The Athens Review
The Trinity Valley Community College Lady Cardinals are headed to Utah for their first national tournament after losing two straight on Sunday afternoon at Jesse and Lou Cummings Field.
The Lady Cardinals (33-25) defeated the Paris Dragons, 7-5, on Saturday to punch their ticket to St. George, Utah.
Paris needed to win three games on Sunday to win the regional title and won the final two games over TVCC, 8-2 and 5-4 in nine innings in the final game of the tournament.
“I can’t take anything away from Paris and I got the privileged to coach Paris a while back,” coach Ashley Johnston said. “Most importantly, they had to win three games to take that and they did that.”
In the final championship game of the tournament, Paris second baseman Clarissa Garcia reached on a single and advanced to second on a passed ball.
Paris shortstop Audrey Farfan then smacked the walk off double scoring Garcia for the 5-4 win.
The Lady Cardinals were able to jumped to a 2-0 lead through four innings as Celeste Montoya had an RBI single in the first inning scoring Andrea Sitter for the first run of the game.
Shelby Reddington then smashed a pitch from Ali Hargis over the left center field fence for a 2-0 lead.
Paris was able to score four runs in the top of the fifth inning off starter Kim Leschber.
The biggest blow came off the bat of Alexia Padilla as she smashed a bases loaded double for the 4-2 lead.
Johnston said that shot was a defining moment in the game.
“It has always been tough for us to come back from behind,” Johnston said. “I have to get the girls back on track and get them ready for nationals.”
Trinity Valley scored a run in the sixth and forced extra innings in the seventh as shortstop Jazmine Hicks scored on a passed ball for the 4-4 tie.
In the opening game of the championship contest, TVCC was behind, 3-2, going into the final inning before Paris erupted for five runs off reliever Kayla Cosby.
“We came out today and I thought everybody was loose and in the first game we just weren’t there,” Johnston said. “We had a great fight and I think they had the best two teams playing in this tournament today.”
For the two games, Sitter led the Lady Cardinals going 4-for-7 with three runs scored.