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Dec. 1, 2013

150 Teams Escape Winter to Kick Off 2014 Season

Beth Hamilton
By Beth Hamilton

Softball News Report

PHOENIX – The Western segment of the SSUSA 2014 Tournament Season kicked off in the Valley of the Sun in mid-November with the 12th Annual Winter World Championships, marking the second time the tourney was held here after a 10-year run in Las Vegas.

Outstanding weather and even better competition were the norm as 150 teams took to the fields in the hopes of starting the season off successfully.

“Phoenix has long been a favorite of everyone who plays here, with a perfect climate and probably the best playing facilities in the country,” said Tournament Director Dave Dowell. Games were played at Papago Park, which was recently named the SSUSA’s National Softball Complex of the Year.

“Southwestern hospitality is at its finest, there’s a lot to do while not playing the games and it’s always nice to escape winter,” he added.

Nine teams competed in the Men’s 40+ Masters Platinum Division, ending in an IF game and one-run finish. RTS from Arizona and Team Joose from Nevada made it to the championships, with the underdog Team Joose forcing an IF game in a close 12-11 victory. However RTS came back in the IF game to edge out Team Joose 20-19 for the title.

The 50 Major Plus only had two teams, Arizona Elite and Sommerville Softball, with Sommerville taking the title by winning 26-10 and 27-19. The 50 Major Division top teams were El Paso Spurs and CaliGold Athletics. CaliGold beat the El Paso Spurs 10-6 to force an IF game, which the Spurs won, 20-16.

A new team from Arizona known as the Total Knuckleheads showed up to play ball in the 50+ AAA Division. After the round-robin games, they entered bracket play as the number one seed. Their top competition turned out to be the Arizona Legends and after a long Championship game, Total Knuckleheads came out on top 28-17.

Six teams were in the 55+ Major Division and So Cal 55 and Doubleplay/Monarch were on a mission to win the title. Doubleplay came in as the number one seed and So Cal was the third. In a long championship game, So Cal won 22-13 which lead to an “IF” game where Doubleplay won 20-19.

Four teams won both of their round-robin games in the 55+ AAA Division. Mountain Mike’s, the No. 2 seed, lost their first bracket game putting them in the loser’s bracket. After multiple games they made it to the championship against Git-R-Done, the No. 3 seed. In the end Git-R-Done won 14-8.

In the 55/50+ AA Division, the top seeded Dallas Spurs 55 faced Scrap Iron 55’s Rockies. After being sent to the loser’s bracket and working their way back up, Scrap Iron took home the title, winning 14-13 and 26-17.

A team with heart and determination was the Rogue 60’s. After placing 8th in the seeding of the 60+ Major Division, they fought their way to the championship game, beating the No. 1 seed and playing a total of six games before making it to the championships. In the championship game, they faced Top Gun 60 Softball, which prevailed in a nail bitter, 13-12.

R & R Strokers were ready to defend their top seeding in the 60+ AAA Division, but they came up short against the Scrap Iron Legends. But R&R bounced back to top the Scrap Iron 22-19 and 20-18 for the title.

The 60+ AA Division consisted of nine teams – but one team stood out: Git-R-Done 60. They took the top seed after round-robin play and held it all the way to the championship game. There they faced Scrap Iron Diamonds and unfortunately lost 14 – 10. But Git-R-Done pulled it together with a 16-13 win in the “IF” game for the title.

The 65+ Platinum combined Major Plus and Major teams . After splitting into brackets, the Major Plus was left with Omen 65 and Full Circle 65 with Omen winning the title. The 65 Majors was a different story with six teams. The teams that made it into the championships were Ponchos and Rusty’s. After a heated battle, Ponchos won 20-13.

After losing their first two round-robin games in the 65+ AAA Division, Scrap Iron Phiten knew they had to make a comeback. After taking out the first, second and third seeds, they faced the R & R 65’s in the championships. Scrap Iron coasted to an easy 18-5 win.

Only four teams competed in the 65+ AA Division, but that didn’t make it any less exciting. The lowest seed, the Duke City Dynamite, decided they weren’t ready to give up and made their way to the championships where they beat the Sunlight Supply by a single run for the title.

