SPA News

What's Happening in Senior Softball

SPA Salutes Veterans

College Station, Texas played host to the 27-team SPA Salute to Veterans Tournament crowning eleven divisional champions in the process.

The March 20-April 2 event featured brackets in 50 AAA, 50 major and major plus, 55 AAA, 60 AA, 65 AA, 65 AAA, 70 AAA/Major, 70 AA, 75 AAA and 75 Major.

The largest group was the 50 Major/Major plus bracket with seven teams squaring off for the title. Escobar Body Shop took the top spot by beating Texas Mavericks (31-11) and Texas Players (32-31, 29-24).Texas Players took second followed by Mixed Breed, Team Woodlawn, Texas Mavericks, Texas Vets and Team Arkansas.

The 55 AAA division saw S.A. Softball Club beating Scrap Iron RMT (23-22, 27-13) and Legends of Texas 29-11 to win it all. Scrap Iron RMT was second with Crossfire fourth.

The Bullets beat ETX  50's two out of three (18-9, 12-13, 15-11) for the 50 AAA crown.

Dallas Spurs beat the Texas Legends 9-3 and 11-9 to capture the 60 AA title.

The 65 AA Dallas Spurs echoed the performance of their younger brothers downing Robson Ranch Texas 14-13 and 13-7 for the 65 AA championship.

The Houston Classics needed three games to beat the Texas Legends (26-25, 16-31, 19-8) to win the 65 AAA top spot.

Louisiana Legends downed Austin Merchants 13-12 and Hendricks Sports 16-6 to win the four team 70 AAA/70 Major bracket. with the Merchants second, Hendricks third and Texas Classics fourth.

Texas Greyhounds won the 70 AA with the Alamo City Travelers  75 AAA champs. The 75 Major title went to Hill Contracting.

"I expect next year this tournament honoring our veterans will grow into at least 35 teams," SPA president Ridge Hooks said. "Everyone enjoyed themselves and next year we will try to add more teams to the 70 and 75 groups."

Southern Spring NIT Nail Biters

If Montgomery, Alabama's Men's Southern Spring SPA NIT tournament is any indication, close games will be the name of the game in the 2017 season.

The March 16-19 tournament saw one-run deciding games in the 50AAA, 60AAA,55 Major, 55 AAA and 50 Major/Major Plus divisions in the semi-finals and finals deciding the title.

'It was a well-balanced tournament in all divisions, tournament director Lonnie O'Haver said of the 32-team event. One-run games were more of the rule than the exception.
Typical was the 60AAA bracket where Atlanta Recycling beat  26-25 RPR Softball in the finals after downing Columbus LX 20-19 in the tournament opener.

Following Atlanta Recycling and RPR Softball in the standings were Columbus LX, RDG Chattanooga and Gas Softball.

Not to be out done, the 50 AAA bracket saw champion Southeast Water Swarm win the title with a 23-19 championship game over Blue Grass after earlier downing Team Akiktiv 19-18 and Blue Grass 19-14.

Blue Grass finished second followed by Team Adiktiv, Maj League Seniors and Atlanta 50's.

Montgomery Swarm had a couple of close calls edging Darryl Harris 21-20 and Alpha Life 28-27 before beating Alpha Life 28-19 in the 55 Major title game. Tn Connection was third with Darryl Harris fourth.

Southern States Seniors had a close call in winning the 55 AAA crown, Southern State Seniors beat DT Express 19-18 in the finals, JR Smith 8-6 in the semi's and DT Express 24-23 in the opener

DT Express was second followed by JR Smith and JR Logistics.

David Bowen took the 60 Major crown beating Smith Mason Dudley 27-12 and 23-7 in a two-game showdown.

The 65 AAA crown went to TAG 65 with Travelers grabbing the 65 Major crown, Also participating were Edge 60 and Deep South Softball 60.

Team Kitty downed Walker Brothers twice including 41-40 in the semi's to win the 50 Major/Major Plus crown,

Lighthouse was third followed by Monster Express, Atlanta Monarchs, Alabama Brick and Team Arkansas.

