No. 1 Salt Lake Community College took an unconventional path to the Region 18 softball championship this past weekend.
The Bruins shut out Western Nevada College 8-0 on Thursday and dominated College of Southern Idaho 14-6 on Friday to advance to the championship round. However, rain forced the cancellation of Saturday’s games.
Because of SLCC’s unblemished tournament record and a Scenic West Athletic Conference regular season title, the Bruins were awarded the Region 18 championship and the automatic NJCAA tournament berth.
Thursday — SLCC 8, WNC 0 (six innings)
The Wildcats were no match for the No. 1 team in the country.
Salt Lake’s Kyrae Kogaines hit a three-run homer in the first inning to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead. Megan Reed went 2 for 4, collecting two RBIs on a single in the sixth, and Payton Hart went 2 for 3 with an RBI double in the fifth.
Baylee Reeves pitched a complete game, striking out two and allowing just one Wildcat hit and two walks.
Friday — SLCC 14, CSI 6 (six innings)
After holding their first opponent scoreless, SLCC used some brute force to outscore the Eagles.
After scoring two runs in the first, the Bruins used a seven-run third inning to break the game open.
Kogaines went 2 for 3 from the plate, including a two-run homer in the fifth. Karly Bunderson scored three runs and Riana Splinter and Raeana Gall each had two RBIs.
The Eagles did themselves no favors, committing five errors, including four in the third inning.
Next up: Nationals
Salt Lake (47-7, 35-5 Scenic West Athletic Conference) was awarded the No. 1 seed in the NJCAA National Tournament in St. George.
The Bruins will face 16-seed Western Nebraska Community College on Wednesday, May 13 at 4 p.m.
Photos courtesy of Nico Suavephotography