SPA News

What's Happening in Senior Softball

GEMS SPARKLE WITH SIX DP’S

Even the famous MLB double play trio of the 2010 CHICAGO CUBS’ TINKER-TO-EVERS-TO-CHANCE couldn’t hold a candle to the DP combination of the EAST COAST GEMS.

The Ladies turned not one, not two, not three but six double plays in one game in winning the 55 Division of  the PENSACOLA 2018 WOMEN’S SPRING NATIONALS.

It just wasn’t two or three ladies participating in the accomplishment, eight of the GEMS contributed in the record setting show.

“The girls looked like they had played together every single day since 2017 “ coach WENDY LEDFORD said, “But in fact most of the ladies haven’t picked up a ball since January when we won the TOC in TAMPA.”

Leading the gold glove defense for the GEMS was SHERRI CLARK (3B). The All-Tournament infielder figured in three of the DP’s with three assists and three putouts.

CYNTHIA SMITH (SS), DIXIE DALTON (2B), ANITA KIMERY (2B) and, JEANETTE BAILEY-BROWN (1B) each handled three chances. DEB FRANKLIN (2B) and LCF JOANN JONES had an assist and putout while pitcher BRENDA JONES added an assist. All-in-all, the group contributed 12 putouts (11 assists) in a 21-put out game.

Although not a DP. right fielder JODY TRIMMER made an ESPN highlight film catch saving three runs in the championship game against the PLAYERS with the GEMS holding a 6-2 lead.

“The girls really made VIV proud today,” LEDFORD said.

VIV was VIVIAN JONES who along with team manager TERRI HOUPOS founded the team.

“VIV passed away in 2016 and every single game is played for VIVIAN,” LEDFORD said. “We wear her number over our heart every game.”

Defense wasn’t the only highlight in the GEMS tournament win.

All-Tournament LOUISE O’DONNELL led the offense with a .813 average as the GEMS outscored their opponents 82-40 in the four games. 

The team took no prisoners in their run through the tournament beating SHO-ME 19-0 , SUNNY BEACHES 21-16, THE PLAYERS 20-10, SERIOUS FUN 12-11 and THE PLAYERS 10-3.

Also receiving All-Tournament honors were MVP FRANKLIN, DALTON and TRIMMER.

Other members of the EAST COAST GEMS 55’S are: MONA ONYEMELUKWE, CYNTHIA NELSON, BECKY ATKINS, TERRY JERMAN, and DONNA FOLEY, CO-SPONSOR is VALLEY CREEK HUNTING SUPPLY.

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."

GLEN BURNIE KEEPS GROWING

The SPA GLEN BURNIE TOURNAMENT closed in on the 50 mark with 48 teams attending the MAY 2-6 at the BACHMAN SPORTS COMPLEX.

“It went real well this year,” tournament DIRECTOR LONNIE O’HAVER said. “The weather was great and we had a very competitive tournament in all brackets.”

Sixteen teams went home with championship awards.

PEACHTREE RESTAURANT defeated the NEW YORK STATESMEN 19-10 and 10-8 to win the 80’s division. The STATESMEN made it to the finals with a 20-9 triumph over HAMEL BUILDERS.

The HAMEL BUILDERS 75’s avenged the 80’s team defeat by winning the 75 BRACKET with a 15-10 win over MONKEY JOE’S. NEW JERSEY MASTERS finished third.

The 55 MAJOR PLUS crown went to BOB JOHNSON CHEVROLET DOMINOES TJ’S PLUMBING (and they needed two plaques because the sponsor name would not fit on just one,,,just kidding)

JOHNSON’S beat OLYMPIAN ATHLETES twice 29-12 and 26-20 along with SWEET CONSTRUCTION 23-22 on the way to the title in bracket play.

OLYMPIAN ATHLETES beat WOODLAWN FURNITURE 38-19 to reach the championship game and claim the 55 MAJOR title. SWEET CONSTRUCTION was the fourth team in the bracket.

MARYLAND COUGARS downed RUM HUT twice (20-8, 19-13) and SNEAKY PETE SOFTBALL 23-11 to take home the 55 AAA award.

RUM HUT reached the finals with a 19-14 win over SNEAKY PETE. GRIFFITH BROTHERS was the fourth team in the group.

PHOENIX TUBE beat MARK THOMAS LAW 22-21 and TEAM DUDLEY EAST COAST 28-27 to repeat as the 50 MAJOR champ. MARK THOMAS LAW beat TEAM DUDLEY 25-22 for second place.

Others in the 50 M group were TRINITY RIZZOS, ROEBELL PAINTERS PARADISE PAINTING, BH MAINTENANCE and COVELLA SANITATION.

GTO SOFTBALL downed HIGH STREET 50’S 19-18, 17-12 and MARYLAND CLASSICS 21-12 to run the table in the 50 AAA bracket.

