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TRAVELERS OUTLASTS OTHER SPA CHAMPS TO WIN SPA 2018 70 AAA WORLDS

No other tournament bracket at the 2018 SPA WORLDS in DALTON, GA was as loaded with as many  2018 Regional tournament champs and runner-ups then the 70 AAA WORLDS group.

SPA 2018 70 AAA champs and runner-ups  participating were TRAVELERS (TOM WILLIAMS, MIDSOUTH, RUNNER-UP PEACH STATE), TIME BANDITS (PEACH STATE,RUNNER-UP MIDSOUTH), DAYTON LEGENDS (HEART OF OHIO, FIRST FLIGHT), LOUISIANA LEGENDS (LAYLA BRYAN, LONE STAR, RUNNER-UP SOUTHERN NIT), US PALLET (MID-AMERICA), LIFEGUARD FINANCIAL (RUNNER-UP THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC) and CHICAGO STRIKERS (RUNNER-UP MOSQUITO LAND, RUNNER-UP HOOSIER CLASSIC).

But when the dust cleared there was only one 2018 SPA 70 WORLD CHAMP among the 13 teams entered… the TRAVELERS from GEORGIA.

The TRAVELERS moved through the 70 AAA field going undefeated in both pool (3-0) and bracket (4-0).

In Pool play the TRAVELERS beat the TEXAS GREYHOUNDS 20-4, CHICAGO GREY SOX 11-1 and LIFEGUARD FINANCIAL 9-8.

First to fall in bracket play was CHICAGO STRIKERS 16-6 followed by TIME BANDITS 19-12,, DAYTON LEGENDS 15-14 and in the CHAMPIONSHIP GAME US PALLET fell 24-9.

US PALLET came out of the loser’s bracket winning three-in-a-row including a 15-12 win over DAYTON LEGENDS to put them in the finals.

Teams in the 70 AAA bracket were TRAVELERS, US PALLET, DAYTON LEGENDS, TIME BANDITS, CHICAGO STRIKERS, LOUISIANA LEGENDS, LIFEGUARD FINANCIAL, AVENGER, FOR FREEDOM, OKIES, NORTHERN VIRGINIA FORCE and DOWN SOUTH.

Team members of the champion TRAVELERS: HARLON BAKER, THOMAS BALLARD, RAY BRYANT, JOHN DAVIS, JERRY DUPREE, LLOYD FERGUSON, HARRY MANSELL, MICHAEL MCFARLAND, RICH MEST, JIM MYERS, RON PETRE, KEN SPANN, JOHNNY STANFORD, LOREN VEACH, DONALD WILLOUGHBY, KEN REESE and KEN SMITH.

CHICAGO HITMEN TAKE SPA 2018 70 AA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

The CHICAGO HITMEN finished off a championship season by winning the 2018 SPA 70 AA WORLDS Sept 14-16 at HERITAGE PARK in DALTON, GEORGIA.

The CHICAGO team came out of the loser’s bracket to beat LEGENDS of DAYTON 25-16 and force an “IF” game. The HITMEN took the title deciding game by a 13-9 count.

CHICAGO started their run out of the loser’s bracket with a 10-3 over the TEXAS GREYHOUNDS after losing 21-22 to LEGENDS of DAYTON in the bracket opener.

The HITMEN added the WORLD’S crown to SPA TOURNAMENT titles they had won previously at the HOOSIER CLASSIC and HEART OF OHIO. Ironically the runner-up team in those events was LEGENDS of DAYTON.

In pool play at the WORLDS the HITMEN went 3-0 with wins over OKIES (19-14), DEEP SOUTH SOFTBALL (21-5) and NORTHERN VIRGINIA FORCE (9-5), all AAA teams.

Members of the champion CHICAGO HITMEN are: Manager MIKE SABATINO, STEVE DECORI, AL BARTOLOTTA, FELIX GARCIA, JACK JOST, JIM KUPIEC, RICK MASINO, PHIL WHITMAN, STEVE GAJDA, DAVE VORWALD, WARREN YORK, DANIEL TODD and PAT JOPS.

SUPERIOR SR SOFTBALL HAS ANTIDOTE BEATS VENOM FOR TITLE - 70 MAJOR PLUS SPA 2018 WORLD CROWN GOES TO TRIPLE “S”

SUPERIOR SR SOFTBALL and VENOM used five head-to-head games to decide the 2018 SPA MAJOR PLUS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CROWN played Sept 14-16 at DALTON, GEORGIA’S HERITAGE PARK

When the smoke cleared SUPERIOR SENIOR SOFTBALL had the 3-2 edge winning the final game 28-13.