SPA 2014 World Tournament Sets Record

TOURNAMENT CONTINUES TO GROW IN BOTH MEN AND WOMEN

 DALTON , GEORGIA – It was another banner year for the SPA ORGANIZATION in 2014 as the SPA WORLDS ATTENDANCE hit a new high with 166 teams attending.

The increase in the WORLDS attendance kept pace with SPA'S overall growth for 2014. In the mid-west and east alone, SPA averaged over 40 teams per tournament drawing over 800 teams for the twenty tournaments in that region.

"This has been a very good year for SPA,” SPA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RIDGE HOOKS said about the 2014 tournament attendance,”The totals and the increase show that SPA is continuing to put on quality well attended tournaments which are drawing teams to our events.”

 Overall SPA crowned in the 80, 75 GOLD, 75 SILVER, 75 MAJOR, 70 AAA, 70 AA, 70 MAJOR, 65 AAA, 65 AA, 65 MAJOR, 65 MAJOR PLUS, 60 AAA, 60 AA, 60 MAJOR, 60 MAJOR PLUS, 55 AAA, 55 MAJOR, 50 AAA, 50 MAJOR and 50 MAJOR PLUS.

(ARTICLE ON THE 75'S, 80'S , 50'S MAJOR, 50'S MAJOR PLUS, 60 MAJOR, 60 MAJOR PLUS and 75 MAJORS have been covered previously):

2014 CHAMPS

50 AAA - 1. TEAM ELITE CC MIKEN (MD), RATED ATHLETES (CAL); 2.DAYTON LEGENDS HITMEN (OH) (13 TEAMS)

50 MAJOR – 1. RATED ATHLETES (CAL), 2. GOOD TIMES (FLA) (15 TEAMS)

50 MAJOR PLUS – 1. DLB SOFTBALL (WIS), 2.MID-ATLANTIC (VA) (8 TEAMS)

55 AAA – 1.DAVID BOWEN SPORTS (FLA), 2. DT EXPRESS (TN) (7 TEAMS)

55 MAJOR – 1. DOCS (OH), 2. SWEET CONSTRUCTION (NJ) (10 TEAMS)

60 AA – 1. CAVCO SPORTS (ONT,CAN); 2. TENNESSEE 60'S (TN) (5 TEAMS)

60 AAA - 1.ELITE 60'S (GA), 2. REALITY CHECK (NC) (23 TEAMS)

60 MAJOR – 1. GONZALES INSULATION (TX), 2. CRYSTAL COBRAS (NC), 2. KC KIDS (KS) (5 TEAMS)

60 MAJOR PLUS – 1. SUPERIOR SR SOFTBALL (VA), 2. MN MASTERS WHITE (MINN) (3 TEAMS)

65 AA – 1. CHICAGO HITMEN (IL). 2. THE FIRM (TENN) (9 TEAMS)

65 AAA - 1. CARRIAGE HOMES (AR), 2. US DOT JOBS (IND) (9 TEAMS)

65 MAJOR – 1. BEACH BOYZ (FL), 2. SW FLORIDA THUNDER (FL) (9 TEAMS)

65 MAJOR PLUS – 1. HAMEL BUILDERS/SUPERIOR (VA), 2. BEEF O'BRADY'S (FL) (3 TEAMS)

70 AA – 1. CHICAGO GRAT SOX (IL), 2. DAYTON LEGENDS 70'S (OH) (4 TEAMS)

70 AAA – 1. SCRAP IRON LEGACY (CO), 2. SENIOR REDBIRDS (IL) (15 TEAMS)

70 MAJOR – 1. FRANKIE BRIN FINANCIAL (FL), 2. SOUTHEAST LEFTOVERS (GA). (2 TEAMS)

75 SILVER – 1. PEACHTREE RESTAURANT (PA), 2. LOUISVILLE THUNDER (KY) (7 TEAMS)

75 GOLD – 1. CHICAGO GEEZERS (IL), 2. NEW JERSEY JAGS (NJ) (6 TEAMS)

75 MAJOR – 1. THE LEFTOVERS (GA), 2. HAMELS 75'S (MD) (4 TEAMS)

80 AAA – 1. PROHEALTH CARE (WIS), 2. TEXAS CLASSICS (TX) (5 TEAMS)

 POOL AND BRACKET PLAY SCORES MAY BE FOUND ON THE SPA RESULTS PAGE AND ALSO FRONT PAGE.

