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JCCC punches ticket to softball nationals

JCCC celebrates winning region/district title
JCCC celebrates winning region/district title

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – The Johnson County Community College softball team (24-12) punched their ticket to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament for the third straight year and 20th time in team history with 4-2 win over Kansas City Kansas Community College at the Region VI/District D Championship at Hummer Sports Park in Topeka, Kan., Sunday afternoon. Highland Community College also earned a spot at nationals by winning the District E bracket. 

Johnson County took a lead they would not relinquish with two runs in the top of the second inning. Sophomore Jordyn Clough got on with one of her two singles on the day, and advanced to second base. She would score the game's first run following a KCKCC throwing error on sophomore Alli Heiman bunt.  She advanced to second on the error and later scored on freshman Kylie Hays RBI single.

Heiman picked up her second RBI of the game in the fourth inning when she squeezed home freshman Emily Fox from third base following her triple to left field 

The Lady Cavalier punched home their final run in the top of the seventh when freshman Lenae Salinas doubled and then scored on a single by sophomore Kerry Murphy.    

Sophomore right-hander Kerrigan Dixon improved to 14-4 on the season with a complete-game victory. She allowed two runs, one earned, six hits and struck out three. 

Johnson County began the tournament on Saturday with 9-1 win over Murray State College. The Lady Cavaliers posted two four-run innings on their way to a five-inning eight run triumph. Murphy, sophomore Torey Burkhardt, and Fox each drove in two runs, and Dixon allowed just one run off four hits and struck out three batters. 

JCCC earned a spot in the championship game with a 3-2 win over KCKCC. Salinas had a single and a double and drove in one run, and Murphy and Clough each ripped an RBI double to provide the scoring for the Lady Cavaliers. 

Freshman right-hander Kyleigh Lay recorded a complete game victory, her fifth of the season. She allowed two runs off three hits and struck out four over seven innings of work. She retired the final 13 Blue Devils in order.

The NJCAA D-II Tournament runs May 22-25 at Traceway Park in Clinton, Miss. JCCC finished seventh at last year's tournament and posted a fifth-place finish in 2017. 

The team is coached by former JCCC All-American, Aubree Brattin-Volkens. She is in her eighth season at the helm of the Lady Cavaliers softball program. Brattin-Volkens returned to her alma mater in the fall of 2010 as an assistant and was appointed the sixth head coach in Johnson County history in October, 2011. The softball program's assistant coaches are former JCCC players Katie Williams and Caitlin Wilkes.