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June 1, 2013
143 Teams Compete in Southwest; Canseco Debuts with Long Homers
LAS VEGAS – 143 teams traveled to the desert to kick off the Southwest Championships. Both Masters and Seniors comprised one of the largest tournaments of the spring here in late April.
Baseball heavy hitter Jose Canseco became a rookie in a new sport, but retained his hitting prowess – smacking a number of home runs, including a ball that easily sailed 450 feet over the 50-foot fences at Lorenzi Softball Complex and another that landed solidly in the windshield of a truck.
Canseco competed on the High Testosterone/Monstro 40 Major team, but the Regional Championships attracted teams as old as 80, plus a healthy Women’s division from 11 states and Canada, according to tournament officials.
The Southwest Championships is a joint effort of Las Vegas Senior Softball Association and Senior Softball-USA. Winners are awarded a berth to the elite Tournament of Champions in Florida in February.
Canseco’s team won the 11-team 40 Major division, beating Nor Cal Stars in the finals by a razor thin margin, 27-26.
An amazing six teams competed in the oldest division – 80-year-olds – with Fairway Ford of California taking the 80 Major title, beating the Arizona Prospectors, 12-9, in the championships and Top Gun Jets of California winning the 80 AAA division by defeating Scrap Iron of Colorado, 17-12, in the finals.
One of the most well-fought contests of the tournament came in the middle of 60 AAA bracket play. The Desperados of New Mexico and Cal Xtreme tied 24-24 in the seventh inning, then Cal scored 15 runs in the top of the eight only to see Desperados come back with 18 in the bottom of the inning to win. Final score: 42-39. Rocco’s 60s of Arizona won the 60 AAA division.
In the 40 Major Plus division HandPicked won two consecutive one-run games to take the division. They defeated SD VFW, 19-18 in the semifinal and then squeezed out another victory over Louisville Sluggers, 17-16.
50 Major Plus bracket play consisted of Arizona Elite and NW Legends best of three for the title. Both teams split wins in the first two games and Arizona Elite edged out a one-run victory, 31-30, in the championship.
Seven teams comprised the 50 Major division. Second seeded Rated Athletics ran off four straight wins in bracket play, eventually defeating Team Rawlings, 25-13, for the championship.
The Tucson Bandits dominated the 50 AAA with an impressive performance throughout the tournament. Team Bulls fell victim to the Bandits in the championship game losing, 23-13.
A mixed bracket comprised the 50/55 AA division. First Draft was able to force an “If” game against Mountain Men, although Mountain Men fought back, 26-25, for the division title. However, First Draft was awarded a TOC berth for the 55 AA division.
The 55 Major Plus bracket saw lots of offense with MTC scoring no less than 27 runs in three consecutive ball games on their way to the championship. They defeated Cal Energy, 29-18, to win the division.
The 55 Major division was won by Fangrabbers in a forfeit by Top Gun III.
Rio Grande 55 out of New Mexico sought revenge against Coasters from California. After losing, 20-10, in the first round, Rio Grande clawed their way back to the championship defeating the Coasters, 13-12, in a tight “If” game.
Hollis Appraisals conquered the 60 Major Plus division scoring 35 and 34 runs consecutively to defeat Joe Brown’s All Stars in the championship.
Top seeded Nor Cal Storm slugged their way to the 60 Major championship by defeating Smith Electric, 22-13, in the finals.
The 60 AA division required an “If” game to decide the winner. Git-R-Done defeated Scrap Iron Diamonds, 23-22, to force the “If” game but fell short to Scrap Iron, 22-16, in the championships.
Full Circle out of California took the 65 Major Plus division by defeating Omen 65, 27-11.
Rusty’s was defeated by Poncho’s, 21-20 in a possible championship for Rusty’s. After forcing the “If” game Poncho’s came up a few runs short, losing to Rusty’s 25-22 in the championship.
A nine-team 65 AAA division was won by SoCal Gusto after beating the Marauders 19-11 for the championship.
No. 1 seed Git-R-Done lost their opening round bracket game, 16-15, to Scrap Iron Classics. Git-R-Done would end up getting hot at the right time to win four in a row including two straight against Scrap Iron Classics to claim the division championship.
Streamline Circuits crushed Stark Street Pizza, 22-14, for the 70 Major Plus championship.
Team New Mexico was able to overcome an “if” game. After losing to Thousand Oaks Panthers, Team New Mexico scored 14 runs to win the 70 Major division.
Connection out of California showed determination after losing their opening bracket game to Triple Play. By winning five straight games they were able to claim revenge on Triple Play, 15-10 in the “if” game.
TNT won the 70 AA division by the narrowest of margins, 16 – 15, over Scrap Iron Force.
Top Gun 75’s defeated D-99 by three runs, 17-14, to win the 75 Major championship.
The 75/80 Gold mixed bracket division was won by Fairway Ford after defeating the Arizona Prospectors, 12-9.
Top Gun Jets defeated Scrap Iron, 14-6 and 17-12 in two consecutive games for the top spot in the 80 AAA division.
In the Women’s 50 division, Ladies Steel Smackin took two out of three games from the Roadrunners for the championship, eventually defeating them 12-1 in the championship.
Old School won the Women’s 40 Major division by defeating All In, 19-7 in an “if” game.
No. 3 seeded Saints took the Women’s 40 Gold Division by defeating Tharaldson Softball, 18-8.