 

DLB SOFTBALL ON A ROLL, WINS SPA 50 MAJOR PLUS WORLDS

    IRON MEN WIN THEIR FIFTH 2014 TITLE

  

DALTON, GEORGIA – Nobody is hotter in senior softball this year than the DLB 50 MAJOR PLUS team.

The WISCONSON squad stayed on fire during the SPA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS at DALTON, GEORGIA'S HERITAGE POINT PARK JULY 17-20 adding the SPA 50 MAJOR PLUS TITLE to their growing list of 2014 tournament championships.

 That (SPA WORLDS) was our first SPA WORLDS CHAMPIONSHIP title,” DLB MANAGER and SPA 50 MAJOR PLUS MANAGER-OF-THE-YEAR LARRY TOSTRUD said, “but it was our fifth Major championship this year.”

 At DALTON, DLB after losing an opening pool play game to BRYSON'S PUB (30-27), who was the number two seed in the eight team group, the WISCONSIN team went to work.

 DLB finished pool play with a 34-26 win over TSC TRI-STATE and then began their roll through the competition in bracket play. First up was 43-38 win over TEAN 1 SPORTS, followed by a 30-14 pounding of TEAM ADIKTIVE

 DLB edged 2013 50 MAJOR CHAMP OKI 24-21 before disposing of top seed MID-ATLANTIC 26-11 in the title game.

 Once we got it rolling, we just kept going,” TOSTRUD said, “We hit over .750 with seven guys over .800.”

 TOSTRUD also emphasized the balance on the team from one-through-twelve.

 There are no easy outs on the team, so when they have us with two outs, they (opponents) still don't have a breather,” he explained, “Our 12th batter GENE SNOWDEN was 19-for-22 (.864), not too many teams have an .800 hitter batting last.”

 We all laugh when the other team says, 'their 10-11 and 12 hitters are up this inning', they (opponents) have no idea what they are getting.”

 What they do get when they play DLB is a solid group of players who put as much emphasis on defense as they do offense.

 Oh yeah, we do concentrate on our defense a lot,” TOSTRUD said, “ These are major plus teams we play and you can't give them extra outs with errors and by the same token you want to take outs away with double plays and great fielding plays.”

 The team's top ring leader at DALTON was MVP BOB WOLDYK. The first baseman hit .800 with eight home runs and some sparkling defense including a couple of diving stops.

 Joining WOLDYK on the ALL-AMERICAN teams were PAUL STANLEY (LF,.862), TIM FREDENBURG (P 5-1, .840), TOSTRUD (2B, .872), KEITH LESMEISTER (OF, .868) AND SNOWDEN (C, .864).

 Others on the team were VINNIE CHAMBERS (OF/C/DH .625) , JIM CUSHING (OF,.840), JIM MOLENCUPP (3B,.590), JIM OLSON INF/OF, .850), DOUG KEIT (SS/.785), MARVIN LIBERTY (INJ/ASST MGR/COACH), AL VANCAMPLER (DNP), KURT KOZLOWSKI (DNP) and TERRY DUNN (DNP).

 As you can see by our roster, we down to the bare minimum,” ASSISTANT MGR/COACH MARVIN LIBERTY said, “If we would have lost our last game and had been forced to play the”IF” game, I doubt if we would have had enough healthy people to play the game.”

 TOSTRUD also gave special mention to team statistician LAURIE LESMEISTER.

 She does an A+ job with the scoring and stats,” TOSTRUD said, “She also keeps us on our toes in the field telling us where the batter normally hits and Lord help you if you screw up at bat or in the field, she will let you know. LAURIE is a very important part of our team.”

