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Rougrhrider Softball Must Battle to Advance After Split in Playoffs

06 May 2017
Roughrider softball freshman Shayna Ige rips a double against Eastern Arizona College on Friday May 5th, 2017 in Prescott, Arizona at Bill Valley Field. All Photos by: Torrence Dunham

Roughrider Softball Must Win Three In A Row to Advance

PRESCOTT- The #1-seeded Yavapai College Roughrider softball team split a their first two games of the NJCAA Region One Tournament on a sweltering Friday afternoon at Bill Valley Field, losing to Eastern Arizona College 13-3 before rebounding against Pima Community College with a 10-0 victory. Now in the loser’s bracket, the Roughriders must win three games on Saturday to advance to the NJCAA National Tournament in St. George Utah.

“We’re still in it, we got some fight,” Roughrider softball head coach Doug Eastman said. “We’re very capable, I think if there’s a team here capable of winning three games-this is not a coach’s clique-I think it’s us.”

Eastern Arizona College put up all thirteen runs on starter Amy Robinson, including a grandslam. In the third inning, Yavapai College momentarily had a one-run lead after a three-run shot by Raelynn Rios but Eastern Arizona responded with elven unanswered runs, including an eight-run fifth inning, to mercy-rule the Roughriders and advance to the winner’s bracket.

“I thought she (Robinson) was missing her spots,” Eastman said. “Her rise balls were flat, changeups were up, she didn’t hit her spots well…that team’s going to make you pay.”

The Roughriders quickly wiped away the game one defeat in the first inning of the loser’s bracket game against Pima Community College with a two-run home run by Mahina Chong.

“We just regrouped and let go of the Eastern game,” Chong said after game two. “I told myself ‘I’m going to go up and start this game with a bang’, that’s what I thought in my head and I did it.”

Yavapai College would continue the offensive onslaught against Pima Community College with eight more runs, including a five-run third inning, to mercy-rule their opponent and end their season.

Kiana Spencer got the start for Yavapai College and with an ailing shoulder-which has been bothering her for over a week-pitched three and a third innings of scoreless ball to pick up the win.

“I didn’t want to put any pressure on the game, I just wanted to hit my spots and I knew my defense would back me up,” said Spencer who mentioned the game was her first time fully pitching in a week. “It was rough warming up but when I got into the game, it felt better. It was hard to try to come into the game knowing I was hurt but I just had to push through it for my team.”

Following the Eastern Arizona loss against Central Arizona in the winner’s bracket Friday, the Roughriders rematch with Eastern Arizona at 10:00am on Saturday. The winner of the game between Eastern Arizona and Yavapai College would take on Central Arizona in the first Championship game right after the conclusion of the loser’s bracket matchup. Central Arizona needs one win to advance while the team out of the loser’s bracket must win both championship games against Central Arizona to move on.