SPA News

What's Happening in Senior Softball

Rocky Tops Welcome SPA Ladies

Knoxville Tennessee  put the welcome mat out for the SPA Women Rocky Top NIT tournament and 24 teams took advantage of the invitation.

Seven champions were crowned in the 70+ Gold, 70-75+ Silver, 50+, 55+, 60+ and 35/40+ divisions in the July 6-9 SPA event..

The 35/40+ was the biggest bracket with seven teams competing for the championship with Hilton Forty Plus ending up on top of the heap.

Hilton 40 Plus earned their title with two wins over runner-up Motown Magic 12-5, 22-14 and another against third place Batgirls Return. Others in the bracket were Pitches Be Crazy, Signmasters, Outer Limits and Save 2nd Base. Batgirls was the only 40+ team in the tournament as the other six were 35.

East Coast Gems ran the table in the five-team 55 bracket beating Sunny Beaches 12-3, 21-1 and Sluggers 10-4 to claim the crown. Sunny Beaches was second followed by Sluggers, Serious Fun and Sho-Me 55's.

The Hamel Ladies beat Nor'Easters 15-6 and 24-11 after losing to them 7-5 in the first round to win the 60 division. Nor'Easters were second and Southern Stars third.

In a best-two-of-three showdown Fire & Ice downed Sassy Seniors 11-9 and 12-10 for the 50 Division crown.

Four teams battled it out for 70/75 Silver title with Ohio Tri-Stars beating Blue Chicks 21-8, 12-7 and NW Mountain Moma's 19-4 for the title with Blue Chicks taking second. The Classics were third and NW Mountain Mama's fourth.

Chalk Line beat Golden Girls (Virginia) 8-7, 10-5 and Chattanooga Chargers 4-3 to claim the 70 Gold crown. The Golden Girls were second.

Thirty Test Twitty

Thirty teams took part in the Women's Twitty SPA Senior NIT tournament in Hendersonville, Tennessee with seven taking home a championship trophy.

The event held May 17-20 had to battle the weather but still crowned winners in the 75. 70, 60 plus, 55, 50, 40 plus and 35 divisions.

The 60 plus had the largest turnout with Hamel Ladies beating Md. Road  Runners 16-15 and Noreasters 19-18 to escape with the title. Road Runners were second and Jolico Sr 60's third. Noreasters, Sho-Me 60's and Southern Stars filled out the bracket.

The 35 Division had the double-elimination tournament washed out but were still able to complete pool play. Hilton 40 Plus won the 35 Division followed by Signmasters 35's, Patches Be Crazy 35's, Save 2nd Base 35's and Outer Limits 35's..

The 40 Plus division was also decided by pool play with Arizona Saints finishing first followed by Arkansas Synergy and Bat Girls Return.

East Coast Gems ruled the roost in the 55 division with Serious Fun second. Jolico 55's, Sluggers and Sho-Me 55's completing the field.

The 50's saw Dreamgirlz 50+ take the title followed by Tn Sr Stars 50+, Sho-Me 50 plus and Fire and Ice 50 plus.

Ohio Tri Star lost their first round game 15-10 to the Golden Girls and proceeded to run the table beating Golden Girls 12-6, Tn Sr. Stars 12-0 and 15-6 to take the 75 Division title. Tn Sr Stars were second and Golden Girls third.

The 70's saw Golden Girls leave no doubt as to who was the champion by beating Blue Chicks 23-16. 16-12 and Chattanooga Chargers 12-9. The Blue Chicks finished second followed by Chattanooga Chargers and the Classics.

"Considering the weather the tournament went very well thanks to the high quality of play by the participating teams," SPA president and CEO Ridge Hooks said. "The caliber of the women's teams who participate in SPA events is second to none. I am very proud of our women's division."

Pensacola Hosts Womens Spring National

The 50, 55 and 60 women's teams met in Pensacola April 7-9 for a rain shortened Spring Nationals Tournament.

The 50 bracket was won by Tennessee Stars who beat Pensacola Sr. Ladies 30-15, 37-11 and Bat Girls Return 33-6. Fire n' Ice rounded out the group.

Serious Fun had a lot of it beating East Coast Gems twice and Jolico 55's once to take the 55's title. Sunny Beaches was the fourth team in the bracket.

Sunny Beaches downed runner-up Road Runners 30-13 and 13-4 along with a 21-7 win over the Southern Stars for the 60's title.

The 35/40 bracket was rained out.

Women's March 2015 Editorial

MEMORIES

Michigan Mavericks, the Oldest Women’s Senior Softball Team.  Kay Oswait, 90-years-old was the coach and Jerry Gawara, at the time was 92-years-old.  Kay just passed away three weeks ago after suffering from cancer for 12 years.  The Michigan Mavericks are from Garden City, Michigan. 