 Another special person in the DLB FAMILY is sponsor DAN BISHOP, owner of DLB PURCHASING COMPANY in RACINE,WISCONSIN.

 DAN has been with us for over seventeen years,” TOSTRUD continued, “He takes care of our entry fees, hotels, uniforms and a few other items. He is the ULTIMATE SPONSOR and more like a team member then a sponsor. We really appreciate what he does for us and we probably wouldn't be a team without him.”

 However, TOSTRUD forgot to mention another individual who has been contributing far more than his share to the team's tournament fund.

 Larry will never tell anybody because of his modesty but he also has contributed a lot of money to support the DLB team, “ LIBERTY said,” He just does it quietly so nobody else will know but believe me, I know.”

 The DLB team although made up of players from adjoining four states, have either played with each other or against each other over the years and are not strangers to each other.

 We all have known each other for years coming up through all the younger “alphabet organizations” and shared each others e-mail addresses and phone numbers,” the manager said, “ So when we put a senior softball team together it was just a matter of some phone calls and e-mails.”

 According to TOSTRUD, the team has great chemistry on and off the field.

 No head cases on this team, we all get along great and really look forward to getting together after the games,” he said, “The wives are also a huge part of our group. They go to the games, cheer us on and help organize off-the-field things. This is just like a big family reunion when we get together. It really is a special group.”

 The DLB manager also said the SPA DALTON TOURNAMENT was special and praised RIDGE HOOKS for his leadership.

 This (DALTON WORLDS) is the way a MAJOR PLUS tournament should be run,” he said, “Getting EIGHT MAJOR PLUS teams together for such a high-class event is fantastic. With the quality of teams we had here, who needs those sandbagging major teams who are afraid of competition.”

 This is the best run and player friendly senior tournament we have ever attended,” he added, “The SPA umpires were without a doubt the best umpires we have had in any other organization's tournament this year. This was really a great tournament and we look forward to returning next year.”

SUPERIOR SENIOR SOFTBALL STEAMROLLS COMPETITION

      VIRGINIA TEAM WINS SPA 60 MAJOR PLUS WORLDS

DALTON, GEORGIA – Move over NEW YORK YANKEES 1927 MURDER”S ROW, there is a new powerhouse line-up on the block and it belongs to the 60 MAJOR PLUS SUPERIOR SENIOR SOFTBALL TEAM.

The VIRGINIA team made shambles of the competition at the SPA DALTON WORLDS July 17-20 outscoring the opposition 127-69 in four games while also compiling a .821.team batting average.

 In the championship game 37-18 win over last year's 60 MAJOR CHAMP. MINNESOTA MASTERS WHITE, they pounded out 49 hits of which only five traveled over the fence.

 Yes, we really had it going at DALTON,” SUPERIOR SENIOR SOFTBALL MANAGER and SPA 60 MAJOR PLUS MANAGER-OF-THE-YEAR JIM SEARS said, “There are some tournaments when everything goes right for a team and some that everything goes wrong and at DALTON everything went right.”

 In their four games SSS downed HOLLIS APPRAISALS 35-29, MINNESOTA WHITE 29-11, HOLLIS 26-11 and MINNESOTA 37-18.

 Of course winning has been the norm for the team in 2014. So far in 2014 the 60'S MAJOR PLUS team has won eight tournaments and their counterparts the 65 MAJOR PLUS HAMEL BUILDERS SUPERIOR SENIOR SOFTBALL TEAM has captured three.

 Since changing names from TURN TWO/SPICER two years ago they have won FIVEWORLDS and NINENATIONALS.

 If you have the players, it makes it sort of easy,” SEARS said, “This team also enjoys playing together and takes their game seriously. They enjoy winning.”

 You won't find the names of RUTH, GEHRIG, MUESAL and LAZZEREI on this new MURDERS' ROW but there are a few names which are familiar to senior softball fans.

