Sparks Softball team wins Philip Men's Nite Owl Softball Tournament

In a rain-delayed two nights of softball, the Sparks Softball team of Rapid City won two championship games to take the title away from three-time defending champions Steakhouse/MBC of Philip.

Fourteen teams entered the tournament. Eleven stuck out the rain Friday night to play all day Saturday and into early Sunday morning. The championship games ended around 5:30 a.m. Play had begun 6:00 p.m. Friday, July 18, and continued until around 10:30, when rain postponed the tournament until 11:00 Saturday morning.

Purple Haze from Eagle Butte defeated Discount Fuel from Kadoka. The second game saw LLL Trucking from Enning/Sturgis prevail over the Outlaws from Sturgis. Three-time defending champions Steakhouse/MBC took the next win from the Kamikazes of Rapid City. Sparks Softball from Rapid City had an easy victory over The Machines from Rapid City. Master Batters from Sioux Falls won by forfeit over Coors Light of Rapid City when their game was postponed on account of rain and Coors Light was unable to return Saturday. Triple X Spraying from Philip also won by a forfeit against Quiksilver from Rapid City. Midland Food and Fuel from Pierre and 30-Pak Stones from Sioux Falls both drew byes for the first round.

Saturday morning, Purple Haze defeated Midland Food and Fuel, Steakhouse/MBC defeated LLL Trucking and Sparks Softball got the win over Master Batters. 30-Pak Stones took the win over Triple X Spraying.

Loser bracket games saw Outlaws knocking Kamikazes from the competition and LLL Trucking getting by Discount Fuel. Then, Outlaws prevailed over Midland Food and Fuel. Next it was Triple X Spraying winning over Master Batters and LLL Trucking knocking Outlaws from the tournament.

Quarter finals had Steakhouse/MBC getting their first loss of the tournament in nearly four years, losing to Purple Haze. Then fans got to see what could be the best game of the tournament in which Sparks Softball rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning to edge 30-Pak Stones, setting up a semi-final with Sparks Softball beating Purple Haze to advance to the championship for a second consecutive year.

The rest of the loser's bracket games had 30-Pak Stones knocking Triple X Spraying from the tourney and Steakhouse /MBC beating LLL Trucking for a second time. It was then Steakhouse/ MBC downed 30-Pak Stones to set up a rematch with Purple Haze, with the winner advancing to the championship game. Steakhouse/MBC was able to avenge an earlier loss and get back to the title game for a fourth year in a row.

In the final game, Steakhouse/MBC would have to beat Sparks Softball twice in a rematch of last year's title game. Steakhouse/MBC was able to win the first game, but fell short by one run in the second game, handing the crown over to Sparks Softball.

The first place trophy and $400 went to Sparks Softball. Second place trophy and $300 went to Steakhouse/MBC. Third place trophy and $200 went to Purple Haze.

"We hope to make this tournament bigger and better each year and add more teams to bring to Philip for a weekend of fun," said Jeremy Royer-Kerns.