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Oct 18, 2011
Great Lakes Defeat Alliance 27-26. Metro Detroit Defeats Vegas 12-11
This year marked the 7th World Series which was hosted at the Big League Dreams facility in Las Vegas, Nv. Although there are some basic aspects of the World Series that will never change, there is always something new each year and this year was no exception.

To start the evening, fallen officers from throughout the year were honored with the playing of taps and presentation of colors courtesy of the Las Vegas Metro Police Department Honor Guard. Officer Tim Jones was added to the Hall of Heroes. Officer Tim Jones played for the St. Paul Police Softball team and his life tragically ended on August 26th 1994 when he and his K-9 Laser were killed while searching for a suspect that had killed another St. Paul Police Officer.

The prestigious Year End Awards were announced and the plaques were courtesy of the Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff’s Association. Presenting the awards were Kevin Mickelson who is the president of the Sacramento County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Hall of Famer Anthony Costanzo and Brett Helmer from Easton Sports. The 2011 season awards went to:

Sponsor of the Year
East Conference - PMC Associates and Vertex Standard Sponsoring Team Jersey
West Conference – Ancon Marine Sponsoring West Coast PSC

Shevy Wright Sportsman of the Year
East Conference– Vic Ortalano – Steel City Enforcers
West Conference – John Sunia – DEA Combo

Manager of the Year
East Conference – Brad Borowy – The Ohio Lawmen
West Conference – Brandon St. Aubin – SoCal Lockdown

Defensive Player of the Year
East Conference – Nat Tauber – NYPD Blues
West Conference – Quintin Lewis – WestCoast Aftershock

Player of the Year
East Conference– Donovan Delaney – Shamrock Enforcers
West Conference – Keith Habig – Sin City Combo

Every year inducts some very deserving people into the Hall of Fame to recognize their achievements in our sport. The Hall of Fame Committee is chaired by Anthony Costanzo and Dennis Leonard and this year their committees inducted the following people into the Hall of Fame:

Scott Rivas-Arizona Horrors
John Marsden-LAPD Blue
Jack Giroud-LAPD Blue
Bob Faldetta-Riverside Sheriff Red
Joe Mestres- CV Kings/Wayne Oakland
Barry Midthun – Minnesota Lawmen
Richie Ware – NY Metro/NYPD Blues
Eddie Robinson – Ohio Lawmen
Del Pickney-SoCal Alliance/
Rick Tirelli – NYPD Blues

This year’s home run derby competition was the toughest yet as every hitter seemed dialed in. Those in attendance were treated with the presence of John Tournour aka “JT The Brick” from Fox Sports who announced the derby and engaged the crowd as only he can. When the dust settled, Eric Medina from SoCal War Pigs was left from the West Conference and Jason Karas from Steel City Enforcers was the last man standing in the East Conference. These two went head to head and this year the crown will reside in the East as King Jason Karas came out on top. In addition to having his photo on for the next year, Jason won several items and he will receive an Easton bat from Brett Helmer courtesy of Easton Sports.

The jewel of the evening and what everyone had been waiting for was the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team exhibition game against the Honor Team. We were graced by the presence of true heroes with the Wounded Warriors. WW Josh Wege threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Josh is a United States Marine Corps veteran who lost both of his legs below the knee in combat in Afghanistan. Catching the first pitch was Richard Covarrubias of Team Richard served eight years in the United States Marine Corps and was honoring his Brother-in-law, United States Army 1st Sgt. Blue Rowe. On May 26th. 2009 in Afghanistan, 1st. Sgt. Rowe was killed in Afghanistan from an IED explosion.

After the game, Wounded Warriors Matt Kinsey and Tim Horton were presented with a game MVP trophy and Gold Glove award. The goal this night and over the weekend was to honor these American heroes and to raise money for the Wounded Warriors. Special thanks to the Great Lakes Lawmen, the Ohio Lawmen, the Virginia Lawmen, Concord Combo, Greene County Enforcers, Stanislaus Softball, and to everyone who bought merchandise that weekend. Collectively we raised nearly $10,000.00.

Masters Division
The first ever World Series Masters (40+) division tournament kicked off the four day event. Some of the best Master Division players in the country arrived on 13 different teams and as the games started, the scoreboards started lighting up like a pinball machine. The Master players may be slightly slower than they used to be, slightly more prone to aching muscles but they are highly skilled, more knowledgeable, and as good with the bat as they have ever been.

