Hall of Fame Classic NIT

The 2008 season for Resmondo/Specialty Tank Softball team got started this past weekend in Kissimmee, Fl., and guess what nothing changed from last year, they won. The Sod boys had to do it the hard way by double-dipping Dan Smith/Menoosse/Benfield/Team Combat. Resmondo who lost to Smith in the winner’s bracket finals Saturday night came out Sunday trying to get back to play Smith. The sod boys ran into a very good Long Haul/Phonemasters/Miken team, who just would not quit. Resmondo squeaked out a 21-20 game and set sail to play old nemis Dan Smith in the first game of the championship. Resmondo won the first game 24-22 and now it was on to the “if” game to see who would win the first NIT of the season for both of these giants. This game was a good one, as both teams came out scoring and hitting the hell out of the ball, and at the end Resmondo came out on top 45-40 and thus won the first meeting of the season.

I had said in my first report of the year that these two teams have got much more competitive with the movement of some players, and I was right on it. I’m here to tell you these two will have a battle every weekend they play against each other, I guarantee you. had written in my first report that I thought Dan Smith was the weaker defensive team. What I should of said was that Resmondo had the better outfield and they do, and that both teams will have trouble in the infield. I will tell you all that is exactly what happened in this week’s tournament. Resmondo did not have Todd Martin, who is out with knee surgery, but when Todd gets back that will help Resmondo defensively. Smith did not have Johnny McCraw due to surgery on both shoulders, but when John gets back I believe it will help Smith in the outfield. I also said that Resmondo would have to hit good to beat Smith, and they did that when it counted. I know this, it sure looks like it’s going to be a great season when Resmondo, Smith and Long Haul get it on.

I also believe Shoppe, GTL, ABS & Laser Vision can beat anyone of the big three if they don’t play well on any given weekend, we will see. I can also tell you all, it definitely was the first NIT of the season for some of the best hitters in the game, that’s for sure. Wallace and Bumgardner did not hit it good at all. Hall and Helmer were definitely not up to par. Bryson Baker just tore it up. That man is without a doubt one of the game’s best hitters. Scooter Nastally hit the hell out of it this weekend for Smith. I am here to tell you Brian Rainwater is fast becoming the best all around player in the country. Scott Kirby is also looking like he is setting his sites on becoming one of softball’s super stars. I will admit I was way wrong about his ability to play the outfield. He is very good out there. I think when Kirby learns to hit good pitches and become more patient at the plate he can become a great hitter, we will see. Congratulations to Resmondo on winning and good luck on your next one. Congratulations to Dan Smith on your runner up and I know you will win your share this season. Good luck in your next one.

Long Haul/Phonemasters/Miken is for real boys. They are a new team on the block who can flat out play the game. This team has outstanding defense and very good hitting. Garris, Fulk, Crine, O’Hara, Hartwick and Robbins are going to be a force throughout the season. The young shortstop Anthony Dress is a very good one, I guarantee you, when this kid learns to hit watch out. They also have other great players, along with veteran pitcher Billy Messina. This bunch will stack up to anybody. Congratulations on a very good tournament. I’ll see you guys down the road. Suncoast/RBK finished in fourth place this weekend, beat the teams they should have and lost to the top two teams in the game. Lee has put together his best team ever, and I think they will do very good in 2008. Congratulations on a very good weekend.

I want to give some credit to Cane Softball, who finished in fourth place in Arizona and came to Florida to play in this one this week. The Cane boys gave Dan Smith a big scare as they were leading by six runs going to the top of the 7th inning. Smith came to bat and scored 7 to take the lead, and the Canes came up in the bottom of the 7th, but could not answer and ended up losing by one. Congratulations on two very good weekends and good luck down the road. Congratulations to all the teams who participated in this one, and good luck to you all.