 Sprinkled through the line-up are SIX IMPACT PLAYERS: DANNY BALLARD (70), DON CLATTERBOUGH (65), JOHN DAVIDE (65), TOMDOMMEL,SR (65), TOMTUDOR (65) and PETE SMITH (65).

 The rest of the roster are no slouches either. The tournament MVP was short stop HAL HARRISON. HARRISON more than capably filled in for the injured TOMDOMMEL,SR defensively and at bat went 14-for-14.

 Joining HARRISON in receiving ALL-AMERICAN status were BALLARD (1B,.833), BILL CAMERON (P/1B, .882), CLATTERBOUGH (C,.823), DAVIDE (2b, .938) and DENNIS TUCK (3B, .938).

 The rest of the “powerhouse outfit” are: TOMMALVICH (OF,.867),CLARENCE ELLISON (1B, .647), JOHN SCRUGGS (2B,.600), RANDY THOMAS (OF, .818),RAY WIMBROUGH (P, .846), GENO BANDY (OF, .800), RONNIE COLLINS (DNP), VANCE GUDMUNDSON (DNP), DOMMEL (DNP), PETE SMITH (1B, .846), MIKE GOODMAN (OF/INF, DNP) and DEWEY FUSSELL (P,.545).

 Non-roster support was given by statistician ROSSI DODSON and equipment manager WESLEYWALDEN. (MIKE) GOODMAN in addition to his contributions on the field also is a big reason the team can make it without a full time sponsor.

 Mike and his company RM GOODMAN BUILDERS out of BEAVERDAM, VIRGINIA has really helped the program with his financial assistance,” SEARS said, “He does this on his own and we really appreciate his help.”

 SEARS emphatically claimed the teams biggest support comes from the wives.

 Oh definitely,” he said, “They are at every game pepping us up with their cheers and support. They maythink we don't hear their cheers and appreciate them but we really do hear them and it does help us on the field.”

 Like most MAJOR PLUS and even MAJOR teams/ SUPERIOR SENIOR SOFTBALL does feel the financial pinch.

 If major plus teams want to play in a tournament, we can't get in a car and drive there, we usually have to fly,” SEARS explained, “Most local and regional tournaments do not have MAJOR PLUS DIVISIONS, we have to fly to the big one to play, like DALTON, VEGAS, etc.. If we do get to play in a REGIONAL or smaller NATIONAL, we have to play 50 and 55 majors.”

 I would expect the only time we will be able to play 60-MAJOR teams is when we are 90-years old and we will probably have to spot them seven runs,” he added.

 Of course you can always break up the team and scatter the players, right?

 Wrong!

 It would be the same story, there are not enough major plus teams for these guys to be split among,” SEARS said, “I don't have the answer, maybe have the major teams start loading up and come up and play with the major plus teams instead of trying to avoid the major plus division.”

 SEARS said he did hear there was a possibility SPA may be holding a couple of MAJOR and MAJOR PLUS only regional tournaments in the east and mid-west in 2015.

 That would be great,” he said, “Then we wouldn't have to worry about having a 30,000 mile check-up every month or so.”

 The organizations (SPA and SSUSA) created the MAJOR and MAJOR PLUS Divisions but they don't offer us enough tournaments to play,” SEARS added, “We love the SPA organization and the tournaments they have, we just hope RIDGE can come up with a way to offer us more tournaments. We definitely would attend.”

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME!!! AND BOY DID THEY EVER!!

SPA DALTON WORLDS HOST 50/55/60 MAJOR/MAJOR PLUS TEAMS

DALTON, GEORGIA – It was another fantastic 50,55,60 MAJOR and MAJOR PLUS SPA DALTON WORLDS as FORTY-ONE teams from TWENTY-ONE states participated in the June 17 -20 event.

'WOW.!!!, All I can say is WOW!!,” SPA PRESIDENT RIDGE HOOKS said, “All year I have been hearing major and major plus teams aren't attending tournaments this year and then we see this type of turnout.”

