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2018 LVSSA/SSUSA Southwest Championships Sets Tournament Record with 230 Teams
April 1, 2018
LAS VEGAS – The seventh annual LVSSA/SSUSA Southwest Championships, sponsored by Dudley, held here April 17 – 22, eclipsed the 200-team plateau for a second straight year, as the 2018 edition of the tournament drew a record 230 teams, surpassing 214 teams in 2017.
The true nature and spirit of the game of senior softball was on full display in the four-team Men's 55 Major Plus Division, where Elite/Dudley 55 (AZ) ultimately defeated CornerStone (OR), 23-20, in the championship game. In a show of pure sportsmanship, top seed Sommerville Softball (CA) forfeited the third-place game, allowing CornerStone a chance to play for the championship. During seeding play, CornerStone was forced to forfeit both games on Friday and eventually entered bracket play on Saturday as the No. 4 seed, after one of their players suffered a heart attack during batting practice at an off-site location. The team accompanied the player to the hospital, missing Friday’s seeding play.
“Cornerstone had a particularly rough weekend and we were right there for most of it,” said Dave Meggison, manager of Sommerville Softball. “We called timeout to make sure Cornerstone was O.K. with us forfeiting, enabling them to play for the championship. When they said they would like that, we walked off the field. Major Plus is a tight-knit group. We have great respect for Cornerstone. Several of Cornerstone’s players have played for us in the past. We are delighted that they played so well in the final against Elite. Friday’s event had a way of putting things in perspective.”
The tournament began with the elder statesmen of the game taking the field, as the Men’s 65 through 85 age divisions played Tuesday-Thursday, April 17-19.
Beginning with the three-team Men’s 65 Major Plus Division, Timberworks/Adidas (CA) earned the top seed after a 3-0 showing in seeding play. Timberworks concluded the tournament with a perfect 5-0 overall record, with a 2-0 mark in bracket play, including an 18-3 win over Rebels (OR) in the championship game. Team Florida 65 finished in third place.
Timberworks/Adidas (CA) - Men's 65 Major Plus Division Champion
R & R 65’s (CA) won the 11-team Men’s 65 Major Division, posting a flawless 4-0 record in bracket play, including a 27-20 victory against top seed Over the Edge (CA) in the championship game. Las Vegas Stars, the No. 10 seed following an 0-2 showing in seeding play, bounced back with a solid run in bracket play, including winning four straight elimination games, to finish in third place.
Another 11-team division, the Men’s 65 AAA Division, saw top seed Scrap Iron 5280 (CO) avenge their championship game loss against second seeded No Guts, No Glory (CA), 21-18; with a 15-11 triumph in the “if” game. Scrap Iron 5280 edged out No Guts, No Glory earlier in the bracket, 28-27, in a meeting up unbeaten teams to advance to the championship game. No Guts, No Glory defeated Sidewinders Desert 65 (AZ) 36-27 in the third-place game.
Duke City Dynamite (NM) ran through the six-team Men’s 65 AA Division with a perfect 4-0 record in bracket play, including a 21-14 win over No. 1 seed Git-R-Done 65 (CA) in the championship game. After losing their first two games in the bracket, Git-R-Done came back to win three straight games en route to their runner-up finish. 911 Softball Club (CA) finished in third place.
The Men’s 70 Major Plus Division featured a best two-out-of-three game series between Omen 70 (CA) and SoCal Gusto (CA). Omen took the opening game with ease 21-12; while SoCal Gusto edged out a hard-fought 22-21 victory in game two, forcing the decisive third game. Trailing 22-12 heading into the bottom of the open, Omen attempted an incredible come-back, scoring nine runs in the final half of the open, to fall just short. In the rubber match, Omen took the 17-14 win to take home the title. With the game tied at 12 heading into the open inning, Omen plated five runs, while SoCal Gusto was only able to muster a pair of runs.
In the 14-team Men’s 70 Major Division, Poncho’s 70 (AZ) came out of the elimination side of the bracket to double-dip Tri-State Diamondbacks (NM), winning both the championship (20-16) and “if” (26-18) games. Tri-State Diamondbacks defeated Ponchos previously in the bracket, 20-15, to advance to the championship game. The championship and “if” games featured an unlikely pairing, as both Poncho’s and Tri-State Diamondbacks each posted an 0-2 showing in seeding play. Boca 70’s (FL) finished in third place. After losing their first game in the bracket against eventual champion Poncho’s, Boca won five straight games, before falling short in the third-place game, 22-11, against Poncho’s.
Sacramento Islanders (CA) posted a perfect 6-0 record in the tournament, going 2-0 in seeding play, before going 4-0 in bracket play, including a 17-14 win over top seed Elite 70’s LVSSA (NV) in the championship game of the eight-team Men’s 70 AAA Division. After dropping their second game of the bracket against Git-R-Done 70 (CA), 22-18, Elite 70’s LVSSA won three straight elimination games, including a revenge win over Git-R-Done, 22-17, in the third-place game, to reach the championship game.
Doughboys (NV) swept Triple Play 70 (CA) to win the Men’s 70 AA Division, winning 18-5 and 31-19, respectively, in the best two-out-of-three game series.
