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Sept. 1, 2010

YOLO COUNTY, CA Ė The 2010 SSUSA California State Championships in early August featured a record 78 teams, forcing expansion to additional facilities in Vacaville to supplement the Woodland and Davis softball complexes.

ďThe Cal-Cup is back on top this year, attendance was up in all areas and the facilities were first rate,Ē according to Fran Dowell, SSUSAís executive director. ďItís nice to see the support in a challenging economy, not only from Yolo County, but the teams, for our only home-state regional championship,Ē she added.

Session No. 1 began on Tuesday with 18 teams of the 65+ and more senior divisions, all playing at the Woodland Sports Park Softball Complex, a state-of-the-art artificial turf complex that just celebrated its first anniversary this summer. In a significant change from last year, temperatures were mild to moderate for the event, making the playing conditions near perfect.

The six-team Menís 65/70-Gold division played a combined round robin for seeding before splitting up into championship brackets. In a match-up of two perennial Northern California powers, the 65-Major California State Roofing System Royals 65ís edged the 70-Major+ San Francisco Seals in a Best 2 of 3 series that required all three games. After splitting the first two games, State Roofing slipped by the Seals (11-7) in the rubber game. The series was decided by an aggregate of only two runs, with State Roofing outscoring the Seals by the combined score of 53-51. Both teams deservedly secured 2011 Tournament of Champions bids.

The four-team Menís 65-AAA division saw Game On drop its first bracket game before winning four straight elimination games for the title. They defeated the Lincoln Hills Coyotes in both the championship game (16-9) and the ďIf neededĒ game (17-16). In another four-team division, the 65-AA was won by Alís Paving and Grading as they completed a perfect unbeaten week with their 23-7 championship game victory over the Physiomotion 65ís.

The eight-team Menís 70/75+ division also played a combined round robin for seeding before splitting into their respective brackets. In the Menís 70/75-Gold, the California Oaks rebounded from the last seed position to sweep through the bracket, taking the championship (16-12) over the State Roofing Royals 70ís. In the Menís 70/75-Silver division, the Redwood City Chiefs 75 got hot at the right time, sweeping through the bracket and claiming the title with a thrilling 11-10 win over the Sacramento Gold.

Friday dawned with another 48 teams beginning play in both Woodland and Davis. At the Play Park Fields in Davis, the seven-team Menís 50-AAA, SLO CAL capped an unbeaten weekend with a 12-7 win over elimination bracket weary T& B Sports, playing its fourth game in a row, in the championship. On the adjacent field, the Menís 55-AAA played out in almost identical fashion. California Energy also completed its unbeaten weekend with their 11-6 championship game win over the Animals, another team playing its fourth game in a row in the Elimination Bracket.

In Woodland, the Menís 50-Platinum division featured high level play by all six teams. The Nor Cal Longhorns emerged victorious in the 50-Major+ by sweeping their Best 2 of 3 series with McKenna Dentistry/EBO by the scores of 11-10 and 18-11. The Menís 50-Major division saw the last seed, Sonnyís of Colorado, head back to the airport with the California State Championship trophy after getting by MTC Softball Club, 14-13 in the winnerís bracket final and 18-9 in the championship game.

The Menís 55-Major division was another four-team bracket, with the top two seeds making it to the finals, where the Old Dawgs 55ís defeated the Nor-Cal Reds (22-19) in the championship. After playing the first two days at Davis, the Menís 60-Major+ and 60-Major divisions finished their respective Best 2 of 3 Championship series at Woodland on Sunday morning, with both series requiring ďIf neededĒ games. The MTC Softball 60ís defeated Omen Softball (20-16) for the Major+ title, while the Nor-Cal Merchants avenged a Game 1 loss to Master Collision (CO) by sweeping two on Sunday, 19-13 and 20-18.

The two other 60+ divisions also played at Woodland, with lower seeds making impressive runs to their state championships. In the 60-AAA, 10th, and last, seeded Last Call (NV) ran through the bracket unbeaten, finishing with a championship game win (19-8) over the Marauders. The 60-AA title went to the 8th (of 9) seeded Yuba City Express, who also ran through the bracket unscathed and defeated both of the top seeds along the way to their Championship game victory (17-12) over the Ainít No Saints.

Meanwhile, the largest Menís 40-Masters field in Cal-Cup history, with 12 teams, played at the Al Patch Softball Complex in Vacaville. The size of the field, and being limited to a two-day weekend-only event, made it impractical to play a conventional elimination bracket format. The teams were divided into two six-team pools, with each pool playing a full five-game round robin to determine the pool champions to play in the final game. Blue Pool champion Magic Sports Ė Unforgiven (4-1) defeated Red Pool champion 12 Angry Men (5-0) by a score of 34-17 for the 40-Masters State Championship. In the third place game, the Nor-Cal 40ís defeated JK, Inc. 20-19.

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