Hanningtons softball wins world championship

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(Front row, l-r) Calvin Freedman, Joe DeFelice, Al Spirdione, Frank Gordon, Rich Vena; (back row) Angie Scarcella, Lee Southworth, Allan Shuman, Tom Silvia, Charlie Howe, Rene Vignault, Justin McGrath and Woody Wood

(Front row, l-r) Calvin Freedman, Joe DeFelice, Al Spirdione, Frank Gordon, Rich Vena; (back row) Angie Scarcella, Lee Southworth, Allan Shuman, Tom Silvia, Charlie Howe, Rene Vignault, Justin McGrath and Woody Wood

The Hanningtons 75 AAA senior softball team, sponsored by Canton Attorney Glen Hannington and managed by Canton Citizen columnist Joe DeFelice, won the International Senior Softball Association’s (ISSA) World Tournament of Champions held during the weekend of January 27-29 in Tampa, Florida. There were 135 teams competing for championship rings. It was the largest ISSA three-day, single weekend senior tournament in the United States. The ISSA organizers used 29 fields throughout the Tampa Bay region. Only champions of all of the ISSA regional national tournaments are invited to participate. The Hanningtons team qualified by winning the World Cup held last August in Manassas, Virginia.

Besides winning the 75 AAA Division championship, the Hanningtons team played two outstanding seeding games., including one against the Myrtle Beach (SC) 70 Division team managed by Joe DeFelice’s brother, Mike DeFelice.

Joe DeFelice displays the championship plaque.

Joe DeFelice displays the championship plaque.

In that game, the score changed hands six times as Myrtle Beach outlasted Hanningtons to win a nail-biter 22-20. The Myrtle Beach team went on to win the 70 Division championship.

In the other seeding game, Hanningtons played the Florida Legends 80 Major team, led by Jake Woods, former Detroit Tigers major league player. The Legends had seven softball hall of famers playing on the team. The last time Hanningtons played the Legends, Hanningtons went on to win 25-17; but in this game, the Legends turned the table and beat Hanningtons 23-22 by scoring six runs in the last of the seventh inning with two outs and no one on base. The Legends are the top over-80 team in the United States.

In the tournament, Frankie Gordon of New York was named the MVP for the Hanningtons team for his outstanding pitching and his .750 batting average. Named to the All-Tournament team was Ed Lloyd of Pittsburgh, PA, with an .813 batting average as well as Charlie Howe of New Hampshire (.785) and Tom Silvia of Swansea (.700).

In this tournament, Hanningtons had a team batting average of .690 while averaging 21 runs per game.

Hanningtons’ manager Joe DeFelice was presented with the winning plaque, which now hangs in Attorney Hannington’s Canton office. All of the Hanningtons players received specially designed World Championship rings.

Hanningtons’ players included Lee Southworth (.923), Joe DeFelice (.833), Angie Scarcella (.714), Rene Vignault (.625), Al Spirdione (.615), Woody Wood (.600), Cal Freedman (.600), Allan Schuman (.583), Rich Vena (.555), and Justin McGrath (.500).

Joe DeFelice (right), manager of the Hannington 75 team, and Mike DeFelice (left), manager of the Myrtle Beach 70s team, exchanging lineup cards before their big game.

Joe DeFelice (right), manager of the Hannington 75 team, and Mike DeFelice (left), manager of the Myrtle Beach 70s team, exchanging lineup cards before their big game.

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