Saturday July 24th, 2021

2009 Windy City Invitational Part 1


2009 Conference USSSA


Windy City Invitational




Inwood Sports Complex


Joliet, Illinois


June 12-14


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Inwood Sports Complex in Joliet, Illinois

The 2009 Conference tour rolled into the Windy City this past weekend for tournament #11 on the schedule. This tournament was again won by Resmondo-Specialty Tank-Worth who went 6-0 and collected their 5th consecutive tournament championship of 2009. Resmondo has now won 25 straight games! They beat Dan Smith-Menossee-Benfield-Combat in the finals 39-32. Remember it was at the Chicago tournament last year when Dan Smith beat Resmondo to begin to turn their season around. Not so this year as Resmondo has put the whooping on all comer's on the softball fields.

Both GTL Cartel/Stucco/Worth/Elite who finished 3rd and PRI/MFAB/Insanity who finished 4th, made nice long runs through the loser's bracket for their final 4 appearances.

For the first time in awhile there were no first round upsets and really no second round upsets to speak of. A local Illinois "D" team called Squad-14 West went the distance against Long Haul but lost 37-30 in a game where the Hauler's scored 20 in the first inning.

By the 3rd round of the winner's bracket all 8 teams that remained undefeated were Conference teams. Weather conditions were cool and rainy and the tournament was using a new .40 core ZN ball instead of the usual Thunder Advance. The ball seemed to be just as hard as any used this year and homerun management was at a premium. The atmosphere at the tournament and the quality of the teams was first rate. This tournament is beginning to draw almost as good a field of teams as the Dudley and the Smoky.

Resmondo before their 5th consecutive tournament championship

Heads Resmondo wins, tails Dan Smith loses!

Dedonatis guns another down

Hometown EWS/Boombah finished an impressive 7th

Bat testing was going on throughout the weekend

Team Breakdown: There were 18 Conference USSSA teams and 35 teams overall from 10 different states at the Windy City Invitational:

3 Major Teams,
6 Class "A" Teams,
10 Class "B" Teams,
5 Class "C" Teams,
11 Class "D" Teams.


Combat USA came the furthest.

Most of the tournament was played under overcast skies

Inwood Sports Complex notes: The softball complex was nice. The fields were hard but smooth. The wind was not that strong most of the time. Fields were all symmetrical with what appeared to be 300 foot fences. Homerun fences were around 7 feet high.

Tournament Rules:
Homerun rules were as follows:
Major vs Major = 16 per game per team.
Major vs non-Major = 12 per game per team.
All other games were 8 per game per team.
Mercy Rules were 30 after 3, 20 after 4, 15 after 5.

The tournament homerun leader was Kevin Filby and Jeff Wallace tied with 11 HR's each!

Team by Team Comments:

1st Place Resmondo-Specialty Tank-Worth (Conf Major, Winter Haven, Florida )
Windy City Record 6-0
Overall Conference Record 36-5

Resmondo glides through another tournament without breaking a sweat. The gist of most of their games is as follows:

1) Opposing team gets a little nervous and Andy's knuckleball dances a little more than they expect and one man per inning makes a weak out.

2) Resmondo comes in, uses walks and gaps in the infield to set the stage for a couple 3-run bombs and lead 9-1.

3) Opposing team still has some life left and decides to buckle down and hit some missles but in a key spot one of the Resmondo player's takes the wind out of their sails with a great defensive play.

4) Resmondo puts up a crooked number in the second.

5) Opponent fearing a run rule starts hitting solo's, teams heads are down, team goes to loser's bracket.

6) DW can't figure out anything new to say about Resmondo he hasn't already said. Purcell makes great pitches, Jr makes great diving stops, Rainwater climbs fence, BJ hits a missile backside, etc etc….

Seriously though, congratulations to Resmondo for a great winning streak. Up to 25 in a row now!

One of the reasons Resmondo is so good is because of their all out hustle all the time

We good, we good

Resmondo finishes off Dan Smith in the finals

2nd Place Dan Smith-Menosse-Benfield-Combat (Conf Major from San Jose, CA)
Windy City Record 5-2
Overall Conference Record 26-9

Dan Smith finished 2nd, losing both of their games to Resmondo. Smith had control of games against TCP and Blitz which they won, and escaped a tight one against Bud Light 42-35. Then Sunday morning Dan Smith beat a GTL team 27-11 that probably never really got to bed after their late night win over PRI. The Smith team just seems to be a little flat, a little less sharp than they need to be. Or maybe they just long for the large open grass fields of Kissimmee and the Florida heat?

