PENSACOLA EVENT DRAWS THIRTY-ONE TEAMS
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – “Three years ago the SPRING NATIONALS had 11 teams and last year we had 21,” SPA NATIONAL WOMEN'S DIRECTOR JUDY LEE SCHREIBER said, “This year we reached 31 teams. It just shows me the SPA WOMEN'S SENIOR SOFTBALL program has really taken off and is continuing to grow.”
The Pensacola tournament at Exchange Park had thirty-one teams compete in eight divisions. SPA also had it's first 35-year young team, the ARKANSAS SYNERGY/REEBOK team enter a SPA tournament.
“We are finally reaching the dream we at SPA have had,” SPA PRESIDENT RIDGE HOOKS said, “JUDY LEE and I have always envisioned making the women's program the most player friendly and respected women's program in senior softball.”
“With people like JUDY LEE, PEGGY O'NEILL, LAYLA BRYAN, BUDDY CONNELLY and Tournament Director MIKE DESORBO being involved, we have shown the women's teams we listen to their concerns and opinions and act accordingly to make the SPA program the way they (women) would like it to be.”, HOOKS continued, “Senior Softball men's and women's both should be for the player's first and that is what SPA strives to do.”
The SPA approach is apparently working as the past two years, the women's program has seen increases in players, teams and tournament attendance.”
“The SPA program is really growing, “ SCHREIBER said, “All tournaments are expecting an increase in entries. I just hear COLUMBUS, OHIO is expecting over forty teams and I am looking for between 50 and 60 teams at the SPA WORLDS in DALTON, GEORGIA”
The biggest age group at PENSECOLA was the “65” DIVISION with the Village's GOLDEN GALS taking the title. The KY FILLIES; DREAM CATCHERS from Albaquergue: GOLDEN GIRLS of Virginia; CHATTANOOGA CHARGERS and the West Virginia MOUNTAIN MAMA 65'S also competed in the six-team field.
The big news in the 70's DIVISION was the antics of the Village's GOLDEN GALS' EVELYN HAYES. HAYES not only cleared the 225-foot fence with one shot but did it twice and also hit a pair of ground rule doubles that bounced over the fence.
Paced by the play of their tournament MVP, the GOLDEN GALS beat Ontario's SPORTACULARS 65/70 in the “IF” game to take the five-team division crown. Third place went to the FREEDOM SPIRIT OF FLORIDA 70 II. The GOLDEN GIRLS 70's and the TENNESSEE SENIOR STARS 70's were also part of the competitive 70's group.
It was a GOLDEN time in the 60's PAIRINGS as the Virginia GOLDEN GIRLS 60's took the Gold ring with the Missouri FUN BUNCH in the second spot and the Buckeye State OHIO CARDINALS third. Michigan's JOLICO SENIORS and the “Show Me State's” MISSOURI FLASHBACKS completing the five-team bracket.
The Michigan JOLICO SENIOR 50's captured the five-team 50's DIVISION finishing ahead of second place TENNESSEE SENIOR STARS and the third place Chattanooga LADY LOOKOUTS. Louisiana's LA SPORTS and SERIOUS FUN from Tennessee completed the field.
In the 55's DIVISION the MARYLAND ROADRUNNERS raced away from the second place VILLAGE VIXONS and the third place JOLICO SENIOR 55's of Michigan.
The South Carolina CAROLINA SNIPERS out dueled the PENSACOLA LADIES in the two-team 45's DIVISION.
KRYPTONITE from Florida bested Maryland's LADIES FIRST for the 40's TITLE with the Tennessee CHICKS WITH STICKS squad coming in third.
The 35 DIVISION crown went to ARKANSAS SNYERGY/REEBOK 35's.
All teams who finished first and/or second in the SPA GSPRING NATIONALS earned spots in the inaugural SPA 2012 WORLD SERIES in JACKSONVILLE,FLORIDA October 31 and November 1,2 and 3.
The next SPA WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT is the COLUMBUS, OHIO HEART OF OHIO tournament JULY 11-15. Information on this and other women's 2012 SPA events can be found at the SPA women's web site: