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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.”

RAYMORE ROUND ROBIN

The SPA Raymore, Missouri Mid-America Qualifier August ROUND ROBIN tournament was a nail biter  with winners not decided until the final games in a couple of brackets.

"It was a well balanced field with a lot of close games," Tournament Director Jerry Hinton said. "They really liked the concept of six games against six different teams, although in a few instances they only had five. But all-in-all it was a great event and we are looking forward to 2018 to increase the turnout."

This year TWENTY teams squared off with EIGHT bringing home titles in the event played  August 11-12 at Rec Park in Raymore.

The 65 AAA was a tournament director's nightmare with three teams having identical 4-2 records, with the winner decided on the tie breaker runs allowed rule.

KC Kids, Boyd Metals and USA Patriots all finished at 4-2 with KC KIDS winning the tie-breaker for the 65 AAA crown. R&D Leverage went home with the 65 AA Crown.

The 70 AAA title went to Bank of Rison who went 6-1 to edge Oakies 70 AAA (5-2).  Midwest Express (3-4) and Mokando (2-5) finished 3 - 4 while MidWest Driving School was the 75 AAA champ.

KC Classics won the 50 AAA championship  and Arkansas 50 won the 50 Major title. Midwest Construction rounded out the field.

SCRAP IRON THUNDER went 4-2 to take the 55 Major crown with Nebraska Silver Bullets (3-3) claiming the 55 AAA championship. Others in the field were Southwest Thunder and JR Logistics.

KC Thunder went 5-0 in winning the 60 AAA title while Bagby's won the  60 AA crown. Also competing were Carriage Homes and KC Monarchs.

The 2018 SPA MID-AMERICA TOURNAMENT will be held in Liberty, Mo's Fountain Bluff Sports Complex August 10-12.

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).

 

East Coast Gems Win Dalton for Jones

The 55 East Coast Gems 2-9 played the 2017 SPA 55 Worlds with an empty spot on the bench but Vivian Jones was still in their thoughts as they won the tournament for number 2-9.

“Vivian played her last game with us at the Dalton Worlds last year,” Gems manager Wendy Ledford said. “She passed away after the tournament and our team dedicated this season to her memory.”

Number 2-9 would have been extremely proud of her teammates as they easily won the Women’s 55 World Championship going 6-0 (3-0 pool, 3-0, bracket).

“I know she was watching us,”Ledford said “She was always here for her teammates and I know she is proud of us.”

The 55 East Coast Gems 2-9 beat the Suuny Beaches 21–11, Serious Fun 12-11 and the Sunny Beaches again, this time in the finals 28-6f for the title.

In pool play they handled Sluggers 16-11, Serious Fun 11-6 and Sunny Beaches 16-1.

“We were not trying to run up scores,” the manager said. “We just started hitting and it became contagious and I wasn’t going to tell everyone to make outs.”

The Gems have been doing a lot of hitting this year in winning five out of seven tournaments and a runner-up in another.

The team is made up of players from ten different states but primarily from the East Coast.

Tournament MVP was short stop Cynthia Smith while players selected to the All-American All-Tournament team were Mona Onyemelukuve, Deborah Franklin, Carol McCoy, Jeanette Bailey, Brenda Jones and Ledford.

Assistant coach Bryan Vandagriff received the SPA 2017 Manager-of-the-Year Award.

Members of the 55 Champs are: Onyemelukuve, McCoy, Donna Vandagriff, Bailey, Brenda Jones, Smith, Sherri Clark, Kathy Keys, Anita Kimery, Theresa Houpus, JoAnn Jones, Misty McGill, Louise O’Donnell, Cynthia Nelson, Judy Ann Trimmer, Deborah Franklin, Ledford, Evelyne Evans, Rebecca Atkins, Chris Pike, Joan Maurer, Donna Foley, Sylvia Jones and coaches Bryan Vandagriff and Ed Maurer.

Final results of SPA 55 Worlds: 1. 55 East Coast Gems 2-9, runner-up Sunny Beaches, 3. Serious Fun. The Sluggers beat Sho Me 55’s 25-12 in the consolation game for fourth place.

