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2017 LVSSA/SSUSA Southwest Championships Sets Record for Largest Qualifier with 214 Teams
April 1, 2017
LAS VEGAS – 214 teams from 14 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington), as well as British Columbia arrived here in mid-April for the 2017 LVSSA/SSUSA Southwest Championships, sponsored by Dudley and Elite Sports.
That makes it the largest senior softball qualifier to date.
Eight complexes were used during the championships, as teams competed at Arroyo Grande Sports Complex, Big League Dreams, Hollywood Park Softball Complex, Lorenzi Park Softball Complex, Russell Road Recreation Complex, Shadow Rock Park Softball Complex, Sunset Park Softball Complex and Warm Springs Park.
The first session of the tournament, held April 18-20, featured 70 teams in the Men’s 65 through 80 age groups.
The six-team Men’s 65 Major Plus division featured a match-up of East vs. West, as Timberworks/Adidas (CA) avenged their loss in the championship game against Hollis Appraisals 65’s (FL), 31-30, with a 21-6 triumph in the “if” game. Omen 65 (CA) finished in third place.
For Timberworks/Adidas, this marks the team's third major championship of the young season, having already won both the Winter World Championships and the Spring World Championships. Timberworks/Adidas has continued to excel in 2017 following a banner year in 2016, that saw the team win the Winter World Championships, the Spring World Championship, the Rock ‘N Reno Challenge Cup, the Jim Sherman Memorial Northwest Championships, the Western National Championships and the LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championships.
Arizona Ancient posted a perfect 6-0 record in the nine-team Men’s 65 Major division, going 2-0 in seeding play to lock up the No. 1 seed, and 4-0 in bracket play, including a 22-16 victory against Over the Edge (CA) in the championship game. Top Gun 65 Mavericks (CA) finished in third place. The division saw balanced play throughout seeding, as seven of the nine teams posted a 1-1 record in seed play.
In the 12-team Men’s 65 AAA division, four teams posted perfect 2-0 records in seeding play, with Fountain Valley Outlaws (CA) earning the tie-breaker to take the top seed. Ryan’s Way (NV), who also went 2-0 in seeding play, continued their strong play in bracket, going 5-1, and eventually coming out of the elimination side of the bracket to double-dip No Guts, No Glory (CA), 15-13 and 17-14, in the championship and “if” games, respectively. The wins for Ryan’s Way avenged their loss to No Guts, No Glory, 16-11, earlier in the bracket. Fountain Valley Outlaws finished in third place.
Duke City Dynamite (NM) edged out Git-R-Done 65 (CA), 30-29, in the championship game of the four-team Men’s 65 AA division. Desert Heat (NV) finished in third place.
Playing a best two-out-of-three game series to determine the Men’s 70 Major Plus champion, Omen 70 (CA) defeated Scrap Iron 70 Legacy (CO), 18-9, in game one, while Scrap Iron 70 Legacy bounced back in game two with a 25-16 victory, forcing a third and final game. In the end, Omen 70 took the division with a 16-13 win in the rubber match.
After going 0-2 in seeding play, California Wrecking Crew regrouped in bracket play, posting a perfect 5-0 record, including a thrilling 20-19 win over SoCal Gusto (CA) in the championship game of the 11-team Men’s 70 Major division. In a survive and advance mode, Tri-State Diamondbacks (NM) made a valiant run through the elimination side of the bracket after dropping their first game, winning five straight contests, en route to their third-place finish.
In the nine-team Men’s 70 AAA division, Elite 70’s LVSSA (NV) defended their home turf, posting a perfect 4-0 record in bracket play, including an 18-10 win over Git-R-Done 70 (CA) in the championship game. U.S. Pallet (MO) finished in third place.
A full seven-game round robin (best record) determined the champion in the eight-team Men’s 75 Platinum (Major Plus/Major) division. San Francisco Seals 75 (CA) (pictured below) and Kokopelli Eye Scorpions (AZ) each finished with identical 6-1 records to tie for first place. San Francisco Seals earned the tie-breaker via their head-to-head win over Kokopelli Eye Scorpions, 20-11. As the highest finishing 75 Major team, Kokopelli Eye Scorpions would also earn first place awards and a TOC bid. Sidewinders 75’s (AZ) and California Connection each finished with 4-3 records, as Sidewinders would earn the third-place overall finish via their head-to-head win over California Connection, 16-15.
San Francisco Seals (75 Major Plus) - Winners of Men's 75 Platinum Division
In the five-team Men’s 75 AAA division that featured a single elimination bracket following a four-game full round robin to seed, Las Vegas 75 Coyotes (NV) defeated Outlaws (AZ), 22-7, in the championship game.
In the four-team Men’s 80 Gold (Major/AAA) division, Fairway Ford (CA) (pictured below) recorded a perfect 6-0 record, going 3-0 in seeding play to secure the top seed and 3-0 in bracket play, including a 20-7 win over Git-R-Done 80 (CA) in the championship game. As the highest finishing AAA team, Git-R-Done received first place awards and a TOC berth. Forever Young Diamonds (UT) finished in third place.
Fairway Ford (80 Major) took top 80's honors
The second session of the tournament, held April 21-23, featured 144 teams from the Men’s 40 through 60 age divisions, as well as the Women’s divisions.
In the five-team Women’s 40 Masters Major division, Old School (CA) (pictured below) ran the table in bracket play, going 3-0 including a 25-23 win over Smack That (CA) in the championship game. Following their loss to begin bracket play, Smack That rebounded to make a run out of the elimination side of the bracket en route to their runner-up finish. Hafta Play (CA) finished in third place. Seeding play was well balanced throughout, as all five teams registered 1-1 records.