 The problem for the majors and major plus teams isn't that they don't want to attend tournaments, they just can' find tournaments which will let them play,” HOOKS explained. “We (SPA) will change that a little next year, we are already planning to have two-or-three major and major plus tournaments over three months in 2015. We will find a place for the majors and major plus teams to play.”

 If those tournaments HOOKS is talking about are anything like the DALTON WORLDS you can certainly add another big WOW to the SPA 2015 MAJOR and MAJOR PLUS schedule.

 The 50's MAJOR 15-team bracket set the tone for the tournament with the championship going to an “IF” game to determine the winner. CALIFORNIA'S RATED ATHLETICS took the deciding game 30-28 over FLORIDA'S GOOD TIMES squad.

 The FLORIDIANS forced the “IF” game by beating RATED ATHLETICS 42-30 which ironically was almost all the runs the CALIFORNIA team had allowed (46) in their four previous bracket games.

 RATED ATHLETICS advanced to the title game with bracket wins over HERRINGTON SERVICES (27-12), MONSTER SOFTBALL (26-8) and LIGHTHOUSE LOOKOUTS (34-11). GOOD TIMES edged LEVIN 50'S 18-17 in the loser's bracket finals to earn their shots at RATED ATHLETCS.

 Others in the 50 MAJOR BRACKET were SOUTHERN ELITE, DOC C'S, TEAM ARKANSAS, ATLANTA MONARCH'S, TEAM 1 USA, TENNESSEE COMETS, ROCHESTER 50'S, N.E.STORM and BIG TEN SOFTBALL.

 WISCONSIN'S DLB SOFTBALL ran the table in bracket play with wins over TEAM 1 SPORTS (43-38), TEAM ADIKTIVE 30-14, OKI (24-21) and MID-ATLANTIC (28-11) to claim the 50 MAJOR PLUS crown.

 MID-ATLANTIC reached the finals by disposing of the 2013 50 MAJOR PLUS CHAMP OKI 29-9 in the loser's bracket finals. Others in the eight-team group were TSC TRI-STATE, TEXAS PLAYERS, DLB SOFTBALL and BRYSON'S PUB/VELTRI.

 DOCS made up for their 2013 early exit (1-2) from the 55 MAJOR SPA WORLD'S TOURNAMENT by going undefeated in bracket play (4-0) to win the 2014 title.

 DOC'S started their title run by sneaking by SWEET CONSTRUCTION 29-28, followed by wins over HIGH STREET BUCS (27-9) and S.A. SOFTBALL (15-0). The OHIO wrapped up their championship run beating SWEET CONSTRUCTION again, this time 18-9.

 SWEET CONSTRUCTION reached the title game disposing of S.A. 55 SOFTBALL. Others in the ten-team field were LEVIN 55, TRIANGLE MASTERS, SCRAP IRON, GONZALES INSULATION, NEXT LEVEL and MWC.

 GONZALES INSULATION took no prisoners going undefeated in both pool and bracket play to win the five-team 60 MAJOR title. The TEXAS team beat K.C.KIDS (35-14) and HIGH STREET BUCS (15-13) in pool play and continued on in bracket play beating COLUMBUS LX 26-11 and CRYSTAL COBRA'S 34-20.

 SUPERIOR SR. SOFTBALL made amends for finishing in the runner-up spot in the 2013 SPA 60 MAJOR PLUS WORLDS by easily knocking off 2013 60 major champs MN MASTERS 37-18 in the finale.

 The VIRGINIA team earlier had beaten HOLLIS APPRAISALS 26-11 to make the title game. MINNESOTA WHITE made it out of the loser's bracket with a 29-24 win over HOLLIS in the three-team bracket.

 The SPA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP series continues with the 75AAA, 75 MAJOR and 80 AAA tournament AUGUST 11-14 in COLUMBUS, OHIO.

It wraps up SEPTEMBER 4-21 at DALTON with the WOMEN'S WORLDS, MENS' AA and AAA 50, 55, 60, 65 and 70's as well as the 65 and 70 major tournaments.