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Softball Advances In NJCAA Softball Championship With Wednesday Split

Softball Advances In NJCAA Softball Championship With Wednesday Split

It was a wild day of softball for the Roughriders at the Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex in the NJCAA Division I Softball Championship Tournament. Yavapai fell 4-3 in its first contest against No. 7 seed McLennan Community College and dropped to the loser’s bracket in the tournament, setting up an elimination game against the No. 9 seed College of Southern Idaho shortly after the loss. 

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The Roughriders then rebounded with a 3-0 victory, eliminating the Golden Eagles and ensuring another day of softball for YC. The split moves Yavapai’s overall record this season to 56-5. 

Game One: MCC 4 – YC 3

Things got off to a great start for YC in its first game against McLennan as sophomore outfielder Mia Weckel launched a leadoff homer to center field to start the contest. Later, in the top of the first, the Roughriders took a 2-0 lead on some sloppy defense from McLennan. 

After taking a quick 2-0 lead, the Roughrider bats were stymied for a majority of the contest, allowing McLennan to keep things close. 

In the bottom of the fourth, McLennan started to chip away and cut the deficit to just 2-1, after scoring on a wild pitch. 

The teams traded zeros in the fifth and sixth innings and in the top of the seventh inning, freshman catcher Jasmine Moreno launched a solo homer that went way over the left field fence, giving the Roughriders an insurance run and 3-1 lead. 

Standing three outs away from a loss, McLennan then stormed back in the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back homers to start the frame and tie the game. 

The Roughriders were able to temporarily stop the bleeding and force extra innings, however, McLennan scored in the bottom of the ninth to earn the walk-off victory in extras. 

Inside the circle, sophomore pitcher Emily Dix got the start and went 7.1 innings and struck out 11. Freshman pitcher Emily Darwin pitched the remainder of the contest (one inning) and registered one strikeout. 

At the plate, in game one, Moreno led the squad with two hits while Weckel, sophomore outfielder Kayla Rodgers, freshman infielder Yaya Kaaialii and Darwin each had one hit. 

Game Two: YC 3 – CSI 0

Facing elimination, against the College of Southern Idaho, the Emilys were brilliant inside the circle for Yavapai. Darwin started and pitched 4.1 innings of shutout ball, scattered four hits and struck out six. Dix tossed the final 2.2 innings and allowed no runs, no hits and struck out five Golden Eagles. 

Offensively, things were pretty quiet for both sides until YC broke through with a three-spot in the bottom of the sixth. 

Kaaialii led the frame off with a solo homer to center field to give YC its first lead of the day while standing three outs from victory. Moreno followed Kaaialii with a single and moved to second after freshman infielder Lovey Kepa’a reached base with a lined shot right at the Southern Idaho third baseman. 

The next batter, freshman infielder Makena Riggs, dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt and saw another run score after the Golden Eagles threw the ball away. Two batters later, and with a 2-0 lead, Dix stepped up to the plate (you read that correctly) and sent a jolt of electricity through the park with a bullet sacrifice fly to center that gave the Roughriders a 3-0 lead which proved to be the final score. 

Prior to Dix’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth, she stepped up to the plate for the first time this season in the bottom of the fifth and drew a walk. 

At the plate, in game two, Weckel, Kaaialii, Moreno, Kepa’a and sophomore infielder Cheyenne Sandoval each had one hit. 

Up Next

The Roughriders are back on the softball field later today, May 26, at 2 p.m. on Field #1 of the Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex in an elimination game against the No 4-seeded Seminole State College Trojans. Live stats and live streaming links for the game can be found on GoRoughriders.com/Live

– D.J. Irwin

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