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Western National Championships Return to Nor Cal
Aug. 1, 2021
Men's 40 Major Action at Hal Barholomew Sports Park in Elk Grove
SACRAMENTO/PLACER COUNTY – 140 teams flocked to Northern California, July 27-Aug. 1, to compete in the Western National Championships and start their quest for the Triple Grand Slam of softball.
It's the second straight year that the Western Nationals has hit the 140-team plateau, as a record 147 teams competed last year in St. George, Utah.
Division winners from the Western National Champs will take on division winners from the Eastern Nationals in the U.S. National Championship Game, which is played during seeding rounds at the World Championships in Las Vegas.
Teams that win the U.S. National Championship game, and the World Championships, complete the Triple Grand Slam.
The tournament began with 36 teams in the Men’s 65 through 85 age divisions taking the field from July 27 to July 29. Games took place at Sacramento Softball Complex and Foskett Regional Softball Complex.
The first session of the Western Nationals was highlighted by the induction of Murray Williams, 67, of Austin, Tex., into the National Senior Softball Hall of Fame (NSSHOF), Player Category, as part of the Class of 2021.
Murray Williams - NSSHOF Class of 2021
Williams has earned numerous All-Tournament selections while playing with some of the top Major Plus teams - Hendricks Sports Management, Texas Crush Sixties, Enviro-Vac Marauder, Timberworks/Adidas, and Texas Crush Sixty Fives.
Starting with the three-team Men’s 65/70 Major Plus division, Texas Crush Sixty Fives, led by hall of famer Williams, went 3-0 in bracket play, including a thrilling 20-19 win over Timberworks/Suncoast 70 (CA) in the championship game.
Texas Crush Sixty Fives Men's 65 Major Plus Champion
Top Gun Elite 65 (CA) rounded out the division.
In the five-team Men’s 65 Major Division, Bulldogs (OR) went 3-0 in bracket play, including a 22-14 win over Nor Cal Reds in the championship game.
Bulldogs (OR) Men's 65 Major Champion
Nor Cal Reds bounced back from an 0-3 showing in seeding play, with a 3-2 record in bracket play, en route to their eventual runner-up finish. Both of Nor Cal Reds’ losses in the bracket came against Bulldogs.
Top seed Incrediwear (CA) finished in third place.
In the six-team Men’s 65 Silver Division, the top two seeds battled all the way to the “if” game.
Top seed SportStan/Islanders (HI) dropped the winner’s bracket final against Yeahoos (WA), 20-7, to fall into the elimination side of the bracket.
SportStan/Islanders then edged out Cascade Thunder (OR), 21-20, in the third-place game to punch its ticket into the championship game.
After going 0-for-2 to start off bracket play, Cascade Thunder won a pair of elimination games to reach the third-place game.
In the championship game, SportStan/Islanders avenged their earlier loss with a 20-12 victory, forcing the decisive “if” game.
In the rubber-match, Yeahoos avoided the dreaded double-dip by taking the winner-take-all game, 17-15.
Yeahoos (WA) Men's 65 AAA Champion
The five-team Men’s 70/75 Platinum Division would come down to the “if” game.
R&R 70s (CA) entered bracket play as the No. 4 seed, following an 0-2 showing in seeding play. The team re-grouped in the bracket, opening with three straight wins to reach the championship game.
In their only loss of the week, No. 2 seed Oregon Crabs 70 dropped a pitcher’s duel, 3-2, in the winner’s bracket final against R&R.
Oregon Crabs would rebound with three straight wins, including a 20-17 victory over OMEN 75 (CA), in the third place game, and a double-dip over R&R – winning the championship (19-17) and “if” (25-24) games.
In the seven-team Men’s 70 AAA Division, top see Please Don’t Bug Me (CA) completed a perfect week, going 2-0 in seeding, and 3-0 in bracket play, including a 14-11 win over Nor-Cal 70s in the championship game.
Nor-Cal 70s rattled off four straight victories in the elimination side of the bracket to reach the championship game.
Game On (CA) finished in third place.
The Men’s 75 Major Division featured a best of three-game series that went the distance.
In the opening game, Scrap Iron Legends (CO) struck first with a 21-16 win over State Roofing Systems (CA).
State Roofing Systems would answer back with a 21-11 win in game two to even the series.
In the rubber-match, State Roofing Systems completed the comeback with a 12-10 victory to take the division.
The Men’s 80 Major Plus Division also featured a best of three series, as San Francisco Seals (CA) swept Top Gun Gold (CA) by scores of 23-13 and 19-6, respectively.
Sacramento Buds and Triple Play played a best of three-game series for the Men’s 75 Silver Division.
The series went all three games, with Sacramento Buds taking game one, 9-8, and Triple Play earning a 19-12 win in game two.
Triple Play completed the comeback with a convincing 25-8 win in the deciding game.
Lincoln Hills Coyotes swept Gold Rush in the Men’s 80 AAA Division by scores of 8-5 and 14-3, respectively.
Top Gun Blue Angels 85 took the Men’s 80/85 Gold Division with a 17-9 win over Git-R-Done 80 Gold.
The tournament continued on July 30 with 104 teams playing in the Men’s 40 through 60, and Women’s age divisions. Games were held at five complexes – Sacramento Softball Complex, Hal Bartholomew Sports Park, Foskett Regional Park, Mahany Park and Maidu Regional Park.
