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158 Teams Close Out the Fourth and Final Session of the 2019 LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championships; Old School (CA) Wins Second Straight Triple Grand Slam
Oct. 1, 2019
LAS VEGAS - The eighth installment of the largest Senior Softball tournament in the country, the LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championships (WMC), concluded here Oct. 3 - 6.
The 2019 WMC surpassed 600 teams for the third consecutive season, as 609 teams competed in nearly 1,990 games across eight complexes over 15 days.
The fourth and final session included the Men’s and Women’s 50’s age divisions, as well as the second annual International Co-Ed division.
The fourth session also featured the largest single age division of the tournament, with 139 teams in the Men’s 50 division - powered by the 64-team Men’s 50 AAA Division (tied for the largest division of the tournament with the Men’s 40 Major Division) and the 59-team Men’s 50 Major Division.
158 teams representing 31 states, as well as the U.S. territory of Guam, two Canadian provinces, and Germany, competed across seven complexes during the fourth session.
A total of 508 games were scheduled for the final session, including four U.S. National Championship Games.
In the four U.S. National Games, which pits winners from the Eastern and Western National Championships, three teams from the West and one from the East prevailed.
Of the four eventual Triple Grand Slam contenders, just one would complete the task: Old School (CA) - Women’s 50 Major.
To win SSUSA’s Triple Grand Slam, teams must win either the Eastern or Western Nationals, the U.S. National Game and the World Masters Championships.
Teams from California, New Jersey, Missouri, Oregon and Colorado won World Masters titles in the seven divisions that were played.
In the 11-team Men’s 50 Major Plus Division, Eastern Champion Suncoast Adidas (FL) edged out a thriller, 26-25, over J.K. Inc./Easton (CA), in the U.S. National Championship game.
Fueled by its loss in the U.S. National Game, J.K. Inc./Easton posted a perfect 4-0 record in bracket play, including a 34-14 win over Fence Brokers Team Kitty/Worth Miken (FL) in the championship game.
Fence Brokers Team Kitty/Worth Miken had won five straight games in the elimination side of the bracket to reach the championship game.
Suncoast Adidas finished in third place, falling short of the Triple Grand Slam.
Mark Thomas Law & BPA (PA) rounded out the top four finishers.
Six teams would advance to Sunday, as Nor Cal Thunderstruck (CA) and Kelleher Firm (MD) tied for fifth place.
In the 59-team Men’s 50 Major Division, Western Champ PDX/DeMarini (OR) defeated Eastern Champ CPD/Ancell (MN), 21-15, in the U.S. National Championship Game.
Due to the division size, bracket play was split into four different pods, Red (14 teams), White (15 teams), Blue (15 teams) and Green (15 teams).
All four pods fed into the final day of play, Championship Sunday, dwindling to 12 teams.
As the U.S. National Champ, PDX/DeMarini took the top seed in the Red Pod, while U.S. Runner-Up CPD/Ancell took the top seed in the White Pod.
Looking to capture the Triple Grand Slam, PDX/DeMarini was in prime position, as the team entered Championship Sunday undefeated, going 3-0 in bracket play.
However, the team sputtered on the final day, going 0-2 on Sunday, eventually finishing in a tie for fifth along with Washington Legends.
Washington Legends won four straight games to start off bracket play to enter Sunday unbeaten. However, like PDX/DeMarini, Washington Legends would also go 0-2 to close out the tournament.
Along with PDX/DeMarini and Washington Legends, Deluxe Bakery (NJ) and Phoenix Tube (NJ) rounded out the top four teams that advanced to Championship Sunday unscathed.
The close of the championship bracket came down to a battle for the Garden State, as Jersey teams Deluxe Bakery and Phoenix Tube would go on to play three times.
Phoenix Tube would take the first game, 27-21, to advance to the championship game, and drop Deluxe Bakery into the third-place game.
Deluxe Bakery rebounded with a 31-26 victory over Dudley Lightning (MO) in the third place game, to set up a rematch with Phoenix Tube.
