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167 Teams Begin the 2019 LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championships
Sept. 1, 2019
LAS VEGAS - The eighth annual LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championships (WMC), the largest Senior Softball tournament in the country eclipsing the 600-team plateau for a third straight season with 612 teams, began here on Sept. 19.
The first session included 167 teams representing 35 states and two Canadian provinces, competing across seven complexes in the Men’s 55 and 60 age divisions.
A total of 545 games were scheduled for the opening session, including eight U.S. National Championship Games, making it the largest of the four sessions.
Teams from Minnesota, Florida, New York, Tennessee, Washington State and California won World Masters titles in the eight divisions.
In the eight U.S. National Games, which pits winners from the Eastern and Western National Championships, six teams from the West and two teams from the East prevailed – but only one team went all the way to the Triple Grand Slam: Somerville Softball of California in the 55 Major Plus Division.
To win the SSUSA Triple Grand Slam, teams must win either the Eastern or Western Nationals, the U.S. National Game, and the World Masters Championships.
Starting with the nine team Men’s 55 Major Plus Division, Western Champs Sommerville Softball (CA) defeated Eastern Champs RBC Wealth Management (FL) 20-10 in the U.S. National Game.
The victory gave Sommerville Softball the top seed in the bracket, where the team cruised to four straight wins, including a 19-3 victory over CornerStone (OR) in the championship game.
The wins in the Western Nationals, U.S. National Championship Game, and the World Masters, gave Sommerville the elusive Triple Grand Slam for a second straight year.
Sommerville Softball (CA) - 2019 Triple Grand Slam (Men's 55 Major Plus)
This is the second time that Sommerville has completed back-to-back Triple Grand Slams, as the team completed the feat in 2015 and 2016 in the 50’s division.
Ohio Elite/AMR started the tournament on the wrong foot, dropping both seeding games, as well as their first two games in the three-game guarantee bracket. However, the team would re-group, running off three straight games en route to their third-place finish.
Elite/Dudley (AZ) rounded out the top four finishers.
In the largest division of the opening session, the 36-team Men’s 55 Major Division, Western Champs WPI/Wilson Auto (ID) edged out Eastern Champs Ameriprise FL Legends, 17-16.
WPI/Wilson Auto (ID) - 2019 U.S. National Champions (Men's 55 Major)
Ameriprise FL Legends built a six-run lead, 14-8, through the first four innings; however, they would be unable to maintain it, as WPI/Wilson Auto rallied the rest of the way, outscoring Ameriprise FL Legends, 9-2, to squeak out the one-run thriller.
Due to the size of the division, bracket play was split into two pods, with WPI/Wilson Auto earning the top seed in the National Pod, and Ameriprise FL Legends earning the top seed in the American Pod.
Proving the depth and competitiveness of the division, neither team would make it to Championship Sunday.
Speedwerx (MN) the No. 3 seed in the National Pod, posted a perfect record in the tournament, going 2-0 in seeding play and 6-0 in bracket play, including a 20-16 win over 55 Oh My (CA) in the championship game.
Speedwerx (MN) - 2019 World Masters Champions (Men's 55 Major)
55 Oh My, the No. 7 seed in the American Pod, won its first four games in the bracket, before falling to Speedwerx in a one-run thriller, 17-16, to drop down into the third place game. 55 Oh My would go on to defeat Team Rawlings (CA), 22-19, en route to its eventual runner-up finish.
Team Rawlings won four straight elimination games en route to their third-place finish.
Texas Stars, who went 0-2 in seeding play, made a strong run through bracket play, posting a 6-2 record, finishing in fourth place.
Dudley Lightning (MO) and So Cal 55 (CA) finished tied for fifth place.
In the 27-team Men’s 55 AAA Division, Western Champs Desperados NMU (CA) knocked off Eastern Champs Old Stars (IN), 22-19, in the U.S. National Game.
Desperados NMU would fall short of its Triple Grand Slam aspirations, as the team was eliminated in the first games on Championship Sunday.
Globe Trailers (FL) held the hot hand in the tournament, as the team went 2-0 in seeding play, before capping off of perfect weekend with a 6-0 record, including a thrilling 18-17 walk-off win over American Mortgage Pro (OK) in the championship game.
Globe Trailers (FL) - 2019 World Masters Champions (Men's 55 AAA)
For American Mortgage Pro, both of the team’s losses for the tournament would come at the hands of Globe Trailers, as the team dropped an earlier game in the bracket, 24-15, to fall in to the elimination side of the bracket. American Mortgage Pro would go on to win three straight elimination games en route to their runner-up finish.
Two teams from the Lone Star State rounded out the top four finishers, as Romo’s Derty and 55 GZ finished in third and fourth place, respectively.
In the six-team Men’s 55 AA Division, Western Champs Spin Tees (WA) defeated Eastern Champs Longshoremen (VA), 28-19, in the U.S. National Game.
Spin Tees would fall just short of the Triple Grand Slam, as the team dropped a 14-11 decision against Advil Knights (CA) in the championship game. The win capped off a perfect 4-0 record in bracket play for Advil Knights.
Advil Knights (CA) - 2019 World Masters Champions (Men's 55 AA)
Spin Tees dropped its opening game in the bracket to Advil Knights, 19-12, before winning four straight games to escape the elimination side of the bracket and punch its ticket to the championship game.
So Cal Riptide (CA) finished in third place, while Arizona Blaze finished fourth.
In the four-team Men’s 60 Major Plus Division, Western Champs Summy’s (CA) defeated Eastern Champs Omega It Services, LLC (MD), 19-13, in the U.S. National Game. The win gave Summy’s its second straight U.S. National Championship.
