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2022 World Championships - Session 1 Starts the Largest Senior Tourney in U.S. with 662 Teams

Sept. 1, 2022

By Donna McGuire

     Teams from warm-weather states won six of eight championships decided during Session 1 of the 2022 Senior Softball World Championships being contested in Las Vegas.

     The four-day opening session, which began Sept. 15, featured 181 teams that played nearly 600 games in the 55+ and 60+ age divisions.

     Three Arizona teams, two from Florida and one from Texas won their divisions. So did one team from Missouri and one from Oregon.

     In addition, five teams won East/West National Championship games.

     The session kicked off the largest-ever Senior Softball World Championships and is the largest senior tournament in America. Overall, 662 men’s and women’s teams entered the tournament, which is split into four sessions to accommodate the hefty number of teams and games.

     Games take place at parks in and around Las Vegas, including in Henderson and Boulder City.

     Legacy Sports USA of Arizona (photo below), which entered as the 60+ Major Plus Western National Champion, earned the first session’s only Triple Grand Slam title. Though it had no Eastern winner to play for the USA title, Legacy put together an undefeated run through pool and bracket play to win its division and the Slam. It capped its tournament with a 20-17 win over Texas Crush in the title game.

     The team celebrated by going out for pizza, said Manager Tom Hanratty. There may have been a few cocktails at the table. But there also were sodas.

     “This is a great group of guys, not only from a playing standpoint,” Hanratty said. “It’s just a good group of people.”

     He praised pitcher Chuck Henninger, the team MVP, for his crafty and detail-oriented pitching. Henninger guides the defenders’ positioning between at-bats based on how he plans to pitch to each batter, Hanratty said.

     “It’s not that we are scoring a lot of runs,” Hanratty said, “but we are not allowing a ton of runs.”

     In other USA National Games, two 55+ teams won championships by defeating opponents in their East/West games. Three 60+ teams did the same. This year, SSUSA provided each team specially designed uniform shirts to wear during the USA games.

     In the 55+ AAA division, of Pennsylvania took a one-run lead in the fourth inning and never trailed again as it defeated Smash of California 19-17.

     In the 55+ Major division, L.A.F. of California (photo below) pulled off a 23-20 victory over Ohio Elite/R Sports/AMR.

     In the 60+ AA division, the Beltway Bandits of Virginia (photo below) defeated Spin Tees of Washington 21-18.

     In the 60+ AAA division, Wilson Motors of Idaho (photo below) used a strong top of the seventh inning to defeat Levin Ameriprise II of Florida 16-12.

     In the 60+ Major division, The Bank of Delaware tagged a 31-18 loss onto CornerStone of Oregon.

World Championship results by division:

     55+ Major Plus: Suncoast/Adidas of Florida (photo below) double-dipped top-seeded BPA/Backman/Rawlings 41-25 and 25-19 to win the six-team bracket. Those games served as revenge for Suncoast, which had lost 23-22 to BPA in the winner’s bracket finals. Speedwerx of Minnesota finished third.

     55+ Major: No Shows/Miami Power of Florida (photo below) finished undefeated in seven games, but the last victory did not come easy. No Shows took a 11-9 lead in the fifth inning and held on to defeat L.A.F. by one run,11-10. BTI of California took third in the 28-team bracket.

     55+ AAA: KC Elite of Missouri (photo below) played eight games and won eight games, most of them by at least six runs. Elite defeated Tiffany’s of Michigan 29-23 in the finale of the 46-team bracket, the largest of Session 1. Enforcers of California finished third.

     55+ AA: Third-seeded Manifest of Texas (photo below) led its championship game from the start and finished with a 25-9 drubbing of LBK of Texas. Gray Ghost of Indiana finished third in the five-team bracket.

     60+ Major Plus: Legacy Sports of Arizona defeated Texas Crush for the title of the five-team bracket. LPC 60s of California took third.

     60+ Major: Unbeaten in bracket play, CornerStone of Oregon (photo below) defeated Monster Softball of Mississippi 24-15 to win the Worlds title after losing the USA game during pool play. CornerStone broke open a 10-10 tie by scoring 14 runs in the final three innings. Monster Softball won eight elimination games, including five in a row on Sunday, to reach the finals. Scrap Iron Rocky Mountain Thunder finished third in the 29-team bracket.

     60+ AAA: The third-seeded Arizona Scorpions (photo below) pulled off nine victories in nine games to win the 45-team bracket. The Scorpions won their final three games 25-11, 22-11 and 15-0. Undisputed Truth of Texas took second. Silver Stars of California placed third.

     60+ AA: The 10th-seeded Arizona Blaze (photo below) double-dipped the USA game winners, Beltway Bandits, 18-3 and 28-11, which prevented the Bandits from winning a Triple Grand Slam. SoCal Rip Tide finished third in the 17-team field.\

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