ST GEORGE, Utah — Wallace State softball has won its second national championship.
The Lady Lions, seeded eighth, defeated Salt Lake City (Utah) CC 7-3 in Saturday’s NJCAA Division I national title game, using another big offensive inning in order to capture it all at the Canyons Complex in St. George, Utah.
Tournament MVP and Most Outstanding Pitcher Lindsey DeFee scattered two earned runs on five hits in seven innings, freshman Kori Benson added her school-record 23rd home run and the Lady Lions put together a five-run seventh inning to pull away and earn the college its sixth national title overall.
“I can’t say enough positive things about this team. It seems like for the last month we’ve had a lot of clutch hits from people up and down the lineup. I can’t even begin to name them all, but that’s helped us achieve this ultimate goal, along with our two sophomore pitchers,” said Wallace State coach Jayne Clem, whose team won its first national crown in 2008. “Nobody thinks Alabama can play softball in junior college, so we never get much recognition. We still may not get any after this, but we’ll continue to prove it on the field.”
A year after finishing third nationally, Wallace State’s only hiccup in the tournament was an 8-0 loss in Saturday’s opener, forcing the Lady Lions to win the title in the if-necessary game.
The Lady Lions (55-12) were up to the task. Their forte throughout the entire tournament was giving the pitching staff a comfortable lead by exploding for big innings. With the game tied at 2-2, Wallace State decided the seventh was the magic frame in the finale.
For the third time in the tournament Wallace State batted around, sending 10 to the plate. Victoria Frith drove in the first run with an RBI single, and Katie Gentle and Kori Benson each added two-run singles for a 7-2 advantage.