CORSICANA, Texas – A six-run sixth-inning rally lifted the Blinn College softball team to an opening-round victory over Navarro today at the Region XIV Tournament.
Blinn defeated Navarro 9-1 in six innings to advance to the winner’s bracket, where the Buccaneers will face Trinity Valley at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Trinity Valley defeated Galveston 5-2 Thursday night.
Blinn and Navarro remained scoreless until the third inning, when the Buccaneers loaded the bases with two outs and then scored two runs on a Navarro error. Blinn first baseman Sydney Wellmann followed with an RBI single.
Navarro scored its only run in the fifth inning to cut the Buccaneers’ lead to 3-1, but a six-run rally in the sixth put the game away.
Outfielder Taylor Guidry struggled in her first two at-bats of the game, but head coach Rick Church said a foul ball off her own foot seemed to spark the Jersey Village product, and she hit the next pitch to the outfield fence.
Caitie Carney and Tiffani McKnight followed with RBI singles and Wellmann added a two-run single.
Freshman pitcher Shannon O’Connor (17-10) struck out two in the bottom of the sixth to secure the mercy-rule victory. O’Connor allowed one run on five hits and a walk while striking out six.
“All in all, she didn’t allow very many scoring opportunities,” Church said.
The Buccaneers (32-18) have now won their last eight games. Blinn entered the tournament as the third seed from the South Zone while Navarro was No. 2 out of the East.
Blinn and Galveston split their four regular-season meetings this year.
The two finalists at the Region XIV Tournament, which continues through Sunday, earn automatic bids to the national tournament held in St. George, Utah. Blinn has qualified for the national tournament in 2003, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.