All play and no work at Labor Day Softball Tournament

Jonathan Green

Three great softball games were played on a perfect and sunny Labor Day at the SaddleBrooke Senior Softball Association (SSSA) annual tournament, but the surprising star of the day was the amazing size of the crowd. Hundreds packed the SaddleBrooke Stadium for the games, the show, the food and drinks and the neighborhood camaraderie.

It was SRO! Nearly 400 brats and hot dogs were consumed this day.

SSSA thanks Sunshine Experts for sponsoring the tournament and Doug Wagers of Window Wizard for rustlin’ up the grub on his Louisiana Cooker. Of course, dozens of volunteers do “work” to make the SSSA tourneys the spectacle that they have become. SSSA’s four holiday tourneys are becoming THE “Place to Be!”

Here are the game stories:

Game 1, Recreation League: A one-run walk-off win! A low scoring squeaker at first as the blue shirts sponsored by Firefly Fireplaces and Supplies and managed by Dale Norgard opened with 3 in the first but then went cold for a while. The white shirts, Tim Benjamin managing for Golf Cars of Arizona, nibbled at that lead as both teams score sparingly, but they couldn’t pass until the sixth. Down by one, blue scored three in the top of the last to make it 11-9. But white struck back to tie it and then with bases loaded and only one out Lee Davis hit a right center field sacrifice fly to score Mark Foster tagging from third. Final 12-11 White.

Game 2, Community/Coyote League: 8-0 after two, sure looked like a runaway for the white shirted Home Team Pest Defense crew of Debbie Seguin. But they still had only 8 runs three innings later, while the Vern Boothby’s blue shirts of Hardin Brothers Automotive, Inc. went on to score as listed here in innings three through seven: 5, 3, 5, 5 and 3 to make it a runaway in the opposite direction 21-14. Peter Romeo was 4/4 with a grand slam, and Brad Adair also homered for the winners.

Game 3, Competitive League: 60 total runs made for a crowd pleaser of a nightcap. Can it be called a “nightcap” at 2:00 p.m.? Perhaps the highlight among highlights was the last inning for Steve Garceau’s blue shirt, Johnston’s Pest Solutions; all but one player scored in the top of seven, and David Bohlman even scored twice as 12 hits rallied for 10 runs to put the previously 24-20 game WAY out of reach. Charlie LaNeve’s Lexus of Tucson at the AutoMall team did try to come back. They scored six in an attempted salvage but the final was 34-26. A 3-run sixth inning homer into the Dog Park by Len Gann was a crowd pleaser for LaNeve’s team.

SSSA’s next scheduled tournament will be the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. Get there early to secure a seat. High on the priority list for future SSSA tournaments will be more brats and hot dogs and additional seating! If these things get any more popular, people will be camping out overnight like Black Friday!