Now take the hats off and scratch your heads

Slow motion of one of the most consistent power swings in softball history. Brett Helmer

Dan Smith left fielder Jason Kendrick picks one off the fence

3rd Place GTL Cartel/Stucco/Worth/Elite (Conf A, Othello, WA )
Windy City Record 6-2
Overall Conference Record 22-11

The Cartel overcame a marathon 3rd round loss to Bud Light 25-23 and picked off 4 straight wins in the loser's bracket to gain a 3rd place finish. They beat their nemesis Hubs Pub, O&S, and Blitz. Then they outlasted Long Haul 40-35 and PRI 31-11 late Saturday night. Rick Sedlacek and Donovan Pokraka were hitting machines all weekend. The Cartel seems to be playing better. The defense needs to tighten up a little bit and Thorpe needs to get back on track and they should be fine.

Leadoff man Rick Sedlacek and two man Donovan Pokraka are doing a nice job leading the Cartel

GTL and Donnie Wilson still hitting it well after midnight Saturday

GTL's Sam Lopez was taking aim at the cars on the street behind field #3

4th Place PRI/MFAB/Insanity (Conf B, Cincinnati, OH )
Windy City Record 6-2
Overall Conference Record 10-6

Pure Romance drew the toughest first round game of any of the Conference teams and ended up losing their opener 15-11 to EWS. Looking at a possible 2 and out and a long drive back to Cincinnati, PRI rebounded to win 6 straight including 4 against Conference opponents to finish in the final 4! Easily PRI's best tournament ever.

This team is a merger between last year's Mike Foulk's Auto Body Conference team and one of last year's top Cincinnati "C" teams Pure Romance. The team finally came together and is led by middle infielder Terry Rosenbalm who attacks opponents on both sides of the ball.

The run they went on in this tournament included wins over TCP, Suncoast, Pipac, EWS, and Bud Light. PRI jumped from 28th to 16th in this weeks computer rankings.

A star in the making, PRI's middle infielder Terry Rosenbalm

Benches cleared but no punches thrown in the PRI vs Pipac game

Tied 5th Place Long Haul/Miken/Phonemasters (Conf Major, Albertville, MN )
Windy City Record 3-2
Overall Conference Record 20-10

Long Haul had the offense clicking by scoring 36 runs per game including a tournament high of 50 against O&S. Inconsistent pitching and the fact that they have a different team every week because of injuries, suspensions, and other obligations lead me to believe we have not witnessed the best of what this team has to offer. Lets give them another month to pull it together.

Long Haul's Jeff Hall returned from his foot injury

Anyone know where Ryan Robbins onbase streak ended at? 30 or something like that.

Tied 5th Place EWS/BOOMBAH/SPORT PT/DLB (B, Chicago, Illinois )
Windy City Record 5-2
Overall Conference Record 7-6

EWS was the local team that made good in this tournament. EWS played in a close game every game and beat 4 Conference teams including Linedrive. EWS is led by utility man Travis Clark, left handed power hitter Mark Holstein, and Conference regular Tommy Thompson. Along with these guys is a group of younger player's who have a lot of upper level ball in their future. A sponsor who wants to build from a good foundation should pick this team up. EWS has the potential to be a player in the now wide open "B" division.

EWS masher Mark Holstein

BOOOWOOOP coined 1991

EWS pitcher Travis Clark golfs one

Tied 7th Place Blitz/Watanabe/Weller/Minges/Easton (Conf A, Cincinnati, OH )
Windy City Record 3-2
Overall Conference Record 14-8

Blitz started their tournament with a 29-9 win over a morbid Suncoast team and lasted 7 innings against Dan Smith. Blitz then beat Showcase before getting crushed by GTL. They finish 7th and score some much needed Conference points. They were playing without outfielder Larry Wert who tore his ACL.

Blitz poses for a beer drinking photo op

Blitz's Jon Jamison hits a grand slam

Tied 7th Place Bud Light/TPS/Linedrive/Sports55 (Conf A, Plymouth, MI)
Windy City Record 3-2
Overall Conference Record 18-14

Bud Light picked up TMack and was playing without Todd Pease. Bud Light played in 3 of the best games of the tournament, winning 32-27 over EWS, 25-23 over GTL, and they tied the score late with Dan Smith before losing 42-35. Bud Light continues to make the right moves with picking up the switch hitting Tony Mack who's defense and speed needs to be in the Conference.

Bud Light picked up shortstop Tony Mack who made the best diving stop and gun of the tournament

Bud Light finishes off GTL in a spirited battle which wound up 25-23

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