Saturday July 24th, 2021
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2008 Conference USSSA Recap Part 1

2008 USSSA Conference Championship Recap!
Osceola County Stadium at Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida
August 29-31
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Your 2008 Conference USSSA Champions Resmondo/Specialty Tank/Worth

Congratulations to the 2008 USSSA Conference Champions Resmondo/Specialty Tank/Worth! Resmondo scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 7th to win the final game over Dan Smith/Menosse/Benfield/Combat 20-19. Resmondo took a 17-14 lead into the seventh. Dan Smith scored 5 in the top half when Scott Kirby and Dal Beggs led off with walks and Jason Kendrick and Jeff McGavin chipped in with RBI hits. Then with 2 outs and Dan Smith still down 1, Brian Wegman crushed a homerun to give themselves a chance at the title. In the bottom of the 7th Resmondo's Brian Rainwater had an RBI triple to put himself in game tying scoring position. Then a walk to Andy Purcell set up a Don Dedonatis Jr game winning gap shot to left center for the winning rbi's.

Both teams played great defense and both came through in the clutch when the game was on the line. Great game and great season to both teams.

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The game winning rbi in the bottom of the 7th went to Conference MVP Don Dedonatis Jr.

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Resmondo's Andy Purcell scores the Championship winning run

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Resmondo's Don Dedonatis made a whole bunch of diving stops at timely points of the tournament

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Travis Resmondo and son with the Conference Championship Trophy

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Your 2008 Conference "B" USSSA Champions Team Bud Light/Easton

Team Bud Light went 3-0 in their flight and went on to beat Taylormade in the semi-finals and handled Blitz/Watanabe 15-7 on the Stadium field for the championship. The momentum in both the semi-final and finals seemed to swing towards Bud Light after Todd Pease homeruns. Bud Light also made some great defensive plays in the finals to keep Blitz in check. Blitz/Watanabe/Easton beat Line Drive an impressive 20-2 to reach the final game.

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Team Bud Light left fielder Jason Wetmore took a header into the wall after making this spectacular catch

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Team Bud Light 3rd baseman Chris Kirian stabs a Blitz liner in the finals of the "B" Championship

Team Breakdown: There were 8 teams from 7 different states in the Major/A bracket. There were 8 teams in the "B" bracket.

Osceola County Stadium notes: The stadium field where the Major/A and finals were played had 8 foot high fences all the way around. The dimensions were 330 390 410 410 390 330. Easily the biggest fields in softball. This complex is the spring training home of the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball. The facilities were first class and the fields were kept in good condition.

The "B" division on Friday and Saturday was played at the Fortune Road softball complex which had nice fields as well with 325 foot fence distance all the way around.

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Field #1, the non-show field was 330 down the left field line with a 30 foot high fence

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USSSA Headquarters and the Hall of Fame sits off of the right field foul pole at the stadium

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The Fortune Road Complex where the "B" division played was also a beautiful facility

Tournament Rules: Homerun rules were as follows: 16 per game when Major played Major, 12 per game when Major played an A team and 8 per game for all other games. Mercy Rules were 30 after 3, 20 after 2, 15 after 5. The ball used was the ZN and did just an ok job on the stadium fields. The ZN was also used in the "B" games and led to some wild, high scoring games.

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Resmondo's Brian Rainwater congratulated after hitting a walk-off homer

Team by Team Comments:

1st Place Resmondo/Specialty Tank/Worth (Conf-M from Winter Haven, Florida)
Conference Championship Record 5-0
2008 Overall Record 68-8
Wins – Suncoast[A], Long Haul[M], GTL[A], Jean Shoppe[A], Dan Smith[M]

Resmondo improved to 68-8 on the season and escaped a close 18-17 victory over GTL to set up their number one seed position in the final four. They beat Jean Shoppe 14-5 in the semi-finals.

Resmondo is in position to win another Major World in 3 weeks at Disney and are still the king of the baseball field tournaments. As I think back on the weekend I feel that Resmondo had great contributions on both sides of the ball from their entire lineup. However I can still picture the line drives that Brian Rainwater and Don Dedonatis Jr laced all over the park all weekend. Rainwater even laced one of those liners over the 390 mark in left center.

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Resmondo's incredible Conference run has been a team effort

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Resmondo's Brian Rainwater showed no ill effects of his hamstring injury when he hit this walk-off homer against GTL

2nd Place Dan Smith/Menosse/Benfield/Combat (Conf-M from , California)
Conference Championship Record 4-1
2008 Overall Record 51-11
Wins – ABS[A], Jean Shoppe[A], Ropeclub[A], GTL[A]
Losses – Resmondo[M]

Dan Smith is now solidly entrenched in the number two spot in the softballkingdom.com Conference rankings. They will need to regroup and try to come back in the Major World healthy. Scott Brown and Rusty Bumgardner sat out part of the weekend with injuries and with those two in the lineup and a big effort defensively like they had in the finals, should give them a shot at the Major World. Jason Kendrick came up with what appeared to be a leg injury as well, late in the finals game.

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Dan Smith's Brian Wegman hits a huge homerun in the top of the 7th against Resmondo in the Championship game

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Dan Smith will try to regroup in the last tournament of the year. The Major World Series

Tied for 3rd Place GTL/Creative Stucco/Worth (Conf-A from Othello, Washington)
Conference Championship Record 2-2
2008 Overall Record 52-23
Wins – Long Haul[M], Suncoast[A]
Losses – Resmondo[M], Dan Smith[M}

GTL nearly had their flight bracket swept when they challenged Resmondo late but couldn't hold on. GTL had nice wins over Long Haul and Suncoast both 15-14 before coming up just short against Resmondo 18-17. If GTL had pulled off that upset, they would have won the bracket and set up a Dan Smith vs Resmondo first round matchup in the final four while GTL would have played Jean Shoppe. Instead the tournament went according to plan and the Dan Smith vs Resmondo final was had. GTL showed they could handle the stadium fields and this should give them some good confidence for the World tournament. GTL played without injured centerfielder Bubba Mack.

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GTL was this close to beating Resmondo and winning their flight

Tied for 3rd Place Jean Shoppe/Easton (Conf-A from Mckenzie, Tennessee)
Conference Championship Record 1-3
2008 Overall Record 48-18
Wins – ABS[A]
Losses – Dan Smith[M], Ropeclub[A], Resmondo[M]

Jean Shoppe ends up tied for 3rd somehow in a weekend I'm sure they would like to forget. A 13-12 extra inning victory over ABS and losses to Dan Smith and Ropeclub by a combined 39-12 caused a 3 way tie in their bracket for 2nd place. The tie-breaker to see who went to the final four ended up being Conference Points which of course went to Jean Shoppe. An offensively dead Shoppe then lost to Resmondo 14-5.

Shoppe needs to chalk this one up to just a bad weekend and leave it behind them. Us fans of the game want to see Shoppe and GTL pull some upsets at the Major World in 3 weeks!

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Jean Shoppe's coach Larry Quartuccio will be looking for some answers to his teams low offensive production on the stadium fields

Other Teams in the Major/A Bracket:

Long Haul/Phonemasters/Miken (Conf-M from Albertville, Minnesota)
Conference Championship Record 3-2
2008 Overall Record 29-13
Wins – Suncoast[A], Ropeclub[A], ABS[A]
Losses – Resmondo[M], GTL[A]

Long Haul was put into a tough position when they lost their first game of the flight tournament 15-14 to GTL. This meant they needed to beat Resmondo in order to make the final four. This was not to be, when the ZN ball was not flying like Long Haul needed it to. If the ball is flying a little better at the Major World, Long Haul should have a shot at upsetting some teams like Combat did at last years Major.

Long Haul did come back this past weekend to win the Consolation bracket with a victory over Ropeclub and a come from behind win over ABS.

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Long Haul won the Major/A consolation bracket over ABS

ABS/Easton (Conf-A from White Marsh, Maryland)
Conference Championship Record 2-3
2008 Overall Record 33-19
Wins – Ropeclub[A], Suncoast[A]
Losses – Dan Smith[M], Jean Shoppe[A], Long Haul[M]

ABS/Easton lost their first game in extra innings to Jean Shoppe 13-12 before controlling Ropeclub 14-5, and then got hammered by Dan Smith. ABS is a little short on stadium power but played well enough to make it to the Consolation bracket championship, where they lost to Long Haul.

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ABS 4 hitter Sean Ballard celebrates a stadium homer. ABS was leading the Consolation Championship game until late

Suncoast/RBK (Conf-A from Parrish, Florida)
Conference Championship Record 0-4
2008 Overall Record 25-21
Losses – Long Haul[M], GTL[A], Resmondo[M], ABS[A]

Suncoast lost heart breakers to GTL and Long Haul and wound up 0-4 in this one. Jeremy Isenhower was hitting it well when I was around.

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Suncoast gave Long Haul a game before losing 25-23 but couldn't get anything going against Resmondo pictured here

Ropeclub/Hennesys/OnQClub/Easton (Conf-A from Chicago, Illinois)
Conference Championship Record 1-3
2008 Overall Record 32-21
Wins – Jean Shoppe[A]
Losses – Dan Smith[M], ABS[A], Long Haul[M]

Ropeclub surprisingly came out strong against Dan Smith but fell short and had a big letdown against ABS on Friday night. Saturday morning they put a whooping on Jean Shoppe 18-3 and ended up in the Consolation bracket. Ropeclub ends up 1-3 for the weekend but showed some signs of competing on the big fields that should come in handy down the road.

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Kevin Lucas and Ropeclub gave Dan Smith a run in their opener


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