OLDEST RUNNING OHIO TOURNAMENT CROWNS TEN CHAMPIONS
COLUMBUS,OHIO – Just like you can always count on death and taxes, you can also count on the SPA HEART OF OHIO TOURNAMENT will always be a top senior softball draw.
Celebrating it's 15th year, the JUNE 25-29 SPA HEART OF OHIO NIT drew 38 teams in TEN DIVISIONS to this year's event. This, despite being held only two short weeks (JUNE 2-14) after another OHIO TOURNAMENT (100 miles away), THEE SPA BUCKEYE CLASSIC.
“The two OHIO tournaments being run so closely probably hurts the COLUMBUS tournament a little but it also helps because we can campaign with a lot of teams at THEE BUCKEYE CLASSIC to attend the HEART OF OHIO event,” SPA DIRECTOR LARRY MILLIRON said,” Combined the two qualifiers drew over 120 teams, that is a pretty good total for non-national events.”
“There were a lot of new teams attending for the first time, so I am sure we can expect a higher attendance total next year,”he added.
One of the “ROOKIE TEAMS” was BANKER & MANN SOFTBALL CLUB, which certainly didn't have any first year jitters. The INDIANA team went 3-0 in bracket play to win the SIX-TEAM 55 AAA DIVISION.
BANKER & MANN beat the DAYTON LEGENDS 55's 21-6, GOLDEN VIPERS 25-8 and the VIPERS again in the title game by a 11-8 score.
Others in the group were the CENTRAL ILLINOIS CHIEFS, ANTIQUE ROADSHOW and BSN/DE CLAIRE/PMB.
The 50 AAA title did stay in OHIO when the DAYTON LEGENDS HITMEN beat the BRICKYARD CLASSICS 16-10 in an “IF” game for the title.
DAYTON lost their first game in bracket play to BRICKYARD 18-12 and had to beat FLYTIME (15-14) and the BRICKYARD (22-14) to set up a rematch (IF) championship “IF” game.
CIRCLE CITY PLAYMAKERS and WINDSOR FOG rounded out the five-team group.
The 50's MAJOR crown went to DOC'S who beat BIG TEN SOFTBALL 29-14, 43-32, 25-19 and 35-34 in the two-team bracket.
Seven teams went at it in the 60's BRACKET with AMERICAN SCAFFOLDING ending up with the “BLUE RIBBON”.
The CHAMPS disposed of MINUTEMEN/PEPCO/SFS 23-12, DAYTON LEGENDS 60'S 9-7 and DAYTON again, this time 27-18 in eight innings in the title game.
Others in the seven-team bracket were BRICKYARD CLASSICS 60'S, DAYTON LEGENDS DIAMOND DOGS, UNIVERSAL SOFTBALL and MAUMEE BAY RAPTORS.
The INDIANA LEGENDS/COLUMBUS 65's took the 65 AA title beating the DAYTON LEGENDS 65's 16-4 in the championship game. WRIGHT STATE was the the other team in the three-team bracket.
In a “best two-out-of-three battle for the 65 AAA CROWN, it was U.S. JOBS/INDY beating the CHICAGO STRIKERS two straight (20-9, 22-9) to win the championship.
The DAYTON LEGENDS ORGANIZATION won their second title of the tournament when the DAYTON LEGENDS 70's edged FRICKERS SPORTS BAR/SYLVANIA 11-10 for the 70 AA crown. INDY CLASSICS was the third team in the bracket.
Four teams fought it out for the 70 AAA championship and when the dust cleared it was the “home town” CENTRAL OHIO COSSA 70's standing on top of the podium.
It wasn't easy for the “locals” as they had to beat MICHIANA/PARK STREET TAVERN 16-6 in an “IF” game for the title. MICHIANA had set up the “IF” game by giving COSSA a 14-13 defeat.
The other two teams in the bracket were BRENNAN'S AKRON 70'S and JOB CENTRAL 70's.
It was the INDY CROWNS besting four others to win the 75 AAA DIVISION. The INDIANA team beat the CHICAGO GEEZERS 14-7 in the deciding game.
Rounding out the five-team bracket were the COSSA 75'S, LOUISVILLE THUNDER and INDIANA SILVER FOXES.
The 75's will be returning to COLUMBUS AUGUST 11-14 for the SPA 75 WORLD'S TOURNAMENT.
The final OHIO QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT for 2014 is JULY 31-AUGUST 3 in SYLVANIA, OHIO, the GREAT LAKES CLASSIC NIT. It will entertain all ages and divisions (if at least four major teams are entered in a division, they will also have a MAJOR BRACKET).