After dropping their second game of the bracket against Bob Johnson Chevrolet (NY), 24-20, Dudley Lighting went on an incredible run, winning eight straight elimination games en route to their third place finish.
In the championship game, Deluxe Bakery edged out a thrilling 24-23 win over Phoenix Tube to force the decisive “if” game.
Phoenix Tube avoided the dreaded double-dip by returning a one-run thriller, 21-20, to claim the championship.
Rounding out the top four finishers included Team Dudley/East Coast/Noble’s Painting (MD).
JayCo/ISP (ID) and Gem City Softball (OH) tied for seventh place.
Making up the final 12 teams to advance to the Sunday included Good Times/Clean Planet (FL), Easton Reds (WA), Twin Oaks Softball (CA), and Covello Sanitation (CT).
In the 64-team Men’s 50 AAA Division, Western Champ Scrap Iron/Elite (CO) defeated Eastern Champ High Street Bucs (MD), 20-11, in the U.S. National Championship Game.
Following seeding play, bracket play was split into two 32-team pods, the American and National Pods.
U.S. Champ Scrap Iron/Elite was the top seed in the American Pod, while U.S. runner-up took the No. 1 seed in the National Pod.
In search of the Triple Grand Slam, Scrap Iron/Elite won its first two bracket games, before faltering against both Big Hurt/Draft Picks (IL), 20-18, and Lowe Legends (OH), 20-19, in back-to-back games.
Rebounding from its loss in the U.S. National Game, High Street Bucs looked for the ultimate consolation prize of a World Masters Championship title.
The team got off to a solid start, winning its first five games to reach Championship Sunday unscathed.
In a battle of unbeaten teams, High Street Bucs met up with 50 Degrees (MO) on Sunday, who had also gone 5-0 to reach Sunday.
50 Degrees edged out High Street Bucs, 14-13, to reach the championship game, while the loss dropped the Eastern Champs down into the third-place game.
High Street Bucs rebounded with an 18-13 win over Hawaiians (HI) in the third-place game, to punch its ticket to the championship game, setting up a re-match with 50 Degrees.
However, there would be no revenge taken, as 50 Degrees again defeated High Street Bucs, this time by a score of 22-9, to complete a flawless tournament (2-0 in seeding, 7-0 in bracket play).
50 Degrees (MO) celebrates its Men's 50-AAA World Masters Championship
Big Hurt/Draft Picks finished in fourth place after winning three straight elimination games on Sunday, before falling to Hawaiians, 18-17.
Tying for fifth place were Tom Ranalls Realty (AZ) and Arizona Prime Time.
Arizona Prime Time entered bracket play as the No. 27 seed in the American Pod, following an 0-2 showing in seeding play.
The low seed would not be a detriment for the team, as AZ Prime Time got off to a strong start with three straight wins, before falling to Tom Ranalls Realty, 20-8.
Beginning Championship Sunday in the elimination side of the bracket, AZ Prime Time won back-to-back games, before being eliminated by Hawaiians, 24-21.
Tying for seventh place were Bond 124/RDD (CT) and SoCal Knights (CA).
Rounding out the 12 teams that advanced to Sunday included Carolina Legends (NC), Top Gun Diamonds (CA), Lowe Legends, and Gray Ghost (IL).
Gray Ghost entered bracket play as the No. 25 seed in the National Pod after going 0-2 in seeding. The team bounced back with two straight wins to begin bracket play, before dropping into the elimination side of the bracket following a 32-12 loss against High Street Bucs.
Gray Ghost would again rebound with back-to-back wins in the elimination side of the bracket to advance to Sunday.
After going 2-0 in seeding, Top Gun Diamonds got off to a rough start in bracket play, suffering back-to-back losses. With the odds of making it to Sunday against them, Top Gun Diamonds made a valiant run through the elimination bracket with five straight wins to make it to the final day.
Carolina Legends also won five straight elimination games to reach Sunday, while Lowe Legends won four straight win-or-go-home games to get to the final 12.
