Kingman’s Senior Softball (KSS) team is celebrating its second-place finish at the World Master’s Championships tournament played October 2-4 in Las Vegas. KSS was 6-3 through the tournament, losing the championship game to “The Hawaiians” 18-8.
KSS beat Hawaii in a seeding game but it was Hawaii that sent Kingman to the loser’s bracket and ended KSS’s bid for a world championship in the final contest of the double-elimination tournament. Along the way KSS also beat two teams from Texas and others from Vancouver, Washington; Ontario, Canada; and Guam.
KSS, comprised of players 50 to 60 years of age, began play in late 2013 as a AAA-rated team and struggled through many losses before being downgraded to AA status by the national Senior Softball office in Sacramento, California. The team began to gel over the summer with strong finishes in Prescott and Las Vegas and its first tournament title in Flagstaff.
Team Captain Bob Posey says the squad has blended and persevered to evolve into a contender.
“There’s nothing like winning and winning together and that’s what makes it so special,” Posey said. “A lot of people talk about glory days and we continue to live them. To be blessed with enough health and talent to continue to play a child’s game is something incredibly special.”
KSS outfielder Curtis Cutshaw said the quality of play in senior softball is amazing.
“You’re not done at 50. You’re not done at 60. If you still want to play and it’s still in your heart, you can still play,” Cutshaw said. “In this tournament we saw some great softball, not just guys hanging on, but very good athletes playing a great game still.”
With a 30-35 (.857 batting average) performance at the plate and some spectacular defense, Armando Caban was named KSS MVP. Caban was also named to the all tournament team along with Marty Huggins (.730), Tomas Wilson and Glenn Jordan (both .657).
Cutshaw and Posey noted that members of Kingman’s squad, with two exceptions, are residents of a town of 30,000 people playing against teams pulling players from populations in the hundreds of thousands if not multiple millions.
“When you look at cities like Houston and Toronto and consider the islands of Hawaii, we competed and beat most of them handily,” Posey said. And he tipped his cap to the champions.
“We couldn’t have played a finer opponent. We were equally matched. Someone had to come out on top and it just happened to be them. If it had to be anybody but us I’m glad it was them,” Posey said. “And they were glad that they got to play us for that honor. After the game it was all congratulations and hugs and admiration for each other. There’s nothing more special than that.”
KSS thanks its 2015 sponsors which include Fred Lingenfelter, Stockton Hill Farms, White Cliffs Senior Living and Erin Collins and welcomes anyone interested in helping in the future. KSS next plays in a senior softball tournament in Bullhead City Halloween weekend.