FORTY-ONE TEAMS ATTEND SPA NIT EVENT
SYLVANIA, OHIO – The SPA 2014 SYLVANIA GREAT LAKES NIT TOURNAMENT continues to carry a “SUPERIOR RATING” as far as senior softball teams are concerned.
The fourth year of the GREAT LAKES event, held at OHIO'S SYLVANIA, RECREATION'S PACESETTER PARK JULY 31-AUGUST 3, saw an increase in participation with FORTY-ONE TEAMS participating in the seven divisional brackets. It was the third growth year in a row for one of SPA'S most popular tournaments.
“We not only are growing but for the first time we brought in teams from the east coast,” SYLVANIA TOURNAMENT REPRESENTATIVE JERRY KEEFE said,” That shows our reputation as a quality tournament is spreading. In addition to CANADIAN, MICHIGAN,OHIO and INDIANA teams we also had teams from CHICAGO, PITTSBURGH and NEW JERSEY.”
“A lot of the credit for the recognition the GREAT LAKES TOURNEY is receiving should go to JAKE HENSEL, SYLVANIA RECREATION PROGRAM DIRECTOR and SPA REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE LARRY MILLIRON.” KEEFE added.” They both do a great job and their efforts along with the PARK'S grounds crew reflects why this tournament is so well received.”
The tournament's largest group, the 60 AAA, saw eight teams battle for the championship with UNIVERSAL SOFTBALL beating the “home town” MAUMEE BAY RAPTORS twice for the title. The COLUMBUS team won 24-16 in the title match and 23-22 in an earlier bracket game.
UNIVERSAL also beat CARR'S SHELL 25-10 and MINUTEMEN/PEPCO 16-10. The RAPTORS reached the title game by beating CHICAGO PRIME 17-6.
The other teams in the bracket were THE BOMB SQUAD, PRONIO SPORTS and OHIO SILVERADO'S. The EIGHT teams in the 65 AAA DIVISION was the fifth highest entry total of any senior softball tournament east of VEGAS.
The GREAT LAKES also had the second highest total of attendees in the 70 AA and 70 AAA, ranking only behind THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC for all tournaments to date in senior softball east of VEGAS.
The 70 AAA DIVISION went to another COLUMBUS team as CENTRAL OHIO COSSA defeated MICHIANA MERCHANTS 17-14 in an “IF” game. The winners had forced the “showdown game” by beating MICHIANA 19-12 which also avenged an earlier 23-15 defeat at the hands of the team from ”UP NORTH”.
COSSA also had the distinction of playing the most games in the tournament They lost their second bracket game and had to fight their way out of the loser's bracket which forced them to play seven games to win it all.
COSSA'S other wins were 13-7 over JOB CENTRAL, 16-15 over BRANTFORD NISSAN, 8-5 against DORCHESTER CANADIANS and PITTSBURGH GOLD 21-16. AKRON BRENNANS was the other team in the seven-team bracket.
In the six-team 70 AA bracket the DAYTON LEGENDS edged FRICKER'S SPORTS BAR SYLVANIA 19-18 for the title. The DAYTON squad beat CHICAGO GREY SOX (15-0) and MISSISSAUGA LEGENDS 11-7 on the way to the crown.
FRICKERS beat CHICAGO (15-0) and MISSISSAUGA (16-12) to earn their spot in the finals. Others in the field were OLDE D'S and INDIANAPOLIS CLASSICS.
The four-team 60 AA title went to BRANTFORD NISSAN who swept bracket play beating MISSISSAUGA LEGENDS (22-13), CAVCO (19-15) and DAYTON (24-10). MISSISSAUGA made the finals by edging CAVCO 24-23.
The HAWKS NEST took no prisoners in easily going 4-0 in the six-team 65 AAA group. The PENNSYLVANIA team beat BRANTFORD NISSAN 21-14 in the finals after beating NEW JERSEY MASTERS 28-17, RUSH TRUCKING 27-16 and MICHIGAN LAKERS 32-21 in earlier games.
BRANTFORD beat the NEW JERSEY MASTERS 26-25 to make it to the title game. SYLVANIA 65's rounded out the field.
The WINDSOR CHIEFS 55's added an INTERNATIONAL flavor to the awards celebrations as the CANADIAN team nipped the GOLDEN VIPERS 20-19 for the five-team 55's DIVISION top spot.
The CHIEFS also beat BANKER AND MANN SOFTBALL 18-12 and the VIPERS 21-6 to go 3-0 in bracket play. The VIPERS made it to the finals by beating BANKER AND MANN SOFTBALL 19-10.
Others in the bracket were BSN and ALL SHRED/PACESETTER MANAGEMENT PROPERTIES.
PDC also went undefeated in bracket play (3-0) to take home the top prize in the 50'S five-team group. The champs beat DAYTON LEGENDS HITMEN 26-25, JJ FINANCIAL EAGLES 23-15 and DAYTON LEGENDS HITMEN (earlier game) 21-18.
DAYTON slid by JJ FINANCIAL 18-17 to earn their spot in the finals. Others in the field were SYLVANIA EAGLES and WINDSOR FOG.
KEEFE summarized, “Good teams and good competition help make a good tournament and we had both this year and are eagerly looking forward to 2015 in hopes of reaching our goal of FIFTY TEAMS. Teams should watch for e-mails as soon as our dates are finalized.”