Florida women’s softball teams brought home four gold medals at the 2023 National Senior Games Softball Championships, held May 3-7, at the Lou Berliner Sports Complex, in Columbus, Ohio.
The Golden Players 60+ and 75+ teams were the gold medal winners, along with Slugger Strong in the 55+ age group and the Cappers in the 60+. Following pool play, teams were divided up inito championship brackets based on their skill level.
The 60+ Golden Players team (pictured at right), made up of a majority of players from The Villages area, went through pool play undefeated in three games, but lost in the first round of the Division 1 championship bracket, 21-20, to Serious Fun, from Tennessee. The Golden Players then reeled off four consecutive consolation bracket wins, including a 6-5 victory against Serious Fun and two wins against Castawaz, from Nevada.
The final game was a 13-11 win for the Golden Players, set up after a 16-11 win over the Castawaz. With the score tied at 11 in the fourth inning, Nancy Lee’s triple brought home Tammy Quinn for the go-ahead run in the fifth inning and Connie McNeil provided an insurance run in the sixth inning with a run scoring hit.
McNeill had a hot bat for the Golden Players throughout the seven games collecting 16 hits in 20 at bats for an .800 batting average and 20 RBI.
Members of the Golden Players 60+ team include; Beth Bullock, Marisa Carmody, Jayme Cordie, Patricia Gill, Cynthia Godfrey, Kathy Harriman, Kathy Keys, Barbara Kimball, Karen Koltnow, Nancy Lee, Karen Malinowski, Connie McNeill, Nancy Lynn Navitsky, Tamara Quinn, Doralisa Sherrod,Christine Terril, Kim Thomas
The Golden Players 75+ team, also consisting of players from The Villages, was dominant in six total wins over the course of the weekend, three in pool play and three in championship bracket play. The Golden Players outscored their opponents 37-7 in the three championship bracket games, including a 14-5 win in the final against the Ohio Tri Stars.
The Tri Stars took an early lead until the fourth inning when the Golden Players took a 6-5 lead. The Golden Players continued their offensive output while the defense kept the Tri Stars quiet, leading to the 14-5 final.
The 75+ team featured six players over the age of 80 and include;
Karen Adams, Carol Courter, Dede Fahrney, Madaline Ferraro, Carol Floros, Jane Girotti, Ronald Girotti, Jeanne Hackett, Carol Koszola, Kathy Kryger, Barbara Lukens, Gloria Miller, Karen Parrinello, Cynthia Price, Virginia Rowand, Ronnie Beth Rump, Joyce Turner, Avis Vaught and Ruth Weil.
Also earning gold medals was the Slugger Strong team in the 55+ Age Group, Division 2 bracket and the Cappers in the 60+ age group, Division 3 bracket, The 50+ Golden Players team earned a bronze medal in the Division 2 bracket, as well as the Villages Senior Diamonds in the 65+ age group.
Florida Teams in the 2023 National Senior Games Softball Championships
50+ Division: Golden Players, 1-2 pool play record, 2-1 in Division 2 bracket play, Bronze Medal
55+ Division: Slugger Strong, 2-1 pool play record, 3-0 in Division 2 bracket play, Gold Medal
55+ Division: Sunny Beaches, 2-1 pool play record, 1-2 in Division 1 bracket play, Fourth Place
60+ Division: Cappers, 1-2 pool play record, 3-0 in Division 3 bracket play, Gold Medal
60+ Division: Golden Players, 3-0 pool play record, 4-1 Division 1 bracket play, Gold Medal
65+ Division: Sunny Beaches, 2-1 pool play record, 1-2 in Division 1 bracket play, Fourth Place
65+ Division: Villages Senior Diamonds: 1-2 pool play record, 0-2 in Division 2 bracket play, Bronze Medal
75+ Division: Golden Players: 3-0 pool play record, 3-0 in championship round, Gold Medal
The remaining sports of the 2023 National Senior Games will be held July 7-18, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, with over 600 Florida athletes competing in 20 sports. Florida is ranked among the top five states for states competing in the 2023 National Senior Games.
The 2023 Florida Senior Games, presented by Humana, Softball Championships, will be held Saturday, September 2 at the Sleepy Hollow Sports Complex in Leesburg. More than 20 sports will be in action at the 2023 Florida Senior Games, December 2-11, in Florida’s Sports Coast/Pasco County. Visit www.floridaseniorgames.com for competition and forthcoming registration information.