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48 Teams from 6 States, Canada, Compete in Northerns
Dec. 1, 2012 – Ross McCulliganLANSING, MICH. Ė SSUSAís sixth annual Northern Championships drew 48 teams from six states and Canada as this capital city once again proved to be a tremendous host of softball.
The city has hosted the Northern Championships for the past three years as well as the Eastern Nationals in 2005 and 2006.
The tournament utilized two complexes: the East Lansing Sports Complex and the Lake Alliance Softball Complex. Both fields were in good condition and the weather was more than cooperative. Sunny skies greeted teams on all four days of play and the competition on the field was equally as bright.
The tournament was played just a few days after the tragic loss of Steve Simmons, SSUSA national director and a friend of many in the region. A moment of silence was held at noon on the opening day of play in remembrance of Simmons. Many players shared their memories of him throughout the weekend, helping each other cope with his loss.
Tournament director Tim McElroy wished to thank everyone that participated in the tournament and took the time to remember Simmons. Several players purchased T-shirts and wrist bands to help benefit Simmonsí grandchildren.
Each division was chalk full of competitive softball and three ďIFĒ games were scattered throughout bracket play. The 50 Major division was dominated by Northern Ohio Printing as the No. 1 seed went on to the win the division by an average of 13 runs.
After forfeiting their first round of bracket play, H&R Hitting Hard was able to force an ďIFĒ game against the Jackson Merchants but could not hang on in the end as the Merchants took the 50 AA division, 19-12.
In the 60 AA division, local team Bomb Squad was able to overcome a first-round loss, winning the championship ďIFĒ game 14-10 over the Ohio Silverados.
The 65 AAA was won by second-seeded Rush Trucking. After losing their third-round game to the Chicago Strikers, Rush Trucking climbed out of the loserís bracket and defeated the Strikers two games in a row to take the division.
Here are the tournament results:
MENíS 50 PLATINUM Ė 1. Northern Ohio Printing (OH), 2. Doug & Donís (MI), 3. DLB/LTís Grading (WI)
MENíS 50 AAA Ė 1. Twin City Movers (IL), 2. Players Warehouse/Stansell (OH), 3. Universal Mechanicals (OH)
MENíS 50 AA Ė 1. Jackson Merchants (MI), 2. H&R Hitting Hard (MI), 3. Playmakers (WI)
MENíS 55 MAJOR Ė 1. Kinnci Services (MI), 2. Ancell 55 (MN), 3. Motown Stars (MI)
MENíS 55 AAA Ė 1. Milwaukee Merchants (WI), 2. Dayton Legends (OH), 3. Chicago Classics Panthers (IL)
MENíS 60 MAJOR Ė 1. Michigan Express (MI), 2. Handeland Flooring/Salís (WI)
MENíS 60 AAA Ė 1. Indiana Legends/Campbell Tire (IN), 2. Chicago Classics Bobcats (IL), 3. Steel Dawgs (OH)
MENíS 60 AA Ė 1. Bomb Squad (MI), 2. Ohio Silverados (OH), 3. Blue Chips 60 (IL)
MENíS 65 AAA Ė Rush Trucking (MI), 2. Chicago Strikers (IL), 3. Doc Martens (MI)
MENíS 65/70 SILVER Ė 1. US Jobs/Indy 65ís (IN), 2. Columbus Silver Sticks (IN), 3. Michiana Merchants (MI)
MENíS 75 AAA Ė 1. Pfeiffer Gray Sox (MI), 2. ProHealth Care (WI)
Northern Championship 2012 All Tournament Players
Menís 50Platinum-Northern Ohio Printing- Glenn Evans, Kevin Farkas, Mike Masseria, Ray Konik, Dave Scotton. Doug&Donís Auto Care- Bob Monhollon, Tony Perry, Don Goeree.
Menís 50AAA-Players Wholesale/Stancill- Ronnie Williams, Sean Sloan, Steve Booso. Universal Mechanical- Sam Grisham, Don Roberts.
Menís 50AA- Jackson Merchants- Robert Johnston, Robert Elkins, Mark Zwolensky, Ron Hogan, Robert Smith. Playmakers- Steve Burbick, Jeff Graham.
Menís 55Major- Kinnco- Kevin Kastl, Ken Shepherd, Terry Lee, Leo Osterday, Butch Drake. Ancell- Billy Sorenson, Danny Strong, Don Hoen.
Menís 55AAA- Chicago Classics Panthers- Art Dickens, Steve Pittman.
Menís 60 Major- Ken Stuemke, Gordon Ferguson, Bob MacMillan, Larry Smith, Roy Oke.Handeland Flooring/Salís- Bill Dolphin, Ken Gilpin.
Menís 60AAA-Chicago Classics Bobcats- Michael Caliendo, Jim Kenny, Steve Lambert. Steel Dawgs- David Brethauer, Gary Martin.
Menís 60AA- The Bomb Squad- Rick Bode, Jerry DeJongh, John Feuerstein, Alvin Moss, Mike Sankey. Ohio Silveradoís- Jim Kirby, Ken Spoerndle, Randy Ballard.
Menís 65AAA- Rush Trucking- Paul Parynik, Sam Lamerato, Ross Jarvis, Dan Parker, Jeff Borum. Chicago Strikers- Stan Gorak, Tony Inzerillo, Len Hallin. Doc Martens-Bill Ansel, Joe Orr.
Menís 65/70 Gold- Columbus Silver Sticks- Kenny McCollum, Ron Callison, Steve Carpenter.
Menís 75AAA- Prohealth Care- Don Schreiner, Blake Waterhouse, Larry Rodabaugh.