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Gay Softball World Series update

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The Gay Softball World Series takes place this week in Minneapolis. Gay World Series updates are brought to you by Roman Jimenez from San Diego and Sam Lehman from Southern New England. This is mostly updates from the C and Masters divisions. You can find more complete results here.

FRIDAY

C DivisionCould it be Triple Play?Earlier in this space you read about how last year’s winning cities faired on the first day of C Division Round Robin play.

Las Vegas, who’s Rat Pack won the C Division last year, Boston, who came in second and Philadelphia’s Triple Play, who took 3rd last year, all wound up 1-1 after day 1.

This year’s Vegas entry, Big Slick, rounded out Pool Play at 2-2 for a respectable #28 seed. In their first round of tournament play, they handled KC’s Barbies 14-8 but then lost a squeaker to Nashville’s Force, the #5 seed, 11-10. Big Slick plays Pittsburgh Friday morning and will have to really put a run together to keep its city’s hopes alive into Saturday.

After day one, Boston’s Rebels turned on the gas plowing through their next 4 opponents, losing in the third round of the Winner’s Bracket to the Austin Outlaws, last year’s #1 Seed going into tournament play, and this year’s #2 seed. The Rebels, #18 seed, will now play late Friday afternoon in the loser’s bracket, hoping to stay alive until Saturday.

Meanwhile, Triple Play looks to continue its assault on the C Division. After going 1-1 on day one of Pool Play, the Philadelphia machine hasn’t looked back, including a big win over #6 seed DC Capitol Punishment (another team to watch out for) in the 2nd round of tournament play. Triple Play will play Friday afternoon and just two more wins will set it up for championship Saturday and a chance to improve on its 3rd place finish last year.

Earlier in this space you read about how last year’s winning cities faired on the first day of C Division Round Robin play.

Las Vegas, who’s Rat Pack won the C Division last year, Boston, who came in second and Philadelphia’s Triple Play, who took 3rd last year, all wound up 1-1 after day 1.

All three teams put together a run on Elimination Friday, but only Triple Play remains alive, though they have been pushed to the Loser’s Bracket via a surprise team, Orlando Royalty, with a crafty knuckleballer toeing the rubber.

The Royalty, seeded 7th, have yet to lose, even in Pool Play, and have mostly played games considered “close” in softball (within 4 runs). The team will play at 10 a.m. Saturday, still in the Winner’s Bracket and must be considered a favorite at this point.

However, Triple Play is fighting for another crack at the Royalty, as they face either Atlanta or the San Diego Outlaws, who face off early Saturday morning. The Outlaws come into the day having strung 3 victories together on Elimination Friday, eliminating Las Vegas Big Slick and Boston’s Rebels along the way.

After the wins, the Outlaws may be the hottest team going into Championship Saturday. Winners of two C tournaments already this year, Sin City Shootout in Las Vegas and Phoenix’s Saguaro Cup, the team also played the role of “runner up” at the Liberty Classic in Long Beach, California.

Whether it’s Atlanta, San Diego, Philadelphia, Orlando, or someone else, one thing is for sure. Championship Saturday is shaping up to showcase some outstanding games.

Masters Division

Fridays play opened with Seattle Strokes vs. Los Angeles Gang Grey, the Seattle team is managed by Frank Pichinini. The Strokes came out on top and moved on to play on Saturday. LA’s second game was against a very tough Twin Cites team (Twin Cities Saloon). Once again Frank Delgado had Dayne Johnson on the mound. Alan Behnke, banged and bruised had another stellar game picking up three hits. Jeff Moreno, Steve Finkelstein and Birthday boy Rick Larimore were outstanding in the outfield and helped seal the deal, now LA moves onto Saturday play.

The remaining teams in the Masters Division are LA, Chicago, Seattle and the Twin Cities


THURSDAY

Thursday saw the action heat up. In one of the day’s best games the Honey Badgers of Philadelphia beat New Haven in a high scoring affair. Philadelphia had veteran Ed Marshal on the mound. Offensively Philly was led by Zach Smith, Andre Dionne, Trudy Jurges and Ryan Guinuop.

Over in the Masters division Los Angeles beat an undermanned Chicago Sidetrack team. Frank Delgado once again led a powerful offensively team to victory. Defensive stars of the game were Alan Behnke who made two diving stops to snuff out Chicago rally’s and Steve Finkelstein. Danye Johnson picked up the win thanks to timely hitting from Rick Larimore, Ziggy Zaragoza and Devin Iimoto.

Other notable games:

  • Philadelphia Triple Play over DC Capital Punishment, 18-15
  • Twin Cities Swingers over New York Mavericks, 14-12

Thursday evening brought us to the NAGAAA Hall of Fame dinner. It is a night to pay tribute to all of those who paved the way for us to enjoy gay softball, thanks to all the new inductees for your “giving back”.

WEDNESDAY

Southern New England commissioner Sam Lehman

After more than eight hours of play under an indecisive sky, the first day of competition at the Gay Softball World Series saw some incredible hitting and defense, and more than a few frayed nerves as the competitive level at this year’s tournament is truly a step above.

In the C Division, 53 teams from Ft. Lauderdale to Vancouver are fighting for the title of champion. Last year’s winning cities in the division, Las Vegas, Boston and Philadelphia, again sent top-tier teams hoping to defend their city’s success. But catching lightning in a bottle twice is never easy. All three cities’ teams ended the day with one win and one loss in pool play. (Considering Jimenez's team, Flicks Lawmen, also ended the day 1-1, they feel like they’re in pretty good company!)

But champions aren’t crowned in pool play as any GSWS veteran knows, and so the three teams that could be considered this year’s favorites, Philadelphia Triple Play, Las Vegas Big Slick and Boston Rebels, will be back tomorrow to round out their first four pool games before the real competition begins on Thursday, when five teams from the C Division will be eliminated.

2012 is the second year for the Masters Division. The day began with a one hour delay thanks to an overnight storm over the Twin Cities. The Los Angeles Gang Grey, managed by Frank Delgado, began play with a split, going one and one. Day two pits LA against Atlanta and Chicago.

San Diego co-commissioner Roman Jimenez

Wednesday night NAGAAA hosted the annual talent show. Acts included music and comedy with plenty of camp.

Thursday is the annual Hall of Fame Dinner. Twelve new Hall of Fame inductees will be honored for their significant contributions to NAGAAA and their local softball leagues. The NAGAAA Board and members of the NAGAAA Hall of Fame are pleased to announce that the following 12 nominees have been selected to be inducted into the Hall of Fame

  • Brett Akers, Southern New England
  • Matt Bittner, Washington DC
  • Andrew Bourne, Los Angeles
  • Patrick Conlon, San Francisco
  • Mark Ertel, Southern New England
  • Wayne ‘Gator’ Guethlein, Atlanta
  • Scott Palmer, Chicago Windy City
  • Dan Schaefer, Washington DC
  • John Skoubis, MSA/San Diego
  • John ‘JT’ Thomas, Twin Cities
  • William ‘Whitey’ Whitehurst, Long Beach
  • Jason Winburn, Los Angeles