The Masters was a straight double elimination tournament so it was game on from the first pitch. Every first round match up featured a team from the East Conference facing a team from the West Conference. Two teams, DEA Combo and SoCal Alliance 40-Cal tore through the bracket going 3-0 before facing each other in the undefeated game. These players have faced each other dozens of times during the past few years so everyone was very familiar with each other. The 40-Cal squad ended up winning that game to advance to the championship. Meanwhile in the losers bracket teams were fighting their way out for a shot at double dipping 40-Cal. The highly favored New York/Pa. Road Dogs lost in an upset to the scrappy NorCal based Team Torture. Torture kept the Cinderella story going by defeating California Gold. Meanwhile, Jacksonville PSC was another favored team and they eliminated a Minnesota Lawmen team that was loaded with softball legends. Jacksonville then notched an impressive win over the Ohio Lawmen which pitted them against the red hot Team Torture. Jacksonville’s hitting onslaught was too much for Torture, but Torture accomplished more than what many had expected by going so deep into the tournament. Jacksonville gassed out in their match-up with the DEA Combo so the rematch of the undefeated game was set. DEA Combo would need to double dip 40-Cal but on this day the 40-Cal squad would not be denied. SoCal Alliance 40-Cal recorded a perfect 5-0 record and in doing so also claimed the title of first ever World Series Masters Champions!

1. SoCal Alliance 40-Cal- Champions
2. DEA Combo Masters
3. Jacksonville PSC
4. Team Torture
5t. California Gold
5t. Ohio Lawmen Masters
7t. Minnesota Lawmen
7t. New York/Pa. Road Dogs
9t. Tri-State New York Lawmen
9t. Virginia Lawmen
9t. Detroit PD Masters
9t. Suffolk County Masters
13. Sin City Relics

MVP: SoCal Alliance 40-Cal, Lowell Buck
All Tourney SoCal Alliance 40-Cal: Todd Patino, Mike Mayer, Ron Connor
All Tourney DEA Combo: TBA
All Tourney Jacksonville PSC: Mike Bracci and Robbie Bradshaw
Defensive Award SoCal Alliance 40-Cal: Ken Dawley

Gold Division
The Gold Division featured 25 teams and all played 2 round robin games for playoff seeding purposes. All 2-0 teams received a well earned generous seed in the bracket. Those teams were Charles County Lawmen, Chicago Metro, Fontana Gunslingers, Greene County Enforcers, Soutwest Elite, Team Vargas and Vegas Heat. The intensity really got turned up come double elimination playoff time.

Vegas Heat, Stanislaus, NorCal Elite and Metro Detroit’s Finest all tore through the winners bracket en route to a Saturday evening 4-way showdown. Vegas Heat inched by Stanislaus 13-12 to advance to the Sunday morning undefeated game against Metro Detroit’s Finest who defeated NorCal Elite 28-26 in a barn burner. These were two epic games, but now the losers had to claw back from the loser bracket. In the undefeated game Metro Detroit’s Finest unleashed a scoring barrage by plating 36 runs to Team Vegas’ 18 to advance to the championship. In addition to Team Vegas, Stanislaus, Team Vargas, Iowa Lawmen, Soutwest Elite, and the Greene County Enforcers were the only teams still standing, trying to get to the dance against Metro Detroit. While Detroit was cooling their jets, teams were being sent packing game after game. When the dust settled it was Team Vegas who got their rematch that they had hoped for. The championship game was yet another epic battle and this time Vegas turned the tables on Metro Detroit. Vegas handed Detroit their first playoff loss to force the “IF” game. Now with momentum on their side Vegas was sitting in the driver seat. It was a see-saw game and it took the final batter in the bottom of the 7th inning to secure the victory and Gold Division Championship for Metro Detroit’s Finest! This was the second year in a row a batter in the bottom of the seventh won a World Series championship for his team.

Many who saw the Gold Division play commented that the teams are collectively getting better and better every year. The Gold Division was every bit as exciting as the Majors as numerous one run games, extra inning games, and nail biters were played out all weekend. One of the umpires noted that, many times, he could not tell a difference talent wise between some of the Gold and some of the Majors teams. management would like to congratulate all those who participated in the Gold Division World Series and we intend to keep this a strong viable division in future years. The final results were as follows:

1. Metro Detroit’s Finest- Champions
2. Team Vegas
3. Stanislaus
4. Greene County Enforcers
5t. NorCal Elite
5t. Iowa Lawmen
7t. Team Vargas
7t. Soutwest Elite
9t. Fontana Gunslingers
9t. SoCal War Pigs
9t. Maryland Outlaws
9t. Valley of Syn
13t. Chicago Metro
13t. NorCal Shockers
13t. Charles County Lawmen
13t. Virginia Lawmen
17t. Toronto Police Softball
17t. SoCal Riot
17t. Detroit PD
17t. D.C. Enforcers
17t. Milwaukee Heat
17t. Nitro2Go Hitmen
17t. Officers Only-Washington
17t. Bravo Tango
25t. CenCal Syndicate

MVP Metro Detroit’s Finest: Matt Guigar
All Tourney Metro Detroit’s Finest: Mike Nagle, Damian Hull
All Tourney Team Vegas: Gary Chaney, Ron Peeler
All Tourney Stanislaus: Travis Hudson, Steve Newsom
All Tourney Greene County Enforcers: Bryan Mangin, Chris Warner
Defensive Award Metro Detroit’s Finest: Dom Gabriel

Majors Division
The Majors Division featured the top 27 teams in the nation. Since there are no player classifications, Majors teams could have a roster ranging from USSSA Conference players down to class E players. Whatever the case, the Majors is the best our sport has to offer and the action was white hot all weekend. The tournament was structured exactly as the Gold Division where 2-0 teams drew the top bracket spots for the double elimination playoffs. Those teams were: Jacksonville PSC, Great Lakes Lawmen, Minnesota Lawmen, Ohio Lawmen, South Florida Lawmen, SoCal Alliance, SoCal Lockdown, and West Coast PSC.

