Tournament: March 15 and 17, 2023
"Who thought senior softball could be so exciting?" said millennial fan Cayenne Towne at the BAJA Senior Softball end-of-season double-elimination tournament.
It only took three games (22 innings, 212 times at bat, 60 outs, 141 runs) for Insurance Center of Green Valley to capture the Catino League tournament championship. There were grilled hotdogs, potluck, perfect weather and tons of fans.
In the first game, the Insurers steamrolled injury-depleted Jeff LaFave Edward Jones Investors 20-8, fueled by deep hits from Paul Hill and Gary Peelman, and multiple double plays by Rich Malinowski and Wally Towne. Alan Anderson, Craig Burgess, and Paul Vitale were the pride of LeFave. In game two, fourth place Longhorn Grill & Saloon scored eight runs in their last at-bat to upset first-place Premier Properties 15-12 with Dee Feagan’s great pitching and key triples from Tom Hostad and Dennis Grimm. Premier Greg Endow had three hits and four RBIs, and Sonny LaPointe homered. In the loser’s bracket game three, Premier recovered to eliminate LeFave 17-5. Jerry Watkins and Mike Soukup powered Premier.
Longhorn battled Insurance Center, who squeaked out their second win 11-10 in the seventh inning. Cathy Yearout's first base glove, base hits, and Roger Johnson's homer lead ICGV. Dave Erickson and Ed Karnes paced Longhorn. In the loser’s bracket game, Premier turned four double plays to topple Longhorn 17-9. The Horns' Jim Wray and Alan Welsch homered, but it was not enough to win against Premier. Dave Lee had multiple RBIs, and LaPointe had a home run. The championship game’s 17-17 tie led to an extra inning between Premier and Insurance Center that thrilled the crowd.
In the eighth inning, ICGV had a seven-hit, two-out rally, including Lezlie Lang's 3-RBI double for a 6-run lead. Premier's last at-bat was stifled by Mark Haskoe's stealth pitching and a game-ending centerfield catch by Debbie Seguin to seal the deal at 23-22. For the tourney, ICGV's Malinowski batted 11-for-11, Peelman went 9-for-10, while Johnson and John Newman went 8-for-10. Premier Watkins and Mark Hess continued their torrid hitting and fancy glove work.
Allison’s end-of-season tournament featured its own March Madness when last-place Two Girls Pizzeria twice knocked off first-place OOROO Auto to advance, relegating the mechanics to eating hotdogs on the sidelines. Then third-place 3 ½ Happy Barbers won three straight to claim the title.
Two Girls had a huge seventh-inning comeback to beat OOROO. The 27-24 win was highlighted by the doughboys’ team batting average of .700, with Mike Djureen going 5-for-5. The Mechanics homers by Mike Hale (3), Benny Hayes and Bill Seavecki weren’t enough. Meanwhile, the Barbers advanced to the winner’s bracket with a 16-11 win over Health Insurance Solutions. The Barbers' Mike Iannachinno’s had five hits, and Randy Drenning homered. For the Brokers, Vince Robinette homered while Tim Saylor, Bruce Scandling, Eduardo Mendoza, Hunt Barrett and Steve Aiken all had three hits. Then the Brokers were bounced out of the tournament with a 15-3 shellacking by OOROO. The wrenchmen played solid defense while Hale, Tom McKeon and Doug Arenson hit safely. Saylor had an inside-the-park homer for Health Insurance.
Play opened with a winner’s bracket victory by the Barbers over Two Girls, 19-7. Iannachinno was perfect again. Drenning had another home run, Russ Sneigowski had an inside-the-parker, and Rick Hoen collected three hits. Steve Calton homered for Two Girls. That set up the loser-out game, a 17-16 last-inning win by the pizza boys over OOROO. Two Girls manager Chuck Borozinski credited hits throughout the roster and solid outfield defense.
For the Mechanics, Hayes, Seavecki, Gary Anderson, Tim Ilse and Bob Dibble hit safely every at-bat. Barbers had to win one more to claim the championship, and they did, 15-11. Trecker hit a home run, and manager Jack Slama said it was a total team effort offensively and defensively. Iannachinno was almost perfect, going 11-for-12 for the tournament. For Two Girls, Djureen and Charlie Tarjan led the hitting, while Tony Gennato had a bases-clearing triple, but the pizza boys ran out of sauce, and the clippers styled their way to the title.
JIM HILL SPIRIT LEAGUE-Sponsored by Shawn Smith RE/Max Signature
Tournament day was no different than our regular season play. Donna Harrison snagged a fly ball to put a very disappointed batter out. Jim DeWilde tripled, Robert Cannon went 7-for-8 from the plate, and Steve Sellinger went 6-for-8. Barb Katz and husband, Andy Katz, kept it in the family with each hitting homers. Arlie Lyons also homered. Gratefully, Joey Waldschmitt stepped in to pitch and Anderson, Saylor, Jerry Miller, Bob Hoyler, Greg Schoenberg, and Dave Brigham filled in, enabling us to play.
Tom Puzio, Jan Furuli, Brad Beaver, and Mac Robison each homered this season, while Arlie Lyons, Randy George and Barb Katz each homered twice. One of Randy's went over the fence, too! Our day ended with thanks to our sponsor, hugs, and well wishes till we all meet again next season.