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Falcons Earn National Berth

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Posted: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 3:15 pm

Taking care of business Friday afternoon, the East Central College softball Falcons booked a spot in the NJCAA Division II national tournament.

ECC (28-30) swept visiting Murray State College (14-29) of Tishomingo, Okla., Friday in the best-of-three series, 5-4 and 7-1.

“This accomplishment is a total team effort,” ECC Head Coach Brad Wallach said. “We’ll back off a little during finals and get back to work on Wednesday. We’re still trying to get better.”

Sophomore Brooke Brenton (Lebanon) was the winning pitcher in both games.

“I’m so excited,” Brenton said. “I can’t wait. We came into the beginning of the season and coach said one day at a time, so we took it one day at a time.”

Sophomore Nicole Thompson (Winfield) is looking forward to traveling to Mississippi.

“I’ve never been to Mississippi, so I’m excited,” said Thompson. “We’ll make it work. We’re one of the few left and that’s all that matters.”

Sophomore Rhiannon Edler (Owensville) is looking forward to another milestone when she goes to the national tournament.

“I’m excited,” Edler said. “I guess it really won’t sink in until we actually get on the bus and go for it. It will be a heck of a birthday present (May 17). Hopefully we can win and make my day that much better.”

It’s the third time ECC has qualified for the national tournament. The 1977 team placed fifth and the 1994 squad took ninth.

The NJCAA Division II national tournament takes place May 17-19 at Traceway Park in Clinton, Miss.

“At practice I had told the girls that the only reason East Central softball hadn’t gone to nationals since 1994 was because they hadn’t gotten here until now and that drought had nothing to do with us,” Wallach said. “Before the first game we talked and we definitely wanted to finish this the first day.”

Two games were scheduled for Friday with the if-needed game set for Saturday. But, by sweeping the Friday games, the Falcons made certain that everyone could enjoy a Saturday away from the field.

“We were excited to get it done in one day, too, and not be back tomorrow,” said Brenton.

The Falcons don’t have the record or the ranking of most of the other teams in the field, but the team is jelling at the right time.

“We went through our rough patches, but we made it through it and that’s all that matters,” Thompson said.

“At first, we had our differences,” Edler said. “We had to get used to each other. It got better the more we played and the more coach talked to us about it. They’ve blended really well and we do really well together. It’s just crazy.”

Brenton agreed.

“In the middle of the season, we were playing ball,” Brenton said. “We’ve come together finally and things are happening together. We’ve had defense and then offense. I think during regionals it all came together and we made it happen.”

Each of the three sophomores remember the roster struggles the team’s had over the past couple of seasons. In 2011, ECC had to borrow athletes to be able to field a team with a little depth.

“Definitely we have a different team this year,” Edler said. “We’re fast. We can hit the heck out of the ball. It’s definitely good to feel that you’re part of this big team and that we’ve gone this far. It’s awesome.”

Thompson said the Falcons said the whole team is peaking at the right time.

“I think we realized as sophomores that it was coming to an end and that we would have to dig deep and do what we could,” Thompson said. “The willpower added up as the end and we came together as a team and gave it our all. Everybody started playing together and putting hits together. Defensively we came together and it was incredible. Our errors have gone down so much. That’s helped us out a lot.”

ECC is the only unranked team currently in the national tournament

As of Monday, 10 of the 16 national competitors had been decided.

National tournament qualifiers are as follows NJCAA rankings and records appear where they are available.

• District A — (2) Phoenix (Ariz.) College (51-15);

• District B — (15) Black Hawk (Ill.) College (32-15);

• District C — (6) Kankakee (Ill.) Community College (50-9);

• District D — (4) Cowley (Kan.) College (46-6);

• District E — (8) Highland (Kan.) Community College (48-11);

• District F — (Regions 9, 11) Will be North Platte (Neb) Community College (26-26) vs. either (RV) Des Moines Community College or Southwestern Community College;

• District G — May 9-11, (Region 12A);

• District H — May 9-11, (Region 12B);

• District I — (17) Mercyhurst (Pa.) North East (40-12);

• District J — East Central College (28-30);

• District K — (18) Delaware Technical & Community College (35-3);

• District L — (19) CCBC-Catonsville, Md. (44-11);

• District M — (1) Louisiana State University-Eunice (53-9);

• District N — (3) Jones County (Miss.) Junior College (42-9);

• District O — (11) Parkland (Ill.) College (42-18); and

• District P — May 11-12, (RV) Illinois Central College at (RV) Patrick Henry Community College (Regions 8, 10, 24B).