Going into the tournament the consensus favorites to win it all were the Ohio Lawmen representing the East Conference and the SoCal Alliance representing the West Conference. The Ohio Lawmen were having their best season to date and the SoCal Alliance had won 7 consecutive tournaments and came into the weekend boasting a 42-1 record on the season. There is a reason the games are played on the field and not on paper because both of these teams dropped an early playoff game (SoCal to Cal Quake and Ohio to Concord). To come out of the loser bracket to win it all both teams would have to win 9 in a row, and the odds on that are highly unlikely.

The winners bracket saw Minnesota mowing down the competition in order to draw a Saturday night meeting with the rookie juggernaut West Coast PSC who shocked the circuit by reeling off 4 straight wins over top ranked teams. In the other half of the winners bracket the Great Lakes Lawmen remained perfect on the weekend and drew another team that was undefeated all weekend, the veteran Jacksonville PSC. In the semi-finals, Minnesota cooled the West Coast PSC jets and advanced to the undefeated game. Great Lakes recorded another impressive, but close, one run victory over Jacksonville PSC. Minnesota and Great Lakes returned Sunday morning knowing that one team would advance to the championship game and have to be “double dipped” whereas the other would finish no lower than 3rd place. In the game, the Great Lakes pitching and defense held Minnesota to 12 runs while their offense did the rest by plating 24. For the first time ever, Great Lakes Lawmen would advance to the championship and were sitting in the catbird seat while teams were dropping like flies in the loser bracket.

Last year the Ohio Lawmen dropped their first playoff game but then notched 7 straight wins to advance to the championship game where they were finally eliminated by the 2010 World Series Champions, NYPD Blues. It would take that effort once again this year, and they came close but could not pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. Ohio posted 5 straight victories but finally fell to the SoCal Alliance who were putting on an impressive run also. The win over Ohio was SoCal’s sixth straight win, all with no rest in between games. SoCal then advanced to face the Minnesota Lawmen who were still stinging from the undefeated loss to Great Lakes. The SoCal train continued to roll with the win over Minnesota but their roster of only 13 players was beginning to look weary. SoCal would have to double dip a rested, talented, and fired up Great Lakes Lawmen to become the first ever three-time World Series Champions and obviously they had their work cut out for them. SoCal pulled off an inspired win in the first championship to force the “IF” game. Fans came back to the fields to see history made one way or another. Great Lakes and SoCal went back and forth all game but eventually the Great Lakes teams reached down deep inside to release the “eye of the tiger” in each and every one of them. When the final out was recorded and the Great Lakes Lawmen were declared World Series Champions with a 27-26 win. The team danced on the center stage and in that moment earned something that nobody can ever take away. They are the Police Softball World Series Champions!

The final results were as follows:

1. Great Lakes Lawmen- Champions
2. SoCal Alliance
3. Minnesota Lawmen
4. Ohio Lawmen
5t. Jacksonville PSC
5t. West Coast PSC
7t. NYPD Blues
7t. DEA Combo
9t. LAPD Blue
9t. California Quake
9t. Concord Combo
9t. SoCal Lockdown
13t. Sin City Combo
13t. Suffolk County
13t. New York Metro
13t. Team Jersey
17t. Team Texas
17t. South Florida Lawmen
17t. West Coast Aftershock
17t. Shamrock Enforcers
17t. NorCal Choir Boys
17t. Steel City Enforcers
17t. Direct Impact
17t. Montgomery County Young Guns
25t. Capital City Lawmen
25t. HardCor
25t. Red Republic

MVP Great Lakes Lawmen: Scott Czopek, Scott Waxwheiler, John Zintak
All Tourney Great Lakes Lawmen: John Anderson
All Tourney SoCal Alliance: Alfonso Trujillo, Mike Snyder
All Tourney Minnesota Lawmen: Benjie Lehner, Barry Midthun
All Tourney Ohio Lawmen: None, team deferred
Defensive Award Great Lakes Lawmen: Chris Haas

Every year this event gets better and this year was no different. You can expect the same next year as has some more surprises in store for those who attend. In order to accommodate the additional weekend events, the Gold and Majors Divisions will likely be capped at 24 teams in each division. Translation, don’t hesitate to contact the tournament directors to secure your team’s spot in 2012. For now, enjoy the many videos of the event which are posted on Special thanks to event sponsor Brett Helmer and Easton Sports, the gang at Softball Magazine, Ed Farmer and his outstanding crew at Big League Dreams and the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team

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