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1-Run Games Dominate Tidewater Classic
April 1, 2022
By Donna McGuire
Fifty-two men’s teams from 11 states converged on Virginia Beach, Va., for Senior Softball USA’s Tidewater Classic on March 25-27.
Some of the closest competition occurred in the 40+ divisions, where 12 games were decided by one run.
“The Mid-Atlantic 40s division looks like it will be strong this year with a handful of new teams and a number of players moving from one team to another during the off-season,” Tournament Director Tim McElroy said.
Session 1 featured the 65+ and 70+ teams. Unfortunately, Mother Nature dampened the second day of play, which meant titles had to be decided based on bracket games finished before the rains arrived.
In the three-team 65+ Major division, Talaga Construction of Connecticut went 4-0 overall and won the title with a 12-10 victory in its only bracket game. Promotion of New Jersey took second. High Street Bucs of Maryland finished third.
In the three-team 65+/70+ AAA bracket, the North Virginia Force 65s lost all three of its pool games but won both bracket games it played, 15-14 and 7-3, to claim the title. North Virginia Force 70s took second. Starboard/OTS of Delaware finished third.
Session 2 featured 42 teams in nine divisions, with teams enduring stiff winds and cool temperatures on the first day of competition.
In a spirited 10-team 40+ Platinum division, Spirits West/SMC of Maryland lost its first bracket game 22-4 before rattling off victories of 25-10, 22-17, 28-25, 18-3, and 22-21 to reach the championship game. Now it faced Extreme, the Maryland team that had defeated Spirits West in the first round. Spirits West double-dipped Extreme 25-20 and 26-21 for the title. Black Sox of Maryland took third.
Smokin Aces of Virginia (photo below) won the six-team 40+ AAA division with a 18-17 championship thriller over Past Our Prime of Virginia. Black Kings of Maryland placed third.
In the 50+ Major bracket, fifth-seed Freehold Buick/Juno of New Jersey completed an undefeated bracket run with a 27-13 championship victory over second-seeded Gashouse of New York. Freehold Buick averaged 25 runs a game in bracket play. Third place went to KIKU Imp/MY Buddies of New York.
Old Skool/GTS Sports of Pennsylvania lost its first bracket game in the five-team 50+ AAA division but fought its way back to the title game, where it faced Oessco/Abacus Accounting of Virginia. Old Skool double-dipped Oessco 24-15 and 17-11 to earn the title. Born Free Softball of North Carolina placed third.
Backside, from Virginia, (photo below) won the three-team 50+/55+ AA division by defeating another Virginia team, the Longshoremen, 21-18. Harford Financial Group of Maryland placed third.
Top-seeded .50 Core/Mid-Atlantic of Virginia (photo below) won the four-team 55+ Major division by defeating the Carolina Legends of North Carolina 24-23 in the title game. MFP Thunder of New York took third.
The two 50+AAA teams, both from Maryland, played a best-of-three format decided by just three total runs. The N.E. Merchants prevailed over BAF/GOATS 20-18 and 15-14.
The Bank from Delaware (photo below) won the three-team 60+ Major division with a 26-29 victory over the second-place Carolina As of North Carolina. Hamel Builders of Maryland placed third.
Seven teams competed in the 60+ AAA division won by the High Street Bucs, who completed an unbeaten run through the bracket with a 14-13 championship victory over Nova Force of Virginia. Third place went to the Hudson Valley Cyclones of New York.