HIGH STREET beat the CLASSICS 25-18 for second. Others in the five-team bracket were BRENCO and TIME BANDITS.

The 50 MAJOR PLUS title went to TEAM USA with 22-7 and 20-6 wins over PROVIDENCE AUTO BODY.

PROMOTION beat the 2017 60 MAJOR champs HIGH STREET BUCS 60’s 36-35 and 29-25 for the 60 MAJOR CROWN. PROMOTION lost to HIGH STREET 15-16 early in bracket play and fought their way through the loser’s bracket to force an “IF” game and beat HIGH STREET in the finals.

SWEET CONSTRUCTION was also in the bracket.

BUELL FUEL beat CHESAPEAKE GRAY 20-19, ROADHOUSE BLUES 21-9 and NORTHERN VIRGINIA FORCE 20-13 to take the 60 AAA title.

CHESAPEAKE beat ROADHOUSE for second place.

In round robin play HIGH STREET 65’s won the 65 MAJOR handing CAROLINA COBRA 65 their only loss by 19-18 count.

JERSEY MASTER RED beat ROCHESTER BREWERS 17-14 to finish first in the 65 AAA group. SIMMONS DAY ALL STARS and SPRING FORD were also in the 65 AAA contest.

JERSEY MASTERS was the 70 MAJOR champ while HIGH STREET BUCS 70’s went 4-0 to finish

ahead of DELAWARE AUTO SALVAGE, SPICER PROPERTIES.

ROCHESTER ROYALS were 70 AA champs.

The tournament was played at BACHMAN SPORTS COMPLEX.

PATRICIA ROE THE NEW BABE RUTH

Move over Hank and Babe there is a new long ball basher in the neighborhood. Her name is PATRICIA ROE, a third baseman for the 35-year young MICHIGAN MIDWEST MAYHEM BALLERS.

Roe made her mark April 15 at the SPA WOMEN S SPRING NATIONALS at FLORIDA EXCHANGE PARK in PENSACOLA.

Batting in the last inning with the bases loaded, ROE sent one over the 300-ft fence and not just over the fence. Easily clearing the 12-ft fence the ball hit high up on the 60-ft net behind the fence.

"I would estimate the shot about 350-ft," Tournament Director MIKE DESORBA said. "It was the longest ball I have ever seen hit out in a women's tournament."

It was also ROE's first since it was her first game in senior softball and also her first trip to Florida.

"I have been playing co-ed ball and women's fast pitch in Flint,' the Michigan resident said. "This was my first game ever in senior softball."

Roe, who coaches a high school girls FAST PITCH team at CARMAN AINSWORTH in FLINT thinks coaching others helps her own game.

"Softball is a game of fundamentals and you need proper fundamentals to succeed," she said. "By teaching them everyday it has helped me keep focused, especially at the plate."

Roe, who hit .750 in her first senior softball tournament says there is a difference in senior softball.

"The game is not as fast because everyone is older but talent wise it is really good," she said. "I didn't know what to expect in my first tournament but I was really impressed with the abilities of the ladies who played at Pensacola."

She and her team, the MIDWEST MAYHEM BALLERS are looking forward to the TWITTY SR WOMENS' TOURNAMENT later this month.

Their roster is made up half of MICHIGAN ladies and the rest from MARYLAND, OHIO, FLORIDA, MISSOURI and TENNESSEE.

"We had one practice together before our first game in Florida," ROE said. "Now that we know each other we should do much better at the Tennessee tournament, I am really looking forward to it."

It will be interesting to see how she does at the plate because she only needs 59 more homers to catch BABE RUTH.

RAIN CAN'T STOP WOMEN'S SPRING NATIONAL

The rain tried but it couldn't stop the 2018 SPA WOMEN'S SPRING NATIONALS April 14-15 at PENSACOLA, FLORIDA EXCHANGE PARK .

"The weather tried but we were able to come up with results in all age groups," TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR MIKE DESORBO said."We didn't get all the bracket games completed but enough games were completed to determine the winners in all five brackets."

ARKANSAS JWP and Florida's HILTON FORTY PLUS were co-champs in the 35-division.  Michigan's MIDWEST MAYHEM BALLERS , Kentucky's OUTER LIMITS, SAVE SECOND BASE of Tennessee and Alabama's PITCHES BE CRAZY were also in the  six team bracket.

The STAR of the 35-division was MIDWEST MAYHEM BALLERS PATRICIA ROE. ROE smashed a 300-ft over the fence grand slam home run.

KRYPTONITE gave the home towners something to cheer about as the Florida squad took the 45 Division crown.

ARKANSAS SYNERGY nosed out TM FORCE, Florida for the 40 bracket title Tennessee's BATGIRLS RETURN was the third team in the bracket.

