The Roughrider softball team is the 2016 NJCAA Division I Region I Champions! On Saturday, Yavapai beat the #1 seeded Eastern Arizona College, 5-2, to claim the title and the right to advance to the NJCAA National Tournament in St. George, UT on May 18-21. The last time the Riders were in the National Tournament was in 2011 when they won their second National Championship.
Saturday started with the Roughriders beating Central Arizona College, 6-5 on a Dustie Durham 3-run walk-off home run. The victory advanced the Riders to the Region Championship Game.
Immediately following, Central Arizona and Eastern Arizona squared off in an elimination game and the right to play YC in the title game. Eastern Arizona beat Central Arizona, 9-1, to set up a rematch with the Green and Gold.
In the first title game, the Roughriders fell to Eastern Arizona College 5-0.
Dustie Durham was the game's losing pitcher. She lasted just five innings, walked two, struck out six, and allowed four runs.
Eastern Arizona never surrendered the lead after the first inning.
The Gila Monsters tacked on another two runs in the third.
Eastern Arizona scored one run in the fifth inning, and then followed it up with one more in the sixth.
YC was baffled by the EAC pitcher who surrendered only 4 hits.
Because it was Yavapai’s first loss of the tournament and Eastern Arizona had lost to Central Arizona College on Friday, a second championship game was necessary.
In their second chance, the Riders won 5-2 pulling out the victory thanks to a strong fifth inning. YC scored on an RBI single by Sydney Forray, bringing home Nicole Matta. An RBI single by Forray scored Matta to give the Lady Riders the lead for good.
It was a good day at the plate for Jocilyn Ellis. Ellis went 3 for 4, drove in one and scored one run. She singled in the third and fifth innings and homered in the seventh inning.
Amy Robinson racked up seven strikeouts in the win. Robinson allowed two earned runs, five hits and three walks over seven innings.
Yavapai jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Forray got things going for the ladies with a single. A groundout by Mayhina Chong then moved Forray from first to second. Savana Ramirez singled, scoring Forray.
It didn't take long for Eastern Arizona to respond as it scored two runs of its own in the second.
Yavapai tied the game in the fourth on a steal of home.
The Roughriders scored one run in the sixth inning, and then followed it up with one more in the seventh. In the sixth, YC scored on a groundout by Shayna Ige , bringing home Karissa Pena.
For her efforts, Amy Robinson was named the tournament Most Valuable Player.
Yavapai will be making their sixth trip to the National Stage and their first appearance since 2011. YC made their first trip to the National Tournament in 1977 in Huntington Beach, CA, finishing in 5th place that year. YC won the Title in 2009 and 2011. Yavapai has a 16-9 overall record at the National Tournament.