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Southwest Jumps to 172 Teams; 3rd largest
May 1, 2014LAS VEGAS – The Southwest Championships here exploded this year, attracting 172 teams to become the third largest senior tournament of the year.
The tournament has swelled for the second year in a row, growing from 112 teams in 2012 to 143 teams in 2013 and 172 teams this year.
Teams from throughout the West and from as far away as Minnesota and Canada competed in men’s and women’s divisions ranging from 40 years to 80 years. The tournament is a joint effort of Senior Softball-USA and the Las Vegas Senior Softball Association.
The largest senior tournament of the year, the World Masters Championships, is expected to draw 500 teams to Las Vegas this fall. The second largest senior tournament is also in Nevada, the Rock ‘n’ Reno Challenge Cup, which attracted 210 teams this year.
“We are especially happy with our growing 40 Masters Division,” said Fran Dowell, SSUSA executive director. “We had 35 men and women’s 40 Masters teams in the Southwest – our single largest growth – which bodes well for the future of senior softball.”
In the top men’s 40 Masters Major-Plus division, Famous Fattboyz of California fought their way through seven games in the loser’s bracket and double-dipped Handpicked of California 23-14 and 25-9 for the championship.
Softball Junkies swept the large 15-team 40 men’s Major division in seven straight games for the title.
In the top 40 women’s Major division, TKP/Hunters blanked Hafta Play in a surprising 14-0 romp to win. Angry Birds took the women’s 40 AAA division and Northwest Intensity won the women’s 40 AA title.
The oldest groups playing, the 75 and 80 divisions, also grew with 13 teams competing.
Fairway Ford of Southern California edged the Arizona Prospectors in the 80 division, 13-12.
In the 75 division, the San Francisco Seals won the Major-Plus, PDR Fastsigns of Oregon won the Majors and D-99 of Nevada took the 70 AAA title.
The largest single division was the 60 AAA Division, with 17 teams. Over the Edge of California won the division, beating the Arizona Roadrunners 17-11 in the championships.
Team Rawlings of California got hot at the right time, emerging from the 6th seed to top the eight-team 50 Major division.
Arizona Old School slugged it out of the loser’s bracket with seven straight wins to double-dip Top Gun of California 14-13 and 15-4 to win the 15-team 50 AAA division championships.
In the 55 Major, Cal Energy made a strong run through the 11-team bracket, including beating Scrap Iron Rocky Mountain Thunder 21-10 in the finals, to win the title.
LVSSA 55s of Las Vegas dominated the 55 AAA division bracket, capping their run with an 18-12 victory over Baker Boyz of California.
The 55 AA division became a rematch of the Spring World pitting Mountain Men against each other. This time the Mountain Men of Utah forced Rocky Mountain Extreme of New Mexico into an “If” game by winning 25-9. New Mexico came back in the finals to win 10-7 and exact revenge for their loss at the Spring Worlds to Utah.
In the 60 Major-Plus, God’s Sports Company of California defeated Chain Link of Arizona 20-17 for the championships.
After losing two seeding games, the Rogue of Arizona easily rolled through the seven-team 60 Major bracket. The Rogue culminated their run with a 19-9 victory over Top Gun of California.
In the 60 AA, two Arizona teams battled for the title, with Bucky’s Casino beating Los Vatos Viejos in a tight 15-14 championship matchup.
California powerhouses Full Circle and Omen faced each other in the 65 Major-Plus finals, with Full Circle winning 20-12.
In an extremely close 65 Major division, Tharaldson’s of Nevada won the bracket games – and the title – by margins of two runs or less. Tharaldson’s capped its run by defeating High Desert Roadrunners of New Mexico 16-14.
In the 65 AAA, the Arizona Sidewinders had a perfect tournament until they met NorCal STIXX in the finals. The STIXX beat the Sidewinders 16-15 and forced an “If” game. The Sidewinders came back in the finals 10-6 to win the 12-team division title.
In the 65 AA, the Scrap Iron Classics of Colorado came out of the loser’s bracket to double-dip Git-R-Done of California 10-9 and 15-1.
The older 70 Major-Plus Omen team was successful, beating Stark Street Pizza of Nevada 24-18 in the finals for the division title.
In the 70 Major, the Arizona Sidewinders capped a run of a number of close bracket wins with a 20-12 victory over Thousand Oaks Panthers of California in the finals.
TNT of Nevada blasted through the 70 AAA division bracket, winning the championship game against Top Gun of California 19-10 for the title.
In the 70 AA, Scrap Iron Force of California beat Git-R-Done of California 19-8 for the division championship.
In the 50 Women’s division, the High Desert Diamonds of New Mexico won the best-of-three finals against Arizona Dream Team after losing the first game 18-14. New Mexico came back in the last two games, 17-14 and 16-15 to win the title in the close series.
For complete results, please see www.seniorsoftball.com.