Friday May 13th, 2022

2018 USA Softball Super National tournament report!




2018 USA Softball


Super Nationals


Ridgeland, MS


September 28th

H. Auto/RDD/All In/Sprizzi/Vivid/Easton won 3 games by a total of 12 runs to win the Super!


SoftballCenter Super picture album link


2018 Super bracket link


2018 Super video archive and stats link


The 2018 USA Softball Super Nationals featured 5 star studded teams and ended up being played all in one day (Friday, September 28th) because of rain during the week that swamped the beautiful fields at Freedom Ridge park in Ridgeland, Mississippi.  So the tournament began Friday morning at 9 AM Central time and used 2 fields the entire day.  The weather was in the mid to high 70's and humid but nice and it was overcast.  Each game used 3 umpires and the 52 core Dudley ZN ball with a 16 home runs per team limit.  Rosters were not restricted since this is USA Softballs top classification.  The defending champions WC Monsta and H. Auto a team that has won multiple Super titles were the favorites. 

Below is a game by game report on the winner's bracket and final 3 games.

H. Auto's Kevin Bazat hits a backside rope in the championship against Team Racks

The final game between Team Racks and H. Auto



Winner's Bracket Games

Note: the lineups in the boxscore for some games are out of order for some reason…

Comatose hits against Racks to open the tournament.


Game #1 was a "play in" matchup between Comatose an A/B team from Wisconsin and Team Racks a loaded Super team sponsored by Sonny Pilcher with a few guys from their regular season team and a whole bunch of pickups like Dale Brungardt, Ben Dunn, Shannon Smith, and Brandon Dillon.  The game was close until the 5th inning with Racks leading the entire game to that point.  In the bottom of the 5th Racks scored 12 runs to go up 29-18.  But Comatose didn't fold and outscored Racks 12-1 to tie the game going into the bottom of the 7th where Racks with two homers left won on a walk off hit by Ben Dunn.  Shannon Smith was 4-5 with 2 HR and 6 RBI in the win.  Austin Andrews was 5-5 with 3 HR and 6 RBI in the loss.


Team Racks Ben Dunn hits a walk off homer to beat Comatose by a run!



T's 13 Tyler Marshburn hits against H. Auto


In Game #2 T's 13 and H. Auto battled about even for 4 innings as H. Auto opened the door for T's with a few misplays on defense.  Then H. Auto buckled down and focused and scored 11 runs in the bottom of the 5th and held T's 13 scoreless in the top of the 6th, separated with 4 runs in the bottom of the 6th, and finished off T's 27-22.  Greg Connell was 4-4 with 5 RBI in the win and Donnie Hammonds was 4-4 with 3 RBI for T's 13 in the loss.  T's picked up Hammonds to play outfield, Tyler Marshburn to play shortstop, and Tyler Wilson to play 3rd Base.  Ben Vazquez did the pitching in this game for T's.   H. Auto picked up Jeff Keske to play shortstop, Jeff Flood for infield, and Pat Ellwanger to pinch hit.



Racks Shannon Smith hits a grand slam homer against WC Monsta


Game #3 was a semifinal matchup between the #1 seed and defending champion West Coast Monsta and Team Racks who had just finished beating Comatose.  Monsta scored 2 in the top of the 1st on a double by leadoff man Steven Lopez and a homer by Filip Washington but a doubleplay ended the half inning.  In the bottom of the 1st Team Racks put up a zero.  But in the 2nd both teams offense let loose as Monsta scored 9 and Racks put up a 14.  The game was close the rest of the way and was tied at 31-31 going into the 7th when Monsta managed just 1 run after a great diving catch by Racks 2nd baseman Adam Ussery shut them down.  In the bottom of the 7th down 1 run – Team Racks got a one out double from Brandon Dillon, an intentional walk to Daniel Cayton, and a walk off homer by AJ Montano to win!  Adam Ussery was 5-5 with 2 HR and a triple in the win.  Filip Washington was 5-6 with 2 HR in the loss.  Ryan McClanahan started on the rubber for Monsta who was relieved by Justin Mucciarelli.  McClanahan also hit 3 HR and had 8 RBI in the game.


