Softball tournament a successLast weekend’s Finland Firemen’s Softball Tournament was a rousing success.
By: Steve Gow and Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
Last weekend’s Finland Firemen’s Softball Tournament was a rousing success.
“It was an awesome tournament,” said Jim Sinderman, co-tournament director. “It was so much fun.”
Andy Johnson singled home Faron Meeks with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh inning to give John’s Sanitary a 4-3 victory over Leinie’s Legends in the championship game of the 25th annual Finland Fireman’s softball tournament after Meeks had singled to lead off the inning.
John’s had scored twice in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the score at three and had earlier beaten Leinie’s 12-0 in five innings to force the if game.
This was the fourth straight title for John’s and sixth in the last eight years. This was the Legends 22nd trip to the Finland showcase where they have four runner-up finishes. The Finland tournament only allows wooden bats, which means you have to bring a defense as you cannot solely rely on the artificial offense granted many players via the use of metal bats.
After John’s won its opening game of the tournament with a 16-2 five inning romp over the Finland Fun Bags, they lost 9-7 in eight innings to Two Stooges of Fridley which dropped them into the losers bracket of the nine team double elimination tournament for Sunday morning.
Then they regrouped and started their return to the promised land with a 14-2 win over Isabella and a 12-0 shutout of Somni’s Masonry of Grand Marais.
This earned them a rematch with the Two Stooges, where this time they jumped out to a good lead and never looked back. Then it was on to having to beat Leinie’s twice.
Leinie’s opened their play in the tournament with a 15-0 rout of five time champion Pike in their only game on Saturday. Early Sunday morning they sent Somni’s to the losers bracket by a score of -. They followed that up with a 5-1 win over the Two Stooges in the contest featuring the only two remaining unbeaten teams in the tournament.
Thus the final order of finish for the top four teams ended as John’s Sanitary, Leinie’s Legends, Two Stooges and Somni’s Masonry.
Volunteers helped make the event a success.
“People from all over the area come and help us every year,” Sinderman said.
The event, which was in its 25th year, raises funds for the Finland Fire Department.
It helps raise money for maintaining the truck and getting new hoses, among other things. Even though the funds from the event had not been counted yet, Sinderman said they had a really good turnout this year.
Over the years, the tournament has raised anywhere between $700 and $800 in the first tournaments, to now where they raise between $950 to $1,300.