Chipola Softball Advances to NJCAA Nationals

Chipola Softball Advances to NJCAA Nationals

By: Rolando Rosa - 

Two deficits, two comebacks.

And now one more game for the state title with a berth to the national tournament locked up.

No.3 state/No.7 nationally ranked Chipola Lady Indians softball team won both games on Saturday in the FCSAA State Tournament to advance to the NJCAA National Tournament in St. George, UT.

Chipola (43-10) rallied to win the first game of the day 5-3 vs. No.1 state/No.2 nationally ranked College of Central Florida. Then the Lady Indians defeated No.5 state ranked Miami-Dade 7-1 later on thanks to some timely two-out hitting.

Chipola plays for the state title on Sunday, May 3 at 1 p.m. (central) vs. an opponent yet to be determined as of press time.

The Lady Indians trailed 1-0 after the first inning vs. Miami-Dade but a six-run two-out rally in the top of the second secured the victory.

Brashante' Dareus, Gabriella Santos and Courtney Davis (bunt) began the inning with singles to load the bases. Two outs then followed but a two-run double by Shelby Clark with the count full gave Chipola the lead.

Savannah Ryken walked to load the bases again, followed by a two-run single from Madison Ragan to make it 4-1 Chipola. After stolen bases by Ryken and Ragan, Jenna Reeves connected on a two-run single to drive them in for a 6-1 edge.

Chipola tacked on their final run on a sacrifice fly by Ragan in the top of the fourth.

In total, batters one through eight for Chipola either had a hit or scored.

Chipola pitcher Illona Andringa relieved Jessica Elliott after the first inning and retired her final 11 batters. Andringa retired the side in the last three innings.

With a runner on first and the tying run at the plate, Ragan sealed the comeback victory against College of Central Florida by grounding out Nicole White.

A four-run fourth inning gave the Lady Indians the lead for good.

Chipola trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the third. In the bottom of the fourth, Santos doubled to left center scoring Reeves and giving Chipola a 3-2 lead. An error at first base on a grounder by Ciara Jones grounder drove in Santos to push the Lady Indians' lead to 4-2. A wild pitch brought home Davis for the final run of the inning.

A bunt by Dareus brought in Ragan to tie the score earlier in the inning.

Ragan walked and a fielder's choice on a hit by Reeves kicked off the rally.

Jones' bunt scored Santos on a suicide squeeze to put Chipola on the board in the bottom of the third. Santos began the third inning with a single up the middle and Davis followed with a single as well. A sacrifice bunt by Tori McDaniel set up Chipola's first run.

Chipola starting pitcher Elliott went 4.1 innings with two runs allowed, two walks, and four strikeouts. Elliott began the game by striking out the side in the top of the first inning.

Ragan got Chipola out of a bases loaded one out jam in the top of the sixth by retiring back-to-back batters. For the game, College of Central Florida left 11 runners stranded on base.

College of Central Florida scored both of their runs in the second and third inning with two outs.

On Friday, Chipola began the tournament by shutting out St. Johns River State 8-0 and edging Indian River State 4-2.