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Winter National Championships Battle Through Tropical Storm Eta
Nov. 1, 2020
CenturyLink Sports Complex Softball Fields
FT. MYERS/NAPLES, Fla. – The 2020 Winter National Championships, held here, Nov. 10 – 15, featured 69 teams getting a jump start to the 2021 season.
The first session, Men’s 65 – 85, held at CenturyLink Sports Complex in Ft. Myers, saw the effects of Tropical Storm Eta wash out Wednesday’s games, causing rescheduling to some modified single-elimination bracket games on Thursday. All games on Tuesday were able to be played, despite lightning delays.
In the four-team Men’s 65 Major Division, Via Citrus (FL) posted a perfect 3-0 record in bracket play, including 27-12 and 17-10 wins over top seed Slug-A-Bug (FL) in the championship and “if” games, respectively.
New Jersey Hitmen finished in third place.
In the six-team Men’s 65 AAA Division, two undefeated teams met in a winner-take-all championship game.
After posting identical 2-0 records in Tuesday’s seeding games, Steve Levin Ameriprise (FL) and Universal Softball Team (OH) entered Thursday’s bracket games as the top two seeds.
Steve Levin Ameriprise’s 14-10 win over Spring Ford (PA), and Universal Softball’s thrilling 18-17 win over Studz (WI) set up the winner-take-all final.
In the final game, Universal Softball cruised to a 24-9 victory.
Studz finished in third place with a 23-14 win over Spring Ford.
The five-team Men’s 70 AAA Division also featured a winner-take-all final in the championship game.
Bulls (FL) and FL Mustangs each posted a 2-0 mark in seeding to come into the bracket play as the top two seeds.
Each team won its opening bracket game to set up the decisive final game, as Bulls knocked off Long Island Jaguars White (NY) 16-8 and FL Mustangs edged out Florida Southern Force 12-11.
In the winner-take-all game, Bulls completed the perfect week with a thrilling 8-7 victory.
In the third place game. Florida Southern Force defeated LI Jaguars White 16-4.
In the two-team Men’s 70 Major Division, Frankie Brinn (FL) swept Long Island Jaguars Red (NY) in a best-of-three game series, by scores of 14-11 and 18-8, respectively.
The Men’s 70/75 Silver Division also featured a best of three game series, as STL Vision/Aces 70 (MO) took on Chicago Gray Sox 75.
The series went the distance as the teams exchanged wins in the first two games. STL Vision took the opening game 16-8, while Chicago Gray Sox pulled through with a 15-14 win to even the series.
In the rubber-match, Chicago Gray Sox again squeaked out a one-run thriller, this time a 7-6 win, to take home the championship.
In another best two-out-of-three game series, Bucs & Bulls 80 (FL) swept ProHealth Care 85 (MN) by scores of 13-8 and 14-9, respectively, to take home the Men’s 80/85 Gold Division.
Session two (Men’s 40 – 60) was split between CenturyLink Sports Complex, and North Collier Regional Park in Naples.
The Men’s 50 – 60 teams began play on Friday, while the 40s Division began on Saturday.
In the eight-team Men’s 50 Gold Division, Avalon Insurance (FL) ran through the gauntlet on Championship Sunday, going 5-0, including a double-dip over Silver Rays (FL); 19-18 and 23-16, in the championship and “if” games, respectively.
Following an 0-2 showing in seeding play, PA Senior Hitmen went 2-2 in the bracket to eventually finish in third place. KB 50s/Huey Designs (KY) finished in fourth place.
The Men’s 55 Major Plus Division saw the best two-out-of-three game series go the distance.
Suncoast/Adidas/Shades (FL) took game one with ease, 25-14, over Kelleher Firm/LeMay/Blue Mountain (FL); while Kelleher Firm/LeMay/Blue Mountain bounced back with a pair of one-run thrillers, 18-17 and 21-20, respectively, to win the division.
The Men’s 55 Major Division also featured a best of three series that would go all three games.
RE/MAX (FL) took the opener, 14-10, over K & I 55’s (IN). However, K & I bounced back to take the next two games, by scores of 23-13 and 25-22 respectively to take home the championship.
In the seven-team Men’s 55 AAA Division, Ohio Hitmen posted a perfect 4-0 record in bracket play, including a 23-11 win over top seed Team Illinois in the championship game.
Following an 0-2 record in seeding and dropping its first game in the bracket, Luther Group (WI) re-grouped with three straight wins in elimination games en route to its third place finish.
In the nine-team Men’s 60 Major Division, Clean Planet (MI) completed bracket play with an unblemished 4-0 record, including a thrilling 14-13 win over top seed Via Citrus/Team Florida in the championship game.
Levin/Ameriprise (FL) was the third place finisher after winning a pair of elimination games on Sunday.
The largest division of the 2020 Winter National Championships featured the 14-team Men’s 60 AAA Division.
Long Island Jaguars (NY) proved its worth as the top seed, going 6-0 on the weekend (2-0 in seeding and 4-0 in bracket play). The team cruised to an 18-7 win over RedHawk Nation (FL) in the championship game.
RedHawk Nation had won three straight elimination games to reach the championship game.
Curtis Engine (PA) finished in third place, while Vecter Scorpions (FL) rounded out the top four finishers.
Big Daddy’s Donuts (MO) and Cincinnati 60s (OH) were the other two teams to advance to the final day of play.
The three-team Men’s 40 Division featured new comer DDA Nation (FL) go 3-0 in the bracket, including a 26-22 win over top seed Suncoast Adidas (FL) in the championship game.
Past Our Prime (VA) was the third place finisher.
CLICK HERE for game-by-game results (be sure to refresh your page).