2015 Champaign – Playoffs (Nov. 4)

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Updated: November 10, 2015

Wednesday Night marked one of the best night of the year! The Playoffs are finally here! We went from 10 to 8 and from an Elite8 down to our Final4! We’ll get to who that is in just a moment.  Next week we’ll have our Flag Football Final4 followed by the Championship Hoops Game on Wednesday Nov. 11! The updated Playoff Bracket is posted as well.  Before we recap the Playoff Games from the Opening Round and Elite8, here’s a Link to the Weekly Highlight Video with extended Playoff clips!  Another quick reminder as deadlines are fast approaching — for Spring Break Trips — Student City — and for Study Abroad — cea Study Abroad.

 

Playoff Recap 

Opening Round Softball – 9 Teams Remain

8. Team AKL (Houlihan’s) v. 9. Team ATO (iHotel Navy) – 9. Team ATO Wins 

A spot in the Elite8 was on the line.. Both Teams entered knowing they were capable of winning two Games on this night.. The Winner here would of course move on to face #1 Team Sammy’s immediately following.. But first things first!  Only one of these squads could advance.. As the Game got started it was clear that the Defenses weren’t going to give any freebies to the Offenses.  Both Teams made play after play in the field and as the first couple of innings past by, Team ATO finally broke through.. They took a 2-0 lead and would eventually tack on another.. They were moving on to the Elite8!

For Team AKL, they leave 2015 without the Crown that they set out to grasp but still had a bunch of highlights to look back upon from this season.. They were a young core who will undoubtedly be back in 2016 with some much needed experience. This group is on the verge of making a serious Playoff run.. 2016 may just be their year! Thanks for playing!

 

Elite8 Softball

1. Team Sammy’s (Biaggi’s Purple) v. 9. Team ATO (iHotel Navy) – 9. Team ATO Wins

The unique thing about the Opening Round is it allows both the top seed to scout their future opponent but it also allows for the Winner of the Opening Round Game to a) get some much needed at-bats to work out any kinks and b) to come in with a serious amount of momentum.. Look no further than this ATO Team who took this very route back in 2013 and made it all the way to the Championship Game!

Wednesday Night was no different.. They won the Opening Round against Team AKL and then utilized their momentum to post a 7 spot in the top of the first inning against #1 Team Sammy’s.. Sammy’s also lost one of their key Players and 3b Tommy Sutker who just gave a little bit too much effort going for a ball.. Hope to see him back out there soon!  As the early innings went on Team ATO just continued to build upon their lead and eventually opened up a 12-2 lead on the stunned #1 Team Sammy’s squad…

Then the comeback would mount. Key hits from AJ Price and Kim Gershkovich were monumental in the storming back by the #1 seed.. As we speed ahead to the bottom of the 7th.. Sammy’s would eventually cut the lead to 1 and had the bases juiced with 2 outs.  A frozen rope was hit to short but snagged by Team ATO to close out the upset!  Team ATO was going to their 2nd Final4 in 3 seasons!

For Team Sammy’s, they definitely leave this with disappointment but only because of the tremendous amount of success they had in 2015. They won the Regular Season out right. They were undefeated in Head to Head Games. They were without question THE Team to beat entering the Playoffs.. Softball is one of those sports where on any given night some crazy things can happen and in the Elite8 they did. This group was predominantly Sophomores and they will be back in 2016 with a taste for Revenge. These are the favorites heading into the 2016 year. Congrats on a great season.

 

2. Team SAE (Farm Lake Barn) v. 7. Team SAE 5s (Biaggi’s Gold) – 2. Team SAE Wins

These two Teams battled in the Regular Season finale and as fate would have it, they were destined for a Rematch clash in the Elite8 with a spot in the Final4 on the line.  No matter what as the Game got underway we knew the SAE house would be represented in the League’s final night.. But would it be the #2 overall seeded young guns from the house or the #7 seeded 5th years who were along for one final ride in the Champaign League?

It was a well played Defensive battle between both SAE squads on Wednesday Night but when the dust settled it was the #2 Team SAE group taking the 4-2 W. They just got a couple more timely hits with runners in scoring position in what really was a well played Game by both Teams. It was the best Game of the Night and it was a shame either Team had to Lose. Team SAE would move on to the Final4!

For the SAE 5s.. The grizzled vets.. They entered their 3rd run in the Champaign League with obvious hopes of hoisting the Crown but it just wasn’t meant to be this time around.. They are one of the groups that helped build this League into what it is today.. The last of the original Teams to still be competing in Champaign from 2013.. They will now graduate onto our Chicago Leagues where some old Rivals will be waiting! Thanks for playing!

 

3. Team SigEp (cea Study Abroad) v. 6. Team Pikes (Meijer) – 3. Team SigEp Wins

Would the 2014 Champs title defense end reign in the Elite8?? Nope!  The Defending Champs showed just why they held the Crown a year ago with a great performance on Wednesday Night and for the second straight year they’d compete on the League’s final night!  They’ll take on #2 Team SAE in the Final4.

For Team Pikes, they had a remarkable first year in the Champaign League. Their whole roster was virtual Rookies to All Sports Series and they experienced more success than most.  They will certainly be back in 2016 and with added experience they are going to be dangerous in this League for years to come. Thanks for playing!

 

4. Team ZBT (iHotel Orange) v. 5. Team Sig Chi 5s (Wedge Tequila Bar Green) – 5. Team Sig Chi 5s Wins

The 4/5 Game is always a matchup to watch during the Elite8. Both Teams have had tremendous seasons.. Team ZBT knows the rigors of All Sports Series inside and out.. They have a been a top tier squad for many years in Champaign and have Players who compete for Championships in different All Sports Series Leagues throughout the Summer.. Then, you have Team Sig Chi 5s who are complete Rookies, venturing into their first set of Playoffs here in All Sports Series. Both Teams won several Games to earn their respective seeds but only one could get to the Final4.’

In what was also a well-played Defensive battle, we saw another “upset” take place in terms of the seeding as Team Sig Chi 5s grabbed the 5-1 W.  It was a night were several top seeds were toppled and Team Sig Chi 5s move on to the Final4!

For Team ZBT, it’s been the toughest of weeks for them and with things that are so much more important than anything going on in the League or even school for that matter.. They are a classy bunch and ones that we are thrilled to have be apart of the League.  They’ll be back and better than ever. Thanks again for playing everyone.

 

That’s it for this week. The Final4 and Championship are on Wednesday Night! Who will wear the Crown!?

-Holden