Not only were the two teams close on wins 3-2 but VENOM only had a 83-82 edge in runs scored for and against.

SSS won a close first game 25-24 and the second game 16-4 before VENOM fought back winning 25-5 and 17-7 to force the deciding contest.

Some interesting facts about the two teams SSS had four impact players on their roster C. BALLARD JR, DON CLATTERBOUGH, CHARLES CREGAR and JOHN DAVIDE while VENOM had only two DAVE CLOVER and TOLS MIHAILOFF.

The SSS 15-man roster had players from six states (VA 5, MD 4, NC 3, NJ, TN, NY) while VENOM’S 11-man contingent had 10 from FLORIDA and one from KENTUCKY.

Members of the champion SUPERIOR SR SOFTBALL team are; C.BALLARD JR, PHIL BIEDRONSKI, GEORGE CHANCE DON CLATTERBOUGH, MEL COLWELL, CHARLES CREGAR, JOHN DAVIDE, THOM DOMMEL SR, JAMES MCLAMB, JOHN SCRUGGS, WILLIAM TIPTON, THOM TUDOR, RAY WIMBROUGH, ANDREW ZITNAX and JAMES SEARS.

FUN BUNCH “KIDS” WIN SPA 70 WOMENS’ WORLD CROWN

The FUN BUNCH was one year older this year and moved up to the SPA 70 DIVISION with the result being the 2018 WORLD CROWN.

In 2017 the FUN BUNCH was runner-up in the SPA 65 DIVISION and the rest of the teams in the 70’s group wish they would have stayed there for another year.

The FUN BUNCH took no prisoners going 5-0 in poll and bracket play. Where most teams win championships with their bats, they did it with their gloves.

In five games they allowed only 32 runs (6.4 per game). Offensively they were not to shabby either scoring 77 runs (15.4 per game).

Only the 2017 70’s runner-up GOLDEN GALS 70’s gave them a battle losing 8-9 in the winner’s bracket semi but FUN BUNCH drilled them 16-4 in the title game. The JERICHO SR 70’s fell 6-17 to FUN BUNCH  in the opening bracket game.

In pool play they defeated GOLDEN GIRLS of VA 13-9 and CHATTANOOGA CHARGERS 22-5

The only teams they did not play in the seven team bracket were NORTHWEST MOUNTAIN MAMA’S (2-4) and the CLASSICS (0-5).

FUN BUNCH individual awards: SPA 70 MANAGER OF THE YEAR PEGGY O’NEILL and MVP entire team. Selected to the ALL-AMERICAN team were JILL SMITH, KAT BONDS, PAT STEPHENSON, MARCIA HILTABIDLE and DUSTY LEVERSKY.

FUN BUNCH 70’s team members: O’NEILL, SMITH, BONDS, STEPHENSON, HILTABIDLE, LEVERSKY, ARLENE GOMEZ, JUANITA GRANDSTAFF, MARSHA MOORE, CLARA ODOM, ELLEN WOODARD, JONI SHIRLEY, SUSAN THOMPSON, DIANNE DOBBINS, EVELYN EVANS and BARBARA PEAVY.

SHELBYVILLE MEN'S SCHEDULE SHORTENED

The SPA HOOSIER CLASSIC in SHELBYVILLE, INDIANA JUNE 11-12 due to weather problems was forced to shorten the entries from 40-to 27 but still had a great outing.

“SHELBYVILLE always has a great tournament ever since DUANE LAIRD started it 26 years ago,” SPA PRESIDENT RIDGE HOOKS said.. “It was a shame they had to cancel the 50/55 groups but the 60-and-up had a great tournament”

SHELBYVILLE had one of the year’s highest turnout for the 75’s with seven teams taking part in the seven team round-robin.

COSSA and PROHEALTH tied at 5-1 but the COLUMBUS team won the tie breaker with a 17-12 win over PROHEALTH.

Ironically COSSA’s only loss was 6-8 to FRICKERS which was their only win.

