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2011 Conference USSSA Kansas City Recap

 

 

 2011 Conference USSSA

"Mike Turney Memorial"

 Kansas City, Missouri

April 29 – May 1

Mike was a Master Gunnery Sergeant in the Marines and was heavily involved in the Marine softball team as a player and manager before a 6 year stint in promotions at Worth sporting goods company. Mike was 52 years old when he passed away from a brain tumor in 2007 and had 30 years with the Marine Corp. We thank Mike (posthumously) and his family for his dedicated service and sacrifices made for our country.

 

Resmondo-Specialty Tank/Worth runs the table in Kansas City and beats an unlikely opponent RFC/Hub's Pub/Syndicate 45-39 in the championship.   RFC had won 5 straight in the loser's bracket to get back to Resmondo who had beaten them 33-2 in the third round as well.   Resmondo outscored their opponents 200-113 and looked to be in cruise control most of the tournament as they hit laser's all over the park and allowed sluggers Greg Connell, BJ Fulk, and Jeff Wallace to take care of the long home runs.  They were briefly put in jeopardy of losing a game when EWS came to within 5 runs of Resmondo in the winner's final at one point.   They were also down 25-13 to RFC in the championship game before 4 homer's and 13 runs tied it when BJ Fulk lined one off a parked truck behind the right field fence.   Resmondo went on to beat RFC 45-39.

The tournament was a hard hitting affair from beginning to end with a number pitchers being hit by laser shots and a majority of the outs were line drive's or home runs for outs.

Team breakdown
 1 – M
 5 – A
 6 – B
12 – C
 5 – D

12 from the Conference

14 different states represented with a couple of 'C' teams coming from Colorado!

Greg Connell has smashed his way into the most coveted lineup spot in Major softball – the two spot in the Resmondo lineup

Resmondo 3rd baseman Jeremy Isenhower playing in his home city was Co-MVP


R&M Metals takes on Stars

The KC Mid America softball complex was very nice but the infields were probably about the worst in the Conference behind Cincinnati and maybe even Chicago.  The fields were all symmetrical with 300 ft fences.  Fence height was about 6 feet.  Full bat testing was in effect for all games on all fields, a truly difficult job but one that is appreciated.  For all the talk of the Conference teams having hot sticks, and they did have quite a few fail the bat testing, there was one non-conference 'C' team that submitted 19 bats and only 4 passed. 

The weather was good and rain was avoided all weekend.  Games were very long because the cool weather mixed with the hard conference ball made infield and outfielder range minimal and most every team was exceeding their home run limits.  Batting around the lineup in an inning once or twice was commonplace and expected if you wanted to win.

Resmondo's Bryson Baker and Jeff Wallace try to stay warm while awaiting the Championship game.  The weather cooled off on Sunday.

I looked into the seeding issues this past weekend in KC.  USSSA says that teams were moved from their normal spot in the bracket because either they had already played the team they were originally scheduled to play earlier in the year OR they were from the same area as a team they were initially supposed to play.

After these "moves" which in my opinion are justified, they didn't really pay attention to who was 'A' or who was 'B'.  They said they will take a closer look at future brackets and agree the brackets were lopsided.  They admit it was a mistake and the brackets were not properly balanced.

From a competition point of view the tournament actually played out great because there were more evenly matched games than normal throughout the tournament and in the end it was a 'B' team, RFC from Resmondo's side of the bracket, that played great in the championship.   In fact 'B' teams had a 4-3 record against 'A' teams in this tournament and now have a 35% winning percentage against them this year.

 

Hundreds of bats failed the 100% garbage can testing in KC.  An excllent job by head umpire Rick Robertson

 The largest crowd was Friday night for the Resmondo vs American Mayhem game.   The local Mayhem team hung around but lost 37-22

I had a poll last year that asked if there should just be one championship game at the regular season Conference events and eliminate the "if" game.  The answer was 30% No to 70% Yes.  So lets look at this year.  There have been 4 tournaments and one "if" game, and in that "if" game GTL ran out of gas against Resmondo.  Yet almost all of the first games of the championship have been good games that would have been even better if the losing team had known going in that it meant a little more.  By that time of the tournament neither team wants or needs to play another game.  Flights are being missed which means work could be missed and the loser bracket team rarely wins the second game unless its Resmondo or GTL coming out of the loser's bracket anyway.

