It was a roller-coaster ride of emotions. After losing game 1 in the NJCAA Division III National tournament by a score of 5-1 to Brokkdale CC of New Jersy (#3) the Ladyjacks (#6)softball team bounced back on opening day to beat St. Cloud CTC (#7) by a score of 9-1. That set the stage for one of the most dramatic games in school history. Their third game would put them up against the #5 seed Onondoga Community College of New York.
DCB dug a hole early and seemed out of it after 5 innings down 7-1. The Ladyjacks stormed back scoring 7 runs in the top of the 6th to go up 8-7. They added 4 more runs in the 7th to lead comfortably 12-7. And then things changed! A few misplays and some hits that seemed to find an open spot on every occasion lead the way to Onondoga scoring 6 runs including a two out infield single to win it.
This out the Ladyjacks in the 5th place game vs #4 Lehigh Carbon. The game was played immediately after the devastating loss and the team just had no response, losing 8-0 and finishing 6th at their first ever appearance at the National Championships.
"We were so close and our players played their hearts out" stated Head Coach Mike Smith. "We are of course proud of what we accomplished this season. Knowing how close we are will drive us to be back here next year!" added Smith!
The Ladyjacks only lose two players form their roster and will add several top recruits from the west coast to help DCB challenge for a National Championship in 2019-20.
Note: Rock Valley of Illinois won their sixth consecutive National Championship defeating Herckimer College of New York in the final.
The NJCAA All-Americans will be announced shortly and a few Ladyjacks should be in contention for a National Award.