Carolina Brings “A” Games Wins SPA 55 AAA World

The Carolina A’s went seven-for-seven in winning the SPA 2017 ten team 55 AAA Worlds September 7-10 at Dalton, Georgia’s Heritage Point Park.

“We couldn’t afford to lose a game and fall into the loser’s bracket, “Carolina SPA 55 AAA Manager-of-the-Year Jack Rule said. “We only brought ten players and any extra games would have worn us out completely.”

The “Iron Ten” beat DT Express 27-21 and 22-13, 1 Undercraft 14-11 and JJ Financial 16-10 in bracket play and Tenn. Connection 26-25, DT Express 18-13 and Daryl Harris and Associates 19-17 in pool play.

“Nothing was easy, we had to battle each game,” Rule said. “A lot of our games were decided in the sixth or seventh inning. All the teams we played were very good and with a bounce here or there could have easily been the champs instead of us.”

Although Carolina has seven World championships, this was their first SPA 55 AAA World title.

Ryan Roberts was the tournament MVP. Selected to the All-American All-Star team were James Pearson, Ted Harris, Mark Rippy, Keith Ayers, Buck Josey and Ricky Tucker

Other team members are: James Pearson, Rickie Brown, Perry Clark, Scott Limerick, Carroll Gallagher, Dola Holt, Keith Ayers, Tim Furr, who is also the team sponsor, and team statistician and base coach Dane Pitts.

DT Express was runner-up followed by Detroit Connection, 1 under Craft, TN Connection, Nebraska Silver, Dayton Legends, J.R.Smith, Darryl Harris and JJ Financial.

Sylvania Continues to Grow

The SPA Sylvania Ohio Great Lakes Classic is closing in on the "50" team attendance figure as 45 teams attended this year's tournament.

The event held at Pacesetter Park, one of SPA's top facilities, drew 45 teams for the August 3-6 tournament.

"We had great turnouts in all age groups except the 75 AAA," SPA rep Jerry Keefe said. "I think that was due in part to Thee Buckeye Classic and Shelbyville tournaments being so close scheduling wise. The eastern 75's do not look forward to traveling to. Ohio and Indiana three times in a space of two months.

"The Great Lakes Classic made up for the loss of the 75 division by bringing in eight 55, 65 AAA and 70's teams.

The 65 AAA bracket saw Doc Martens/Rope Course finally put it together to win a big tournament. The "Doc" gang went 5-0 in bracket play to win the 65 AAA crown.

Doc Marten beat Universal 23-5, CAVCO 15-14, Michigan Lakers 20-12, Brantford Nissan 23-22 and Rochester Royals 21-16.Universal. Softball was second followed by CAVCO, Ohio Silverado's, Rochester Royals, Chicago Pride, Rush Trucking and Sylvania 65'sThe Dayton Legends bounced back from an earlier 18-23 bracket loss to Rush Trucking beating the Michigan team twice 23-15, 21-13 to win the 70's AAA crown.

COSSA was third followed by Windsor Chiefs, Chicago Strikers, Steel City, Frickers Sports Bar and Hewcor Bandits.

Another Dayton team, the Dayton Legends 55's ran the table got win the 55 bracket. The Legends beat Team Elite twice 17-6, 21-20 and Buckeye Classics 18-10 and Allshred 33-13.

Team Elite was second with JJ Financial, DC Connection, Buckeye Classics, CPOA, Jackson Merchants and All Shred finishing out the bracket The seven team 50 AAA bracket was won by Canada's Homer Lovers but beating Trinity Rizzo 30-18 in an "IF" game.

The Ohio Hitmen were third followed by Flytime, Diversified Machine, Lakeshore Trucking and Dayton Legends.

Windsor Chiefs gave Ontario Province two champs as they won the 60 AAA crown beating Detroit Lugnuts 22-7, 23-12 to seal the deal.

The Lugnuts were second followed by JP Motormen, Minutemen/Pepco and Sideline Sports/Bull Moose.

