Local team place high in ‘world series’
The Mountain West Insurance/Bower Brothers Construction ‘Sooners’ made a run for the top spot Thursday through Sunday at the 1999 Triple Crown Softball World Series Tournament in Steamboat Springs. The Sooners placed third among 51 teams.
On Thursday, the Sooners beat Straight Edge Construction (Utah), 15-9, and on Friday the Sooners downed Schall Chemical (Colorado), 20-6, and Big Nasty (Nevada), 18-3.
Saturday, the Sooners outslugged the Wizards (New Mexico), 21-12, Shell Construction (Texas), 17-13, Bear Creak (Colorado), 20-17, and Play or Die (Utah), 20-15.
On Sunday, the Sooners edged past Surge (Utah), 11-9, and then Team Easton, the Florida state champions, slipped by the Sooners, 7-5.
“I thought that we played really good,” said Sooners coach Robert Razzano. “We won our first eight games and we lost the semifinal game to Team Easton from Florida. They are a good team.
“Everybody played solid on our team. You have to have 10 solid players. If you have a weak spot on the team other teams will take advantage of that spot.”
The semifinal contest wasn’t played in the best of conditions, according to Sooners left fielder Jeff Camilletti.
“The semifinal game was Sunday,” said Camilletti. “It was raining the whole game and there was puddles in the field. They were a good team and they just got us by a couple of runs.”
In the title game of the ‘world series’ Valley Merchants (California) ran past Team Easton, 23-5.
“We were right there in the hunt,” said Camilletti. “Then we just didn’t close it out the last couple of games. There were a lot of good teams in the tournament. It could have gone either way if we would have had a little bit better day, but it didn’t work out for us.”
Saturday, the Sooners had to come back against Shell Construction and Bear Creak to stay alive in the tournament.
“We were averaging about 20 runs until the last game,” said Razzano. “We had two games Saturday where we were down by 10 runs and we came back and won both of them. The other ones we won pretty easily. We were a little short on Thursday and Friday. Jarrod Kunkle, our shortstop, got there on Saturday and he made us a little better team.”
The Sooners have played in the ‘world series’ eight of the last nine years.
“The first year you go and see all the teams with corporate sponsors,” said Razzano. “You are a little intimated by them, but I think our level of softball is just as good as anybody else’s.”
Razzano said the Sooners’ goal is to win it all.
“We would like to win nationals,” said Razzano. “We won the Craig league a lot and we won the Steamboat Springs last year. If we win nationals we would probably hang it up.”
Brad King, Sooners second baseman, and Kunkle made the all-tournament team which features the top 10 players in the tournament.
First baseman Bobby Rodela, right fielder Jason Parker and right center fielder Russ Hill earned spots on the second team.
After two days of competition at the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association State Finals, riders and ropers from Moffat and Routt counties are making their way into the home stretch.