The 70+ Platinum was a battle between the top two seeded teams: the Thousand Oaks Panthers and Connection. After Thousand Oaks lost their first game, they had to win both games for the title. The Thousand Oaks won the first game, but Connection came back to win the “IF” game 12-4 for the title.

Sidewinders II made it look easy to win the 70+ Silver Division title. After taking top seed, they only had to win three games for the title. In the end they beat Ginco Plumbing 10-7 for the championship.

With only three teams in 75+ Gold Division and three in the 80+ Gold Division it was bound to be an interesting bracket. The AZ Cardinals beat the Sun Lakes 75 to win the title of 75+ Gold by a 13-12 score. The 80+ Gold was between AZ Prospectors 80 and Fairway Ford. The final was close, but the Arizona Prospectors 80 won 19-17.

Eleven teams competes in the 40 Women's Masters division.

After combined round-robin play, the Old School of California and the Beavers of Michigan broke off for a best-of-three championships. Old School won two lopsided victories for the title: 14-8 and 17-2.

In the Women's 40 AAA, Tharaldson's double-dipped the Saints 10-3 and 13-2.

And in the Women's 40 AA, B.O.O.Bs of California edged Madness of New Mexico 13-12.

The Women’s 50+ Division had five teams. Ladiez Steel Smackin’ was in it for the win. They made it to the championship game where they went up against Arizona Dream Team 50. The final score was 17-14 in favor of the Ladiez Steel Smackin’.

Eight teams competed in the Women’s 55/60+ Division. Although they would eventually break off into their own divisions, they started out playing together. Second Wind and California Spirit 55 battled in the championship with Second Wind taking the crown, 14-2.

The 60+ Women came down to Arizona Castawaz and California Spirit 60 with the Castawaz winning 12-8 for the title.

Six teams competed in the Women’s 65+ Division. Saints Express proved to be the team to beat as they won both their round-robin games. Then after two more games, they were in the championships with the Queen Bees. In the end, Saints Express won 19-3.

2013 Winter World Championships All Tournament Players:

Women’s 40 Major: Old School - Jo Hester, Yvonne Ortiz, Kelly Orberle, Deena Dobbins, Lupe Garcia, Eden Hernandez; Beavers - Carolyn Shanks, Leslie Shingleton, Sue Yamin, Chris Treesh

Women’s 40 AAA: Tharaldsons - Jennifer Downing, Lynn Larson, JoAnn Fukuma, Becky Ginn, Lisa Haskell

Women’s 40 AA: B.O.O.B.S. - Caroline Saenz, Kari Zamora, Julie German, Elizabeth Espinueva, Michelle Ballard; Madness - Tanya Lucero, Dawn Saunders, Cindy Herr; Northwest Intensity - Angela Lowber, Sharon Hansard

Women’s 50: Ladiez Steel Smackin’ - Lyn Brown, Darla Sommerville, Hope Nulf, Gail Locati, Laura Thorpe

Women’s 55: 2nd Wind - Ginger Larsin, Cindy Capistran, Linda Jones, Donna Williams, Kris Andreasen; No Limits - Lois Hand, Chris Jacobson

Women’s 60: Castawaz - Terry Sheldon, Lorraine Hebert, Bama Lavis, Nancy Gagnon, Kathy Corwell; California Spirit - Laurie Mills, Betsy Borda, Paula Handrup

Women’s 65: Saints Express - Lynn Shutt, Marylou Beban, Annie Gronan, Joni Shirley, Jeanie Gray; Queen Bees - Pam Bedwell, Bev Smith, Glenda Beck; Dream Catchers - Jo Hale, Janet Wood

Men’s 40 Major: RTS - Carl Blank, Michael Nieuwenhuis, Tony Holland, James Shano, Allen Gallagher; Reno Elite - Brian Williford, Tim Williamson

Men’s 50 Major-Plus: Sommerville Softball - John Heller, Mike Reed, Ron Parnell, Ronni Salcedo, Paul Salow, Keith Benjamin