In a tournament first, the Men’s 50 AAA Division featured two deaf teams, Wacko’s and Leftovers.
Wacko’s, a World Masters Champ regular, made its fifth straight appearance this season, while Leftovers made its tournament debut.
The five-team Men’s 50 AA Division saw Oregon Contractors Mobile App (OR) go 4-0 in bracket play, including a 20-17 win over Manifest (TX) in the championship game.
Oregon Contractors Mobile App (OR) gets the final out in the Championship Game of the Men's 50 AA Division
Top seed Gulf Coast Hurricanes (LA) finished in third place, while ITV Consulting (BC, Canada) finished in fourth place.
The Women’s Division began play on Oct. 4.
Starting off with the seven-team Women’s 50 Major Division, Western Champ Old School defeated Eastern Champ Unfazed (FL), 9-5, in the U.S. National Championship Game to earn the top seed.
In search of its second straight Triple Grand Slam title, Old School completed the perfect weekend with a 3-0 record in bracket play, including a thrilling 9-8 win in extra innings over Karphone (CA) in the championship game.
With the game tied at 8-8 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, Old School was able to finally break the tie that had lasted three innings, getting the lone run it needed to score the walk-off win and complete the Triple Grand Slam.
Old School (CA) dugout erupts following walk-off win in the Women's 50 Major Division
Karphone entered bracket play as the last seed following an 0-2 showing in seeding play. The team regrouped when it mattered most, posting an overall record of 3-2 in the bracket, en route to its runner-up finish.
After dropping their first two games in the bracket, Florida Girls rattled off three straight win-or-go-home games, to finish in third place.
Arizona Dream Team rounded out the top four finishers.
The eight-team Women’s 50 AAA Division would see the title decided by the “if” game between the top two seeds.
50 Caliber KC (MO) and NW Lady Legends (WA) each posted 2-0 record in seeding play, to earn the No. 1 and 2 seeds, respectively.
NW Lady Legends continued its strong performance in bracket play, winning it first three games, including a 16-15, walk-off win over 50 Caliber KC to punch its ticket into the championship game. NW Lady Legends scored four runs in the bottom of the open to complete the comeback.
Dropping down into the elimination side of the bracket, 50 Caliber KC would work up some walk-off magic of its own. Facing another Northwest team in the third-place game, NW Lady Warriors (WA), 50 Caliber KC plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the open inning to complete the 15-14 come-back victory.
The win earned 50 Caliber KC a spot in the championship game, setting up a re-match with NW Lady Legends.
In the championship game, 50 Caliber KC held off a rally by NW Lady Legends, earning a 12-11 win to force the “if” game.
In the decisive game, 50 Caliber KC cruised to a 17-9 win over NW Lady Legends.
Guam - Team Mighty rounded out the top four finishers.
The second annual International Co-Ed Division began on Oct. 5 with four teams.
The Bavarian Royals from Germany made its second straight appearance in the tournament, while LVSSA fielded a team again as well. A third team, Latin-American, included two players from last year’s Panama team that was unable to attend this year’s tournament, along with other local players from Las Vegas. The fourth team was Colorado Hitmen.
Starting off with bracket play, Latin-American (NV) posted a perfect 3-0 record to take the top seed. Colorado Hitmen went 2-1, Bavarian Royals went 1-2, and LVSSA Co-Ed (NV) went 0-3.
The teams were then seeded into a modified single elimination bracket.
Latin-American defeated LVSSA Co-Ed, 27-20, to reach the championship game, while Colorado Hitmen knocked off Bavarian Royals, 19-5, to secure their spot in the championship game.
In the championship game, Colorado Hitmen scored a pair of runs to complete the 14-13 walk-off win over Latin-American, the team’s first loss of the tournament, forcing an “if” game.
In the “if” game, Colorado Hitmen continued its run, winning the final game with ease, 13-3.
For game-by-game scores, please click the links below:
Men's 50 Major Plus - Major - AA
Men's 50 AAA
To view action shots from the LVSSA/SSUSA World Masters Championships, please visit www.JacksActionShots.com