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23 Teams in the 2023 So-Cal Championships Earn TOC Berths
July 1, 2023
By Donna McGuire
Softball News Report
Seventy-six teams from California and eight from other states converged on Hemet and Cathedral City in late June to compete in the 2023 Southern California State Championships.
After six days of play ended, 23 of the 84 entrants had captured berths to the 2023 Tournament of Champions in Polk County, Florida. One division champion hailed from Arizona. Another came from Washington state. The rest call the Golden State home.
Five teams, including all three women’s division winners, successfully defended their 2022 titles.
HTS-Here To Smash (CA) Pitches to Broken Dollz (CA) in the 2023 SoCal Championships, Women's 40+ Major Division.
In addition, six teams swept every game they played: Pro Moves in the Women’s Masters 40+ AAA division; J.K. Inc. in the Men’s 50/55+ Major Plus division; CANVAZ Softball in the Men’s 55+ Major division; So Cal Riptide 55s in the Men’s 55/60+ AA division, Enforcers in the Men’s 60+ Major division; and D & K Softball in the Men’s 70/75+ Gold division.
Winning a championship proved extra special for D & K Softball, which dedicated this season to former teammate Richard “Stitch” Fearn, a San Diego resident who died March 11 from heart-related issues. A “little guy,” Fearn always hit the ball well with power, Manager Larry Littlejohn said. Fearn earned the nickname Stitch because of how often he needed stitches to close cuts, Littlejohn said.
“Everybody loved him,” Littlejohn said. “Unfortunately, Father Time caught up with him.”
Teams enjoyed mid-80s temperatures June 20-23 before the mercury climbed into the low 90s for weekend play June 24-25, Tournament Director Jerry Smith said. The tournament featured many close games, with several divisions needing two championship games to determine a winner.
Results (all teams are from California unless otherwise noted):
Women’s 40+ Masters Major: HTS-Here To Smash needed two championship games to defend its 2022 title. HTS lost the first title game 11-10 but edged Broken Dollz 17-16 in the second. TST finished third in the three-team division.
Women’s 40+ Masters AAA: Pro Moves held opponents scoreless twice and swept all six games it played, including a 15-5 title game victory over Monster Mash Up (photo below). Pro Moves won four of its games by double-digits. Blue Crush finished third in the four-team bracket.
Women’s 50+ Seniors: LOL – Legit Ol’ Ladies (photo below) rebounded from an 0-2 start in pool play to win the five-team division. It lost the first title game 15-12 but defeated Takin’ Chances in the second game 19-11. LOL earned the 50+ Major TOC berth while Takin’ Chances earned the 50+ AAA berth. Stix With Impact finished third.
Men’s 40+ Masters Major: Third-seeded Genesis/One 5 Sports/BG defended its 2022 title by double dipping the top-seeded Flatliners 19-4 and 26-9. Chaos finished third in the nine-team bracket.
Men’s 40+ Masters AAA: In a best-of-three format, Shoots defeated Screwballs 29-11, lost 22-23 and won 27-26 to take the two-team division.
Men’s 50+ Major: Third-seeded Team Shadow lost the first title game by a run, 27-26, but struck back to win the second 34-22 over top-seeded Never Forget. Top Gun Diamonds finished third in the five-team bracket.
Men’s 50+ AAA: Seventh-seeded Top Gun Renegades won its bracket games by 2, 3, 2 and 1 run, including a 15-14 championship game victory over Viejos So Cal. Team SMS of Nevada finished third in the nine-team bracket.
Men’s 50/55+ Major Plus: J.K. Inc. 55 outscored its opponents by an average of 13 runs while notching a 6-0 overall record. It defeated Stadium 22-11 to win the title. L.A.F. 55 finished third in the three-team division.
Men’s 55+ Major: CANVAZ Softball capped a 5-0 tournament with its best game, a 20-3 championship victory over Ink Games. Top Gun Phantoms finished third in the three-team division.
Men’s 55+ AAA: Second-seeded Top Gun Storm knocked off top-seeded Fossil Fuel 26-12 to capture the three-team division. Dirty Sox finished third.
Men’s 55/60+ AA: Undefeated So Cal Riptide 55 (photo below) won the division and the 55+ AA TOC berth by defeating the Advil Knights 60s 23-8 in the title game. Advil Knights earned the 60+ AA TOC berth. So Cal Riptide 60s finished third in the three-team bracket.
Men’s 60+ Major: The top-seeded Enforcers capped a 5-0 tournament with a 19-8 title game victory over Tradition Softball. Top Gun Warriors finished third in the five-team bracket.
Men’s 60+ AAA: Michael’s Automotive Group of Washington (photo below) went 5-1 overall and defeated So Cal NDY 29-7 in the championship game. Though the finale became a blow-out, Michael’s won two nailbiter bracket games, 16-14 and 16-15. Top Gun Fury won four elimination games to finish third in the eight-team bracket.
Men’s 65+ Platinum: The third-seeded Arizona Scorpions Major Plus team double dipped the Major team R&R to win the division. Samurai finished third in the three-team bracket.
Men’s 65/70+ Gold: Top Gun Stealth, a 65+ AAA team, lost its first bracket game then won three in a row, including a 7-6 nailbiter in the “if” championship over No Guts, No Glory. The Weakened Warriors finished third in the three-team bracket.
Men’s 65/70+ AA: Lights Out, a 65+ team, defeated Git-R-Done, a 70+ team, 15-8 for the title. Both teams earned TOC berths. Majestic finished third in the four-team bracket.
Men’s 70/75+ Gold: D & K Softball, which played only one close game, successfully defended its 2022 title and finished 6-0 by defeating the Mustangs 70s in the championship game. So Cal Gusto took third in the four-team division.
Men’s 75+ AAA: So Cal Warriors (photo below) defeated Git-R-Done 15-11 to win the title. J Squared finished third in the four-team division.
Men’s 75/80+ Gold: Top Gun 80 Gold (photo below) went 5-1 and defeated Top Gun Olde Dawgs, a 75+ team, 19-8 in the title game. Both earned TOC berths. Git-R-Done finished third in the four-team division.