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Long Haul win Firemanís/Resmondo takes Smokies


By Don Bowman


The nationís No. 3 rated team in the land, Long Haul Trucking/Phonemasters, who are locally based out of Albertville Minn., took home the 2009 Firemanís Tournament championship this past weekend! John Danielís sluggers steamrolled the field until a very good Tharaldsonís club (N.D./Minn.) upset the ĎTruckersí in the first championship game, only to see Long Haul come back to win the chip game 20-5 and take home first place hardware.

As usual this softball extravaganza was a mob scene, with thousands of spectators throughout the weekend watching games at both Valleyview and Dred Scott fields. Hats off to tourney promoter Jeff ďBarnseyĒ Barnes (#164) for another job well done! The new WSL sound system on field 4 was a blast too!


Resmondo captures Smokey title

There were no big surprises at the Smokey Mountain Classic in Tennessee on July 11-13, as Resmondo, Dan Smith and Long Haul, went one-two-three. With the tournament championship, Resmondo reclaims their spot as the No. 1 team in America, with Smith falling to number two, and Long Haul grabbing the No. 3 spot.

Resmondo pitcher Andy Purcell was tabbed the tourney MVP, while Dan Smithís Scott Brown, a Minnesota native, was named to the All-Tournament Team! Named offensive MVP was Brian Wegman of Dan Smith, while Resmondoís Don DeDonatis III, was named defensive MVP.


Resmondo follows with Cincy win

Following the Smokies win, Resmondo packed the bus and headed to Cincinnati the following week, and won the Cincy USSSA Major NIT on July 18-20.Finishing second was Jean Shoppe while the Blitz took third. Fifty-plus teams took part in this one, making it one of the largest, if not the largest Major NIT in the country! Contractorís Capital of Minnesota won a few games and played very well, despite leaving behind slugging catcher Geno Burdick who played in the Firemanís and saved a lot of airfare money.


Minnesotans invade Oklahoma

Three Minnesota teams participated in the SPA (Softball Players Association) National Championships in Tulsa, Okla., on July 18-20. Congratulations to the MN Grayhounds/Miken/Tanel/Titan Apparel squad, who went 4-0 and won the menís 55 Major National title! Tourney MVP Gary Hamilton went 25-for-30 (.833), and played flawless at third base. Also having a great weekend was Tony Udeanís MN Masters 60ís club, who played VERY well in grabbing third-place honors in the 60 Major division! Also playing solid ball this year was the MN Masters 55ís Major Plus team (defending SSUSA National Champions), who competed extremely well in the very tough 55ís Major + bracket.


Easton/Hooters/Rockets win crown

The Firemanís womenís tournament was loaded with great talent as well, in a bracket that basically was the Little Canada Womenís Open League Ďupper bracket.í In the finals, the Easton/Hooters/Rockets stunned the MN Thunderboltz, 10-6 in the finals, while The Outsiders, who are playing as good as anybody in the state this year, finished a solid third!


Frozen softballs at Firemanís?

Long-time reader Stu Podassel writes to LPS: ďI picked up a softball hit over the outfield fence at Valleyview 4 on Saturday, and suffered third degree frostbite wounds on my left hand. Whatís up with that?? Well Stu, Iím not sure if the Firemanís insurance coverage will handle that or not. Youíll have to call the WSL police. Unfortunately a few teams have found that icing softballs will add up to 20 feet of distance in fly balls, and have decided that cheating is the only way they can win. What a shame.


O Canada

Hey speaking offrozen balls, how about that Canadian team that played in the Firemanís! There was a LOT of discussion about their bats being legal or not, and in at least one game, a bat was thrown out. Good luck getting across the border boys!


Parnell plays for Seacrest Mavericks

Former Ritchís Superior Major ball super-shortstop Ron Parnell, was spotted playing senior ball in Tulsa, Okla., last weekend for the Seacrest Mavericks of California. He still can hit it a mile, and helped lead his team to the 50ís Major + National title.


National fastpitch tourney on tap

Nearly 150 youth fastpitch teams are expected at the NAFA National 12U tourney in Eagan and the 14u-18uís AFA National Tourney in Oakdale on July 23-27 in Oakdale.