2015 Michigan “Last Chance” Major tournament preview!
"Last Chance" Major
Nationwide Conference USSSA!
The Michigan "Last Chance" Major will be played this Friday-Sunday, August 14-16 in Sterling Hts Michigan just outside of Detroit at the Liberty Park of America. The tournament was named the "Last Chance" because in the old days of softball you had to be the highest finishing team that did not have a berth to get to the Major World Series and it was the last regular season qualifying event. Today, the "Last Chance" moniker still fits because it is the last chance for Nationwide Conference USSSA teams to score points and finish in the top 16 to be awarded a Major World Series berth. #17 Broughton/Bad Draw/Worth, #18 Newbreed/All American Athletics/Demarini, and #19 3rd Street/Hubs Pub/Louisville Slugger all on the outside looking in at the Major World Series berths will try to slip past #15 Compound Athletics/Easton and #16 VCH Worth.
The tournament weekend kicks off on Friday night with first round games at 6:30 PM and 7:45 PM followed by the traditional home run derby which is usually a 64 player bracket style elimination tournament. Play resumes on Saturday morning at 8 AM with a couple of key matchups and a big round of winners bracket games at noon. Red's Astros has finished in the top 3 in this tournament three straight years.
28 Teams Overall
19 Nationwide Conference USSSA Teams
4 Major Teams
5 'A' Teams
10 'B' Teams
4 'C' Teams
5 'D' and 'E' Teams
USSSALive.com will be streaming fields 2, 3, 4, 6
The SoftballCenter.com Chat Room will be open all weekend.
Anonymous Picker REVEALED!
The Last Chance Major is upon us. This marks the end of a very exciting Nationwide Conference USSSA season. Before we get to the picks for the week I'd like to take the time to congratulate Smash It Sports/Compound Athletics on the 2015 Nationwide Conference Championship. Smash It has been the team to beat all season long, and it's been a real pleasure to watch them and Resmondo battle for the top spot heading into post-season play. I would also like to thank Dale Weiser and softballcenter.com for the opportunity to write this segment this year. The 2015 regular season has been a great year for conference softball, and it's been an absolute pleasure to give you my picks for the season. At the beginning of the season I asked DW to keep my identity from the readers. He respected those wishes, and I appreciate that he has stuck to his word. A couple of the readers actually were able to figure out who I was. Congratulations to those of you who figured me out. This has been a blast!
Now let's get to the picks!
The top half of the bracket should have a very good 9:30 am game on Saturday between Compound Athletics and Red's Astros. Compound is trying to get on a roll before heading to B Worlds next weekend, and a win here could give them a lot of confidence heading to Florida. I like Red's in this game, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a little upset out of Compound. The winner will get Backman/Shoppe for a chance at the last 4 undefeated. Shoppe gets through, but both of those games will be entertaining. Resmondo should easily get to Shoppe in the top half final. I'll take Resmondo to get through that game and move on to the winner's bracket finals.
The bottom of the draw features some early games that will be very intriguing. I'd keep your eye on the TG Brand v. Xtreme game at 9:30 Friday morning. This is a coin flip game, but I'll take Xtreme to get through and face off with Smash It later in the day. Broughton and Tailgaters is a great Friday night match-up as well. Tailgaters could give them a run, and it wouldn't be a major upset if Tailgaters won outright. Broughton has a tough draw this week. Even if it manages to get through its first game Friday, Precision will be waiting at 7:45. I'm personally excited to see Combat/Baugh Ford play Precision in the semi-final of the lower bracket. The winner will undoubtedly be riding high going into a match-up with Conference Champion Smash It. However, it's a mighty long break between games. That can sometimes kill a team's momentum. I think Precision gets past Combat, but can't get past Smash It to get to the winner's bracket final.