In Kansas City, Resmondo path to the finals – beat C, Conf-B, C, and Conf-A to get to championship.  RFC's path to the finals – beat C, Conf-B, Conf-B, Conf-B, Conf-A, Conf-A, Conf-A to get to the championship.  Which one deserved to be there the most?  Are you are still going to say that it should be two games?  If you come out of the loser's bracket at a conference event then you have earned the right to play one game for the title that week.  Now when it comes to a World tournament, those should remain a two game championship format.  Ok, I am stepping down from soap box now.

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Random video clips from the tournament

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Friday night Darkside (batting) knocks off Viper 29-27

 


"Mike Turney Memorial" Tournament Awards and Final Standings:

Player Tournament Awards
Players Name
Plays For
Tournament CO-MVP
Resmondo-Specialty Tank / Worth
Tournament CO-MVP
Resmondo-Specialty Tank / Worth
Offensive Tournament MVP
RFC/HUB'S PUB/SYNDICATE
Defensive Tournament MVP
Resmondo-Specialty Tank / Worth
All Tournament Team
EWS/SHIRTSandLOGOS/DrGRAPHX/EASTON
All Tournament Team
Resmondo-Specialty Tank / Worth
All Tournament Team
Resmondo-Specialty Tank / Worth
All Tournament Team
EWS/SHIRTSandLOGOS/DrGRAPHX/EASTON
All Tournament Team
Resmondo-Specialty Tank / Worth
All Tournament Team
EWS/SHIRTSandLOGOS/DrGRAPHX/EASTON
All Tournament Team
RFC/HUB'S PUB/SYNDICATE
All Tournament Team
RFC/HUB'S PUB/SYNDICATE
All Tournament Team
RFC/HUB'S PUB/SYNDICATE
All Tournament Team
RFC/HUB'S PUB/SYNDICATE
All Tournament Team
Resmondo-Specialty Tank / Worth
All Tournament Team
Resmondo-Specialty Tank / Worth
All Tournament Team
Resmondo-Specialty Tank / Worth
 

Place
State
Team
Team
Class
Wins
Loses
Ties
Runs
Scored
Runs
Allow
Avg
Runs
Avg
Allow
Avg
Diff
Max
Runs
1
FL
SPMensMajor
5
0
0
200
113
40
22.6
17.4
49
150
2
KS
SPMensB
7
2
0
258
220
28.6
24.4
4.22
39
210
3
IL
SPMensA
3
2
0
153
121
30.6
24.2
6.4
36
180
4
MI
SPMensA
5
2
0
206
156
29.4
22.2
7.14
40
160
5
VA
SPMensA
3
2
0
119
121
23.8
24.2
-0.3
36
140
5
OK
SPMensC
3
2
0
120
132
24
26.4
-2.4
36
140
7
MA
SPMensB
4
2
0
153
138
25.5
23
2.5
31
160
7
MO
SPMensB
3
2
0
112
97
22.4
19.4
3
30
160
9
AR
SPMensB
3
2
0
124
94
24.8
18.8
6
32
150
9
IN
SPMensB
3
2
0
151
105
30.2
21
9.2
38
150
9
MO
SPMensC
3
2
0
115
134
23
26.8
-3.8
36
100
9
CT
SPMensA
1
2
0
78
86
26
28.6
-2.6
29
100
13
MO
SPMensC
2
2
0
100
99
25
24.7
0.25
33
80
13
IA
SPMensA
2
2
0
106
92
26.5
23
3.5
34
80
13
KS
SPMensC
2
2
0
90
111
22.5
27.7
-5.2
37
80
13
CO
SPMensC
1
2
0
63
70
21
23.3
-2.3
32
80
17
CO
SPMensC
1
2
0
71
74
23.6
24.6
-1
24
40
17
MO
SPMensC
1
2
0
59
66
19.6
22
-2.3
32
40
17
KS
SPMensD
1
2
0
43
63
14.3
21
-6.6
22
40
17
KS
SPMensC
1
2
0
56
56
18.6
18.6
0
24
40
17
KS
SPMensD
1
2
0
40
72
13.3
24
-10.
25
40
17
NE
SPMensB
1
2
0
60
77
20
25.6
-5.6
25
120
17
KS
SPMensC
0
2
0
56
60
28
30
-2
34
40
17
MO
SPMensC
0
2
0
31
48
15.5
24
-8.5
16
40
25
MO
SPMensC
0
2
0
10
39
5
19.5
-14.
7
20
25
KS
SPMensC
0
2
0
9
50
4.5
25
-20.
6
20
25
NE
SPMensD
0
2
0
15
49
7.5
24.5
-17
13
20
25
KS
SPMensD
0
2
0
29
60
14.5
30
-15.
19
20
25
KS
SPMensD
0
2
0
31
55
15.5
27.5
-12
16
20

