Winning twice Friday, the East Central College softball Falcons advanced to the title game of the NJCAA Division II Region 16 Tournament in Farmington.
ECC opened the tournament with a 14-3 win over fourth-seeded Cottey College in the opener.
In the winners’ bracket final of the four-team event, the Falcons then defeated St. Louis Community College, 6-1, to reach the championship game.
The Falcons scored single runs in the top of the second and third before doubling the lead in the fourth, 4-0.
Cottey scored once in the fourth inning before the Falcons ripped the ball for four runs in the fifth and two in the sixth. Cottey scored its final two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
“We were kind of slow starting but there was a progressive build-up throughout the game offensively,” ECC Head Coach Brad Wallach said. “I was glad to see that and think it helped us get off to a quick start in the next game.”
Michelle Bryant (Crocker) paced the offense with three hits, including a double and a triple. She scored twice and drove in six runs.
Katilyn Evans (Washington) had two hits, including a home run. She scored once, drove in one and walked.
Ashley Hill (Centralia) recorded two hits, including a double. She scored once and drove in two.
Claire Smith (Owensville) had two hits, a walk, two runs and an RBI.
Haley Zenner (Dubuque, Iowa) posted two hits and a run.
Brittany Miller (Lindbergh) had a hit and a walk while scoring twice.
Kierstin Monzyk (New Haven) recorded one hit and added a walk. She scored three times and drove in one run.
Sarah Westhoff (Washington) had one hit and a sacrifice.
Chelsea Bax (Fatima) pitched, allowing three runs on five hits and one walk. She struck out 10 batters.
Playing in the winners’ bracket final, the Falcons stopped third-seeded St. Louis Community College, 6-1.
ECC set the tone in the bottom of the first inning with three runs and never looked back.
“We jumped out quickly and scored three in the first,” Wallach said. “That, along with Sarah only allowing one base runner in the first three innings set the tone for the game.”
ECC led 3-0 after three full innings, but the Archers put one run on the board in the top of the fourth.
“When they did score in the fourth, things started to get interesting but then Ashley Hill dealt the big blow with a three run shot in the sixth,” Wallach said. “That definitely took away any wind they had left in their sails.”
Westhoff went the distance, allowing one run on five hits. She struck out two.
Hill paced the offense with two hits, a double and a home run, one run and four RBIs.
Evans had two hits, including a double, scoring twice and driving home a pair.
Westhoff also had two hits.
Smith had one hit.
Bryant and Zenner each walked and scored. Monzyk also scored a run.