Lady Wolves go nine innings before losing to No. 1 Phoenix
NORMAL, Ill. — The Copiah-Lincoln Community College Lady Wolvestook the two-time National Champion and No. 1 ranked PhoenixCollege (AZ) Lady Bears to 9 innings before bowing 2-1 Friday inthe third round of the NJCAA National Softball Tournament atChampion Fields.
“We went toe-to-toe with the No. 1 team in the nation and had achance to win it,” said Co-Lin Head Coach Allen Kent. “We can’thang our heads. We just have to do it the hard way tomorrow.”
Earlier Friday, Co-Lin defeated the No. 3 ranked Parkland (IL)Community College 2-1 in the second round of the tournament. TheLady Cobras were runners-up in the National Tournament in 2005.
Phoenix 2, Co-Lin 1
After two scoreless innings, Co-Lin freshman right fielder AnnieSelman smashed a home run over the left field fence to give theLady Wolves a 1-0 lead. It was Selman’s first homer of the seasonand only the second home run for the Lady Wolves all season.
In the fourth inning with 1 out, Lady Bears center fielder CaseyWheeler singled and moved to second on a single by shortstop KaileyYarmer. Wheeler and Yarmer attempted a double steal. The throw tothird got away from Co-Lin shortstop Kady King allowing Wheeler toscore the tying run.
Both pitchers held each other’s team at bay through regulationand into extra innings. Phoenix would take the lead at 2-1 in thetop of the ninth inning with a leadoff home run by second basemanLindsay Kelso.
Co-Lin threatened in the bottom of the ninth as Megan Batemandelivered her second hit of the game, but the Lady Wolves could notget her home.
“We played our hearts out and we outhit them, but we just didn’tquite get it done,” said Coach Kent. “You can’t expect to win,scoring just one run. We left too many runners (nine) stranded onbase. But Phoenix is the kind of team that takes advantage of everyopportunity you give them.”
Co-Lin pitcher Emily Horne pitched her third game in two days asshe scattered 6 hits, struck out 3 and walked 2.
“Emily threw another great game, Kent. “She didn’t deserve tolose.”
Leading the Lady Wolves at the plate with two hits apiece wereSelman, Horne and Bateman. Also hitting safely were Jackie Stoweand Erin Douglass.
Winning pitcher Roxanne Berjarano struck out nine and allowed 8hits. Kelso led the Lady Bears with 2 hits. Right fielder AmandaWillmon doubled. Jenny Lewis and Natalie Heely also singled.
Co-Lin 2, Parkland 1
In a pitching duel, Co-Lin struck first with a run in the fourthinning as pitcher Emily Horne led off with a single. Erin Douglasssacrificed pinch runner Jessica Hart to second. A throwing error onan Allyson Wallace ground ball to third allowed Hart to score.
In the top of the fifth, Parkland right fielder Holly Nicholstied the game at 1-1 with a solo homer to left field.
The Lady Wolves countered with a run in the bottom of the fifth.Third baseman Lauren Smith singled to lead off the inning. AnnieSelman laid down a 1-out bunt single. Horne delivered the eventualgame-winning single to left field, scoring Smith.
“Emily threw another terrific game against the No. 2 team in theNation,” said Kent. “She gave us a chance to win and we were ableto get the right bounces.”
Horne struck out eight, walked two and allowed two hits.
“This game assured us a spot in the top 3, so we feel good aboutthat,” said Kent. “Our defense played really well behindEmily.”
Losing pitcher Holly Walden struck out 7 and walked two. Sheholds two tournament records for strikeouts from last year’stournament.