Note: on Wednesday we are going to begin month long give away contests on the SoftballCenter.com message board.  Prizes like batting gloves, t-shirts, and hats will be provided by DownToEarthSports.com

Team by team notes brought to you by:


1st Place Resmondo-Specialty Tank / Worth  GTGG 

Conf 'M' from Winterhaven, FL   5-0 Record

Resmondo uses a nice seed and "weak" side of the bracket (allegedly) to cruise with 4 "mercy" rules victories to the finals where they came from 13 down to beat a feisty RFC team 45-39.   In the end it probably didn't matter who Resmondo played to get there, because they did seem to pretty much be on their game offensively and defensively.  Resmondo played without first baseman Howie Krause and end up holding serve on the point standings until they can get a much anticipated rematch with GTL possibly in Euless, Texas next weekend.


 Resmondo's Jeremy Isenhower

    Resmondo Left Fielder Brian Rainwater sports the Mike Turney Memorial jersey   

Resmondo's Jeff Wallace hit the longest bomb of the tournament

Resmondo CF Bobby Hughes was back in action for the first time this season


2nd Place RFC/Hub's Pub/Syndicate   GTGG 

Conf 'B' from Derby, Kansas   7-2 Record


I like the RFC uniforms which have the outline of their number based on which state they are from.  All Conference teams should adopt this.

RFC is based out of Kansas and was very familiar with the Mid America fields.  RFC knocks off 6 Conference teams in one weekend.  Not many teams have done that over the years.  RFC knocked off Magic in the 2nd round 38-25 in a hard hitting contest and got hammered by Resmondo 33-2 in the 3rd round.  In the loser's bracket they spent the rest of the tournament on the field as they sent home 5 of the 12 Conference teams by themselves including a grudge match with their rival DMC 34-11 and came from 20+ down to beat Team 454 29-23 late Saturday night.

On Sunday morning they proceeded to come from 10 down to beat Sinister 35-28 and knocked off EWS 29-28 in extra innings to go to the championship.  9 hard hitting, high scoring games.   I can't wait to see some stats from this team.   In the Championship against Resmondo they proceeded to methodically build an early 13 run lead 23-13.   Then Resmondo came back and tied the game at 23-23 when I had to leave to catch a flight.   Resmondo ended up winning 45-39.   An incredible showing for RFC who quite frankly was playing like one of the old GTL teams that traditionally owned the loser's bracket.

Lead off hitter James Butterfield, pitcher Thad Eagan, two hitter Mitch Loomis, among others are sort of new names to the Conference and these guys are mixed in with the Hubbard brothers, Major list player Wayne Habermehl, and former Hubs Pub players Jarrett Enright and Justin Hall.   A real team effort from start to finish so its tough to leave any names out:

One of their many lineups which changed a lot so I may get this wrong:
James Butterfield
Mitch Loomis
Wayne Habermehl
Jarrett Enright
Kevin Lucas
Nicholas Sheahon
Dustin Boone
Adrian Gascon
Zachary Eubank
Justin Hall
Brad Kessler
Scott Hubbard
Thad Eagan

RFC had some great line drive hitting – gap to gap and line to line all the way through their lineup with pretty good home run management and timely defense.

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Game winning hit in extra innings by RFC's Mitch Loomis to upset EWS

Wayne Habermehl finally returns to the Conference and he did so in a BIG way

RFC third baseman Brad Kessler is my pick for defensive MVP of the tournament

RFC center fielder Zachary Eubank made the best defensive play of the year!   In a key situation with two out and runners on Zachary ran down a line drive in the right center field gap and with a full speed-jumping-dive-complete sell out caught the ball to end Sinisters inning.   RFC then came in to bat and put up a huge inning and went on to beat Sinister 35-28.   I had just put the video camera down, it was ESPN highlite material. 


RFC shortstop Kevin Lucas flashed some leather and took home the Offensive MVP of the tournament with some clutch home runs.

 RFC Shortstop Scott Hubbard took a bad hop to the mouth and it loosened up 4 teeth.   Brad Kessler the 3rd baseman wheres a mask and to be quite honest he fielded the hard shots as well as anyone I've seen this year.   The mask would probably add confidence to any Conference infielder.


