OXFORD, Ala. – Tuesday was the first action for the KCKCC softball team in the NJCAA DII Softball National Tournament, after earning the No. 9 overall seed. The Blue Devils faced off against No. 8 seed Triton College where they took down the Trojans 9-2 at Choccolocco Park.
The Blue Devils are now 44-14 overall on the season.
KCKCC took it to the Trojans early on in the game as they started the first inning with two consecutive hits. Triton would retire the next two batters, but Maya Sheldon continued the inning for the squad as she hit a double to right-center field – scoring Savannah Maynard and Mckenzie Ogden. The Blue Devils would extend their lead to 4-0 in the third frame, which started with a wild pitch by Triton as Bradi Basler scored on the play. Lindsey Gettle and Trinity Tauer each worked their way on base with a walk before Triton had to go to the bullpen.
Madison Pope then hit into a fielders choice – scoring McKenna Lester. KCKCC broke the game wide open in the fourth with three runs to take a 7-0 lead. With the bases loaded, Sheldon earned her second RBI of the game on a single to score Ogden. After a fielder's choice, Tauer snuck a single into the outfield to bring in another two runs (Sheldon and Lester) taking the big lead. Triton's offense came alive in the bottom of the fourth, but the Blue Devils only allowed two runs to cross Homeplate with the squad holding the advantage.
Later on with two outs in the sixth inning, Tauer came up big again with another two-run base hit – scoring Sheldon and Lester once again.
"Offense was better than I have seen in a while," head coach Lana Ross said. "I am very proud of them. We made good adjustments and Maya and Trinity came through with key doubles on two outs."
Both teams played a scoreless seventh inning as Basler earned the complete game victory, striking out four batters. Ogden, Sheldon and Tauer each had two hits to lead KCKCC, while Tauer added a game-high four RBI.
KCKCC advances to the next round at Choccolocco Park in Oxford, on Wednesday when they face top-seed Des Moines Area College at 2 p.m.
"I studied the Triton hitters so we had a good game plan going in," Ross said. "Bradi hit her spots and it worked out. Tomorrow is going to be a tough game but that is why we are here. I feel the team is ready and we will see what we can do tomorrow."