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Area Scoreboard

62nd Annual Borgia Pepsi Thanksgiving Tournament

Blue Division

Pool 1

McCluer North

Normandy

Carnahan

Pool 2

Cardinal Ritter

Pacific

Rockwood Summit

Gold Division

Pool 1

CBC

Soldan

Washington

Pool 2

Borgia

North Tech

Union

Monday, Nov. 24

CBC 77, Washington 52

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Cardinal Ritter vs. Rockwood Summit, PPD

Washington 63, Soldan 62

Borgia 83, Union 50

Wednesday, Nov. 26

Carnahan 71, Normandy 46

Pacific 64, Rockwood Summit 22

North Tech 67, Union 37

Thursday, Nov. 27

McCluer North 95 Carnahan 68

CBC 82, Soldan 55

Borgia 50, North Tech 45

Friday, Nov. 28

McCluer North 93, Normandy 39

Pacific 70, Cardinal Ritter 57

Saturday, Nov. 29

Blue Consolation — Rockwood Summit 47, Normandy 38

Gold Consolation — Soldan 78, Union 59

Gold Third Place — North Tech 63, Washington 57

Blue Third Place — Cardinal Ritter 71, Carnahan 46

Blue Championship — McCluer North 64, Pacific 58 (OT)

Gold Championship — CBC 67, Borgia 66

Boys Basketball

Monday, Dec. 8

Lutheran S 64, St. Clair 48

Borgia 61, Carnahan 51

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Lafayette 44, Washington 35

Friday, Dec. 12

Potosi 72, St. Clair 45

*Washington 69, Ft. Zumwalt North 65

Montgomery Co 62, New Haven 61

*St. Mary’s at Borgia    6:45 p.m.

Bourbon 75, Union 74

Glendale 63, Pacific 46

Saturday, Dec. 13

New Haven 46, Barat 40

Nixa 56, Pacific 46

Tuesday, Dec. 16

*Pacific 70, New Haven 35

*Hermann 67, St. Clair 49

*Ft. Zumwalt South 61, Washington 50

*Union 81, St. James 74

Friday, Dec. 19

*Owensville at St. Clair    4 p.m.

Washington vs. Parkway Central, GAC/Suburban Shootout, St. Charles Family Arena, 5:30 p.m.

*St. James at New Haven    6 p.m.

*Pacific 76, Union 57

Saturday, Dec. 20

Sullivan Shootout

Owensville vs. Rockwood Summit, 11:30 a.m.

Lindbergh 67, St. Clair 46

Jefferson City vs. Jackson, 2:30 p.m.

Washington 56, Lutheran South 54

Poplar Bluff 59, Borgia 49

Sullivan vs. Affton, 7 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Saturday, Dec. 6

Cor Jesu 63, Borgia 60

New Haven 46, Moberly 39

Monday, Dec. 8

Pacific 73, Rolla 40

St. Clair 68, Dixon 37

Washington 54, New Haven 15

Tuesday, Dec. 9

*Borgia 59, Rosati-Kain 38

Union 53, Northwest 44

Thursday, Dec. 11

*Borgia 60, Notre Dame 53

Union 81, Bourbon 53

Friday, Dec. 12

New Haven 45, Principia 30

*Washington 59, Ft. Zumwalt North 32

Saturday, Dec. 13

West Plains 76, Pacific 37

Monday, Dec. 15

*Pacific 46, New Haven 28

*St. Clair 59, Hermann 50

*St. James 64, Union 37

Sullivan Tournament

Cuba 48, Principia 27

Borgia 68, Patriettes 29

Sullivan 56, Pattonville 43

Owensville 78, Farmington 54

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Sullivan Tournament

Farmington 61, Pattonville 39

Sullivan 68, Owensville 64

Principia 55, St. Louis Patriettes 42

Borgia 56, Cuba 38

Thursday, Dec. 18

*St. James 72, New Haven 21

*Union 49, Pacific 48

Friday, Dec. 19

Francis Howell 55, Washington 48

Sullivan Tournament

Seventh Place — Pattonville vs. St. Louis Patriettes, 4 p.m.

Consolation — Farmington vs. Principia, 5:30 p.m.

Third Place — Owensville vs. Cuba, 7 p.m.

Championship — Borgia 62, Sullivan 35

Saturday, Dec. 20

Union at Waynesville    5 p.m.

Wrestling

Monday, Dec. 8

Maplewood 48, Borgia 30

Brentwood 47, Borgia 36

Winfield 48, St. Clair 36

St. Clair 42, St. James 40

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Pacific 55, North County 10

Jackson 63, Washington 12

Farmington 63, Washington 6

Wednesday, Dec. 10

Borgia 36, Lutheran St. Charles 34

Winfield 54, Borgia 30

Thursday, Dec. 11

Union 72, Ft. Zumwalt East 9

Union 52, Principia 30

Union 54, Winfield 27

Saturday, Dec. 13

Union Tournament    9 a.m.

Borgia at McCluer S-Berkeley Tny    9 a.m.

Pacific at Farmington Tny    9 a.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 16

Owensville 61, St. Clair 16

Union 48, Owensville 27

Union 65, St. Clair 18

Friday, Dec. 19

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Saturday, Dec. 20

Washington at Raytown S Tny    TBA

Union at Cape Central Tny    TBA

Pacific at Ft. Zumwalt E Tny    TBA

Girls Swimming

Monday, Dec. 8

Washington at Eureka    4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 9

Washington at Nerinx Hall    4 p.m.

LSC/OFC 134, Borgia 101, St. Dominic 83

Monday, Dec. 15

Borgia at Notre Dame (Forest Park)    4 p.m.

Kennedy 88, Washington 84

Wednesday, Dec. 17

Lindbergh 128, Washington 48

*Conference Games

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