The winner's bracket final should have Resmondo vs Smash It facing off to cap the regular season. I really like Resmondo to come out firing in this game. Resmondo has something to prove and experience tells me a motivated Resmondo is almost impossible to beat. I think another factor in this match-up is the injury to Travis Clark. "Blaster" is nursing a foot injury which could affect his mobility on the hill. For those two reasons I'll take Resmondo to win the "Last Chance." There could be more drama in the loser's bracket this weekend as there are still a bunch of teams vying for the last spot in the Major. If Broughton can be in a game to get to 7th place they could end up passing VCH for 16th place. It should be a fun weekend.
THANKS for all the hard work and excellent picks you made this year as the Anonymous Picker!
Voters are going with Smash It Sports.
Remember the last 3 Majors with Major teams in them have been won by 3 different teams!
Dudley – Resmondo
Smoky – Smash It Sports
Cincinnati – Backman
Liberty Park Field Dimensions are all 300 feet deep with 6 foot high fences
33600 Mound Road
Sterling Heights MI 48310
Notes from around the Conference:
1) Committee has approved Albicocco/The Scene/Easton is now class 'A'.
2) Committee has approved Peak Softball/Rockland LLC is now C after releasing Chad Loudon and Watch List players Todd Pease, Nate Holcomb, John Robinson, and Joey Gordon.
3) Teams that qualify for the Major World Series in 2015 will be classed 'A' for 2016. No exceptions.
4) When do the Conference championships start?
Answer: 5 PM eastern time Friday, September 4th with the managers meeting around 3 PM
5) When will the USSSA 'A' Worlds start?
Answer: Friday night
6) Michigan Major will be scored with 22 teams for points regardless of how many Conference teams show up
7) There will be a managers meeting Tuesday night before the USSSA Major World Series
8) The bracket for the Major World Series September 23-27 is as follows:
Note: Friday, August 14th is the roster deadline.
Don't forget to add backup players for the post season!
2014 Winner – Laservision/H Auto/JJ's/Easton
2013 Winner – Resmondo-Specialty Tank/Worth
2012 Winner – Resmondo-Specialty Tank/Worth
The main fields with some HR distances posted
1 NY-M Laservision/H Auto/JJ's/Easton
2 FL-M Resmondo-Specialty Tank Worth
3 IN-A Red's Astros/Louisville Slugger
4 IN-M Backman/Shoppe/Louisville Slugger
1 FL-M Resmondo-Specialty Tank Worth
2 IN-A Reds Astros/Slugger/Stucco/Dirty
3 MI-A Line Drive Sportz/SSS/Miken
4 NY-A Albicocco/The Scene/Easton
1 FL-M Resmondo-specialty tank worth
2 TN-A SHOPPE / TEAM TPS / ELITE
3 IN-B Reds Astros/tps/sports den
4 IA-A R&M Metals/troupe/pipac/s&r/easton
1 FL-M Resmondo-specialty tank / worth
2 IA-A R&M metals/troupe/tcp/easton
3 VA-A Team 454 Emerald/Worth
4 WA-M Team combat/laservision/d2e/supreme
1 CA-M Dan Smith/Menosse
2 FL-M Resmondosport/specialty/phonemaster
3 TN-A Jean shoppe-easton-down2earthsports
4 WA-A Team combat / laser vision
1 MN-M Long haul/miken/phonemasters
2 TN-A Jeanshoppe/chaneys/easton/sports55
3 FL-M Resmondo-specialty tank-worth
4 MI-A Bud light/tps/linedrive/sports55
1 FL-M Resmondo/specialty tank/worth
2 CA-M Dan smith/menosse/benfield/combat
3 MN-M Long haul/phonemasters/miken
4 IL-A Ropeclub/hennessys/onqclub/easton
1 FL-M Resmondo Softball
2 FL-M Bellcorp/belcher/tai/backman
3 TN-A JEAN SHOPPE / WORTH
4 GA-A Aubrey's/elite sports/phone masters
1 FL-M Resmondo – KME Softball
2 MI-A Northwest pipe/bud light/3n2/easton
3 FL-M Bell corp/taylor/belcher/easton
4 WA-M Team Combat