Southwest Championships All Tournament Players
Women’s 40 – Saints 40’s – Patti Albrecht, Cynthia Dominguez, Dianna Dugger, Missy Ellis, Lydia Acosta; All In – Tish Johnson, Pita Licon, Sabrina Bobkowski
Men’s 40 Major-Plus – HandPicked – Jim Fletcher, Steve Savage, James Kaul, Sammy Bernstine, Rob Bartz; SD VFW – Barry Otis, John Gallegos
Men’s 40 Major – R&R 40 Oz – Oscar Diaz Jr., Joe Zambrano
Men’s 50 Major-Plus – Arizona Elite – Ronni Salcedo, Chuck Stacy, Dominic Calise, Mike Hoffner, Dave Quiroz
Men’s 50 Major – Rated Athletics – Greg Bovero, Kevin Thompson, Carl Nichols, Ramone Ruelas, Clifford McLaughlin; Scrap Iron Rocky Mountain Thunder – Kerry Ecker, Phil Bryant
Men’s 50AAA – Tucson Bandits – Kenny Vaught, Rod Grubb, Armando Caban, Billy Armijo, Larry Schouten; Team Bulls – Richard Cooke, Roland Hinojosa, Wayne Johnson; Sugamele Golf – Alan Derow, Terry Moffitt
Men’s 50AA – Mountain Men – John Gibbs, Bruce King, Ernie Reyes, Mike Seegmiller, Scott, Guthrie
Men’s 55 Major-Plus – MTC 55 – Gary Robertson, Kurt Mahaney, Ski Angle, Bill Nafziger, Dave Perillo; Summy’s Nighthawks – Paul Salow, John “Billy” Kramer
Men’s 55 Major – Top Gun III – Jim Poage, Mel Wood, Robert Hugo
Men’s 55AAA – Rio Grande 55’s – Mike Gonzales, Rick Garcia, Andrew “Speedy” Virdell, Robert Galvan, John Hurst; Coasters – Joe Peinado, Lonnie Magnusen, Gary Bronner, Desert Dawgs 55’s – Mike Bortz, Nolan Spencer
Men’s 60 Major-Plus – Hollis Appraisels – David Motta, Bobby Davis, John Klein, Jack Lambert, Ed Carrington; Team Combat/Joe Brown’s All Stars – Vern Fowler, Tom Ott, Fred Purvis
Men’s 60 Major – Nor Cal Storm – Jeff Hacker, George Robinson, Ron May, John Flores, Ed Denoncourt;West Coast All Stars – Ocie Wesley Jr., Wayne Galer
Men’s 60AAA – Rocco’s 60’s – Richard Mares, Paul Hernandez, Pablo Rosthenhausler, Ron Ward, Arnold Mares; Rezults Realty – Bob Murray, Alan Geary, Glenn Bragg
Men’s 60AA – Scrap Iron Diamonds – Curt Dicke, Terry Goodrich, Jerry Bost, Gary Jones, Dennis “DJ” Johnson; Git-R-Done 60 – Bobby Sutton, Ed Gestine, David Emanuelson
Men’s 65 Major-Plus – Full Circle 65 – Conway Waddy, Doug Peterson, Billy Steele, Ellwin Jobe, Peter Houghton; Omen 65 – Larry Lopez, Dave Sells, George Sylvia; Rose Enterprises – Terry O’Donnell, John Klein
Men’s 65 Major – Rusty’s – Tony Jensen, Fred Purvis, Steve Rustman, Bob Williams, Stan Suichta; Poncho’s – Mike Wolfe, Larry Kaufmann, Don Larson
Men’s 65AAA – SoCal Gusto – Bill Werlin, Bob Sutton, Lary Row, Louis Bratcher, Mauraders – Shig Asato, John Costley, John Fletcher, Mustangs – Ron Tatti, David Robles
Men’s 65AA – Git-R-Done 65 – Mark Beizer, John Cink, Joe Hansell, Ralph Santos, Bryan Wilkins; Yavapi Cantina – John Nicol, Doug Lee
Men’s 70 Major-Plus – Streamline Circuits – LeRoy Gallardo, John Chacon, Bill Wilson, Bill Nevis, Mike Leitner; Stark Street Pizza – Nat Rinato, Bob Brown, Rob Robinson
Men’s 70 Major – Team New Mexico – Ernie Tafoya, John Fraser, Garry Russell, Gary Hansen, Jerry Hartrim; Thousand Oaks Panthers – Steve Garceau, Ronnie Guest, Lew Backer
Men’s 70AAA – Connection - Mel Makos, Rdy Morfin, Gene Adams, Ralph Bartlett, Fred Mittelstaedt; Triple Play 70’s – Gary Nobriga, Tony Henrique, Bob Nicklason; El Paseo Bank - Chuck Marshall, Gordon Johnson
Men’s 70AA – TNT – Larry Miller, James Hunyady, Tom Hutton, Fred Tucci, Jerry Krauss; Git-R-Done 70 – Ron Pengra, Steve Swartz
Men’s 75 Major – Top Gun 75’s – Jesus Godoy, Lou Peete, Frank Wilhelm, Lee Aday, Gary Evans
Men’s 75/80 Gold – Fairway Ford – Glenn Casebolt, Merle Cummings, Neil Barnes, Frank Marstellar, Roger Williams; Arizona Prospectors 80 – Wayne Ellithorpe, John Siegfried, Don Kucharik
Men’s 80AAA – Top Gun Jets – Don Cate, Larry Roberts, Bill Swartz, Bill Gorman, Paul Janke; Texas Station – Pete Gramuglia, Wylie Geter