Summy's (CA) - 2019 U.S. National Champions (Men's 60 Major Plus)
Summy’s would be unable to complete the Triple Grand Slam, as MTC 60’s/Dudley (CA) came out of the elimination side of the bracket to double-dip the top seed by scores of 34-14 (championship game) and 26-25 (“if” game).
Trailing 24-21 heading into the open innings, visitors MTC 60’s/Dudley outscored Summy’s 5-1 in the final frame to escape in dramatic come-back fashion.
For MTC/Dudley, this gives the team its third straight World Masters victory in the Men’s 60 Major Plus Division. The team also won the World Masters in the Men’s 55 Major Plus Division in 2016, to continue an incredible run for the team.
MTC/Dudley (CA) - 2019 World Masters Champions (Men's 60 Major Plus)
Texas Crush Sixties finished in third place.
In the 31-team Men’s 60 Major Division, Western Champs Samurai (CA) got the better of Eastern Champs Cardot/Madalena Construction (NY), 38-28, in the U.S. National Game.
Samurai (CA) - 2019 U.S. National Champion (Men's 60 Major)
The teams would again meet in bracket play, as Samurai defeated Cardot/Madalena, 21-15, to punch its ticket to the championship game.
Falling into the third-place game, Cardot/Madalena defeated Windy City Softball (IL), 29-22, to lock-in its place in the championship game.
Trailing 22-21 heading into the top of the open, Cardot/Madalena outscored Windy City 8-0 in the final inning en route to its win.
Part three of the Samurai and Cardot/Madalena saga saw the Eastern Champs exact some revenge in thrilling fashion, as the championship game went to extras.
The team from the Empire State outslugged the Western Champs, 16-1, in the eighth inning, en route to its 31-16 win, forcing the “if” game.
The fourth and final game between the two squads once again saw Cardot/Madalena, this time trailing 18-14 heading in the top of the open inning, open the flood gates.
Cardot/Madalena used a 10-1 advantage in the final inning to take the decisive game, 24-19, completing the dramatic double-dip.
Cardot/Madalena Construction (NY) - 2019 World Masters Champions (Men's 60 Major)
For three straight games (Third-Place Game, Championship Game, and “If” Game) Cardot/Madalena, the visitors in all three games, took care of business in the open inning, outscoring their opponents, 34-2.
X-Men (BC, Canada) rounded out the top four finishers.
Honorable mention goes to Minnesota Merchants, who finished tied for fifth along with Wolfpack (WA), after winning five straight games in the elimination side of the bracket, before falling to X-Men.
Houston Fire (TX) also made a solid run through the elimination side of the bracket with four straight wins, before falling to Wolfpack.
In the 34-team Men’s 60 AAA Division, Eastern Champs Old Stars (IN) defeated Western Champs Weakend Warriors (CA), 26-23, in the U.S. National Game.
Old Stars would fall just short of the Triple Grand Slam, as the team was eliminated in the third-place game against Scrap Iron Xplosion (CO), 19-9.
Building off their momentum from their third-place game victory, Scrap Iron Xplosion knocked off DT Express (TN), 20-18, in the championship game, forcing the “if” game.
In the final game, DT Express avoided the dreaded double-dip by avenging its championship game loss with an 18-11 win in the “if” game.
So Cal Braves (CA) rounded out the top four finishers.
After losing their first bracket game, 50 Caliber Silver St. Louis (MO) ran through the gauntlet with six straight wins in the elimination side of the bracket, eventually tying for fifth place, along with Silver Stars (CA).
OKC Relics (OK) also made a valiant run through the elimination side of the bracket with four straight wins to advance to Sunday morning.
In the 20-team Men’s 60 AA Division, Eastern Champs Syracuse Cyclones (NY) defeated Western Champs Scrap Iron Rockies (CO), 20-12, in the U.S. National Game.
Syracuse Cyclones (NY) - 2019 U.S. National Champions (Men's 60 AA)
Syracuse Cyclones won their first two games in bracket before dropping a heart-breaker, 22-21, against 808 Hawaii, to fall into the elimination side of the bracket. Tied at 12 all heading into the open inning, Syracuse Cyclones plated nine runs; however, it would not be enough, as 808 Hawaii came back by getting 10 across to edge out the thrilling win.
Following its loss, Syracuse Cyclones regrouped with four straight wins, including a 16-5 revenge victory over 808 Hawaii in the third-place game, as well as a 15-7 win over Vancouver USA Wooly’s (WA) in the championship game, to force an “if” game.
Syracuse Cyclones would not be able to complete the double dip and the Triple Grand Slam, as Vancouver USA Wooly’s took the final game, 15-12.
Vancouver USA Wooly's (WA) - 2019 World Masters Champions (Men's 60 AA)
Pellys Stix (ON, Canada) opened bracket play with back-to-back losses, before coming back with four straight wins en route to their eventual fourth place finish.
Classics (UT) and Northwest Silver (WA) finished tied for fifth place.
The WMC continue with the Men's 65 - 85 age divisions (Sept. 23 - 26), Men's & Women's 40s divisions (Sept. 27 - 29), and finally the Men's 50 (Oct. 3 - 6), Women's 50 (Oct. 4 - 6), and International Co-Ed (Oct. 5 - 6) divisions.
Look for the wrap-up of the 2nd and 3rd sessions (Men's 65-85 and Men and Women's 40 Masters Divisions) next week!
For game action shots from the first session of the 2019 LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championships, as well as all future sessions, please visit JacksActionShots.com.