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2017 Steve Simmons Memorial/Mosquitoland Classic First TOC Qualifier in Gopher State
June 1, 2017
VADNAIS HEIGHTS, MINN. --- For the first time in its history, Senior Softball-USA held a Tournament of Champions (TOC) qualifier in Minnesota, as the fifth annual Steve Simmons Memorial/Mosquitoland Classic was given the distinction of TOC Qualifier for 2017.
Weather would be an issue early on Sunday, as a monster fast-moving storm rolled through the area, including tornado warnings; however, all games on the final day would be completed, with the exeption of the Men's 50 Major Plus and 55/60 Major Plus divisions.
Vadnais Heights Community Park, McKnight Fields (North St. Paul) and Pioneer Park (Little Canada) all hosted games throughout the week. A special thank you to Jimmy’s Food & Drink for serving as a sponsor for the tournament.
Pope Transport (WI) ran through the five-team Men’s 50 Major division with a 3-0 record in bracket play, including a 15-12 win over KC Classics (MO) in the championship game. KC Classics won both of their games in the elimination side of the bracket to reach the final game. Iowa Demons finished in third place.
Miken/Chi Town Assualt (IL) won the three-team Men’s 50 AAA division, besting MN Lumberjacks 50, 7-5, before knocking off Neb. 50’s, 22-12, in the championship game.
WC Thunder 55 (IL) defeated Speedwerx (MN) 21-19 in the championship game of the four-team Men’s 55 Major division. After dropping their opening game in the bracket, Speedwerx won back-to-back games in the elimination side of the bracket, defeating both Central Illinois Chiefs 20-15 and J & J’s Sports/Miken/Demons (IA) 21-9 in the third-place game, en route to their runner-up finish.
In the five-team Men’s 55/60 Gold division, Nebraska Silver Bullets (55 AAA) defeated Minnesota Cowboys (60 Major) 22-14 in the championship game. As the highest finishing team in their age division, Minnesota Cowboys would also receive first place awards and a 2018 TOC bid. Antiques of Iowa City finished in third place.
The top two seeds squared off in the championship game of the six-team Men’s 60 Silver division, as No. 2 Milwaukee Merchants (WI) defeated top seed Playmakers (WI) 10-7. Playmakers dropped their opening game in the bracket, before going on a run, winning four straight games to reach the championship game. Minnesota Blizzards 60’s finished in third place.
An “if” game was needed to determine the champion in the Men’s 65/70 Platinum division, as MN Masters/Ancell defeated Minnesota Prize 70’s, 17-12, after falling in the championship game 21-20. Scrap Iron 5280 (CO) finished in third place.
Minnesota Masters 65’s defeated Oshkosh Ambassadors 65 (WI) 14-10 in the championship game of the Men’s 65 Silver division. Fossils 65 (IA) finished in third place after winning back-to-back games in the elimination side of the bracket.
The Men’s 70/75 Gold division featured a full round robin to determine the champion. U.S. Pallet 70 (MO) finished with a perfect 5-0 record to take first place, while Chicago Gray Sox and MN Lumberjacks 70’s finished with identical 3-2 record. Chicago Gray Sox held the tiebreaker via its head-to-head win, 11-9.
The Men’s 75/80 Major division came down to a best two-out-of-three game series between Minnesota Masters 75-Jimmy’s and Jimmy’s MN Legends 80’s. Minnesota Masters 75-Jimmy’s swept the series, by scores of 16-15 and 16-9, respectively.