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Dec. 1, 2013
US National Games: East, West Champions Split National Contest With Six Wins EachRoss McCulligan
By Ross McCulligan
Softball News Report
LAS VEGAS Ė The best of the East dueled the best of the West here in the U.S. National Games and when it was all decided, everything looked very even.
While teams from the East looked strong in winning six national titles, so did the West which also captured a half-dozen national championships during tournament play that served as a prelude to the World Masters Championships.
Earlier in the year, teams competed in either the Eastern or Western Regional Championships for a right to play here for the U.S. title. And if the teams that won the Regional Championships were not planning on attending the World Masters an invite was extended to the runners-up from each division.
After the dust settled four teams that won their National Games went on to win the World Masters Championships and the Triple Grand Slam.
Eastern teams dominated the Triple Grand Slam, with three from the East and only one from the West winning all three premier tournaments: the East or West Nationals, US Nationals and WMC
Teams winning the Triple Grand Slam include Hamel Builders/Superior Senior Softball of Virginia (65 M+), Ohio Silverados (60 AA), San Francisco Seals 75 (75 M) and Dreamgirlz 50 of Virginia (Womenís).
Hereís how the U.S. Nationals played out:
In the 50 Major-Plus division, Arizona Elite matched-up with TSC, out of South Carolina. Arizona Elite emerged with the victory in an offensive shootout, 34-29.
Sonoma County Crush of California faced Florida Automated Shade in the 50 AAA National Game with Sonoma eking out a 22-21 victory.
The Northwest faced the Northeast in the 55 Major division as Goodman Racing, hailing from Washington, battled Sweet Construction, out of New Jersey. In another competitive ballgame, Sweet Construction took the National Title for the East, 20-19.
The 55 AAA division was a true battle of the coasts with Hanningtonís 55ís from Massachusetts going head to head with Git-R-Done 55 of California. Git-R-Done emerged as the champion with a 24-13 victory over Hanningtonís at Russell Road Softball Complex.
Superior Senior Softball, hailing from Virginia, faced the Old Dawgs 60ís, a California team, in the 60 Major-Plus National Game. Superior edged out the Old Dawgs 20-17 to claim the National title for the East.
New York battled California, as the Syracuse Merchants took on Top Gun 60 Softball in the 60 Major division. In yet another close ballgame, Top Gun bested the Merchants 22-19 for the title of National Champions.
The Ohio Silverados showed great cohesion defeating Islanders Gold 25-10 in the 60 AA division for the National Championship. The Silverados continued to dominate by running the table in the division to claim the Triple Grand Slam.
Another Triple Grand Slam winner emerged from the 65 Major-Plus division. Hamel Builders/Superior, Eastern Champions from Virginia, defeated Omen, out of California, 22-20, for the U.S. National victory. Hamelís then won three straight as they slugged their way past Omen once more in the WMC finals, 27-22.
In the 65 AAA division. the Mustangs of California, squared off against the Syracuse Merchants. The trend of close ballgames continued as the Mustangs beat the Merchants 15-11 in a defensive showcase.
The U.S. National Game in the 65 AA division pitted Ripís Country Inn from Maryland against Lincoln Hills Coyotes from California. Ripís defeated the Coyotes 24-20 to claim the title for the East.
The San Francisco Seals continued their dynasty by defeating Joseph Chevrolet 20-19 in the U.S. National Game. The Seals faced Joseph Chevrolet once again in the finals of the WMC and beat them 23-18 for the division and the Triple Grand Slam.
The final U.S. National Game pitted Florida Investment Properties against Arizona Prospectors in the 80 Major division. Florida snuck by Arizona in a one-run ballgame 17-16 to win the National title.
SSUSA also wished to recognize the Eastern and Western champions that did not have an opponent to face in a U.S. National Game. Those teams are:
Eastern Champions: Syracuse Cyclones 70 (NY, 70 AA), C.P.B. (MI, Womenís 40 Major), Dreamgirlz 50 (VA, Womenís 50), Dreamgirlz 55 (VA, Womenís 50).
Western Champions: Prestige/Premier (CA, 40 MP), Nor Cal Stars (CA, 40 Major), Nor Cal Warriors (CA, 50 M), MTC Softball Club 55ís (CA, 55 MP), Scrap Iron Coyotes (CO, 55 AA), Bay Supporters (CA, 60 AAA), Masters Marauders (BC, C, 65 Major), First American Title (WA, 70 MP), Lincoln Hills Coyotes 70 (CA, 70 Major), Raptors 70 (CA, 70 AAA), State Roofing Systems 75 (CA, 75 AAA), Redwood City Chiefs 80 (CA, 80 AAA), Steel Runniní (CA, Womenís 40 AAA), Bunch Of Old Broads (CA, Womenís 40 AA).