NJCAA Tourney: Top seeds roll to easy wins on first day

The NJCAA National Tournament at The Canyons, St. George, Utah, May 15, 2013 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The 16 best junior college teams in America are gathered here at The Canyon softball complex for the NJCAA Division 1 championship tournament. Fans from throughout the country are here cheering their teams on. Here’s a summary of the first day:

#1 Butler Community College 13, #16 Pitt CC 1 (5 inn.)
Top-seeded Butler (Kan.) Community College began its march to a national title with a convincing 13-1 victory over #16-seed Pitt (NC) CC in five innings in the first round of the 2013 NJCAA Division I Women’s Softball National Championship tournament Wednesday afternoon. Butler CC (51-2) will now go on to face eighth-seed Wallace State (AL) CC in the championship bracket quarterfinal Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. Meanwhile Pitt CC (28-12) will play #9-seed Santa Fe (FL) College in an elimination game Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

The Grizzlies scored all 13 runs in the first four innings, including a pair of four-run outbursts in the second and fourth frames. Butler infielder Kaitlyn Wolken drove in two runs on a double in the second inning, while Grizzly outfielder Rachel Harper brought home three on a bases-clearing double in the decisive fourth inning. The run support was more than enough for Butler hurler Maggie Ham, who scattered a run on three hits with four strikeouts in five innings to pick up the win.

#2 Salt Lake CC 9, #15 Georgia Perimeter 1 (5 inn.)
No. 2-seed Salt Lake Community College pounded out 13 hits and rode a strong pitching performance from MaCauley Flint as the Bruins eased to a 9-1 victory in

SLCC second baseman Payton Palmer hustles for an unassisted double play Wednesday evening, the NJCAA National Tournament at The Canyons, St. George, Utah, May 15, 2013 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

five innings over 15-seed Georgia Perimeter College. Salt Lake (49-9) will now go on to face 10-seed Weatherford (Tex.) College in the championship bracket quarterfinal Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. Meanwhile GPC (21-15) will play #7-seed Walters State (Ten.) CC in an elimination game Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

The Bruins struck for three early runs in the first, highlighted by a two-run single by Whitney Holt, to bolt out to a 3-0 lead. After a Jaguar run in the top half of the third, Holt answered with another two-RBI base knock to stake SLCC to a 5-1 advantage. The Bruins then tacked on pair of runs in the fourth on a Maddy Woodard two-run home run, and added two more in the fifth to end the game.

#3 Chipola College 7, #14 Odessa College 2
No. 3 seed Chipola (Fla.) College raced out to an early lead and never looked back as the Indians notched a 7-2 triumph over 14-seed Odessa (TX) College. Chipola (43-9) will advance to face 11-seed Lake Land (IL) College in the championship bracket quarterfinal Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. Meanwhile Odessa (46-20) will play six-seed Iowa Western Community College in an elimination game Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

The Indians struck for a pair of runs in the first and two more in the second, thanks to a two-RBI single from Katherine Harrison. The Wranglers got on the board with a single run in the fourth, but Chipola put the game away with a run of its in the home half of the frame, and two more in the fifth. The run support was more than enough for Indian hurler Eva Voortman, who fanned eight and scattered two runs and five hits in seven innings.

#4 NE Oklahoma A&M 5, #13 Trinity Valley CC 1
Fourth-seed NE Oklahoma A&M bolted out to an early lead and never looked back as the Norse claimed a 5-1 decision over Trinity Valley (Tex.) Community College. NEO (43-9) will now go on to face fifth-seed Pima (Ari.) CC in the championship bracket quarterfinal Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. Meanwhile TVCC (32-26) will play 12-seed Paris (Tex.) JC in an elimination game Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

The Norse tallied four first-inning runs, highlighted by a pair of consecutive RBI-safeties from Emily Walters and Ashton Pratt. Trinity Valley looked like it would make a game of it in the second as Erica Jordan led off the frame with a solo homer. The Cardinals tacked on three more hits to load the bases, but Norse hurler Kaitlin Davis fanned two to get out of the jam.