Men’s 50 Major: El Paso Spurs - Matthew “Chief” Perez, Art “Artichoke” Alvarez, George “Chief” Ramos, Manny Gutierrez, Gil “Poncho” Saenz; JU Entertainment - John Rhonemus, Mark Ingersoll

Men’s 50 AAA: Knuckleheads - Danny Romero, Charlie Torrez, Mark Martinez, Brian Kieser, Alfred Galindo; AZ Legends - Jim Gainer, Dusty Lee, Scott Porter

Men’s 55 Major: Doubleplay/Monarch - Paul Smit, Russ Little, Ray Tarazon, Larry Lorin, Kent (Buzz) Wheeler; SoCal 55 - Peter Oriarte, Deano Kester, Robert Sewell; Four Seasons Screenprinting - Bob Joerg, Herman Bryant

Men’s 55 AAA: Git-R-Done - Glenn Stevenson, Tom Jadwin, Mike O’Donnell, Joe Tucker, Robert Parral; Mountain Mike’s Pizza - Ettore Minor, Ray O’Rear, Jeff Zelsdorf; Hard Tens/Oxnard Rookies – Fred Macias, Jamie Lagos

Men’s 50/55 AA: Scrap Iron Rockies - Jesus Bencomo, Rick Shaum, Larry Allard, Don Rieker, Dave Adams; Dallas Spurs - Bill Jennings, David Sampson, Garland Doyle

Men’s 60 Major: Top Gun 60 Softball - Don Ludwig, John Woolsey, Don Chandler, Jim Palecek, Dave Seitz; Rogue 60’s - Kenny Vaught, Roger Lawrence, Reyes Gonzales; Gonzalez Insulation - Dan Silkwood, David Perkins

Men’s 60 AAA: R & R Strokers - Tom Plucinak, Bill Probasco, Tad Ludes, Gary Bemis, Andy Smith; Scrap Iron Legends - Terry Roberts, Bruce Stricklett, Danny Stricklett; USA Patriots - Oscar Wantiez, Ron Oestmann

Men’s 60 AA: Git-R-Done - Brian Allen, Ron Martel, Richard (Frit) Swain, Dennis Norheim, Bill Wilkins; Scrap Iron Diamonds - Jerry Bost, Terry Liverant, Pete Pinotes; Blue Chips - Jack Fitzer, Steve Cotta

Men’s 65 Major-Plus: Omen - Fred Purvis, Dennis Dalton, Larry Lopez, Dan Walsworth, Ed Carey; Full Circle - Jerry Scanlin, Conway Waddy, Alan Dial, Rick Monsker

Men’s 65 Major: Poncho’s - Terry Schmitgal, Rollin Marion, Don Larson, Marc Alop, Bruce Stricklett; Tharaldson’s - Gary Tharaldson, Larry Giese

Men’s 65 AAA: Scrap Iron Phiten - Tom Reynolds, Greg Broeckelman, Don Carpenter, Dick Schimmels, Alan Wiechmann; R & R 65 - Dick Markota, Phil Stevens, Wes Baker

Men’s 65 AA: Duke City Dynamite - Dick Satter, Larry Gialouris, Ray Johnson, Jim McCormick, Ray Ortega; Sunlight Supply - John Bennett, David Harms, Larry Noble; Git-R-Done - Tim Haug, Mark Beizer

Men’s 70 Major: Connection - Ken Cornelison, Chuck Meyer, Dennis Nuibe, Fred Mittelstaedt, Jerry Herling; Thousand Oaks Panthers - John Brown, Stephen Garceau, Ronnie Guest

Men’s 70 Silver: Sidewinder 70’s II - Bob Ross, Ron Johnson, Howard Schaber, Don Bildilli, Larry Heuett; Ginco Plumbing - Rod Gauf, Lou Gahto, Tom Neblett; El Paseo Bank - Jim Leatherwood, Ben Plascencia

Men’s 75 Gold: Mesa Cardinals - Carrol Shook, Jim Hann, Al Brown, John Anderson, Bill Reeves

Men’s 80 Gold: AZ Prospectors - Ron Schwartz, Ron Brown, Don Kucharek, Jay Avery, Lloyd Harper; Fairway Ford - John Fisher, Bob Pucci, Harry Walker
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