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Northeast Teams Show Out During Session Three of the 2019 World Masters
Oct. 1, 2019
LAS VEGAS - The eighth annual LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championships, the largest Senior Softball tournament in the country, continued here on Sept. 27 with the young guns taking their turn at bat.
The third session included the Men’s and Women’s 40’s age divisions, as a total of 137 teams representing 22 states, as well as the U.S. Territory of Guam, and three Canadian provinces, competing across seven complexes.
A total of 444 games were scheduled for the third session, including five U.S. National Championship Games.
In the five U.S. National Games, which pits winners from the Eastern and Western National Championships, three teams from the East and two teams from the West prevailed.
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.
Proving the competitive balance in the 40’s division, no team would go on to complete the Triple Grand Slam during the third session.
Teams from Idaho, New York, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Utah and Hawaii won World Masters titles in the six divisions.
The WMC this season was a coming out party for Men’s teams in the Northeast, which saw teams from New York and Pennsylvania take first and second place, respectively, in the Men’s 40 Major Division; and teams from Pennsylvania (first place) and Maryland (third and fourth place) in the Men’s 40 AAA Division. The 40 AAA U.S. National Champion was also from Maryland.
“The results of this year's World Masters Championships confirm that teams from the Eastern states can compete with their Western counterparts,” said Tim McElroy, SSUSA national director and Mid-Atlantic regional director, who has spearheaded SSUSA’s growth of the 40’s program in the East. “I am happy for the teams that won U.S. and World Masters Championships, but even more excited about what their results mean to the future of the SSUSA 40s program.”
Starting off with the 18-team Men’s 40 Major Plus Division, Eastern Champ Suncoast Adidas (FL) defeated Western Champ Prestige/Elite Sports Orange County (CA) 33-18 to win the U.S. National Championship.
Suncoast Adidas (FL) - 2019 Men's 40 Major Plus U.S. National Champions
The win gave Suncoast Adidas its second straight U.S. National Championship.
Looking for its second straight World Masters Championship and Triple Grand Slam title, Suncoast Adidas would come up just short, placing fourth.
The championship would eventually come down to the last game, as GTS (ID) avenged its 29-17 loss at the hands of Firehouse Pub/Game Apparel/Absolut (MI) in the championship game, with a 25-17 win in the “if” game.
GTS (ID) - 2019 Men's 40 Major Plus World Masters Champions
Firehouse Pub/Game Apparel/Absolut entered bracket play as the No. 15 seed following an 0-2 showing in seeding play; however, the team would run off four straight victories to start bracket play, before faltering against GTS, 29-26, in the winner’s bracket final, dropping down into the elimination side of the bracket.
Firehouse Pub/Game Apparel/Absolut bounced back with a thrilling 25-24 win over All American Athletics (OR) in the Third-Place Game, to earn its place in the championship game.
Fattboyz Dudley/Elite (CA) and Pony Tail Express (CA) tied for fifth place.
The largest division of the third session was the 64-team Men’s 40 Major Division.
In the U.S. National Championship Game, Western Champ Thunderstruck (CA) downed Eastern Champ LB/Spirits West/SMC (MD) 20-17.
Thunderstruck would advance to Championship Sunday through the elimination side of the bracket; however, the team would fall short of the Triple Grand Slam, finishing in a tie for seventh place, along with NorthWest Legends (WA).
Due to the size of the division, the bracket was split into four pods, with 12 teams eventually advancing to the final day of competition.
Four teams would advance to Championship Sunday unscathed, as Silverbacks (CA) - Red Pod, LB/Spirits West/SMC - White Pod, Giant Steel/TRUE Point Survey (NY) - Blue Pod, and Giannilli’s II (PA) - Green Pod, all posted 4-0 records.
Of the four teams, Giant Steel/TRUE Point Survey would continue its run, going 3-0 on Sunday, including a thrilling 24-23 walk-off win over Giannilli’s in the championship game, scoring four runs in the bottom of the open.