 

3rd Place EWS/Shirts and Logos/Drgraphx/Easton   

Conf 'A' from Chicago, IL   3-2 Record

EWS squeaked by Sinister in the second round after misusing all of their home runs.   In their 3rd round game they annihilated Team 454 when they batted around 3 times in one inning.   In the winner's bracket championship on Saturday night against Resmondo they closed to within 5 runs late but Resmondo worked their way out of two bases loaded situations with minimal damage and EWS lost 49-30.   In the loser's bracket championship EWS opened the door for an RFC comeback by hitting 5 solo's (4 in a row at one point) early in the game and lost in extra innings 29-28.

EWS continues to struggle closing games, they cannot keep the ball in the park, and they need to mix it up on the mound (they have 3 pitchers) and mix up the lineup.  Obviously Watson has moved into a starting role which is fine but you have to break momentum in these high scoring games.   When the homer's are gone, I'd like to see the bench guys get in there and how about pulling an old bat out of the can, like maybe one that tests over 300 and try and keep it in the yard?   Maybe this is another of my crazy ideas but a guy that can't keep the ball in the park maybe should try intentionally hitting a bad pitch.

EWS has a looonnnggg way to go and need more of a "play for the next guy mentality" but the good news for them is…it's only May 2nd…

EWS is still trying to figure this thing out.

Scott Kirby is one of the Conference leaders in onbase percentage

Click Wegs or Helmer for Easton equipment

EWS slugger Mark Holstein was burned on a bad strike three call in the winner's final against Resmondo with the bases loaded.  The ball was inside the whole way.

hoyo de tres-cuatro, Jimmy


 

4th Place Sinister/Pritchard/Miken  GTGG 

Conf 'A' from Livonia, MI   5-2 Record

Sinister learned early on in the tournament that the formula for victory was home run management when they beat R&M 29-24 when they used their homer's much better than the power laden R&M team.   However in their next game against EWS they watched as EWS gained an early lead by using all of their homer's and then Sinister accidentally used a bunch of theirs in the wrong way with solo's and ended up losing a very winnable game 25-18.

In the loser's bracket Sinister got on an offensive roll and sent home Midwest in a slug fest 40-28 and Magic 37-31 before knocking off the upstart Evicted team 28-7 late on Saturday night.

In the loser's semi-final on Sunday morning a tired Sinister team played well offensively but defensively couldn't quite come up with enough line drive stabs (they kept going off their infielders gloves) to put away RFC.  A nice points weekend for Sinister and a bolstered confidence on offense should help them going forward.

A lot of Sinister pitcher Jeff Graus's peers say he is one of the best in the game.

Sinister CF Brandon Dillon holds down the three hole in the lineup

Sinister first Baseman bats 4th

Former Detroits Own player Frank Aleksandrowicz bats 5th 


Tied 5th Place Team 454 Emerald/Worth  GTGG 

Conf 'A' from Glen Allen, VA   3-2 Record


Team 454 played without John Dutch and Tim Maddocks and added former Midwest Swing center fielder Evan Gallmeier and middle infielder (forgot his name) and a couple of coaches.  This mix seemed to do ok in there early wins including a late win over Darkside but got hammered against EWS and lost a 20 run lead to RFC.

I don't think 454 is done tweaking the roster.

454 Left Fielder Bubba Mack was displaying some ridiculous bat speed

454 shortstop Kevin Bazat (pronounced Bayz – at)

Former Midwest Swing CF Evan Gallmeier has picked up with Team 454 and batted 2nd in the lineup


Tied 5th Place Evicted  GTGG 

 'C' from Oklahoma City, OK   3-2 Record

Evicted used a monster inning to knock off Midwest Swing early in the tournament then beat DMC 27-25 before two run rule losses to Resmondo and Sinister.  Evicted has a real nice team with a couple of big hitters.

Evicted holds a team meeting after their upset of Midwest Swing early Saturday morning.

 

Evicted has some big masher's

This Evicted runner was actually out but was called safe.


Tied 7th Place Magic/National Gold/S&S/TYJA Sports  GTGG 

Conf 'B' from Plymouth, MA   4-2 Record


Magic played some long games and gained some great experience and a signature win over east coast rival Darkside 29-20.  They played well, hit the ball hard, and probably could have gained a Sunday finish if they could have scored a few more runs Saturday night against Sinister.  This is a team I will have to learn more about in the coming weeks.  Lack of names on uniforms impedes my player learning process…

 

 


The sun played a factor in the Magic vs Darkside game

 


Tied 7th Place DMC/Resmondo Sports  GTGG 

Conf 'B' from St. Louis, MO   3-2 Record

DMC plays their first conference tournament of the season with mixed results.  They beat T's 13, 30-25 but lost to Evicted and their arch rival RFC.  They almost did just enough to score some good points.   My opinion of this team is that they have good talent, seem to be younger than most Conference teams, and in a word they are "capable".   I'll give them an incomplete this week though.


