LUBBOCK The Odessa College softball team punched its ticket to the NJCAA National Tournament for the first time since 2014 thanks to a 9-5 victory in nine innings over Howard College Sunday in the WJCAC Tournament Championship game at Lubbock Christian University’s PlainsCapital Park.
The Wranglers erased a two-run deficit in the top of the seventh inning thanks to a two-run home run from Hunter Harkrider to tie the game. Odessa College (38-9 overall) completed the comeback with a four-run ninth inning that started with a go-ahead RBI double by Alyssa Deanda.
Illy Cisneros and Harkrider followed that with back-to-back home runs to extend the Wranglers’ lead.
Fadwa Ben karim retired the Hawks (37-5) in order in the bottom of the ninth to close out the game. She pitched 2.2 scoreless innings in relief of Aydenne Brown to seal the victory.
The national tournament is slated to begin May 25 in Yuma, Arizona.
Odessa College 9, Howard College 5 (9)
WJCAC Tournament Championship
Sunday, PlainsCapital Park, Lubbock
Odessa………. 102 000 204 — 9 15 0
Howard………. 103 100 000 — 5 8 0
Aydenne Brown, Fadwa Ben Karim (7) and Megan Knapp. Kirsten Martinez, Jasmine Blizzard (9) and Sasha Willems. W — Ben Karim. L — Martinez. 2B — Odessa College: Alyssa Deanda. Howard College: Macey Meraz. HR — Odessa College: Hunter Harkrider 2, Illy Cisneros. Howard College: Barbora Saviola, Laela Minnich.
Records — Odessa College 38-9 overall; Howard College 37-5.