The three-team Men’s 75 Major Plus Division saw top seed Omen 75 (CA) avenge their championship game loss, 33-12, against Scrap Iron 75 Legacy (CO); with a 21-17 victory in the “if” game. The San Francisco Seals 75 finished in third place.
The six-team Men’s 75 Major Division featured a full five-game round robin to determine the champion. Going unbeaten, California Connection took the top spot with its perfect 5-0 record. Kokopelli Scorpions (AZ) finished in second place with a 3-2 record. Three teams tied for third place with identical 2-3 records. With all three teams defeating each other (Top Gun 6 Bits defeated Scrap Iron Beams, 12-3; Scrap Iron Beams defeated Sidewinders 75s, 16-15; and Sidewinders 75’s defeated Top Gun 6 Bits, 10-1), the tiebreaker came down to least runs allowed. Allowing just 60 runs over the five games, Top Gun 6 Bits (CA) earned the third-place finish.
In the five-team Men’s 75 (AAA)/80 (Major) Gold Division, a modified single elimination bracket was used to determine the champion. Stark St. Pizza S.CA (CA) entered the bracket in the driver’s seat as the top seed following a perfect 4-0 record in seeding play, and therefore would need to be beaten twice in the bracket. Arizona Outlaws 75 and Git-R-Done 75 (CA) were the No. 2 and 3 seeds respectively, with identical 2-2 records, while Fairway Ford 80 (CA) and Warriors 75 (HI) rounded out the bracket as the No. 4 and 5 seeds, respectively, with identical 1-3 records.
Fairway Ford 80 opened bracket play with a 22-19 win over Warriors 75, and then upset Stark St. Pizza 18-17 in their next game, scoring four runs in the bottom of the open to complete the come-from-behind win. The loss would not eliminate Stark St. Pizza, as the team would go on to the “if” after suffering their lone loss of the week. Fairway Ford would then go on to face Arizona Outlaws 75, who defeated Git-R-Done, 20-13, in their first bracket game. Arizona Outlaws defeated Fairway Ford, 24-18, to advance to the “if” game against Stark St. Pizza. In the end, Arizona Outlaws would be unable to compete in the final game, as Stark St. Pizza would go on to win the division following the forfeit victory.
The five-team Men’s 80 (AAA)/85 (Major) Gold Division also featured a modified single elimination bracket to determine the champion. Top Gun Diamond 80 (CA) dominated the division, going 4-0 in seeding play, before going 2-0 in the bracket, including a 21-14 win over Scrap Iron Gray Berets (CO) in the championship game.
The tournament continued with the second session, Friday-Sunday, April 20 -22, as the Women’s and the Men’s 40-60 age divisions took the fields.
In the six-team Women’s 40 Masters Major Division, TKP 40’s (CA) defeated Fun Bunch 40’s (CA) 18-6 in the championship game to complete a perfect 4-0 record in bracket play. After losing their first game in the bracket, Fun Bunch won four straight games in the elimination side of the bracket en route to their runner-up finish. Old School (CA) bounced back from an 0-2 showing in seeding play by winning their first two bracket games, en route to their third-place finish.
Colorado Ohana made an impressive debut, winning the 11-team Women’s 40 Masters AAA Division, going 2-0 in seeding play and 4-0 in bracket play, including a thrilling 17-16 win over Utah Relics in the championship game. Colorado Ohana led 17-10 heading into the bottom of the open, as the Utah Relics staged a valiant come-back attempt scoring six runs to fall just short. Vegas Vintage (NV) finished in third place.
Colorado Ohana - Women's 40 AAA Division Champion
Dames Got Games (AZ) swept Idaho Spirit in a best two-out-three game series for the Women’s 40 Masters AA Division by scores of 21-20 and 24-19, respectively.
Stix With Impact (CA) took the three-team Women’s 50 Major Division, going undefeated in seeding play, as well as running the table in bracket play, including a 20-4 win over Arizona Dream Team. LOL-Legit Ol’ Ladies (CA) finished in third place.
Stix With Impact (CA) - Women's 50 Major Division Champion
The 14-team Men’s 40 Masters Major Plus Division saw a thrilling finish, as Fattboyz Dudley/Elite (CA) upset J.K. Inc./Easton (CA) 26-24 in the championship game, forcing an “if” game. J.K. Inc. avenged their only loss of the weekend (6-1 record) with an exciting 31-30 victory in the winner-take-all game. In the “if” game, J.K. Inc. plated three runs in the bottom of the open to cap the walk off thriller.
J.K. Inc. defeated Fattboyz, 32-17, earlier in the bracket, knocking the team down into the elimination bracket. Fattboyz rebounded winning four straight elimination games, including the championship game, en route to their runner-up finish (8-2 record).
Bellator (CA), making their SSUSA debut, finished in third place after posting a 5-2 overall record over the three-day span. After going 0-2 to start bracket play, Diablos (CA) bounced back with three straight wins in the elimination side of the bracket, to finish in fourth place.
