Grayson softball stays alive after first Series loss

Herald Democrat

YUMA, Ariz. — Zoe Lott scattered six hits and a walk while striking out six across six innings in her first start of the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series to win fourth-seeded Grayson College’s first elimination game of the tournament, 5-1, over sixth-seeded Seminole State at Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex.

Grayson (47-6), which is one of four teams left in the bracket, will face seventh-seeded Yavapai College in another elimination game at 4 p.m. on Friday with the winner advancing to the semifinals and facing a quick turnaround at 7 p.m. on Friday against the San Jacinto-Florida SouthWestern loser for a berth in the title game, which is at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Taylor Rowley homered while Bobbi Leitha was 2-for-4 for Seminole State (47-6).

JT Smith was 2-for-2 with a double and a triple, walked twice and scored twice, Hailey Vess was 3-for-4 with a double and scored twice, Dominique Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with a double, drove in a run and scored, Maci Sanders singled, walked, drove in a run and scored and Sage Harlow walked twice and drove in a run for the Lady Vikings.

Grayson jumped to a quick lead in the bottom of the first when Smith walked, stole second and went to third thanks to an error on the play and Harlow had a sac fly to right.

Three runs in the fourth gave the Lady Vikings some breathing room. Vess singled before scoring on Rodriguez’s double to center.

After Sanders walked, Carmen Eilertsen reached on an error which allowed both runners to score for the 4-0 advantage.

Rowley homered with two outs in the fifth to cut into Seminole State’s deficit but Grayson answered in the bottom of the inning when Vess doubled, Rodriguez singled to put runners at the corners before stealing second and Sanders had an infield single to third to close out the scoring.

The Lady Vikings were in the loser’s bracket after San Jacinto beat them, 2-1, for a spot in the semifinals.

Vess had her third homer in three games, leading off the second inning, but the Lady Vikings managed only three other hits and a walk against Ronni Grofman, who struck out five.

Smith, Harlow and Eilertsen singled and Vess had the walk for Grayson.

The best chance the Lady Vikings had to tie the game was in the top of the sixth when Harlow singled and went to second on a two-out passed ball.

San Jacinto scored both of its runs in the fourth. Audrey Garcia doubled to right and was sacrificed to third. After Tamera McKnight walked, Garcia scored on an error. San Jacinto loaded the bases when Maggie Childs was hit by a pitch and Alexa Saenz followed with an RBI single to left.

Dylann Kaderka, who gave up four hits and two walks while striking out four, got a foulout and strikeout to limit the damage and keep it a one-run deficit.