Both of Giannilli’s losses in bracket play would come against Giant Steel/TRUE Point Survey.
Silverbacks finished in third place, while Midwest Elite (MO) finished fourth.
Midwest Elite began bracket play with three straight wins, before falling to LB/Spirits West/SMC, 24-20, dropping the team into the elimination side of the bracket to begin the final day of play. On Sunday, Midwest Elite won three straight elimination games, including a 26-22 revenge win over LB/Spirits West/SMC, before having its run come to an end by Giannilli’s.
Tying for fifth place was LB/Spirits West/SMC and Roster Check (AZ).
Rounding out the top 12 teams that began play on Sunday included Blue Pill Mafia/QOS Networkds (AZ), Team Amaya (CA), Kraze (CA), and Empire (AZ), all tying for ninth place.
In the 20-team Men’s AAA Division, Eastern Champ Gigantes O.C. (MD) defeated Western Champ Armstrong Transport (WA), 25-9, in the U.S. National Championship Game.
Gigantes O.C. (MD) - 2019 Men's 40 AAA U.S. National Champions
Gigantes O.C. looked to be well on its way towards the Triple Grand Slam, winning three straight games to begin bracket play, before dropping its next two games to eventually finish in third place.
Mission: Possible (PA) completed a perfect weekend, going 2-0 in seeding play and 5-0 in bracket play, including a 30-20 win over Torgi Trucking (WA) in the championship game.
Mission: Possible (PA) - 2019 Men's 40 AAA World Masters Champions
Torgi Trucking had won three straight elimination games before falling in the championship game.
Live! Casino (MD) finished in fourth place.
Y’All Next (MD) and BulletProof/Beus Excavation (ID) tied for fifth place.
In the 12-team Women’s 40 Major Division, Western Champion TKP (CA) cruised to a 25-11 win over Eastern Champion Kryptonite (FL) in the U.S. National Championship game.
TKP (CA) - 2019 Women's 40 Major U.S. National Champions
TKP would be unable to complete the Triple Grand Slam, failing to make it to Sunday; while Kryptonite won three straight games in the elimination side of the bracket, before winning a thrilling 10-9 match over Dudley/Greenspace (KS) in the championship game, forcing the “if” game.
Avoiding the dreaded double-dip, Dudley/Greenspace would go on to take the final game, 20-14.
TABU (CA) finished in third place, while Get Nutz (HI) finished in fourth place.
In the 20-team Women’s 40 AAA Division, Fireballs (MA) defeated Western Champs UT Relics, 17-16, in the U.S. National Championship game. Trailing 16-11 heading into the bottom of the open, Fireballs plated six runs to earn the come-from-behind, walk-off win.
Fireballs, the runner-up from the Eastern Nationals, represented the East in the U.S. National Game in place of champion Firestyx (NJ), who did not attend the WMC. The win in the U.S. National Game gives Fireballs a berth to the TOC.
UT Relics would get the last laugh winning the ultimate prize, by double-dipping Custom Truck (NV), taking both the championship (25-22), and “if” (26-25) games.
In the championship game, UT Relics held a slim 21-20 lead heading into the open inning. In that last frame, UT Relics would go on to outscore Custom Truck 4-2 en route to its 25-22 win.
In the “if” game, Custom Truck plated eight runs in the top of the open to take a commanding 25-15 lead. However, UT Relics would not be denied, as the team strung together a remarkable 11-run rally to complete an incredible 26-25 walk-off victory.
Pro Moves (CA) finished in third place, while Saints (AZ) rounded out the top four finishers.
All Out (CA) and Straight Pride (CA) tied for fifth place.
The three-team Women’s 40 AAA Division saw top seed Shut-D XP (HI) defeat FIGO Islanders (Guam), 16-13, in the championship game. Team SOTTA (Guam) finished in third place.
For game-by-game scores, please CLICK HERE.
Be on the lookout next week for the recap of the fourth and final session of the 2019 LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championships, as the Men's and Women's 50's Divisions, and the International Co-Ed Division will be playing this weekend.