Swarm wins another World Series title

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Montgomery Swarm ended its season 47-23 and raised first place trophies over their heads six times in 2016.

The Montgomery Swarm ended its season 47-23 and raised first place trophies over their heads six times in 2016.

Pearl River County’s Montgomery Swarm, a 55+ senior softball team, capped off the year by winning the 55+ AAA 2016 ISSA US Open National Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Oct. 21-23.

In early September, the Swarm defied the odds and became 2016 Softball Players Association world champions in Dalton, Ga. after qualifying as one of the lowest seeds in the tournament. The team fell into similar circumstances during the ISSA US Open.

In each tournament, qualifying matches are necessary to place each team in its respective seed. After the Swarm had trouble qualifying, the team turned their luck around and capitalized against some of the top seeds in the tournament.

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The Swarm crept out of qualifying pool play, gaining momentum when they beat the Wisconsin Playmakers 18-11 after losing to the Carolina Reds 24-13.

To start Saturday’s championship bracket, the Swarm beat the Lewisville Masters 16-12. After notching its first victory, the Swarm continued its success into the second round, defeating a scrappy Goodman-Tri County Title team from Virginia 27-23 before stepping up to the plate against Woodlawn Funeral Home, who placed third in the 55+ AAA 2016 SPA World Series.

Although the Swarm would score the least amount of runs in a game against Woodlawn, its defense restricted its opponent to only four runs, winning yet another hard fought game 15-4, pushing them into the World Series Championship.

The 2016 ISSA US Open National Championship is a double elimination tournament, meaning if a team were to lose a game, it would be placed in the loser’s bracket, but maintain a fighting chance to make it to the championship game.

Earlier in the tournament, Team Elite—from Ohio and Michigan— lost its first round game 20-9 against the Olympian Athletics. However, after scratching through four different teams, they squared up against Woodlawn Funeral Home in the semi-final round, which Team Elite won 20-15 placing them against the undefeated Swarm in the championship round on Sunday.

If Team Elite were to become champions, they would have to beat the Swarm twice. In the first couple of innings, the championship game was close. However, once the Swarm broke open with a couple of big hits and defensive plays, they claimed a 23-12 victory to win the 2016 ISSA US Open National Championship.

Standout Swarm players Wayne Griffin, MVP with .860 batting average, Larry Veahman, .780, Jerry Todd, .772, and Scott Arban, .800, made the All-American team, Todd said.

This winning team is an accumulation of some of the best players around Pearl River County from multiple teams, including some from out of the county as well, Todd said. After local players Roger Hyatt, Vance Herrin, Jerry Todd and former Picayune resident Scott Arban join the Swarm, they produced an impressive 47-23 record and won six tournaments throughout 2016.

“Joining the other Swarm players was an easy mesh that made for a very successful season and I am happy to be a part of this great group of guys,” Todd said.

The only major tournament the Swarm did not participate in this year was the SSUSA National Championships, which is held in Las Vegas and is a tournament filled with the best teams nationwide, Todd said.

“Everybody really enjoyed playing [in Myrtle Beach] and look forward to coming back, but Vegas may be in the plans for next year,” Todd said.