NJCAA
The 2018 NJCAA National Softball Tournament will conclude on Saturday at the Canyons Softball Complex in St. George, Utah.

Below are brief recaps from all eight games of the 2018 NJCAA National Softball Tournament on Friday in St. George. The 2018 national champion will be crowned on Saturday. The third-seeded Temple Leopards have punched their ticket to the title game through the championship bracket, while No. 2 Chipola and No. 4 Butler will battle it out on Saturday morning to see who will come through the consolation side.

Championship bracket

Game 27 – Championship bracket semifinal game

No. 3 Temple 5, No. 4 Butler 3

The third-seeded Temple Leopards knocked off the two-time defending national champion and fourth-seeded Butler Grizzlies, 5-3, in the championship bracket semifinal contest to advance to Saturday’s championship game.

The Leopards (46-7) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks in large part to a first-inning home run from leadoff hitter Tiare Lee. Temple later added to its lead with a third-inning RBI single from Skye Koehl to take a 4-0 advantage. The Grizzlies (53-5) struck back with a three-run home run from Reagan Wilson in the fourth to make it a 4-3 game but back answered Chipola with a run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the frame to extend their lead to 5-3.

Karina Sanchez then came on in relief for Temple and pitched 3.1 innings of hitless relief en route to helping the Leopards hold on for the victory. Sanchez was dominant in the outing, as she struck out three and allowed just two batters to reach base the rest of the game.

Koehl paced the Temple offense by going 1-for-3 with two runs batted in, while Lee went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Wilson led Butler by going 1-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored.

Game 21

No. 4 Butler 4, No. 1 Florida SouthWestern State 2

The defending champion and fourth-seeded Butler Grizzlies advanced to the championship bracket semifinal game with a 4-2 victory over the top-seeded Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers on Friday afternoon. Maddie Siemer earned the win in the circle after allowing just two runs on six hits in four innings of work, while Celina Sullivan came on to earn a three-inning save after surrendering just two hits and no runs in the final three innings.

Trailing 2-1 in the third, Brianna Robinson got the Butler offense going with a two-out RBI single to tie the game at 2-2. The Grizzlies then took their first lead of the day, 3-2, thanks to a two-out solo homer from Payton Reynolds. Butler added an insurance run in the last of the sixth in a RBI double from Meghan Gutierrez.

Robinson led the Grizzlies in the ballgame by going a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs batted in, while Taylor Collins paced Florida SouthWestern State with a 2-for-4 outing and a run batted in.

Game 22

No. 3 Temple 8, No. 7 Eastern Arizona 7

The third-seeded Temple Leopards jumped out to an early 8-1 lead and held on late to advance to the championship bracket semifinal contest with an 8-7 victory over No. 7 Eastern Arizona. Despite giving up a seventh-inning solo home run, Temple’s Mikaela Sako earned the save for the Leopards after giving up just one hit and one run in 1 2/3 innings of solid relief.

Holding to a 2-1 advantage in third, Temple drove in four runs in the third and two more in the fourth to jump out to an 8-1 lead. Skye Kohl delivered the big hit in the four-run third for the Leopards with a two-run double, while Tiare Lee added a solo homer for Temple in the fourth. The Gila Monsters answered with five runs in the fifth and one in the seventh to make things interesting, but Sako pitched out of the jam to help advance.

Lindsey Taylor led Temple offensively by going 2-for-3 with three runs batted in, while Koehl finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Taylor Hollestelle paced the Gila Monsters by going a perfect 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Consolation bracket

Game 23

No. 2 Chipola 8, No. 6 Tyler 0

The second-seeded Chipola Indians staved off elimination with an 8-0 run-rule victory over No. 6 Tyler. With Chipola holding a 6-0 advantage in the last of the fifth inning, relief pitcher Amy Woodham delivered a two-run walk-off home run to propel the Indians to the 8-0 win.

Chipola’s Morgan Goree earned the victory in the circle after pitching 4 1/3 innings of scoreless action. Goree scattered five hits and struck out two while not allowing a run for the Indians.

Alexis Gramp drove in three runs in the game for Chipola, while Barbara Woll went 2-for-3 with a run scored and Woodham belted out the walk-off run-rule two-run homer. Six players finished with a hit apiece for Tyler.