Canada's Durham Silver Stix won the three-team 60 AA bracket beating Dayton Diamond Dawgs twice 18-0, 25-14. Hewcor finished third.

Pfeiffer Grey Sox bested Peachtree 27-11 to win the 80's championship. Hamel was third and Syracuse Cyclones fourth.

Canterbury beat Michigan Merchants 17-4, 21-5 for the 75 Major crown.

Culliman Red, White and Blue Tops 30

Alabama topped the 30-team mark July27-30 with six bracket winners earning spots in the SPA Triple Crown tournament.

The biggest gathering was the 60 AAA which saw RPR 60's rising from a ninth seed winning five games and the bracket crown.

RPR beat Boys of Summer 19-4 in the title game but along the way beat Carriage Homes 20-16, Atlanta Recycling 21-20, GAS 29-22 and (by) Grace Redeemed 15-2.

Boys of Summer were second followed by Carriage Homes, Seasoned Vets, Atlanta Recycling, Columbus LX, GAS, RDG and (by) Grace Redeemed. 

The Tennessee Seniors took the 65 AA crown beating Deep South 12-10, 8-20 and 18-8 for the title. 65 AAA crown was claimed by the Travelers with wins over The Firm 17-13, 16-3 and TAG 21-6. TAG was third and Crystal Heat fourth.

Time Bandits went 3-0 in bracket play to claim the 70 AAA title. The Bandits defeated runner-up For Freedom 8-7, 25-13 and fourth place Senior Moments 20-12 during the charge.

Tennessee Seniors were third and Bank of Rison fifth.

Tennessee Connection came out of the losers bracket going 5-1 to win the 55 AAA championship, The Connection beat James R. Smith 16-15 to force and "If" game and 22-12 win.

They lost to Darrell Harris 18-24 before downing Southern States 18-3, Darrell Harris 23-16 and DT Express 15-10 to make it to the finals.

James R. Smith was second, DT Express third, Darrell Harris fourth and Southern States fifth.

SE Water Swarm beat Tennessee Comets two out of three in one-run games in bracket play 23-22, 23-24 and 22-21 for the 50 AAA crown.

They also beat third place Major League 19-4. Kents Players was fourth and Team Adiktiv fifth.

DLB Wins SPA 55 Major for Sponsor

The DLB 55 Major Plus team showed their appreciation to sponsor Dan Bishop by rolling undefeated (4-0) in bracket play to win the 2017 SPA Worlds title July 20-21 in Dalton, Georgia.

“We really wanted to win this one for Dan (Bishop),” manager Larry Tostrud said. “I've being playing on his sponsored teams for over 21 years and a lot of times he never gets the recognition he deserves”.

“Without his help and sponsorship there never would have been a DLB 55 Major softball team,” the manager added.

Bishop is the owner of DLB Purchasing Company in Racine, Wisconsin

This has been a good season for DLB who have won World titles in all senior softball tournaments plus a handful of others to go 5-0 in tournament play.

This is the second SPA World title for DLB having won the 50 Major Plus title in 2014.

In this year's tournament DLB defeated Klover Tool 29-7, San Antonio 24-16, High Street Bucs 25-18 and Florida Automated Shade 24-9 in their four bracket games.

Klover Tools was runner-up in the seven-team field followed by San Antonio, Next Level, High Street Bucs, Florida Automated Shade and TSC Miken Reload.

Members of the champion DLB squad are manager Tostrud, Joseph Ausec, Cliff Carpenter, William Chambers, Marlin Cox, Joseph Curtis, Mark Horn, Douglas Kett, Keith Lesmeister. Marvin Liberty, Terry McGlothlin, Robert Woldyk, Jim Cushing and Paul Stanley.

Tostrud says defense has been the difference this year between winning and losing.

“In Major Plus everyone can hit so defense has to be the difference,” Tostrud stated. “We turned 14 double plays in the tournament plus some great individual outfield and infield play. We pride ourselves in never taking a play off on defense and it has paid off for us.”

The majority of the team has been together for seven years and looking forward to eight years in 2018 and hopefully another title for their sponsor.