COLLEGE SOFTBALL: CCC WOMEN TO HOST REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ON THURSDAY
(2022-05-17)Southern Tier Sports Report
The Corning softball team, ranked number one in the NJCAA Region III Tournament seeding, was able to advance to the NJCAA Region III Finals with wins over No. 8 Onondaga CC on Saturday afternoon. The playoff format is a best of three series and the two Corning wins propelled the Red Barons to Thursday's Championship series with a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament on the line.
Corning took an early 3-0 lead thanks to a first inning Lexi Wood homerun, but OCC battled back and scored 6 in the top of the 3rd. The Red Barons answered in the bottom half of the frame with 2 runs to make it a 6-5 ballgame. In the bottom of the 5th, Corning would blow the game open with a big 7-run inning. Corning tacked on two more runs in the 6th and invoked the eight-run rule with a 6-inning 14-6 win. Grace Vondracek was 3 for 3 with 2 RBI's, Emma Loomis 4 for 5, Grace Talbut 3 for 4 with 2 RBI's, Wood 2 for 3 with 5 RBI's, while Jodie Burdick and Lexi Wahl-Knowlden each went 2 for 4. Emily McCreery picked up the win in the circle scattering 7 hits and striking out 10.
In game two, Corning earned the 10-6 win thanks in part to a big 5 run 6th-inning to take the lead for good. Vondarcek and Loomis were 3 for 4 while Kiarah Grover went 2 for 4. Grover and Wood each tripled while Loomis, Vondracek and Talbut each doubled. Jayden Hill earned the game two win scattering four hits and striking out 5.
The team features Elmira grads — Wood and Kiarah Grover, Horseheads grads Wahl-Knowlden and Emma Loomis and Edison grad Burdick.
Wood is hitting .522 this year, second on the team, with eight home runs and a team-best 92 RBI. She has scored 56 runs this year and has 71 hits. She leads the team with 24 doubles.
Grover is hitting .488 with three home runs, 49 RBI and 47 runs scored, with 10 doubles and seven triples.
Loomis is hitting .519, third on the team, with 67 hits and 75 runs scored, second on the team. She has 30 RBI and 16 doubles.
Wahl-Knowlden is hitting .250 with 18 runs and 13 RBI and Burdick is hitting .419 with 29 RBI and 42 runs scored.
CCC is led by Grace Vondracek, who is hitting .649 this year with 57 RBI and 79 runs scored, tops on the team in batting average and runs scored. She leads the team with 85 hits and lead the team with 42 stolen bases.
Bella Benjamin leads the team with 19 home runs and is hitting .417 with 56 runs and 67 RBI.
The Red Barons have advanced to the NJCAA Region III Championship Game, also a best of three series, and will play No. 4 seed Niagara County Community College. Those games will be played at Corning on Thursday, May 19. First pitch is noon. The winner of this series will advance to the NJCAA National Championship Tournament on May 25-28 in Syracuse, New York.
IN PHOTO: CCC’s Lexi Wood. . . PHOTO BY BRIAN FEES
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