Johnson County Community College
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Diane Carroll, writer/editor/media relations, ext. 3425
Tyler Cundith, sports information director, ext. 3122


Softball - Lady Cavaliers claim 18th trip to NJCAA Nationals

05/08/17

Softball - Lady Cavaliers claim 18th trip to NJCAA Nationals

Softball region championsOVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Johnson County Community College softball team (33-5) rallied to defeat Highland Community College 11-7 on Sunday in the Region VI/District D title game at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka, Kan. With the victory, Johnson County punched their ticket to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament May 17-20 at Traceway Park in Clinton, Miss.

This will be the program’s 18th trip to nationals and second under head coach Aubree Brattin. She led Johnson County to a third place finish in 2015.

In the title game, the Lady Cavaliers trailed 6-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning, but exploded for seven runs and eventually won 11-7.

Sophomore Taylor Kirk jump started the rally with a two-run blast followed by a three-run double later in the inning from freshman Ali Ensign. JCCC tacked on two more off singles from freshmen Tamara Hicks and Bayleigh Nelson.

Sophomore Halle Still notched the victory, pitching the final three innings after relieving sophomore Megan Deiter in the top of the fifth inning. Still gave up four hits and three runs in relief. Deiter allowed four runs off six hits, and struck out six in her four innings off work.

In the two wins to get the title game, Deiter was spectacular. In the 4-1 win to open the tournament, Deiter allowed just one run off two hits and struck out 13 batters. She followed with a three-hit 5-2 win with six strikeouts over Highland. She enters the national tournament with a 21-2 record with 231 strikeouts in 138.2 innings pitched and an earned run average of 1.46.

“Megan pitched great all week, and Halle being able to come in and do so well mid game in the championship was huge for our team and her,” said Brattin. “Those two together can keep us in a ball game and allow our hitters to take care of the other side of the game.”

In the opening win over Allen, freshman Sammi Bates ripped a double and triple and drove in two of the Lady Cavaliers four runs. Nelson and Still also had hits to drive in a run.

Bates followed with her team leading seventh triple to plate two more runs in the 5-2 win over the Scotties. Hicks also drove in a run and scored twice.

“Our hitters fought all weekend long and battled every inning,” Brattin said. “Taylor had two home runs that helped stay in the game in the championship with Highland. Ali came in a pinch hitter and had a big hit and put us ahead in that game, and Sammi hit light out against Allen and Highland on Saturday.”

During the tournament, the All-Region VI/District D teams were announced, and 10 JCCC players were selected, including seven first-team members. Lonnie Groves, Kirk, Hicks, Bates, Dieter, Still and Courtney Nemechek were the first-team selections. Nelson, Shay Tolbert and Madison Wegner garnered second-team honors.

“It says a lot about my starting 10 when every single one of them were selected,” Brattin said. “We are a well-rounded group that has real potential to make a run for the national title.”

Seven of the 16 teams have been determined for the national tournament later this month. He remaining nine spots will be filled by May 13.

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For schedules, rosters, and other team information, go to www.jccc.edu/cavs.