RIDGE HOOKS said.

SIMMONS, who also played for the MINNESOTA PRIDE was 67 years old when he died September 2012 in tragic boating accident.

In tournament play Wisconsin’s PROHEALTH won the 75/80 group with a 10-9 win over MINNESOTA MASTERS. Others in the bracket were MIDWEST RIVING SCHOOL and MN LEGENDS 80’S.

The 70 Major crown went to the MINNESOTA PRIZE who after losing to P5/ANCELL 8-22 came back to win 11-4, 12-6 for the title.

MIDWEST EXPRESS downed the CHICAGO STRIKERS 18-12 to win the 70 AAA Crown.

MN MASTERS, CHICAGO EXPRESS, MN LUMBERJACKS and OSHKOSH were also in the bracket.

STUDZ beat MN BLIZZARDS 21-16 to take the 65 AAA title. FOSSILS, BAGBYS and MN LUMBERJACKS rounded out the field.

The MN MASTERS/ANCEL downed the WISCONSIN MASTERS 19-12. 18-14 for the 65 Major championship award.

The 55 MAJOR/MAJOR PLUS title was won by SPEEDEX with a 19-18 win over the MN MERCHANTS. NEBRASKA SILVER BULLETS and J&J’S were the others in the bracket.

POPE TRANSPORT took the wind out of WINDY CITY”S sails winning 22-13 for the 60 MAJOR title. TASTY PIZZA, NEBRASKA 60’S, MN MASTERS/ANCEL and MILWAUKEE MERCHANTS were also in the hunt.

PLAYMAKERS beat MN BLIZZARD 16-12 to take the four-team 60 AAA championship. OSHKOSH AMBASSADORS and MN MASTERS rounded out the bracket.

The 50 AAA saw KAFKA CONVEYOR down MN LUMBERJACKS 14-9 to win the top spot.

The largest group was won by CPP/ANCEL who edged POPE TRANSPORT 18-17. Others in the bracket were MN MERCHANTS, MN LUMBERJACKS, MIDWEST CONNECTION, IOWA DEMONS, GOLDEN GEEZERS and KAFKA.

DIVERSIFIED MACHINE OVERCOMES DIVERSITY, WINS BUCKEYE

DIVERSIFIED MACHINE left THEE SPA 2018 BUCKEYE CLASSIC TOURNAMENT in BARBERTON June 23, 24 with no skin on their teeth.

Playing in the nine-team 50 AAA division DIVERSIFIED lost their second game of the tournament Saturday 19-20 to LAKESHORE CONTRACTING and had to hope for a miracle to have a chance for the title.

It didn't look like it was going to happen as GTO and LAKESHORE were both 5-0 and on a collision course to see who the 50 champs would be.

"It was really tough  losing a game we should have won by one run and then sitting back and watching that team keep winning" DIVERSIFIED manager .MIKE BIELEK said. "I knew they had to lose two games or one and we would have to beat GTO for a three way tie. Then we would have a chance."

DIVERSIFIED beat HITMEN 16-15, OREA 17-10 and BRICKYARD 24-11 to keep their hopes alive

It didn't look like BIELEK'S team had much of a chance as LAKESHORE kept winning with only a game left with the .500 HITMEN and DIVERSIFIED was being beat by GTO.

Then it happened...the miracle.

DIVERSIFIED cane back to beat GTO 12-11 and LAKESHORE lost to the HITMEN to force a three way tie with each team 5-1. Since there wasn't a head-to-head tiebreaker because they all did not play each other the "runs against common opponents" was the decider.

With the only common opponent being BRICKYARD and OREA even that was close. DIVERSIFIED  allowed 21 runs while the others 24.

"We have won and lost tournaments by a game but never like this," BIELEK said. "It was worth it because we not only won THEE BUCKEYE but also got the TRIPLE CROWN bid. I hope our next tournaments are not as gut wrenching, I don't know if I can take another one like this, despite the outcome.".

WAXAHACHIE ENTERTAINS TWO DOZEN

Two dozen teams visited WAXAHACHIE, TEXAS June 7-10 to take part in the SPA MENS LONE STAR NIT.

TEAM ARKANSAS got the most for their money playing seven games (two pool/five bracket) on the way to the 50 major title.

ARKANSAS lost their opening bracket game 22-34 to MIXED BREED before coming through the loser’s bracket to beat MIXED BREED twice (27-23, 27-26) to win the championship.

OKLAHOMA RHINO and. BEATTEX VETS were the others in the four team bracket.

MAN CAVE had an easier time in the 50 AAA group going 2-0 in pool and 3-0 in bracket play.

The 50 AAA champs beat DEMOLITION SOFTBALL 25-11 in the finals after beating them 20-19 in earlier bracket play.

BULLETTS finished third followed by DIAMOND STATE, GULF COAST and ETX.

Lots of winners in the seven team 70’s and 75-80 group.

TEXAS LEGENDS beat SAN ANTONIO 80’s 21-10 for the 75/80 PLUS crown. SA 80’s took the 80’s title with the SAN ANTONIO DESPERADOES the 75 CHAMPS..

The LOUISIANA LEGENDS downed OKIES 24-18 for the 70 AAA title with HILL CONTRACTING going home as 75 MAJOR CHAMP.

AUSTIN MERCHANTS was the fourth team in the bracket.

Five teams went at it for the 60 PLUS championship. GONZALES INSULATION downed TEXAS THUNDER 20-18 in the finals. GONZALES TOOK 60 MAJOR honors with the THUNDER 60 AAA winner. The TEXAS LEGENDS took the 60 AA crown.

Others in the five-team group were CARRIAGE HOUSE and DALLAS SPURS.

Robson ranch bested HOOKS for the 65 title.

“As always the WAXAHACHIE event was exciting and competitive becoming a very popular TEXAS tournament ,” SPA President and CEO RIDGE HOOKS said. “I think by now everyone not only knows how to spell WAXAHACHIE but also pronounce it.”

 

SPA TWITTY ROCKS WITH 33

The SPA TWITTY SENIOR WOMEN’S NIT TOURNAMENT honored the 25thanniversary 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 WICKED 13-5 in the “IF” game to capture the 35’s division bracket...

MiIDWEST MAYHEM, SAVE 2ND BASE and PITCHES BE CRAZY rounded out the five-team bracket.

“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.

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."