With the only path to the 2021 NJCAA D1 Softball Tournament available to them, the Cardinals took it.
The Cardinals completed a perfect 4-0 march through the Region XIV East Zone Tournament near the noon hour Sunday with an 8-5 win against top-seeded and eighth-ranked Bossier Parish in the championship game at Suddenlink Field at the UT Tyler Ballpark.
As a result, the Cardinals will head west to Yuma, Arizona to compete in the national tournament for the second time in school history. The event is scheduled May 25-29 at the Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex. Seedings and pairings for the tournament are scheduled to be announced Thursday.
On their way to the east zone title, the Cardinals defeated Kilgore, 5-1, Tyler, 3-1, and Bossier Parish, 10-4, to advance to the championship game in a rematch with Bossier Parish.
Now 33-13 heading to Yuma, the Cardinals have matched the school record for wins in a season. The 2013 team, which also qualified for the national tournament, went 33-27.
Here is a recap of the title game:
· Bossier Parish scored a run, but left bases loaded.
· Jenna Johnson led off with an infield single for Cardinals.
· After Rosaury Perez walked, Kimane Rogron blasted a 3-run homer to left field.
· End of inning: TVCC 3, Bossier Parish 1
· Bossier Parish left two runners stranded.
· Ciara Ford led off with line-drive home run to right-center field for Cardinals.
· End of inning: TVCC, 4, Bossier Parish 1
· Bossier Parish loaded the bases with no outs.
· With Bossier Parish having scored three runs to tie the score at 4-4, Perez fielded a ground ball in the circle to initiate a 1-2-3 double play.
· Perez struck out the next batter to get out of the inning.
· In the Cardinals’ half of the inning, Perez singled to right field and scored when Rogron doubled to left field.
· End of inning: TVCC 5, Bossier Parish 4
· Bossier Parish scored on lead-off home run
· The Cardinals loaded the bases on a Ford infield single, Destiny Torres single up the middle and Johnson infield single.
· Shelbie Fickling drove in two runs with a double off the center fielder’s glove near the wall.
· Perez drove in Fickling on a single to right field.
· End of inning: TVCC 8, Bossier Parish 5
· Bossier Parish went quietly in their last at-bat.
· The Cardinals celebrated.
· Final score: TVCC 8, Bossier Parish 5
Perez pitched to all but one batter in picking up the win in the circle. She struck out 10, gave up seven hits and walked three.
The Cardinals scored their eight runs on 10 hits and benefited from a Bossier Parish error.
Bossier Parish fell to 46-8 with the loss.