#5 Pima CC 6, #12 Paris JC 4
No. 5-seed Pima (Ari.) Community College erased an early deficit to survive and advance with a 6-4 victory over 12-seed Paris (TX) Junior College. Pima (47-17) will now go on to face #4-seed Northeast Oklahoma A&M in the championship bracket quarterfinal Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. Meanwhile PJC (36-18) will play #13-seed Trinity Valley (TX) CC in an elimination game Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

Pima drew first blood with a single tally in the opening frame, but Paris JC answered two runs of its own in the second on a Clarissa Garcia two-RBI single, followed by a Ali Hargis run-scoring safety in the third, to stake the Dragons to a 3-1 advantage.

#11 Lake Land College 10, #6 Iowa Western CC 2
No. 11 seed Lake Land (Ill.) College was the highest seed to claim victory in the first day of competition as the Ducks claimed a 10-2 victory over sixth-seed Iowa Western Community College. Lake Land (49-5) will advance to face third-seed Chipola (Fla.) College in the championship bracket quarterfinal Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. Meanwhile IWCC (41-13) will play 14-seed Odessa (Tex.) College in an elimination game Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

Lake Land jumped out to a 4-0 lead on the strength of a first-inning, two-run single from Melanie Steer and a two-run home run in the second from Kristi Belshe. IWCC answered with a pair of runs of its own in the second which chased LLC starter Kayla Kirkpatrick from the game. Duck reliever Alexandria Smith righted the ship as she struck out five and held Iowa Western to just one hit over the final 4.1 innings to pick up the win. Lake Land would tack on five insurance runs in the fifth, highlighted by a Belshe grand slam, giving her 6 RBI on the night, to put the game away.

#10 Weatherford College 8, #7 Walters State CC 0
Kylee Studioso fanned a tournament-high 12 and fired a complete-game two-hit shutout to pace 10-seed Weatherford (Tex) College to a convincing 8-0 triumph

The NJCAA National Tournament at The Canyons, St. George, Utah, May 15, 2013 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
The NJCAA National Tournament at The Canyons, St. George, Utah, May 15, 2013 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

over 7-seed Walters State (Ten.) Community College. Weatherford (49-6) will now go on to face second-seed Salt Lake CC in the championship bracket quarterfinal Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. Meanwhile WSCC (39-8) will play 15-seed Georgia Perimeter College in an elimination game Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

Six of the Coyotes’ nine hits went for extra bases, including four home runs, one of which was hit by Studioso in the sixth inning. Katy Vandewater connected on a two-run blast in the third frame, while Samantha Algeria added a solo shot in the fifth, and Kortney Korrel barreled a three-run shot for good measure in the seventh.

#8 Wallace State Community College 2, #9 Sante Fe 1
No. 8 seed Wallace State (Ala.) Community College used a late rally to defeat nine-seed Santa Fe (Fla.) CC, 2-1. Wallace State CC (41-17-1) will now go on to face top seed Butler in the championship bracket quarterfinal Thursday afternoon at 5 p.m. Meanwhile SFC (50-12) will play 16-seed Pitt CC in an elimination game Thursday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

Santa Fe hurler Karla Claudio had it going early against Lions as she limited WSCC to just one hit while allowing just three total baserunners over her first five innings of work. Meanwhile Wallace pitcher BreeAnna Blevins was equal to the task as she limited SFC to just one run and five hits over her first five frames, though the Saints managed to plate a run in the fifth on a Cassidy Masso RBI-single.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

The NJCAA National Tournament at The Canyons, St. George, Utah, May 15, 2013 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News
The NJCAA National Tournament at The Canyons, St. George, Utah, May 15, 2013 | Photo by Chris Caldwell, St. George News

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