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Heat Stroke, Sportsmanship, and Triple Grand Slams Define Session 2 of Worlds
Sept. 1, 2023
By Donna McGuire
Softball News Report
Sixteen teams in the 65+ to 85+ age divisions won titles, trophies and free World Championship rings during Session 2 off the SSUSA World Championships in Las Vegas this month.
Five of those teams also claimed Triple Grand Slam titles, a special honor that rewards teams for excellence over multiple tournaments.
The September 18-21 Worlds session also featured the second annual 90s versus 90s All-Star game, which the East won 15-7 at Big League Dreams Sports Park.
Overall, 164 teams worked their way through a 531-game schedule played over four days.
Photos by Clover Schultz.
Center For Sight (FL - Left) and Top Gun Blue Angels 85 (CA - Right), Play in the Worlds' 85+ Major Division.
“It is an honor and privilege to see so many players and fans from all over the country,” said Fran Dowell, SSUSA’s executive eirector and the session’s tournament director. “The play on the field was exceptional and the spirit was so lively. Hooray to all. You are true champions.”
Heat factored into the first couple days, with multiple players needing medical attention. At one point, three ambulances arrived within minutes of each other and parked in a row near the Dodger Stadium outfield wall at Big League Dreams.
“I’ve never seen that before,” said Dave Dowell, SSUSA’s master scheduler and one of its tournament directors. “The park looked like a M.A.S.H. unit.”
Some of the medical issues even prompted the postponement of a USA Championship game from Monday until Tuesday.
Triple Grand Slam winners were Pastimers of Washington in the 65+ AA division, Trachsel Auto Body of Oregon in the 65+ AAA division, California Energy in the 65+ Major Plus division, Venom of Florida in the 75+ Major Plus division, and Gold Rush of California in the 80+ AAA division.
To be eligible, teams must first win their division at the Eastern or Western National Championships. Then the East and West champs play each other at Worlds to decide the USA title. USA game winners must win their World Championships bracket to capture the Triple Grand Slam title and a free pair of shoes for each player.
Session 2 results:
Men’s 65+ Major Plus: Top-seeded California Energy (photo below) went 5-0 by winning the USA National Game and by defeating the Texas Crush Sixty Fives 17-3 in the title game. California Energy outscored its opponents 125-54 while averaging 25 runs a game. Demolition of California took third, and Samurai 65 of California finished fourth in the six-team bracket.
Men’s 65+ Major: Top-seeded Prime Time of Illinois (photo below) won the USA game, the division bracket and the Triple Grand Slam while also going 7-0 overall. Prime Team defeated New Dawn Awning of California 7-6 in the USA game and pulled away from Omega IT Services of Maryland for a 25-20 world title victory. Minnesota Masters took third in the 19-team bracket. Empire Monroe of New York nabbed fourth.
Men’s 65+ AAA: Traschel Auto Body of Oregon (photo below) went 7-0, won the Triple Grand Slam and defeated fourth-seeded Tex/Ark Legends of Texas 23-19 in the title game. Peak/Scrap Iron of Colorado took third in the 30-team bracket, the largest of Session 2. Northern Virginia Force 65s, which lost the USA game 21-6 to Traschel, finished fourth.
Men’s 65+ AA: Pastimers of Washington went 6-0, won the Triple Grand Slam and captured the division title with a 15-11 victory over the Texas Tornadoes. Region 65s of Indiana took third. Northwest Silver 65s of Washington placed fourth in the 14-team division.
Men’s 70+ Platinum: Sixth-seeded Enviro-Vac Marauders of British Columbia (photo below) never trailed after a first-inning tie while winning a 19-9 championship victory over fourth-seeded Over The Edge of California. Top-seeded REI Nation of Tennessee finished third in the 17-team bracket. Ryan’s Way of Utah took fourth.
Men’s 70+ AAA: D&K Softball started as the 10th seed in an 18-team bracket but finished as a 6-1 champion by defeating Rezults Realty of Nevada 22-18 in the title game. W.E. Ruth Realty placed third. The Codgers of Idaho took fourth.
Men’s 70+ AA: The sixth-seeded Top Gun Olde Dawgs (photo below) trailed the entire championship game until scoring eight runs in the open inning to grab a 23-22 victory over eighth-seeded Git-R-Done of California. The rally included two inside-the-park home runs, one of which came with the bases loaded. Second-seeded Spikes of Washington finished third in the 12-team bracket. The seventh-seeded Scrap Iron Diamonds nabbed fourth.
Men’s 75+ Major Plus: Venom of Florida (photo below) continued a long tradition of winning championships by defeating Omen 17-6 in a lightning- and rain-shortened championship game that also earned Venom another Triple Grand Slam. Venom had beaten Omen 15-6 in the USA game. Third place in the four-team bracket went to AMR South of Florida. The Sidewinders 75s of Arizona finished fourth.
Men’s 75+ Major: Eighth-seeded Scrap Iron Diamonds (photo below) won two one-run games earlier in the bracket before exploding for a 22-7 championship game victory over Valley Fog, the USA Champion from California. Northern Virginia Force 75 took third in the nine-team bracket. Tri-State Diamondbacks of New Mexico finished fourth. In the USA game, Valley Fog defeated Northern Virginia Force 28-19.
Men’s 75+ AAA: The fourth-seeded KC Kids capped a 6-0 tournament with a 14-13 championship game victory over second-seeded Last Call of Nevada. The KC Kids scored two runs in the bottom of the open inning to nab the win. The third-seeded Minnesota Masters finished third, and the seventh-seeded So Cal Warriors took fourth in the nine-team bracket.
Men’s 75+ AA: The fifth-seeded San Antonio Legends put a 0-2 pool play start behind them and won the five-team division with a 19-12 IF game victory over Git-R-Done of California. The Texas Knight Riders finished third. Top Gun Olde Dawgs took fourth.
Men’s 80+ Major Plus: Florida Investment Properties (photo below) went 4-1 overall and never trailed in winning the championship 19-4 in five innings over the San Francisco Seals 80s. Ho’oikaika of Hawaii finished third in the three-team division. In the USA game, the Seals defeated Florida Investment Properties 14-8.
Men’s 80+ Major: Second-seeded Scrap Iron 80s of Colorado (photo below) went 5-1 overall and won the title with a 14-13 victory over the fourth-seeded Sidewinders 80s of Arizona. Top-seeded Top Gun 80 Gold finished third, and Libby’s of Wisconsin took fourth in the four-team bracket.
Men’s 80+ AAA: Gold Rush of California (photo below) went 6-0, won the division and nabbed a Triple Grand Slam by defeating Bell Auto Upholstery 24-0 in the title game of the six-team division. Gold Rush outscored its competition 105-37 and won every game by at least six runs. IES 80s of Nevada placed third Git-R-Done of California took fourth.
Men’s 85+ Major: The Top Gun Blue Angels (photo below) lost the first title game 25-24 but nabbed the second 13-11 over Center For Sight of Florida. Scrap Iron Base Force finished third in the three-team division.
Men’s 85+ AAA: The top-seeded Jaguars of California (photo below) lost their first bracket game but rebounded to double dip second-seeded Team Rehabilitation of Minnesota 14-13 and 21-10 for the title. The New York Statesmen, who defeated the Jaguars 18-8 in the USA Championship game, finished third in the four-team bracket. Midwest Driving School of Kansas took fourth.