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May 1, 2012

POLK COUNTY, FLA. Ė Teams from six states and Canada competed in the 8th Annual Spring Nationals here at the end of March.

The Spring Nationals is the first step of the most coveted prize in senior softball -- the Triple Grand Slam.

Playing in the Spring Nationals qualifies teams to compete in the Eastern Nationals in August in Raleigh, N.C. Winners of the Eastern Nationals receive a berth to the US National Game (against the winner of the Western Nationals in their division). Teams that win the US National Game (played during the World Championships in Phoenix in October) and the World Championships win the Triple Grand Slam.

In addition, winners of each division are invited to Tournament of Championships here in Polk County in February 2013. The TOC was a tremendous success this last February. Only the winners of the top 20 SSUSA Championship tournaments are invited. In addition, the event includes several free events, including hitting clinics, skills contests, an All Star Game, a banquet and free rings for winners (See stories on Pages 16-17)

Scoring tended to be in bunches of runs in some divisions of the Spring Nationals.

The hitters from Good Times of Florida picked a great time to get hot in winning the Menís 50 Platinum Division. After moving through bracket play with a number of close games, Good Times hitters needed all the runs they could muster in a 37-29 win over the Florida Renegades to win the title.

The Florida Classics lost all three of their seeding games, then turned it on in bracket play to win the Menís 50 AAA Division. They topped the Twin City Movers from Illinois 25-12 in the finale.

DNM Rampower 55ís from Ontario came a long way to win the Menís 50/55 Silver Division with a 19-9 triumph over Atlanta Recycling.

The Menís 55/60 Platinum Division was won by Hollis Appraisals of Florida, which topped Addison Park, also of Florida, 37-32 in the championship game.

The Menís 60 Major Division went to the South Florida Heat, which knocked off the Syracuse Merchants from New York 21-13 in the title game.

In the Menís 60/65 Silver Division, Floridaís Slug-A-Bug went undefeated to win the 60 AA championship over Voice Tech of Florida 20-14. Voice Tech earned the title as the 65 AAA champion.

Cross-Cut and Bucs Bulls, both from Florida, met in a two-game series with Cross-Cut winning 10-9 and 11-10 to take the Menís 65/70 Silver Division.

In the four-team Menís 65/70 Platinum Division, the Florida Thunder came out of the loserís bracket to upend the Florida Legends twice by score of 31-20 and 23-19 to win the division.


Menís 50 Platinum-Good Times-Gino Myers, Mark Thomas, Kurt Smith, Tim Fincher, Richard Bokinsky.Northeast Storm- Dave Gianelli, Ron Hargrove.

Menís 50AAA-Florida Classics-Joe Hicks, Henry Campbell,Ira Turner, Joe Skipper,Skip Skipper.Twin city Movers- James Houseth,Paul Cox,Steve Vickers.No Names-Mark Miller, Bob Marse.

Menís 50/55 Silver-ATL Recycling Solutions- Mike Iaciofano, Rick Goss,David Hutchins.South Fl.Ball Busters- Felix Sanchez, Matt Cuomo.

Menís 55/60 Platinum-Pat McLellan, Audie Hollis, Jimmy Shingledecker, Chip Cregar,Gary Deaton. Addison Park- Horace Jefferson, Doug Schram, Pete Bassignani,Mike Babchick,John Miles.

Menís 60 Major-South Florida Heat-Herb Tiedemann,Roy Oke,Luis Specht,James Rappoli,Don Ingham.Syracuse Merchants-Butch Sweeny, Gary McSweeney,Dave Hadden.

Menís 60/65 Silver-Slug Ėa-Bug-Roger Hale,Phil Farmer,Dave Whitney,Hugh Mitchell,Frank Straub.Voice Tech- Mike Marcum,Jim Davidson,Dennis Schroeder,Glenn Rose,Chuck Detore.Stancil Photos-Bill Gaffney,Robert Joyce.

Menís 65/70 Silver-Cross-Cut- Paul Ibert, don Atkins,Aaron Philips,Bob Dipietro,Larry Sweet.Bucs&Bulls- Jerry Flannery,Bill Denegar,Sam Ferguson.

Menís 65/70 Platinum-Florida Thunder- Roy Hern, Terry OíDonnell,Gary Morgan,Bob Conrad,Derry Dedman.Fl.Legends/Human Kinetics- Bill Brotherton,David Decker,Ramon Valdes.Village Merchants-Tom Gilewski,Dick Kanyan.

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