Kay Oswait was born in Brownsville, Pennsylvania.  She played fast pitch, modified fast-pitch, and then slow-pitch softball.    She was a pitcher, catcher and outfielder.  She began playing senior softball in 1989.  She was manager and player despite some major health issues.  She had a fall in 2007 resulting in a fractured hip and thereafter became the manager of the Mavericks 75+.  Kay is one of those pioneers that paved the way for all the younger female players.

Kay wrote about Jerry Gawara – She is now 91-years-old and would still be playing if we had enough players over 80 to play  In 1988, Jerry played shortstop in the Women’s Senior Olympics in St. Louis.  One of Jerry Opponent wrote, “I had the privilege of playing against her (Jerry) as well as with her.  She played various positions but noted for her stamina with her pitching.  She was a good hitter.  Jerry’s personality is one of graciousness and humbling demeanor.  She is competitive, but in a civil way.  She cares about others on the team and opponents.  Because of Jerry, Judy Lee had  the pitching rule changed to allow her to pitch 2 innings, rest, and then come back into the game; plus allowing 12 players on the field for this age group.

Judy Lee Schreiber wrote, “They (Jerry and Kay) are an inspiration to all of us younger ladies and they keep us on our toes because they are not sitting at home twiddling their thumbs.”  Kay is the one that always said to me, “NEVER give up on helping the Senior Women to play ball. “  She was my encouragement all of these years.  I loved this lady.  She is one in a million.”

Below is the Women’s Softball Tournament Schedule for 2015.  If you happen to live or happen to be in one of these cities during tournament play, please stop by and cheer them on and welcome them to your city.

 

Women's Program December 2014 Editorial

Once again it is the season to be thankful. We have had a year of wonderful tournaments with the comradery of all of our old and new found friends in softball that only tournaments can provide.

In 1997 is when I first went to USSSA as the Women’s Director with our Tennessee State USSSA Director Randy Smith is where I met Ridge Hooks, Executive with USSSA at that time.  Between Randy, Ridge and Billy Lee Yarbrough they helped me get our first USSSA Senior Women's World Tournament in Nashville, TN in 1998. We had 6 teams and built it from there every year. For twelve years we only had one tournament a year until I went with Ridge Hooks at SPA as the SPA Women's National Director. Ladies and Gentleman we now have 6 tournaments a year, thanks to Mr. Hooks believing in the women's program.  

&nbspDecember 9-12th, SPA will have an Executive meeting in Yukon, OK where we will have viable discussions and hopefully solutions to change some things that the coaches talked about at our meeting in Dalton, GA. The Dalton meeting was very successful and all of our Executive Committee was there to hear the Coaches’ giving their great ideas for 2015.  So Ladies 2015 will be a great year for all of us. The SPA Staff Members would like to thank each and every team for playing in our Association in years gone by and the many years to come.

We also wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year. God Bless Everyone.

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.

 

ROCKY TOP MOUNTAIN SR NIT INNAGURAL WOMENS EVENT

     KNOXVILLE CASSWELL COMPLEX HOSTS TOURNAMENT

KNOXVILLE TENNESSEE – The SPA Women made their first trip to KNOXVILLE'S CASSWELL COMPLEX July 9-13 to add another tournament to SPA'S growing list of women's events.

We are slowly but surely adding new tournaments to the women's program,” SPA PRESIDENT RIDGE HOOKS said, “Women's senior softball is one of the fastest growing sports participation activities in amateur sports today and we (SPA) are happy to continue to play an important part in its development.”

Two champions were crowned in the women's 70 DIVISION with the BLUE CHICS taking home the 70 AAA top prize while the OHIO TRI STARS earned the 70 MAJOR top spot.

The OHIO team claimed the title with a pair of bracket wins, first disposing of the CHATTANOOGA CHARGERS 15-0 and then the BLUE CHICS 26-12.

The BLUE CHICS handled two other 70's teams, downing the CLASSICS 18-5 and CHATTANOOGA LEGENDS 17-16. The GOLDEN GIRLS was the fifth team in the bracket.

In the 60/65 BRACKET, NOR EASTERS finished on top of the 60's podium while SMOKEY MOUNTAIN STARS were the 65's champs.

The road to the title wasn't easy for NOR EASTERS as they had to go to an “IF” game to win it. They started bracket play with wins over SMOKEY MOUNTAIN STARS (18-5) and SOUTHERN STARS (10-6) before the SOUTHERN STARS came out of the loser's bracket to hang an 18-9 thrashing on the NOR EASTERS forcing the “IF” game.

The NOR EASTERS settled down in the “IF” game to rebound with a 17-8 payback victory for the championship over the SOUTHERN STARS.

The 65 title boiled down to a one game nail biter SMOKEY MOUNTAIN STARS showdown 16-15 win over the GOLDEN GALS for the title.

The next women's event is the AUGUST 20 PARADISE IN THE VILLAGE NIT at SBUFFALO GLEN COMPLEX at the VILLAGES.