The ASA ‘A’ Nationals were held at the ASA Hall of Fame Softball Complex in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. A very competitive 12-team field faced off in the doubleelimination event, which began with four “play in” games. Texas-based ASPNation.com got things going in game one with a 43-24 win over former ASA ‘B’ champion Heartland Investors, while All-American Athletics from the great Northwest run-ruled Iowa’s OC, 30-15. BBS, with a paired-down roster to meet ASA ‘A’ standards compared to their Super team that won the ASA Super Nationals the day before, knocked off West Coast Monsta, 24-21. Team Combat came from behind to beat a very talented All-Armed Forces team, made up of active duty Armed Forces players selected from their softball training camps that ran for a month before the tournament, 34-19. These four winning teams moved on to play in the “round of eight” in the winners’ bracket. In the “round of eight,” all of the big all-starcaliber teams with their three RPL (Restricted Players List) pickups were upset! ASP Nation.com scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to beat the favorite, Compound Athletics, 20-19, on a walk-off single by pitcher Danny Evans! T’s 13/DeMarini broke open a 30-30 tie with All-American Athletics in the top of the seventh with three runs and won, 33-30, as Mickey Rowland notched three home runs and seven RBIs for T’s 13. In game seven, Precision scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh, including three straight homers by Mike Umschied, Keith Laski, and Andrew Collins, to win the game, 22-21, over BBS. Red’s Astros batted around, scoring 12 runs in the third inning to eventually beat Team Combat, 36-25. Red’s Chad Mullins was 5-for-5 with five RBIs and outfielder Mike Cirillo was 4-for-5 with four home runs and eight RBIs. In the first semifinal, ASP Nation.com scored 13 runs in the third inning to go up on T’s 13, 19-9, thanks to a 3-for-3, grand slam, seven-RBI performance out of relief pitcher Brian Bohanon, to hold on and beat T’s, 34-31, to advance to the winners’ final. In the other semifinal, Red’s Astros scored 10 runs in the top of the sixth to take a 21-11 lead on Precision. Precision answered with 15 runs in the bottom of the inning to wrest the lead back and held on to win, 26- 23, without having to bat in the seventh. In the winners’ final late Saturday night, Precision scored 11 in the third and 10 in the fifth to take a commanding 30-18 lead on ASP Nation. ASPNation’s offense returned the favor, scoring 17 runs in the top of the sixth and 10 more in the top of the seventh to claim the victory, 45- 33! ASP slugger Tim Bowser was 6-for-6 with three home runs and nine RBIs, including a grand slam, and teammate Matt Vern was 7-for-7 with three home runs and nine RBIs in the win. Meanwhile in the losers’ bracket, All-American Athletics and Team Combat were eliminating teams left and right, including favored teams like BBS and Compound Athletics. T’s 13 finally ended Team Combat’s run and then ended All-American Athletics’ run to make it to Sunday to face Precision. In that losers’ bracket finals game, Precision scored a tournament-high 26 runs in the bottom of the third inning and were trailing at the start of the inning, 12-0! T’s 13 never gave up, scoring six in the fourth and four in the fifth to pull within five runs, but Precision dropped an 11- run inning on them in the bottom of the fifth, leaving them on the field, 38-22. In the championship game, ASP Nation came out of the gate with a 12-0 lead after one inning as MVP Kyle Pearson homered twice. Pearson would end up 5-for-6 in the game with three home runs and 10 RBIs, including a grand slam! Precision slowly crept back into the game over the next four innings, trailing, 21-14, going into the sixth. ASP Nation put up an 11-run inning on homers by Mack, Bowser, and McBryde and led, 35-18, going into the bottom of the seventh. Precision made a valiant comeback, scoring 14 runs in the bottom of the seventh by hitting six home runs, but came up short, 35-32. ASP Nation wins a very high-quality ‘A’ tournament and met every challenge thrown their way. The tournament had 22 games total; only four ended in run-rules, and 12 of the 22 games were decided by four runs or fewer. Tournament MVP was Kyle Pearson from ASP Nation, who went .808, with six home runs and 27 RBIs! The batting champion title went to Mike Brown, the pitcher from All-American Athletics, who averaged .813. The home run champion was Chris Greinert, who hit 10 home runs to lead all hitters. 2015 ASA ‘A’ Nationals final standings: 1. ASP Nation. com/A&A Utility/KV Weld (TX); 2. Precision/Easton/DO (IL); 3. T’s 13/DeMarini (NE); 4. All-American Athletics (OR); Tied 5. Red’s Astros (IN); Tied 5. Team Combat/Baugh Ford/Softball. Com (WA); Tied 7. West Coast Monsta/The Scene (CA); Tied 7. Heartland Investors (ND); Tied 9. Compound Athletics/Bubbas/ Easton (IL); Tied 9. All-Armed Forces (USA); Tied 9. BBS/ Mr. D’s/Rip City (MN); Tied 9. OC (IA).
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