J.K. Inc./Easton receives their first place trophy for the Men's 40 Major Plus Division
The 23-team Men’s 40 Masters Major Division, the largest division of the tournament, featured a Cinderella run through the bracket, as No. 11 seed, Roster Check (AZ) posted a perfect 6-0 record in bracket play, including a 24-22 victory over Wicked Sports/PT Express (CA) in the championship game. Trailing for much of the game, Roster Check scored six runs in the top of the open to complete the come-back win and hold off Wicked Sports.
Roster Check defeated Wicked Sports earlier in the bracket 22-19 to advance to the championship game and knock Wicked Sports down into the elimination side of the bracket.
Powerhouse/Bombers (TX) finished in third place, while top seed No Limit/Fay’s Sports (CA) finished in fourth place, after losing early in the bracket and winning three straight elimination games.
In the four-team Men’s 50 Major Plus Division, top seed J.K. Inc./Easton 50s (CA) ran the table in bracket play going 3-0, including a 25-17 win over West Coast Water 50 (NV) in the championship game. After losing their first game in the bracket, West Coast Water 50 won back-to-back elimination games to reach the championship game. JU Ent/Aftershock (CA) finished in third place.
J.K. Inc./Easton won the Men's 40 and 50 Major Plus Divisions
The eight-team Men’s 50 Major Division featured top seed Stadium (CA) running through the weekend unblemished, going 2-0 in seeding play, before posting a 4-0 record in bracket play, including a 20-19 walk-off victory over L.A.F. 50 (CA) in the championship game. Trailing 19-17 heading into the bottom of the open inning, Stadium scored the three runs it needed to complete the come-back win. After dropping their opening bracket game, Arizona Alpha Dawgz won four straight games to finish in third-place.
Arizona Heat 50’s avenged their championship game loss against Grayed & Confused (UT) 22-10 in the 13-team Men’s 50 AAA Division, with a 31-21 win in the “if” game. Arizona Heat defeated Grayed & Confused earlier in the bracket 17-16 to advance to the championship game. Elite/Scrap Iron (CO) finished in third place. Pacific Coast Alliance (CA) made a valiant run winning four straight elimination games en route to a fourth-place finish.
The 14-team Men’s 55 Major Division saw Sonoma County Crush 55 (CA) defeat Scrap Iron/Rocky Mountain Thunder (CO) 35-25 in the “if” game. Scrap Iron/Rocky Mountain Thunder nearly pulled off an impressive feat, winning seven straight elimination games, including a 24-18 win over Sonoma County Crush in the championship game, before running out of gas in the “if” game. Top seed WPI/Wilson & Sons (ID) finished in third place. Team Rawlings (CA) also made a strong push through the elimination side of the bracket, as the team entered bracket play as the No. 12 seed following an 0-2 showing in seeding play. Losing their opening bracket game against Arizona Old School 55, 33-26; Team Rawlings rattled off four straight wins en route to a fourth-place finish.
Sonoma County Crush (CA) - Men's 55 Major Division Champion
Another 14-team division, the Men’s 55 Silver (AAA/AA) Division, was won by Top Gun Hornets (CA), as the team posted a perfect 5-0 record in bracket play, including a 16-11 win over Los Vatos Viejos (AZ) in the championship game. After losing to Top Gun Hornets earlier in the bracket 17-15 to drop down to the elimination bracket, Los Vatos Viejos won three straight elimination games to reach the championship game. Horn Softball (CA) bounced back from an 0-2 showing in seeding play to win their first three bracket games en route to a third-place finish.
The five-team Men’s 60 Major Plus Division featured the top two seeds playing in the championship game, as Summy’s (CA) notched a thrilling 17-16 come-back win over top seed Old Dawgs (CA). Heading into the top of the open, Summy’s held a 15-12 lead. Old Dawgs scored four runs to take a slim 16-15 lead, which would not be enough, as Summy’s notched a pair of runs in their bottom half of the open to secure the 17-16 win. East Bay Oldies (CA) finished in third place.
In the eight-team Men’s 60 Major Division, Sin City Softball (NV) defended their home turf downing top seed Top Gun Elite (CA) 26-13 in the “if” game. After falling to Wongs (CA) 19-18 early in the bracket, Top Gun Elite won four straight games, including an 18-17 win over Sin City Softball in the championship game en route to their runner-up finish. Wongs finished in third place.
The 20-team Men’s 60 AAA Division saw The Crew (CA) post a perfect weekend, going 2-0 to earn the No. 2 seed, before running off five straight wins in bracket play, including a 26-15 win over Scrap Iron Explosion (CO). Scrap Iron Explosion won three straight elimination games to reach the championship game. Base Hawgs (CA) finished in third place after starting off bracket play with three straight wins. Cut Loose (CA) finished in fourth place, while Kamikaze 60 (CA) and Mountain Men 60 (UT) were also able to reach the final day of play on Sunday.
The Crew (CA) - Men's 60 AAA Division Champion
Family (NV) used home field advantage to win the Men’s 60 AA Division, going 4-0 in bracket play, including a 30-16 win over Fresno Mayhem (CA) in the championship game. Fresno Mayhem won three straight elimination games to reach the championship game. Los Vatos Viejos 60 (AZ) finished in third place.
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