ST. GEORGE, UT—After a slow start, Pitt Community College played the nation’s top-ranked junior college softball team to a draw over six innings before eventually falling to Yavapai College, 3-1, in the first game of the NJCAA Division I Softball Championship.
The Bulldogs—the tournament’s 16th-seed—were one out from escaping the Roughriders’ scoring threat in the bottom of the first inning when a bloop single by third baseman Danielle Muniz scored Alex Landon and Ashley Siepel.
“I think a lack of confidence was honestly the difference of the game,” PCC Coach Junior Bailey said of the loss. “Being the number 16 seed can obviously give you a feeling that you’re fighting an uphill battle. Our players eventually realized they had an opportunity to win the game, but it came just a little too late.”
PCC pitcher Charity Watson led off the bottom of the first by striking out Sierra Rodriguez, the first of eight strikeouts she would have for the game. After a walk to Landon, Siepel reached on a Bulldog error to give Yavapai base runners on first and second. Both runners advanced on an illegal pitch by Watson before Estela Pinon flied out. Muniz followed with a single to left center to give the Roughriders a 2-0 lead.
“I thought Charity pitched really well today,” Bailey said. “She struck out eight and held a team that features several players batting over .400 for the season to just three hits for the game.”
Yavapai added a run in the third to increase its lead to three before Pitt answered with its only score of the game in the fourth.
Casey Mitchell led off the Bulldogs fourth with a walk before Amanda Daw popped up to the pitcher on a bunt attempt. Kelli Patrick followed with a sharp single down the first base line to move Mitchell to second. Brittany Williams brought Mitchell around to make it 3-1 when she reached base on an errant throw to first by Muniz on a bunt attempt.
“I felt like we had a chance to turn the tide with our first run,” Bailey said. “Casey did a nice job of leading off with a walk and Kelli came through with a big hit down the first base line before we scored on Brittany’s misplayed bunt. I thought the team responded well to that score, and I feel like that confidence will carry over into our next game of the tournament.”
After pinch hitter Brittany Wood reached on an error in the seventh with two outs, Pitt had the tying run at the plate in Melissa Avent, who grounded out to end the game.
With the loss, PCC fell to 48-9 overall this season and will face Iowa Western Community College at the Canyons Softball Complex Friday morning at 9am.