Racks AJ Montano hits a walk off 3 run homer to beat WC Monsta.  AJ was 6-6, 2 HR, 6 RBI



Game #6 on your bracket was the winner's bracket final played around 2 PM Friday.  H. Auto who was down 6-0 in the first inning against Team Racks but woke up and scored 13 runs in the 2nd inning and led 22-10 after 3 1/2 innings.  In the bottom of the 4th Racks climbed back into the game with a long 14 run inning and it was close the rest of the way.  Going into the 7th Racks trailed 39-35 and failed to score.  H. Auto's Brian Wegman, Greg Connell, and Jeremy Yates were each 5-6 in the game.  Yates had 9 RBI



Loser's Bracket Finals

Loser's Bracket:  The loser's bracket for a 5 team tournament isn't all that big.  T's 13 run ruled Comatose 32-16 when they scored 15 runs in the bottom of the 5th as Donnie Hammonds again went 5-5 and Cory Neugebauer had 5 homer's, a grand slam, and 9 RBI.  That win advanced T's to a game against WC Monsta.  T's jumped out to a 23-7 lead before Monsta put up 13 in the top of the 4th to climb back in it.  But T's answered with 7 in the bottom of the 4th and 4 more in the bottom of the 6th to upset Monsta 34-29.  Monsta did not use all of their homers in the game and John Williams hit 4 homers in the loss.  Madsen, Hammonds, Wilson, Neugebauer, and Bulens all collected 4 hits in the win.

Gap and go for Ussery against T's 13 in a wild shootout

Game #7 Loser's Bracket Finals:  So, T's 13 went on to play Team Racks who was dropping down into the loser's bracket.  Both teams scored in every inning and the game played for 2 hours as the teams traded big inning after big inning.  Racks outfielder Dan Kirwood hit a 2 out grand slam in the bottom of the 5th to cap a 16 run inning and Racks went up 40-39 and matched T's 13's 6 runs the rest of the way and won 48-45 without having to bat in the 7th.  Ben Dunn was 6-6 with 10 RBI in the win.  Reggie Schulte had 5 hits and 7 RBI in the loss.

Racks finishes off T's 13



Championship Game #1

Team Racks Daniel Cayton doubles down the line


H. Auto the undefeated team sleep walked through the first championship game against Team Racks who had been at the field in the same dugout playing every game of the day since 9 AM in the morning.  Racks got off to a 21-8 lead and used an 8 run bottom of the 5th capped by a home run by Dan Kirkwood to run rule H. Auto and force the "if" necessary game.  Brandon Dillon was 3-4 with a grand slam and 7 RBI in the win.


Dan Kirkwood finished off H. Auto by run ruling them on a homer



Championship Game #2 ("if game")

H. Auto's Brian Wegman paints the 3rd base line in the championship where he was 6-7


As the day turned to night the "if" game began with a frustrated H. Auto team taking some angry swings and jumping on Team Racks to the tune of 20 runs in the top of the 1st inning.  In the bottom of the inning with 2 on and 2 out for Racks Daniel Cayton was caught stealing by H. Auto catcher Bryson Baker on a straight steal of 2nd base.  You don't see that too often.  Racks did score 8 runs in the inning but can only wonder what could have been!  In the top of the 2nd the Racks infield nearly turned a triple play with a hard grounder to AJ Montano at middle infield who tagged the runner on 2nd, stepped on 2nd, and then threw it too high to first base.  But the umpires only gave them one out???  The next batter grounded into a double play so it didn't matter and it looked like Racks was back in the game.  But in the bottom of the 2nd Bubba Mack at 3rd base for H. Auto made an incredible scoop of a hard shot and got an out then they turned a double play to hold Racks scoreless.  In the 3rd and 4th innings Racks outscored H. Auto 17-13 highlighted by a Ben Dunn assist from center field to 2nd base to get a batter trying to stretch a single into a double, AJ Montano hit a towering home run that went over the lights in left center, and only a great diving play by H. Auto shortstop Jeff Keske halted the Racks rally with Racks trailing 36-28.  H. Auto added 3 runs in the top of the 7th but their inning was cut short by a phenomenal running catch by Ben Dunn in left center field.  So the Super title came down to the bottom of the 7th inning and Racks trailed by 12 with 4 homers to hit.  They batted around the lineup and used 3 homers to score 9 runs but came up 3 runs short and H. Auto won the Super Nationals!  Wegman and Steele Lewis each had 6 hits in the win, Bryson Baker collected 10 RBI, and Sam Christensen went 6 for 6 (all base hits) in the loss.  

