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Midwest Championships - Teams from 9 States Win Divisions, Heading to Tournament of Champions
Sept. 1, 2013 – Giovanni CrottiSoftball News Report
SHAWNEE, KAN. - The Midwest Championships came back here for the fourth time as this tournament is quickly becoming one of the premier Senior Softball events in the country.
Fifty-six teams from all over the Heartland came to compete in this classic. “Good Starts Here” is Shawnee’s motto and that proved true for this championship event.
“All the brackets were evenly matched,” said long-time tournament director Otis Roland. “The teams were laid back and they came to play. There is a different attitude toward playing softball in the Midwest. No matter where you go, the teams always exhibit great sportsmanship along with a positive attitude.”
The 50 Platinum division fielded seven teams representing seven states. After winning by 12 and 14 runs respectively in pool play, the Minnesota Merchants 50 team entered bracket play as the No. 2 seed. Their winning ways would not be stopped as they won the bracket and the 50 Platinum tournament with a perfect 6-0 record.
The KC Naturals won all five of their games in the tournament to best the 50AAA division. After playing two close games in pool play, the KC Naturals turned on the afterburners in bracket play. This culminated in a championship game victory over the Old Pros out of Illinois by the score of 27-8. Four teams from four states made up the 55 Major division. After entering bracket play as No. 2 seed, Pope Transport of Wisconsin bested 50 Caliber+ twice (in the first game of the bracket and the championship game) to outlast the competition.
Integrity Builders out of Nebraska won the 55AAA bracket in convincing fashion as they swept through the division in route to a 18-9 win in the championship against Sports Image.
The 50/55 AA Division showcased two winners from Iowa. 1st Interiors and Antiques of Iowa battled through the bracket with Antiques of Iowa beating 1st Interiors in the championship game. The “IF” game did not happen though as both mutually agreed to win their respective divisions which made 1st Interiors the 55AA champion and Antiques of Iowa the 50AA champion.
In the hard fought Men’s 60 Gold Division, a nine-team battle royal ensued as two teams took their respective divisions. The Chicago Classics Bobcats posted an impressive 5-0 record to take the 60AAA crown while the KC Kids made their way through the bracket to be declared the 60 Major Champion.
The 60AA Division was an evenly matched division as each team in the division lost at least a game in pool play. Once the bracket started though, The Scrap Iron Diamonds from Colorado rolled through the competition. They beat their opponents by no less than six runs per game, beating Minnesota Blizzard 18-8 in the championships to book their ticket to the Tournament of Champions in Florida in February.
The 65 Gold Division was tied with the 60 Gold Division for the most teams in a division in the tournament. After the intense pool play concluded, the division broke out into two divisions for bracket play. In the 65 Major Division, three teams fought for the title. Minnesota Prize Co. came out on top, beating Bale Chevrolet from Oklahoma twice - including the 16-10 decision in the championship.
The 65AAA Division sported six teams. Michaels from Wisconsin got payback against R&D Leverage in their opening game beating them in a close battle 17-16 and avenging their loss in pool play. After beating Car City, Michaels squared off against Midwest Express from Nebraska in the championship game. Michaels prevailed by a 22-16 to earn the berth to the Tournament of Champions.
Breaking out into separate brackets after pool play, the Men’s 70/75+ division featured many powerful teams widely known in softball circles around the country. But even through the tough matchups, two teams out of Arkansas stole the show to win each of the divisions.
Harris Auctions from Hot Springs went into bracket play as the No. 1 seed. After going 3-0 in pool play, Harris Auction continued their solid play as they won all three of their bracket games including an impressive win in the championship game, 18-5, over a solid Quad City Old Stars team.
The Crackerbox, hailing 60 miles away from Harris Auctions in Maumelle, Ark., completed a similar feat as their counterpart going undefeated in both pool play and bracket play to win the championship trophy over the Mid-America Patriots in the finals.
For complete scores, bracket results, and All Tournament Player lists, please visit the Midwest Championships Tournament page at www.seniorsoftball.com.