Game 24

No. 8 Seminole State 5, No. 5 Southern Idaho 3

Sadi Avents went the distance in the circle and Haley Pomplun drove in two runs en route to leading the eighth-seeded Seminole State Trojans to a 5-3 victory over No. 5 Southern Idaho in an elimination game Friday afternoon.

Pomplun drove home both runs in the second with a two-run single, and her teammate Kristen Prieto extended Seminole State’s lead to 3-0 with a solo homer in the third. Southern Idaho later made things interesting after pulling to within 4-3 thanks to home runs from Hannah Peterson and Nicole Renner, but Seminole State’s Macy Smith helped tack on an insurance run in the seventh with a sacrifice fly to give the Trojans a little breathing room. Seminole State’s Avents then retired the side in order in the last of the seventh to seal the victory for the Trojans.

Emily Richardson led Seminole State offensively by going 3-for-3 with a run batted in, while Pomplun went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Peterson paced CSI by going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.

Game 25

No. 2 Chipola 3, No. 1 Florida SouthWestern State 0

Krystal Goodman pitched a complete-game four-hit shutout en route to leading the second-seeded Chipola Indians to a 3-0 victory over the top-seeded Florida SouthWestern State Buccaneers in the consolation bracket Friday afternoon. Goodman struck out one and walked one on her way to helping hand the Buccaneers their second setback of the day and eliminate the top seed from the tournament.

Chipola’s offense got off to a fast start thanks to back-to-back first-inning solo home runs from Alex Grampp and Barbara Woll to give the Indians a quick 2-0 lead. Melany Sheldon extended Chipola’s advantage in the second with a solo shot of her own to make it 3-0. The Buccaneers then looked to get on the board in the last of the fifth when Madison Johnson belted a ball to deep center, but Chipola’s center fielder Woll made a fantastic leaping catch at the wall to rob Johnson of what would have been a home run.

Lauren Finch led Chipola at the plate by going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, while Grampp, Woll and Sheldon all homered for the Indians. Four players finished with a hit apiece in the game for the Buccaneers led by Makea Mereana and Paris Woods who each went 1-for-2.

Game 26

No. 8 Seminole State 13, No. 7 Eastern Arizona 9

In a game that featured 22 total runs and 27 combined hits, No. 8 Seminole State outlasted No. 7 Eastern Arizona, 13-9, to advance in the consolation bracket. The Trojans scored three in the first, six in the third and four in the fifth on their way to recording the high-scoring victory.

With Eastern Arizona holding an early 5-3 advantage, Jolie Romine delivered with a bases-clearing double, and Kristen Prieto later followed with a solo homer to give the Trojans a 9-5 lead. The Gila Monsters answered with single runs in each of the next two innings, but the Trojans responded with a four-run fifth thanks in large part to a three-run home run from Abigail Johnson to put the game away.

Johnson paced the Trojans at the plate in the game by going an unblemished 3-for-3 with four runs batted in and two runs scored, while Macy Smith added a 3-for-5 outing with an RBI and two runs scored. Lena Kotrys led the Gila Monsters in the game by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Game 28

No. 2 Chipola 5, No. 8 Seminole State 0

Amy Woodham fanned nine and scattered six hits on her way to leading Chipola to its third victory of the day with a 5-0 shutout over Seminole State to advance to Saturday to eliminate the Trojans from the tournament.

Chipola’s offense got off to a hot start by driving in five first-inning runs to take an early 5-0 advantage. After a pair of Trojan (50-7) errors, Barbara Woll and Jordenne Gaten both drove in runs in the first with respective RBI doubles, and Lauren Finch added an RBI of her own to help the Indians jump out to the early lead. The lead held up the rest of the way, as Woodham dazzled in the circle for Chipola. Woodham went the distance to record the complete-game victory for the Indians.

Woll led Chipola at the plate by going 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a run scored, while Gaten went 1-for-2 with an RBI double and a run scored. Macy Smith led Seminole State by going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.

Saturday matchups

The second-seeded Chipola Indians will take on the two-time defending national champion and fourth-seeded Butler Grizzlies in the consolation final on Saturday at 10 a.m. MT, to see who will head to the national championship game to face No. 3 Temple on Saturday at noon. If Butler or Chipola is able to win that game, they would then force a winner-take-all if-necessary national title game at 2:00 p.m.

James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.