AJ Montano hits a big homer in the comeback attemp

H. Auto celebrates the final out!



Freedom Park

Fences at Freedom Park were 300 foot

Rain cancelled Thursday's games and the entire Super was played on Friday in soggy conditions




Oldscout pollers were correct! 



Video Highlites brought to you by:

Video Clips of the Super National by SoftballCenter highlight video link




Long Bombers of the Week

Lets give Greg Connell long bomber of the week for that shot over the tree in left field Friday morning.

Google earth says 400 feet



USA Super Final Standings and Awards

USA Softball Super Nationals Final Standings:
1st H.Auto/RDD/All In/Sprizzi/Easton 3-1
2nd Team Racks; Yahhh!  4-2
3rd Ts 13/Monsta/Ductech  2-2
4th WC Monsta  0-2
5th Comatose/S2N/Monsta 0-2

Craig Cress gives Bob Hortenbach the Super Championship trophy!

H. Auto manager Brett Helmer won the Border Battle, the Conference points title, Conference Championships, USSSA Major World Series, and the USA Super all in 2018!


2018 Super Slow Pitch All-Americans

MVP – Bryson Baker – H. Auto

Batting Champion – Donnie Hammonds, T’s 13 – .900+

HR Champion – Jason Martel – Team Racks – 11

Jeff Keske – H. Auto
Adam Ussery – Team Racks
Greg Connell – H. Auto
Daniel Cayton – Team Racks
AJ Montano – Team Racks
Jeremy Yates – H. Auto
Brandon Dillon – Team Racks
Brian Wegman – H. Auto
Travis Clark – H. Auto
Donnie Hammonds – T’s 13
Bryson Baker – H. Auto
Jason Martel – Team Racks
Joey Bulens – T’s 13
Bubba Mack – H. Auto
Bill Pinkham – Team Racks



Team by team notes brought to you by:


1st Place H. Auto/RDD/All In/Sprizzi/Vivid/Easton

3-1 Record

H. Auto won some close games, put up big runs when they had to, and fought through some adversity after a bad 1st finals game to win the Super.  A team effort with Baker, Connell, Wegman, and Yates leading the way on offense.  As mentioned earlier in the report, Helmer and this group won the Border Battle, Conference, Conference Championships, Utrip Major, and now the Super.  GREAT YEAR!  

So since they won both the Major and the Super, do they play themselves at War by the Shore 2?  lol

Bubba Mack, Jeff Keske, and Kevin Bazat on the H Auto left side


Clark and Lewis


Jeremy Yates (left) and Bubba Mack who has been hitting it real well in the post season


Flood and Reckart




2nd Place Team Racks; Yahhh!

4-2 Record


Team Racks was on the field from 9 AM until 10 PM and never left the 1st base dugout.  They played every game on that field and never gave up until the final out.  An impressive day of hard hitting softball.  Martel hit the most homers.  Montano, Dunn, Dillon, and Pinkham had huge clutch hits.  The "rookie" Daniel "Bama" Cayton at shortstop showed he can play USA Softball very well.  Ussery made all tournament and the team played good enough to be Super champs.


Pinkham probably would have been MVP had they won it

Shannon Smith, Daniel Cayton, AJ Montano and Ben Dunn out their in center field.

Dill hits a big homer



3rd Place T's 13/Monsta/Ductech

2-2 Record


T's 13 gave H. Auto all they could handle in that opening game.  Then they dropped to the loser's bracket and sent home Comatose and WC Monsta before losing that 48-45 shootout with Racks to go to the finals.  Hammonds, Castillo, Marshburn, and Wilson – their pickups – all played well.  And Joey Bulens put up some big numbers to make all tournament.  


Marshburn played shortstop



4th Place WC Monsta

0-2 Record


WC Monsta lost two winnable games but struggled down the stretch in both.  As we know now this made them fresh for the 'A' Nationals which started the next day and they ended up winning that tournament.

Washington was on it

Williams and Whaley on the left side and Houseman in center field.



5th Place Comatose/S2N/Monsta

0-2 Record

Comatose played well enough to win in their opener against Racks but lost on a walk off homer.  Seems like a young athletic team with some good talent.

I have no idea why, but I can't find the team photo I had taken after the 1st game anywhere…sorry.




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Link to the Youtube channel

Link to all 2009 to 2018 Tournament Reports and Previews



Some more pictures for you:

Demars and Carl talk bats TV show didn't have much Monsta to film at the Super



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