Final results COSSA 5-1, PROHEALTH 5-1, MICHIANA MERCHANTS 4-2, INDIANAPOLIS CLASSICS 3-3. SENIOR REDBIRDS 2-4, AKRON FRICKERS 1-5, CANTERBURY CRUISERS (MAJOR) 1-5.

STEEL CITY lost its second game in bracket play 21-23 to the SILVER STICKS and then won five in a row to take the 70AAA title

The PITTSBURGH team beat the previously unbeaten CHICAGO STRIKERS 21-20 and 19-18 in the “IF” game to sneak by in the championship rounds.

COLUMBUS SILVER STICKS, RUSH TRUCKING, INDY 70’s and MICHIGAN LAKERS filled out the six-team field.

The CHICAGO HITMEN ran the table beating LEGENDS OF DAYTON 26-12 and INDIANA LEGENDS 11-3, 19-4 for the 70 AA crown.

The INDIANA LEGENDS beat LEGENDS OF INDIANA 22-17 to reach the finals.

Others in the bracket were DAYTON FARM TEAM and KENTUCKIANA.

The three-team 65 AA bracket saw OHIO SILVERADO’S beat (by) GRACE REDEEMED 26-7, 26-8 and INDY FOG 21-12 to take the title in the three-team group.

UNIVERSAL SOFTBALL took no prisoners in going 4-0 in bracket play capturing the 65 AAA title.

On the way to the title UNIVERSAL beat BLUE CHIPS 18-10, THE BOMB SQUAD 23-19, STEEL DAWGS 16-12 and THE BOMB SQUAD 12-10 in the finale.

Also in the 65 AAA group were DOC MARTEN/ROPE COURSE and SIDELINE BULL MOOSE.

PEACH STATE CLASSIC CELEBRATES 27 YEARS

MARIETTA, GEORGIA’S PEACH STATE CLASSIC entertained 35 teams for their 27th year. Crowning seven champs in the process.

The eight-team 50 division saw the TN COMETS go undefeated in pool and bracket play to take the title.

The COMETS beat KENT’S PLAYERS (20-11), SWARM 55’s (22-21) SIDELINES (25-16) and PUNISHERS (20-7) in bracket play.

KENT’s PLAYERS came out of the loser’s bracket winning three games to reach the finals.

Others in the group were MAJOR LEAGUE 50’S, GA RENEGADES and ATLANTA 50’S.

reached the finals with a 16-15 edge over the SWARM 55’s.

The 50 MAJOR crown went to WALKER BROTHERS who also went undefeated in the tournament. They went 2-0 in pool and beat LIGHTHOUSE (24-9 and 2-18) as well as DOC C’s 25-16.

LIGHTHOUSE lit up the scoreboard in beating RIVER ROCK VENTURES 34-27 to reach the finals.

Others in the bracket were SE WATER SWARM and ATLANTA MONARCHS.

DARRELL HARRIS with wins over JR SMITH (23-15), TN CONNECTION (17-9), DT EXPRESS (22-21) after losing to JR SMITH (19-23) in the opener claimed the 55 AAA crown.

The 60 MAJOR title went to ATLANTA RECYCLE who beat DT EXPRESS (23-7), TN CONNECTION (26-22) and JR SMITH (22-13) to take the top spot.

RPR downed TAG 25-21 and 17-12 as well as COLUMBUS LXV 23-8 for the 65 AAA title.

TIME BANDITS came out of the loser’s bracket to beat TRAVELERS twice 16-15,14-13 for the 70 AAA/MAJOR/75 MAJOR title.

Others in the bracket were MATADOR, SE LEFTOVER 75’s, FOR FREEDOM and DEEP SOUTH.

ELITE SOFTBALL took the 60 AAA title beating REALITY CHECK in the finals. Others in the group were GAS, SEASONED VETERANS and SOUTHERN THUNDER.

“It was a good tournament with the weather cooperating,” TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR PETE FOWLER said. “The completion was great throughout going down to the final games in most of the brackets.”

SPA GREAT LAKES TOPS FORTY

The SPA GREAT LAKES TOURNAMENT drew 44 teams 8/2-8/5 tournament making it the second highest SPA draw in OHIO but also in SPA.

“The SYLVANIA tournament had another good year,” SPA President RIDGE HOOKS said. “They probably would have had 50 teams if our 75/80 worlds were not so close.”

The tournament was loaded with one run, “if” games and teams coming all the way through the loser’s bracket to make it to the finals.

