NJCAA softball: Salt Lake, other top seeds, advance on first day of national tourney

Salt Lake vs. Spartanburg Methodist, SC, NJCAA Division I Softball National Championship Tournament, May 18, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Defending champion Chipola (Fla.), No. 1-seeded Tyler (Tex.) and Utah’s own Salt Lake all got great pitching performances in first-round wins of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s national tournament Wednesday at the Canyons Softball Complex in St. George.

njcaalogoIt was a warm afternoon at Canyons, but that didn’t bother the higher seeded teams as seven of the eight higher-rated squads came away with wins Wednesday as the first round was completed. It’s a double-elimination tournament, so there’s a lot of softball left to play, even for teams that lost in the first round.

The only upset of the first round was the Wallace State (Fla.) 6-4 win over McLennan (Tex.). In that contest, McLennan led 5-1 heading into the seventh inning, but Wallace scored five unanswered runs to take the lead. Sarah Ellen Battles had a three-run double to cut the deficit to 5-4. The next batter, catcher Molli Garcia, then socked a two-run homer to left field to give Wallace the lead. McLennan then went down on three straight groundouts in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.

Salt Lake vs. Spartanburg Methodist, SC, NJCAA Division I Softball National Championship Tournament, May 18, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Bruins pitcher Kylie Everill, Salt Lake vs. Spartanburg Methodist, SC, NJCAA Division I Softball National Championship Tournament, May 18, 2016, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Salt Lake Community College, the Scenic West and Region 18 champion, got an impressive performance from pitcher Kylie Everill in the Bruins 6-0 win over Spartanburg Methodist (SC). She wasn’t perfect, allowing six hits and two walks. But she recorded 16 strikeouts, including five of the final six outs. Madison Sisco had three RBIs for the Bruins, while Ashlee Crabtree had a pair of hits and two RBIs.

Abby Walker allowed just three hits in No. 1-seeded Tyler’s 4-0 win over Georgia Military. First baseman Marina Duran knocked in a pair of runs and Walker struck out 11 in the the win.

Meanwhile, defending champion Chipola (Fla.), the third seed, beat Indian Hills (Iowa) 8-1. Ilona Andringa allowed four hits and one run in six innings of work for the Indians. Designated hitter Madison Ragan did her job, collecting four hits and scoring three runs in the game for Chipola. Brianna Surrento had two hits and three RBIs.

Other results from the first round include Yavapai (Ariz.) over Walters State (Tenn.) 3-2, Florida Southwestern State over San Jacinto-South (Tex.) 6-1, Butler (Kan.) over Howard (Tex.) 11-2, and NE Oklahoma A&M over Lake Land (Ill.) 8-7.

Thursday’s winner’s bracket games have Tyler taking on Yavapai, Butler battling Florida SW State, Salt Lake against NE Oklahoma A&M and Chipola vs. Wallace State. All four games are at 5 p.m. at Canyons Complex.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

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