TAPIOLA - The lower-seeded teams came up with upset victories in the opening round of the Over 50 Softball League playoffs Monday night.
Fourth-place Houghton stunned regular league champion South Range by an 8-5 score behind the pitching of Steve Dunstan.
A seven-run third inning made the big difference for the winners. Pete Pellissero's inside-the-park homer was the big hit in the rally.
Paul Peterson photo
Steve Dunstan pitches for Houghton Monday on the first night of the Over 50 Softball League Playoffs in Tapiola. Houghton claimed the 8-5 upset win over South Range.
Dunstan scattered 12 hits in gaining the win. Losing hurler Joe Rossi allowed just 11 safeties.
Pellissero, Dunstan, Dave Usitalo and Dave Wisti each counted a pair of raps for Houghton.
Brien Ricci led Range with four hits, while Greg Tchida, Dick Franti and Glenn Mitchell all had two hits.
Chassell spilled Tapiola by a 5-4 score in the second game as Mitch Lake outdueled Jed Denomie on the mound.
Chassell snapped a 1-1 deadlock by getting two unearned runs in the top of the sixth inning.
After Tapiola tallied one run in the bottom of the sixth, Chassell came back with a two-run single by Ray Tuominen in the top of the seventh frame for a 5-2 lead.
But Tapiola scored twice in the bottom of the final inning and had the tying run at third before being retired
Lake gave up 12 hits - two each by Denomie, Tom Clisch and Pete Oikarinen.
Denomie yielded 13 raps, three by Tuominen and two apiece from Nick Lindemann, Kevin Tormala and John Botto.
Houghton will meet Chassell at 6:15 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals, followed by South Range and Tapiola at 7:15 p.m.