Red-Hot State Farm Wins Firecracker Tournament

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Perennial Rim country softball powerhouse State Farm played its way to the championship of the Independence Day Firecracker Men's Softball Tournament.

Played Saturday on the Payson High School and Rumsey Park fields, the tournament drew eight ASA Class D teams from around the state.

In winning the diamond shoot-out, State Farm finished with a 5-0 record after outslugging Globe's Happy Hour 25-21 in the tournament finale. Happy Hour wrapped up the tournament with a 5-1 slate.

In past holiday tournaments, the State Farm roster was traditionally filled with season softball veterans who had long donned insurance men uniforms. But this time out, only journeyman Teddy Pettet was on hand to lead the SF team.

Replacing the vets was a crew of current and former Payson High athletic standouts including Nick Brunson, Junior Tennen, Ky Bradley,Waylon Pettet and Taylor Walden.

In fueling the team to the tournament victory, Teddy Pettet stuck to the old adage of "the older you get, the closer you move to the plate" by assuming the pitching role.

In his younger years, the PHS baseball coach could have been found playing in the infield or outfield.

Offensively, Mayer resident Gil Soriano lead the insurance men hitting attack. Third-place honors in the fray went to Queen Creek's Standard Pacific Homes. Vandebey Builders of Prescott Valley finished fourth.

In women's tournament action, Malia Hawkins' Manzanita Cyclery copped gold-medal honors with a 3-0 slate.

The June Bugs, of Kearney, finished second in the three-team tournament.

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