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Oct. 1, 2011
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS IN SHERMAN NORTHWEST GAMESSenior Softball-USA
By Dave Dowell
LACEY, WA – The sixth annual Jim Sherman Memorial Northwest Championships found a new home at the Regional Athletic Complex here in June following a successful five year run in Portland, Ore. Twenty-seven teams were treated to first-rate facilities over the six-day tournament run.
The event was renamed in 2010 to honor the first player inducted as a member of the Senior Softball USA Hall of Fame. Sherman was a gifted player, a former SSUSA Umpire in Chief and its National Safety Officer prior to his death in 2010.
Play commenced at a relaxed pace on Tuesday for the four 65+ and 70+ teams, competing in a unique format of a Triple Elimination Bracket, which was more than enough games to determine a champion. The W.E. Ruth Realty 65’s (WA) eventually prevailed over their neighboring First American Title 65’s (24-11) in the championship game, with the PDR/Fastsigns 70’s (OR) in third place.
The remaining 23 teams began play under beautiful skies on Friday in four divisions of 50+ through 60+ age divisions. Players and teams were present for a moving memorial presentation to Linda Sherman, Jim’s widow and a long-time sideline fixture at SSUSA events over the years. In a rather ironic turn of events, the assembled players were watching as a fire truck from Lacey was backing into the sports complex with an Honor Guard. But about 50 yards from their destination, they got a call and went right back out to aid the injured at a nearby auto accident. Linda relieved a bit of the concerns, and drew an enthusiastic and laughing response as she quipped “Well, that’s exactly what Jim would have done! I guess we’ll just have to do this without them!”
In the 50/55+ Platinum division, Four Seasons/Wilkins Trucking (OR) squeaked by the Northwest Legends (NW) twice, with last at-bat wins in the winner’s bracket final (22-21) and the championship game (23-21) to take home the trophy. In the 50/55+ AAA division, the result was very similar as the Enviro-Vac Marauders (BC) defeated Metro Construction (WA) in the winner’s bracket final (19-18) and a bit more comfortably (25-13) in the championship game.
The remaining 50/55+ teams, in the AA division, played a combined five-team bracket which saw the elder Cascade Thunder (OR) 55’s finish the tournament as the only unbeaten team. They also won twice over the runner up Double R Desert Dawgs (OR) in the winner’s bracket final (14-13) and the championship game (16-7).
The Men’s 60+ division, with eight teams, was the largest and the most closely contested bracket of the tournament. It took a three-game series at the end as the Masters Marauders (BC) bounced back from a winner’s bracket final loss (21-19) to Aro Glass Clubbers (WA) to sweep the championship (17-16) and “If needed” games (29-14) for the title. Their win made for a celebratory Sunday afternoon for both of the Marauders teams in the 50+ and 60+ divisions.
For full coverage of the 2011 Jim Sherman Memorial Northwest Championships, please see the online edition of Senior Softball News at www.seniorsoftball.com.
1. Four Seasons/Wilkins Trucking (OR) • TOC (in 50-Major)
2. Northwest Legends 50+ (WA)
3. Spot Bar & Grille (OR)
• MEN'S 50/55-AAA
1. Enviro-Vac Marauders (BC) • TOC (in 50-AAA)
2. Metro Construction (WA)
3. Segillo Cellars/Jones Chemical Crushers (WA)
• MEN'S 50/55-AA
1. Cascade Thunder (OR) • TOC (in 55-AA)
2. Double R Desert Dawgs (OR)
3. The Rock/Bradshaw International (WA) • TOC (in 50-AA)
• MEN'S 60+ DIVISION
1. Masters Marauders (BC) • TOC (in 60-AAA)
2. Aro Glass Clubbers (WA)
3. Last Call (NV)
• MEN'S 65/70+ DIVISION
1. W.E. Ruth Realty 65 (WA) • TOC (in 65-Major)
2. First American Title 65 (WA)
3. PDR/Fastsigns 70 (OR)