TOPEKA, Kan. - The KCKCC softball team is your Plains District B Champions. That's right.. the Blue Devils faced Hesston College on Monday afternoon in the championship game after the Larks took down Highland CC earlier in the day to advance. KCKCC scored early and stifled the Larks' offense as they won 7-0, advancing to their first NJCAA Division II Championship Tournament since 2004.
The Blue Devils's season continues as they improve to 43-14 overall.
It was a long three days for the team. The Blue Devils saw head coach Lana Ross get her 700th career win against Johnson County CC, before playing late into the evening on Saturday to stun Highland 1-0 in extras. A postponement of games on Sunday due to weather saw the final tournament games get pushed to today, where the squad did not take the field until 3 p.m.
"That Johnson County game was a special game," Ross said. "It's hard beating a team five times and beating them that game that made that 700 extra extra special. We had a lot of adversity today. I'm so proud of this team for handling the adversity. That 1-0 game against Highland.. I couldn't be prouder of them."
KCKCC was the visiting team in the game and they came out swinging. Bradi Basler got the Blue Devils on the board in the first inning with a solo home run over the left field fence. The offense continued to stay hot in the fourth inning when McKenzie Ogden hit a two-run triple to give the team some breathing room. KCKCC added another run in the inning and led 5-0 after four frames. The Blue Devils would add two more runs in their half of the seventh, before retiring the Larks 1-2-3 in the bottom half to win the championship.
Basler, Ogden and McKenna Lester each had two hits in the contest. Ogden and Basler also added two RBI each.
Basler appeared in the circle for the third straight game and held her ground in the circle. The Lansing, Kan. native finished the Larks off with 18 straight scoreless innings dating back to the fourth inning of the Johnson County CC game. Hesston had a few runners reach base in some key moments for their offense, but the Blue Devils defense kept their composure and did not allow the opposition to cross home plate all game.
"I just trusted my team, trusted my pitches and trusted coach," Basler said. "I know all my teammates had my back and fighting through the mental toughness of each inning, each at bat and each pitch."
KCKCC advances to the NJCAA DII Championship Tournament in Oxford, Ala. from May 24-28. The bracket seeding will be determined on Friday.
By Tyler Scott, KCKCC Sports Information Director