CHICAGO PRIME 60’s had the longest run o all the teams. After losing their second round bracket game, they played five game in reaching the finals for a total of seven games.

JP MOTORMEN ended the PRIMES run beating the CHICAGO team 12-9 in the “IF” game to win the 60AAA title..

The MOTORMEN won their first two bracket games over MADALINA/CARDOT (24-9) and BULL MOOSE (20-13) before losing to the PRIME (10-11) to set up the “IF” game.

Others in the bracket were DETROIT LUGNUTS and MINUTEMEN/PEPCO

DURHAM SILVER STICKS beat the DAYTON LEGENDS (13-17,15-13,20-7) to win the 60 AA crown.

The OHIO SILVERADO’S lost the first game to BRANTFORD 6-9 before winning the next two games (16-3, 22-17) for the 65 AA championship.

Nine teams took part in the 65 AAA bracket with the DAYTON LEGENDS running the table (15-11 BOMB SQUAD, 15-8 CAVCO, 25-10 DOC MARTENS, 13-9 UNIVERSAL SOFTBALL

UNIVERSAL also had a long road to the finals winning four straight to get out of the loser’s bracket and reach the finals.

Others in the group were STEEL DAWGS, CHICAGO PRIME, BULL MOOSE and RUSH TRUCKING.

FLYTIME downed DIVERSIFIED MACHINE 14-13 and 24-17 to claim the 50 AAA crown. They also beat DAYTON LEGENDS 21-20 and OHIO HITMEN 15-14 to go 4-0 in bracket play.

DIVERSIFIED beat OHO HITMEN 24-13 to make it to the finals.

The hard luck trophy goes to LAKESHORE CONTRACTING who went 2-3 in pool and bracket play. All three defeats were by one run as one of their wins.

CPOA went 3-0 in bracket play wit wins over DETROIT CONNECTION, BUCKEYE CLASSICS and BULL MOOSE to win the 55 title.

DETROIT CONNECTION was second. Others in the bracket were DETROIT CONNECTION, BUCKEYE CLASSICS, BULL MOOSE, JACKSON MERCHANTS and SENIOR PSYCHOSIS.

CANADA’S DURHAM SILVER STIX beat DAYTON LEGENDS two out of three (1-17, 15-13,20-7) for the 60 AA title.

BRANTFORD beat KENTUKIANA (17-2, 18-12) and ROCHESTER ROYALS (17-4) for the 70 AA crown.

Others in the bracket were COSSA and FRICKERS.

The seven-team 70 AAA title was won by STEEL CITY. The champs beat WINDSOR CHIEFS 26-15, DAYTON LEGENDS 18-2 and WINDSOR again 9-9 to claim the top prize.

Others in the group ere RUSH TRUCKING, HEWCOR BANDITS< CHICAGO GRAYSOX and MICHIGAN LAKERS.

SPA TOM WILLIAMS TRI-CITIES CLASSIC CELEBRATES 26TH

The TOM WILLIAMS TRI-CITIES CLASSIC crowned champs in six divisions during the July 13-15 tournament held at JOHNSON CITY’s WINGED DEER PARK

The TOM WILLIAMS tournament is SPA’s longest running event celebrating its 26th year.

“We’ve been around for a long time but it never gets old, “TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR TERRY WIDENER said. ”We had a good group this year but next year we plan on opening it up to 50 and 55 teams also.”

ELITE beat REALITY CHECK 19-12 and 18-8 to win the 60 GOLD BRACKET. REALITY had beaten CAROLINA PATRIOTS 23-12 to reach the finals.

In the 75 BRACKET, CAROLINA BLUE SKY downed SPORTS LETTERING 15-11 and LEIDENS LEGENDS 21-17 to win the title. SPORTS LETTERING beat LEIDENS 16-11 for second.

The TRAVELERS defeated the SMOKIES 19-12 and TRI-CITIES 26-8 to win the 70 AAA CROWN.

SOUTHERN HEAT was the 70 AA champs when after an opening 17-18 loss to SMOKIES, they bounced back to beat TRI-CITIES 17-2 and SMOKIES 10-8.

The 65 CHAMPIONSHIP CROWN went to STEELE CREEK by beating TRI-CITIES 25-10 and KINGSMEN 15-7.

TRI-CITIES took the 60 AA title beating BOYS OF SUMMER 27-25 and 26-24.

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.

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.