 

DMC middle infielder and leadoff man Richard French

 French was safe on this outstanding slide.   Great call by the umpire, video clip coming soon


 

The rest of the Conference Teams:

9th 3-2 Fence Brokers/Gametime Supply/Worth beat the 3 'C' teams they were supposed to beat and competed ok with 454 and RFC in their losses.

9th 3-2 MidWest Swing / Miken looked solic.  One bad inning in each of their losses to Evicted and Sinister cost them.

9th 1-2 Darkside/TYJA/Easton had a hard fought win over Viper Friday night by 2 runs.  Then 454 stole one from Darkside when 454 scored 10 runs without a homer in the 7th and beat Darkside.  Then they lost the sun in the batters eyes game to Magic.

13th 2-2 R&M Metals/Troupe/TCP/Easton hit too many solos and used their homer's too early in their losses.  I missed the 36-34 loss to Bowtech.  Not sure what happened at the end there.  Higginbotham did most of the pitching.  He fell down a lot on the bases.  This team needs to base hit it more and work on 3 run homers.

17th 1-2 T's 13/Easton had a bad tournament but the team is middle of the road 'B'.  Billy Kugler, Ryan Regenold, and Todd Newton at the top of the lineup.  Troy Cloyd was playing well when I was watching.

 


 

alt

  


A big thanks to my sponsor's – USSSA, Down2EarthSports.com, GameTimeSupply.com, MojoSportsGear.com, TPS, Easton, DSSBats.com, SoftballToday Magazine, BatReviews.com, and BPAthletics

I will be in Columbus, Indiana in two weeks.  I won't be able to make it to Euless next week.

Also don't forget to click the "like" or "share" on facebook buttons for any articles you particularly enjoyed.  Thanks.

2011 Kansas City Major pictures link

Link to the  Bracket/Stats for the KC Major

Link to the tournament in Euless, Texas when ready

Link to the Phoenix tournament results

Link to the USSSA Point Standings and Stats

 


PLAYER LOOKING FOR A TEAM FOR THE COLUMBUS, INDIANA MAJOR

Was just wondering if you happen to hear of a team that could use a player for the tourney in Columbus, IN tourney I would like to play in it?
 
I play NSA and ASA B.  Not much USSSA here in Indiana.  Have played in this tourney for the last 5 years and love it.  I have always looked forward to it.  Nice that it is also 5 min. from the house:) 
 
Last year I pitched for the team Softball Mafia that had a good game against the Shoppe Friday night.   I know one game doesn't really doesn't mean much because you can have that one game.  Was just hoping that someone was needing a player and you might happen to know and I could get lucky and get a chance to play.  I pitch play first, second and the outfield.

Thanks,
Keith Lynn
loriandkeithlynn@comcast.net

 


Here are some other pics from the Kansas City Major:


Makes you wonder what a team full of Glidewells could have done in this game?

FBI shortstop Brad Wallace sports his John Glidewell memorial jersey


T's 13 gets my vote for best uniforms


R&M Metals gather after their loss to a 'C' team called Bowtech

R&M has picked up veteran pitcher Brian Higginbotham


R&M center fielder Brian Zirkle displays his semi-pro basketball skills


Midwest Swing picked up 2010 'B' World Champion pitcher T.J. Thompson as a battery mate to Brent Sharon

Midwest Swings Cody Gilbert takes over the leadoff spot vacated by Gallmeir's leaving


Bowtech pitcher Charles Key won the Friday night home run derby


DMC beats Bowtech Saturday night


Viper pitcher Billy Dudek

KC Thunder's pitcher was hit by an R&M Metals player and he took off his helmet and threw it at the runner.   After the ejection the game was a forfeit because Thunder had no players on the bench.

 

American Mayhem's Kirk Stafford (I think)

T

Mid America is the home park of Conference umpire Steve Christy


 Graus pushes around his teammates…bully

 

Above is the crowd for the Resmondo game on Friday night

As always send question, corrections, comments, and criticism's to

DW@softballcenter.com


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