Starting off with the five-team Women’s 40 Major Division, Utah Relics avoided the dreaded double-dip by taking the “if” game, 14-13, over top seed TABU (CA) in a nail-biter.
Utah Relics Women's 40 Major Champion
TABU defeated Utah Relics, 12-8, in the championship game to force the decisive game.
Following an 0-2 showing in seeding play, The Purge (CA) rebounded in bracket play to eventually finish in third place.
The six-team Women’s 40 AAA Division also saw a team avoid the double-dip, as Still Grubbin (CA) edged out a 13-12 win in the “if” game over top seed B.O.O.B.S (CA).
Still Grubbin' (CA) Women's 40 AAA Champion
B.O.O.B.S knocked of Stull Grubbin, 19-8, in the championship game, to cap off a run of four straight wins. B.O.O.B.S dropped their opening bracket game against Agree 2 Disagree, 7-6.
Agree 2 Disagree would eventually finish in third place.
In the three-team Women’s 50 Gold Division, top seed Old School (CA) polished off an undefeated weekend, following its 19-12 win in the championship game over B.O.O.B.S. (CA).
Old School (CA) Women's 50 Major Champion
NW Lady Warriors/Miken (WA) finished in third place.
In the 15-team Men’s 40 Major Division, top seed Hustle (CA) went undefeated on the weekend, going 2-0 in seeding, and 4-0 bracket, including a 16-6 win in the championship game over No. 2 seed HMR/DS Construction (CA).
Hustle (CA) - Men's 40 Major Champion
Following an 0-2 showing in seeding play, and an 0-2 start in the bracket, BPS (CA) finally got in the win column and got on a roll, winning four straight games en route to their third-place finish.
In the three-team Men’s 40 AAA Division, GTR (OR) went 3-0 in bracket play, including a 19-7 win over top seed Game Over (CA) in the championship game.
GTR (40) - Men's 40 AAA Champion
NFL2G (CA) finished in third place.
The three-team Men’s 50 Major Plus Division saw J.K. Inc./GTL (CA) avenge its 27-17 loss in the championship game against top seed Fattboyz/Prestige/Elite (CA), with a 21-15 win in the “if” game.
Vicious Cycle (CA) rounded out the division.
In the 13-team Men’s 50 Major Division, top seed Bay Equity/Hara’s/Vortex (WA) completed a flawless weekend, going 2-0 in seeding, and 4-0 in bracket play, including a 27-15 win over G.O. Softball Junkies/WEPNZ/Dss (CA) in the championship game.
Bay Equity/Hara's/Vortex (WA) Men's 50 Major Champion
G.O. Softball Junkies/WEPNZ/Dss won three straight games in the elimination side of the bracket en route to their runner-up finish.
Battleborn (NV) finished in third place, while KM Sportz (CA) rounded out the top four finishers.
In the nine-team Men’s 50 AAA Division, top seed CaliGold (CA) survived the tournament unscathed, going 2-0 in seeding play, and 4-0 in bracket play, including a 26-13 win over Calhoun/Michael’s Toyota (WA) in the championship game.
West Coast Hittahs (WA) finished in third place.
In the Men’s 55 Major Plus Division, Sommerville Softball (CA) swept Crush (CA) by scores of 14-7 and 16-1, respectively.
Sommerville Softball (CA) Men's 55 Major Plus Champion
In the 10-team Men’s 55 Major Division, top seed L.A.F (CA) went unbeaten on the weekend, going 2-0 in seeding, and 4-0 in the bracket, including a 15-13 win over WPI/JayCo (ID) in the championship game.
WPI/Jayco went on a run with three straight wins in the elimination side of the bracket en route to their eventual second place showing.
805 PE Class (CA) finished in third place.
In another 10-team division, the Men’s 55 AAA Division, the championship would come down to the “if” game.
Escaping from the elimination side of the bracket, Desperados NMU (CA) won four straight elimination games, including the championship game, 22-17, over Wilsons (ID), to force the decisive “if” game.
In the final game, Desperados NMU ran out of gas, as Wilsons cruised to 28-9 victory.
Top seed Top Gun Phantoms (CA) finished in third place.
The Men’s 60 Major Plus Division featured a best of three game series between Legacy Sports USA (AZ) and LPC/Dudley (CA).
The series would go all three games, with LPC/Dudley taking the opening game, 17-16, and Legacy Sports USA taking game two, 30-16.
In the rubber-match, Legacy Sports USA completed its comeback with a 24-12 victory.
The Men’s 55/60 AA Division was also determined by a best of three game series, which would go the distance.
In the opening game, Spin Tees 55 (WA) edged out a thriller, 23-22; while Pastimers 60 (WA) evened the series with an 18-16 win in game two. In the deciding game, Spin Tees took home another one-run nail-biter, 8-7.
In the 10-team Men’s 60 Major Division, the championship came down to the top two seeds, as No. 1 Vandals (CA) registered a perfect weekend, going 2-0 in seeding, and 4-0 in bracket play, including a 19-8 win over No. 2 California Energy in the championship game.
Wolfpack (WA) finished in third place.
In the 11-team Men’s 60 AAA Division, top seed Lincoln Hills Coyotes (CA) recorded an unblemished 2-0 record in seeding, and 4-0 mark in the bracket, capped off by an 18-10 win over Yeahoos (WA) in the championship game.
Yeahoos had won three straight elimination games en route to their eventual runner-up finish. Hitmen/Arizona rounded out the top three finishers.