Old School won the Women's 40 Major Division
In the 12-team Women’s 40/50 Silver division, UT-Relics (pictured below) completed a perfect weekend, going 2-0 in seeding play (one of four teams to do so), and 4-0 in bracket play, including a 19-11 win over top seed Straight Pride (CA) in the championship game. Misfits (CA) finished in third place.
Utah Relics (AAA) took the 12-team Women's 40/50 Silver Division
In the eight-team Men’s 40 Masters Major Plus division, Prestige/Elite Sports Orange County Prestige (CA) finished the weekend with an unblemished record, going 2-0 in seeding play and 4-0 in bracket play, including a 20-17 win over Nicon Trucking (CA) in the championship game. After dropping their first game in the bracket, Nicon rattled off five straight wins en route to their runner-up finish. SOCO District (CA) finished in third place, bouncing back from an 0-2 showing in seeding play.
The large 18-team Men’s 40 Masters Major division saw Team CPC (CA) double-dip previously unbeaten K & B Beverage/AG Painting (AZ) in the championship game (25-20) and “if” game (12-9). For Team CPC, this marks the teams second major championship of the season, having won the 40’s Spring World Championships. The wins for Team CPC also avenged their loss to K & B Beverage/AG Painting, 28-16, earlier in the bracket, which knocked them down into the elimination side of the bracket and propelled K & B Beverage/AG Painting into the championship game. Rancid/Miken Sports (CA) finished in third place after making a strong run through the elimination bracket with four straight wins before falling to eventual champion Team CPC.
The five-team Men’s 50 Major Plus division also saw a team get double-dipped, as J.K. Inc/Miken (CA) came back to down Nor Cal Warriors in the championship and “if” games by scores of 33-19 and 27-12, respectively. Nor Cal Warriors defeated J.K. Inc/Miken, 24-20, earlier in the bracket to propel the team into the championship game. JU Entertainment/Aftershock (CA) finished in third place.
The 10-team Men’s 50 Major division continued the double-dip trend, as OG (CA) escaped the elimination side of the bracket to defeat ShowTime So Cal (CA) in pair of thrilling one-run games, 22-21 and 13-12, in the championship and “if” games, respectively. 4 The Fallen (AZ) bounced back from an 0-2 showing in seeding play to finish in third place.
The 16-team Men’s 50 AAA division saw yet another team come out the elimination side of the bracket to win the championship, as top seed 805’s PE CLASS (CA) defeated Elite/Scrap Iron (CO), 25-24, and 21-18, in the championship and “if” games, respectively. Following their loss to Arizona Heat 50’s in the top half of the bracket, 805’s PE CLASS won five straight games, including the pair of wins over Elite/Scrap Iron to win the championship. Arizona Heat 50’s finished in third place.
The Men’s 55 Major Plus division featured a best two-out-of-three game series between Elite (AZ) and L.A.F. 55 (CA), which saw Elite sweep L.A.F. 55 by scores of 31-16 and 30-15.
In the 12-team Men’s 55 Major division, Team Rawlings went through seeding and bracket play unscathed, going 2-0 in seed play and 4-0 in bracket play, including a 10-4 victory over D & K Tradition (CA) in the championship game. After dropping their first game in the bracket, D & K Tradition ran the gauntlet through the elimination side of the bracket to eventually register their runner-up finish. Arizona Legends finished in third place.
The 13-team Men’s 55 AAA division saw the top two seeds meet up in the championship game, as Never Say Never/Big Al’s Trucking (UT) defeated West Coast Water (NV), 25-15, to force the “if” game. Never Say Never/Big Al’s Trucking completed the double-dip with a 16-11 victory. After dropping their first game in the bracket, Never Say Never/Big Al’s Trucking went on an incredible run, winning eight straight games, including the double-dip of West Coast Water. After winning their first three games in the bracket, Top Gun Hornets (CA) finished in third place.
Lights Out 55 (CA) swept Unknowns 50’s (AZ) in the Men’s 50/55 AA division by scores of 32-14 and 15-8, respectively.
Following their loss in the championship game against Summy’s Demolition (CA), 35-27; top seed Nighthawks (CA) came back to win the “if” game, 27-13, to capture the five-team Men’s 60 Major Plus division. Summy’s Demolition won four straight games after dropping their first game in the bracket en route to their runner-up finish. Old Dawgs (CA) finished in third place.
Southwest Bandits (AZ) escaped the elimination side of the bracket to defeat Sin City Softball (NV) in the championship (20-18) and “if” game (24-12) to win the nine-team Men’s 60 Major division. Sin City Softball previously defeated Southwest Bandits, 27-26, to advance to the championship game. The No. 9 seed, Old Giants (CA), made a strong run in the bracket to eventually finish in third place.
The largest division of the tournament was the 20-team Men’s 60 AAA division. Mountain Mike’s Pizza (CA) (pictured below), the No. 12 seed, took the top prize going 5-0 in bracket play, including a 19-15 victory over No. 2 seed, CJ & S Express (AZ), in the championship game. Cut Loose (CA) finished in third place following a four-game winning streak in the elimination side of the bracket. Another team that had an impressive run included No. 13 seed Utah Coyotes, who finished in fourth place, winning five in a row in the elimination bracket after dropping their first game in the bracket.
Mountain Mike's Pizza won the biggest divsion - 60 AAA
The seven-team Men’s 60 AA division saw New Mexico Warriors down Family (NV), 25-17, in the championship game. The win completed a perfect weekend for New Mexico Warriors, as the team posted a 2-0 record in seeding play and a 4-0 record in bracket play. Family had previously won four straight games in the elimination side of the bracket en route to their runner-up finish. Top seed Makua Alii (HI) finished in third place.