Grayson softball wins Region V North Tournament, advances to NJCAA World Series
Hailey Vess drove in a run and JT Smith scored on an error during the top of the seventh inning to lift Grayson College to a 5-3 victory over North Central Texas College and win the Region V North Tournament title at Lady Viking Field.
Grayson (44-5) clinched one of the 16 berths at the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series, which will start May 25 at Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex in Yuma, Ariz.
If the Lady Vikings had lost, the two teams would have played a winner-take-all contest and NCTC was close to forcing that match-up with a 3-2 lead after four innings.
But Grayson tied the game in the fifth on Vess' RBI groundout to second.
It stayed that way until the seventh when JT Smith singled, stole second and came around on a throwing error on the play to give the Lady Vikings the lead.
With one out Cheyenne Stark doubled and Vess added an insurance run with a two-out single to center.
NCTC, which won four straight elimination games to reach the title game behind Denison's Liz Linwood, Sherman's Jillian Whitmire and Gunter's Elizabeth Schroeter, brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the seventh but Dylann Kaderka closed out the win.
Kaderka scattered five hits and three walks to go with seven strikeouts, Smith was 2-for-3 and scored twice, Sage Harlow was 2-for-3 with a double, walked, drove in a run and scored and Carmen Eilertsen was 2-for-3 with a double and scored for the Lady Vikings.