MCC-NJC softball split gives Trinidad Region IX title
The McCook Community College softball team’s hopes to host the Region IX softball tournament next weekend ended with a 5-4 loss in extra innings to Northeastern Junior College Friday. MCC ensured the Plainswomen wouldn’t win the title by scoring three runs in the ninth inning in game 2, capped by a walk-off home run from freshman Ashland Baca (Byers, Colo.) to pull out a 7-5 win.
Each team needed a four-game weekend sweep to move past first-place Trinidad Junior College. Friday’s split gives the regular-season title to the Trojans and the right to host the tournament starting Friday.
MCC sophomore Taryn Jenkins (Aldergrove, British Columbia) hit two more home runs Friday and drove in three runs. She now holds the MCC single-season record for home runs (20) and RBIs (79). Kelsey Gillen previously had the home run record (17 in 2013) and Alexis Moeaki held the RBI record with 76 in 2018. Jenkins is fifth in the nation in RBIs. Baca isn’t far behind hitting her 20th home run of the year in Game 2, she has driven in 68.
MCC goes to 36-10 overall and 18-6 in the Region IX standings,
NJC moves to 31-15 and 18-6 in the conference. Trinidad State wins Region IX with a 20-6 mark.
MCC will conclude the Region IX regular season Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Sophomores will be recognized 30-45 minutes prior to the game.
For more photos from today’s game please visit the McCook Community College Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MPCCMcCook
GAME 1 -- Northeastern Junior College 5, McCook CC 4: The Plainswomen were able to score a run in the sixth, and two in the seventh to take the lead, and after MCC tied the game at 4-4 in the seventh, NJC pushed across the game winner in the eighth.
After starting pitcher Anna Wilcox (sophomore, Victoria, British Columbia) recorded a bases-loaded strikeout to end the NJC first inning, Taryn Jenkins put MCC up 2-0 with a two-run home run in the bottom of the inning.
NJC got back a run in the third, but a two-out, bases-loaded hit by sophomore Alice Midiri (Condove, Italy) in the fourth inning gave the Lady Indians a 3-1 lead.
The Plainswomen got a solo home run in the sixth and took the lead with a two-run single in the seventh.
Wilcox went 6.1 innings, allowing three earned runs, two walks and she struck out seven before she was relieved in the sixth by freshman Avery O'Neil (Ellsworth, Wis.), who went 1.2 innings, allowing two hits and striking out two.
Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, MCC got one-out singles from Midiri and Jenkins, and Emily Arp (sophomore, McCook) tied the game with a two-out single to centerfield.
NJC outhit MCC 14-11. Jenkins and Midiri both had three-hit games.
GAME 2 – McCook CC 7, Northeastern Junior College 5: Emily Arp put MCC up 1-0 in the first inning with a two-out RBI-single to score Taryn Jenkins. A two-out RBI single in the second by Alexis Cortez (Aurora, Colo.) drove in Sidney Sansregret (sophomore, Surrey, British Columbia), who had singled, to put the Tribe up 2-0.
NJC scored an unearned run in the third inning with two outs off Avery O’Neil and tied the game in the fourth with a two-out unearned run.
Jenkins hit a two-out solo home run in the fifth to break the 2-2 tie but NJC had back-to-back hits to start the seventh inning and knot the score at 3-3, then took a 5-3 lead with a pair of runs in the ninth inning.
Avery O'Neil went 8.2 innings in the pitching circle, allowing one earned run, walking three, surrendering nine hits and striking out four. Anna Wilcox pitched finished out the ninth inning.
Rae VanMilligan (freshman Marion, Iowa) led off the ninth with a walk, freshman Taylor Thein (West Branch, Iowa) followed with a bunt hit down the third-base line. Cortez reached on an error to load the bases for Alice Midiri who hit a sacrifice fly to left field to make it a 5-4 game. With two-out, Ashland Baca line a 2-2 pitch over the left-field fence for the 7-5 win.
MCC had nine hits in the game with two each from Cortez, Thein and Baca.