The 50 Title stayed in Florida as FLORIDA GIRLS came home ahead of ARKANSAS's runner-ups JWP and third place finisher FIRE AND ICE of Tennessee.

 H TOWN SISTERS WITH BATS (Texas), JWP AR MIX (Arkansas) and PENSACOLA SENIOR LADIES rounded out the six - team group.

EAST COAST GEMS (Virginia), THE PLAYERS (Florida) and SUNNY BEACHES (Florida) finished 1-2-3 with the GEMS taking home the top prize in the 55 group.

SHO ME (Missouri), SERIOUS FUN (Tennessee) and LA SPORTS also participated in the six-team bracket.

"It was the best tournament we ever held here in terms of competition and quality of the teams," DESORBO said. "I just wish we could have gotten all the games in on the last day."

TINELLI AWARDED SPA SCHOLARSHIP

TOBY TINELLI was the 650th recipient of a SPA $500 college scholarship prior to the start of the LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT April 19th in GEORGETOWN, TEXAS.

TINELLI, a business major at UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON DOWNTOWN made it a family celebration in accepting his award.

His grandfather JIM plays for the TEXAS LEGENDS 75's and he and the rest of the LEGENDS surrounded the younger TINELLI as he accepted his award.

"That is always special when a senior softball player is there to watch a grandchild accept an award like this," SPA president RIDGE HOOKS said. "It makes me very proud when SPA can award these scholarships to worthy students. It shows everyone there is more to the SPA organization than just softball games."

EYES OF TEXAS ON LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL

SPA crowned 10 individual team champs in eight age brackets as 30 teams competed in the LAYLA BRYAN MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT held April 19-22 at MCMASTERS ATHLETICS COMPLEX in GEORGEOWN,TEXAS.

"It was a great tournament and I know LAYLA was watching and was proud of the tournament in her name," SPA president RIDGE HOOKS said. "There was great competition in all the brackets which made for a great tournament."

Four teams competed on the 65 PLUS bracket with HENDRICKS winning the 65 MAJOR title and HOOKS taking home the 65AAA crown.

HENDRICKS defeated HOOKS 25-17 and DALLAS SPURS 38-19 on their trip to the top spot while HOOKS knocked off HOUSTON CLASSICS 31-21 to reach the finals.

LOUISIANA LEGENDS defeated the AVENGERS 24-14 and the GREY SOX twice (24-9 in the finale) for the 70 AAA championship.  The GREY SOX beat AUSTIN MERCHANTS 26-25 for third place in the four-team bracket.

SAN ANTONIO SILVER STREAKS defeated 2017 champ SAN ANTONIO LEGENDS 17-15 for the 70 MAJOR title.  The LEGENDS reached the finals defeating BOYD METALS 30-12. The OKIES was the fourth team in the group.

In a three-team bracket, STILL took home the trophy defeating the TEXAS GREYHOUNDS 26-19 in the title game. The TEXAS CLASSICS was the third team in the group.

The 75/80 Division title went to the TEXAS legends who beat the DESPERADO"S 24-7 and 13-12 along with a 26-23 win over HILL CONTRACTING.

The DESPERADO'S reached the finals with a win over HILL CONTRACTING. The SAN ANTONIO 80's were the fourth team in the bracket.

CARRIAGE HOMES topped the TEXAS LEGENDS for the 60 AAA crown The LEGENDS defeated the DALLAS SPURS to reach the title game. The TEXAS THUNDER rounded out the bracket.

The HOUSTON FIRE downed GONZALES INSULATION twice in the best two-out-of-three battle for the 60 MAJOR CROWN.

ESCOBAR BODY SHOP beat TEAM ARKANSAS 41-19 in the "IF" game to take the top spot in the 50 MAJOR BRACKET, ESCOBAR had beaten TEAM ARKANSA 41-40 and L&R SOFTBALL 28-23 before losing to TEAM ARKANSAS 19-21 to force the "IF" game.

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."

WEATHER DAMPENS SALUTE TO VETERANS EVENT

The weather all but washed-out the SPA SALUTE TO VETERANS TOURNAMENT at COLLEGE STATION. TEXAS April 5-6.

“We had 25 teams set up for the tournament in all ages,” SPA president and CEO RIDGE HOOKS said. “The weather wasn’t kind and we were only able to get the 65,70 and 75 groups played.”

HILL CONTRACTING won the 75 MAJOR while SAN ANTONIO DESPERADO’S edged out the TEXAS LEGENDS for the 75 AAA title.

The TEXAS CLASSICS out gunned the GREY SOX 25-16 and AUSTIN MERCHANTS 14-11 to take home the 70 AAA crown.

HOUSTON CLASSICS claimed the 65 AAA championship while ROBSON RANCH went home with the 65 AA trophy. The 70 AA title was won by the TEXAS GREYHOUNDS.

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.