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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

Area Sports Schedule

American Legion Baseball

Ninth District Senior Legion Tournament

Thursday, July 17

At Westhoff Park

G1 (1) West 11, (8) Pacific 1

G2 (4) St. Charles 17, (5) Elsberry 2

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G3 (3) Washington 4, (6) Wentzville 0

G4 (2) Daniel Boone 8, (7) St. Peters 2

Friday, July 18

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G5 Elsberry 8, Pacific 3

G6 St. Peters 9, Wentzville 1

At Westhoff Park

G7 St. Charles 4, West 1

G8 Daniel Boone 7, Washington 4

Saturday, July 19

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G9 Washington 9, Elsberry 4

G10 West 9, St. Peters 6

G12 West 14, Washington 1

At Westhoff Park

G11 St. Charles def. Daniel Boone (fft)

Sunday, July 20

Rest at Westhoff Park

G13 Championship — West 2, St. Charles 1 (13 innings)

Monday, July 21

G14 If-Needed Game — St. Charles 13, West 11

Zone 1 Senior Legion Tournament

At Lindenwood University, St. Charles

Thursday, July 24

G1 West 13, Daniel Boone Post 262 8

G2 Jefferson City Post 5 11, Hannibal Post 55 2

Friday, July 25

G3 West 11, St. Charles Post 312 1

G4 Daniel Boone 10, Hannibal 2

Saturday, July 26

G5 Jefferson City 9, West 2

G6 St. Charles 11, Daniel Boone 0

G7 West 6, St. Charles 2

Sunday, July 27

G8 Championship — West 11, Jefferson City 0

G9 If-Needed Game — Jefferson City 14, West 12

Jefferson City advances to state tournament in Sedalia.

Ninth District Junior Legion Tournament

Tuesday, July 8

At Union High School

G1 (1) Elsberry 3, (8) New Haven 0

At Ronsick Field

G4 (3) Washington 7, (6) Wentzville 1

G4 (2) Union 8, (7) Hannibal 1

At St. Peters Rec-Plex

G2 (5) St. Peters 8, (4) St. Charles 6

Wednesday, July 9

At New Haven

G5 Wentzville 4, New Haven 0

G6 St. Charles 8, Hannibal 7 (9 innings)

At Ronsick Field

G7 St. Peters 5, Elsberry 2

G8 Washington 2, Union 1

Remainder at Ronsick Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 Union 7, Wentzville 1

G10 Elsberry 3, St. Charles 2

Friday, July 11

G11 Washington 12, St. Peters 11 (10 innings)

G12 Elsberry 6, Union 3

Saturday, July 12

G13 Elsberry 4, St. Peters 3

G14 Championship — Washington 3, Elsberry 1

Washington wins district, to host Zone 1 Tournament at Borgia. Schedule below.

Junior Legion Zone 1 Tournament

At Borgia

Thursday, June 17

G1 Elsberry Post 226 10, Chillicothe Post 25 2

Friday, June 18

G2 Washington Post 218 5, Elsberry 1

G3 Chillicothe 5, Elsberry 4

Saturday, June 19

G4 Championship — Washington 16, Chillicothe 0 (5 innings)

Washington advances to State Tournament in Jackson.

Junior Legion State Tournament

At Jackson

Thursday, July 24

G1 Jackson 3, Springfield Glendale 2

G2 Eureka 7, Sedalia 0

Friday, June 25

G3 Jackson 8, Washington 3

G4 Springfield Glendale 8, Sedalia 3

G5 Jackson 4, Eureka 2

G6 Washington 8, Springfield Glendale 0

Saturday, June 26

G7 Eureka 11, Washington 10 (9 innings)

G8 Championship — Jackson 7, Eureka 6

Jackson advances to Regional Tournament in Leavenworth, Kan.

Sunday, June 27

G9 If-Needed Game — G8 winner vs. G8 loser, 1 p.m.

Freshman Legion Ninth District Tournament

Tuesday, July 8

At Elsberry Legion Field

G1 (1) St. Charles 7, (8) St. Peters 0

G2 (4) Elsberry-Winfield 4, (5) Wentzville 3

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G3 (3) Hannibal 3, (6) Warrenton 2

G4 (2) Washington 10, (7) West 1

Wednesday, July 9

At Elsberry Khoury League Field

G5 St. Peters 17, Warrenton 6

G6 Wentzville 5, West 4

At Elsberry Legion Field

G7 St. Charles 10, Elsberry-Winfield 2

G8 Washington 3, Hannibal 0

Remainder at Elsberry Legion Field

Thursday, July 10

G9 St. Peters 11, Hannibal 9

G10 Elsberry-Winfield 13, Wentzville 4

Friday, July 11

G12 Elsberry-Winfield 8, St. Peters 3

G11 Washington 6, St. Charles 0, 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 12

G13 St. Charles 10, Elsberry-Winfield 1

G14 Championship — St. Charles 5, Washington 2

Sunday, July 13

G15 If-Needed Game — St. Charles 2, Washington 0

Missouri Freshman

Legion State Tournament

At Rotary Recreational

Complex - Ronsick Field

Wednesday, July 16

G1 Creve Coeur Post 397 16, St. Robert Post 331 2

G2 Ste. Genevieve Post 150 4, St. Charles Post 312 0

G3 Jackson Post 158 1, vs. Springfield Glendale Merchants 0

G4 Washington Post 218 9, Eureka Post 177 4

Thursday, July 17

G5 Springfield Glendale 11, St. Robert 1 (St. Robert eliminated)

G6 St. Charles 10, Eureka 2 (Eureka eliminated)

G7 Ste. Genevieve 4, Creve Coeur 2

G8 Washington 12, Jackson 10

Friday, July 18

G9 Jackson 12, Springfield Glendale 0 (Springfield Glendale eliminated)

G10 Creve Coeur 8, St. Charles 3 (St. Charles eliminated)

G11 Ste. Genevieve 3, Washington 2

G12 Creve Coeur 11, Jackson 7 (Jackson eliminated)

Saturday, July 19

G13 Washington 8, Creve Coeur 3 (Creve Coeur eliminated)

G14 Championship—Washington 5, Ste. Genevieve 2

Sunday, July 20

G15 Championship Game 2—Washington 3, Ste. Genevieve 0

Great Midwest Football League

July 19

Missouri Cyclones 34, Illinois Justice 0

Swim Team Schedules

Washington Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Oaks Landing    Washington 192-100

6-16    Westglen    Washington 259-206

6-23    at Fox Creek    Washington 311-225

6-30    at Chadwick    Chadwick 264-258

7-7    Cherry Hills    Washington 291-140

7-11 at Division Meet, Westminster Christian First

Pacific Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    Lake of the Woods    LOtW 176-130

6-16    at Union    Union 289-220

6-23    Bridle Creek    Pacific 371-124

6-30    at Arbor Oaks    Pacific 282-241

7-7    at Indian Hills    Cancelled, weather

7-12    Division Meet    First

Union Swim Team

Date    Opponent    Time/Result

6-9    at Arbor Oaks    Union 180-120

6-16    Pacific    Union 289-220

6-23    at Lake of the Woods    LoTW 312-201

6-30    Indian Hills    Union 322-275

7-7    Bridle Creek    PPD

7-12    at Division Meet, Pacific    Third

Pacific Diving Team

Date    Opponent    Time

6-14    at MAC West    MAC West 40-30

6-21    at Lindgate    Lindgate

6-28    at Cool Dell    9 a.m.

7-13    at Championships    8 a.m.

*Indicates League Games

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