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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.

Jersey "Masterful" at SPA 70 AAA World

The New Jersey Masters took no prisoners at the Dalton 70 AAA Worlds going undefeated in pool and bracket play to not only win the World 70 AAA title but also the Triple Crown.

"It was our first World title in ten years," Jersey Master and SPA 70 AAA Manager of the Year Artie Thomas said. "We just got on a roll the first game and never stopped."

The Masters started out in pool play beating Louisiana Legends 14-5, Time Bandits 20-2 (triple crown championship) and Bank of Risson 12-5.

Bracket play saw US Pallet (26-12), For Freedom (18-2) and Columbus ((IND) Silver Sticks 14-12,19-2) for a seven-game sweep.

"Our balanced hitting was the key," Thomas said. "We had hitters from top to bottom. We had seven players who hit over .600".

Leading the way for Jersey was the Most Valuable Player award winner Tom Campitello. Selected for the All-American All Star team were Stan Robinson, Tom Lombardi, Tom Wieczerak, Joe Maikes and Dana Kimmel.

Other members of the team are:Dick Lillich, Karl Eymold, Bob Gallagher, Joe Depierro, Gary Krause, Ray Poyer, Rick Polonitza,Bill McCabe, Joe Starr, Bob Richard, Wayne Westerman, Mike Muldoon and Earl Tapper.

The Columbus Silver Sticks were second in the tournament followed by U.S. Pallet, Chicago Strikers, Midwest Express, Dayton Legends, Chicago Gray Sox, For Freedom, Lifeguard Financial, Time Bandits, Louisiana Legends, Austin Merchants and Bank of Rissin.

Central Illinois Chiefs Win SPA 60 AAA World

It took nearly ten years but the 60 AAA Central Illinois Chiefs finally won a SPA World Championship capturing the title September 7-10 in Dalton, Georgia.

“It has been a long time coming but is worth the wait,” Chief spokesman Mike Chamness said. “Every year we thought we could do it but a bad bounce or something always seemed to cut us short. This year we got all the bounces and breaks.”

The champs ran the table in bracket play beating Atlanta Recycling twice 19-18 and 14-8 to take the title. Earlier bracket wins were 22-7 over KC Thunder, 18-4 Georgia’s Columbus LX and, Georgia’s GAS Softball 13-10.

They went 2-1 in pool play downing Boys of Summer (Tn) 23-13 and Seasoned Veterans 23-13 before losing 17-18 to Columbus LX.

The Chiefs are unique in the fact they do not have one manager or two managers they have four.

Mike Barton was the SPA 65 AAA Manager of the Year but he was ably assisted by Britt Edwards, Chamness and Dan Hittmeier.

Central Illinois short stop Joe Ferguson was Tournament MVP. Selected to the All-American AllStar team were Lonnie Netzell, Bart Wills, Britt Edwards, Kevin Kronst and Greg Finigan..

Team members are: Netzel, Bart Wills, Randy McEldowney, Hittmeier, Edwards, Cliff Krueger, Mike Henry, Chamness, Barton, Kronst, Finigan. Ferguson, Jed Bunyan, Kevin Blakeman and Jeff Huston.

Following the Chiefs were 2. Atlanta Recycling, 3. Boys of Summer, 4 GAS Softball, 5. Cincinnati 60’s, 5. Seasoned Veterans, 7. KC Thunder, 7. Columbus LX, 9. Carolina Patriots, 9. RPR Softball and 9. (By) Grace Redeemed.

Jim & Joe’s Cool As Ice Team Wins SPA 65 AAA World

Kentucky's Jim & Joe’s Ice out dueled ten other teams to win the 2017 SPA 65+ AAA Worlds September 7-10 in Dalton, Georgia.

The Icemen went 4-0 in bracket play beating The Firm (Tenn) 18-9, The Firm 22-17, The Travelers 16-12 and Boyd Metal 18-14. They went 2-1 in pool play with a 9-8 win over Travelers and 18-14 over Tennessee’s Tag. Their only loss in the tournament was 8-17 to Maryland’s Simmons Day All-Stars.

“I think the difference between us and the others was our speed, especially in the outfield,” Jim & Joe’s SPA 65 AAA Manager of the Year John Coffman said. “We also had a full roster so we were able to rest players and have plenty of runners to give guys a chance to rest.”

The four outfielders Coffman praised were Chris Stenger, Mike Howell, Jimmy Nageleisen and Ed Perry.

The Icemen qualified for Dalton by winning Thee 2017 SPA Buckeye Classic. They also won the Heart of Ohio.

“We enjoyed playing the SPA tournaments, they are always among the best in Senior Softball, especially the Dalton Worlds,” Coffman said.

Tournament MVP was Jim & Joe’s Bobby Mefford with Charles Marrero, Dickie Vaughn, Billy Heim, Larry Metcalf and Billy Brown all selected to the All-American team.

Other members of the 2017 SPA 65 AAA champs are: Bill Brutscher Jr, Greg Ellerkamp, Michael Robey, Anthony Steel Sr, Lamon Tucker, Daniel Vogt, Harry Young, Herman Cottrell and Larry Gray.

Finishing behind Jim&Joe’s Ice were: 2. The Firm, 3. Boyd Metals. 4. Simmons Day AllStars, 5. Trvelers, 5. Tag, 7. Dayton Legends, 7. Blue Chips, 9. Ohio Silverado’s, 9. Cavco Sports and 9 Crystal Heat.

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.

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.

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.

Hoosier Classic turns "Silver"

Shelbyville celebrated the Hoosier Classic Silver Anniversary tournament July 13-28 with 45 teams in attendance. The longest running event in the SPA family of softball tournaments was started 25 years ago by Duane Laird at Blue River Park and is still packing them in there today.

This year (2017) they had their highest attendance total 0f 45 teams. The 65 AAA division had the highest total of teams with nine.

Universal Softball won the five team Gold Bracket but beating Dayton Legends 19-11, Doc Martens 21-7 and Jim and Joe's Ice 17-9. Dayton was second, Doc Martens third, Jim and Joe's Ice fourth and Rush Trucking fifth. Mid-State won the Silver group beating Michigan Lakers 20-11, Blue Chips 13-12 and Sylvania 14-10. Michigan Lakers was second, Blue Chips third and Sylvania 65's fourth. Indiana Legends won the 65 AA bracket followed by Chicago Hitmen and Kentuckiana 65's.

Rush. Trucking won the 70 AAA/Major bracket beating Dayton Legends twice 16-8,18-11, Silver Sticks 16-4 and Central COSSA 17-11. Dayton was second followed by Silver Sticks, Central COSSA and Indy 70's. Canterbury Crusiers won the 75Major over Michigan Merchants.

The 60 AA title went to Indy Fog with Dayton Legends second, Buzzards third and McMahon/Coyne fourth. Brickyard captured the 60 AAA crown with Universal softball second, Glory Daze third and Chicago Prime fourth. Senior Redbirds beat Indianapolis Classics 13-12, PROHEALTH 20-9 and Minnesota Masters 12-7 to take the 75 title. Indianapolis Classics was second, ProHealth third, Chicago Geezers fourth, Minnesota Masters and Akron 75's fifth with Kindred Health Care seventh.

Kentuckiana won the 70AA followed by Dayton Legends and Dayton Farm Team. Brickyard finished first in the 50 AAA bracket followed by Dayton Legends, Circle City, Ohio Hitmen and Bluegrass. Antique Roadshow outplayed Sylvania 55's for the 55 crown.
 

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.