The #3 seeded Roughrider baseball team advanced to the NJCAA Region I Division I Championship Series with a road victory over the #2 seeded South Mountain Community College, 6-4, Saturday afternoon in Phoenix. Yavapai will host the #4 seeded Central Arizona College, winners over #1 seed Cochise College, 2 games to 0. Yavapai’s overall record is now 36-17 and South Mountain concludes the season with a 39-20 mark.
The Roughriders drew first blood in the opening frame and never relinquished the lead. YC put a lone run on the board in the first inning and added three more in the second inning. The Cougars tied the game in the first inning with a single run and cut the lead in half with another run in their half of the second inning. YC pushed another run across the plate in the fourth inning but South Mountain responded with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the fourth frame to cut the Rider lead to one. Yavapai added another run in the sixth inning to finish up the scoring for both teams.
Riley Egloff came on in relief to throw solid innings for the victory. The Colorado native allowed 1 earned run, scattered five hits and struck out 5 batters.
Tommy Sacco paced the Riders from the dish going 3 for 4. Christian Encarnacion-Strand was 2 for 4 knocking a double and his 21sthome run of the season. Will Long was 2 for 5 with a run scored and Cody Holtz was 1 for 2 with a triple and an RBI.
The Roughrider face Central Arizona College in the Championship Series. Both teams played each six times this season. Yavapai won the first meeting, 7-2, in a non-conference tournament on February 1st and CAC beat the Roughriders the next day, 5-1. YC swept an ACCAC twinbill in Coolidge on April 2nd, 15-3 and 9-5 and CAC swept a conference doubleheader on April 20th in Prescott, 7-6 and 11-7.
Game times for the series will be Thursday at 2:00 PM; Friday at 2:00 PM; and if necessary, Saturday at 12:00 PM.
The winner of the Championship Series will advance to the NJCAA West District Tournament beginning May 16th at a yet to be determined NJCAA Region 9 site.
Admission fees for the Region event is:
$5 for adults
$3 for students
6 and under are free
Because it is an NJCAA Region event, no passes will be honored
In the final regular season doubleheader of the year, the Roughrider softball team split a twinbill with Chandler-Gilbert Community College in Chandler. YC won the first game 12-6 and stumbled in the nightcap 8-6. Yavapai concludes the regular season with a 46-12 overall record and a 37-11 ACCAC mark. Chandler-Gilbert finishes 30-27 overall and 26-24 in conference action.
YC opened up the game with a 6-2 lead after two innings of play. Chandler-Gilbert scored a single run in the fourth, fifth and two runs in the sixth inning to close the Rider lead to 7-6. However, YC pushed five runs across the plate in their half of the seventh inning for the insurmountable lead.
Kylie Brown and Mikayla Marquez each had three hits in the game. Brown had two doubles and three runs batted in. Shaylee Alani was 2 for 5 with two runs scored and two RBI’s.
Shaye Pinner threw the complete game striking out one batter.
In the final regular season game of the season, the YC offense only managed seven hits while giving up fourteen to the Coyotes. Despite the hit discrepancy, YC had its chances to pull away but could not get timely hitting.
Finding themselves down 8-3 in the seventh inning, Yavapai scored three runs but left two runners stranded on the final out.
Shaylee Alani was 3 for 4 with a double and her seventeenth home run of the year. Gabie Krueger was 2 for 3 with two runs scored.
With the victory in game one, YC head coach Doug Eastman got his 226th victory as Yavapai’s head coach which ties him with Stacy Iveson for the most victories in the Roughrider softball program.
Coach Eastman has another chance to break the record at the NJCAA Region I Divison I tournament on Friday and Saturday, May 10thand 11th in Yuma. Yavapai will enter as the #2 seed. Arizona Western College is the #1 seed; Central Arizona College is the #3 seed; and Pima Community College will be the #4 seed. Times and opponents will be announced at the end of the season coach’s meeting on Sunday.