Softball to play for Region IX title

LCC freshman Larissa Royer pitched a pair of playoff wins against Western Nebraska to help the Lopes advance to the Region IX Championship Series against Trinidad State.
LCC freshman Larissa Royer pitched a pair of playoff wins against Western Nebraska to help the Lopes advance to the Region IX Championship Series against Trinidad State.

The Lamar Community College softball team defeated Western Nebraska Community College in a three-game series to advance to the championship round of Region IX playoffs. A Monday split led to Tuesday's winner-take-all game three, which the Lopes won 11-9.

Monday, May 1:

Despite 18 hits in the first game, the Runnin' Lopes fell to the Cougars 9-6 in the first match-up of the series. Lauren Reed took the loss in the circle, allowing 10 hits and three earned runs. Unfortunately, errors from the Lopes defense allowed six unearned runs to cross the plate.  Sophomore Mariah Lopez, went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and a double while freshman Keilee Womack went 2-for-2 with an RBI and a double. In the second game, LCC bounced back to win by the same 9-6 score. Larissa Royer threw the win for the Lopes, striking out five and allowing seven hits. Offensively, the Runnin' Lopes recorded 14 hits. Freshman Caitlin McCarthy led the team with three RBI, going 2-for-2 at the plate. Samantha McDonald, Mackenzie Rowlett and Royer all had three hits and an RBI in the game as well.

Tuesday, May 2:

In the final game of the series, the Runnin' Lopes were able to beat Western Nebraksa 11-9. With the score tied 8-8 in the top of the 7th inning, Kelsee Bushell hit a three-run home run to give the Lopes the winning runs. Freshman Mercedes Salazar also went 5-for-5 at the plate, recording three RBI, while McDonald went 4-for-4 with an RBI. As a team, the Lopes recorded 20 hits in the game to defeat the Cougars. Royer threw the win allowing eight hits and striking out two.

LCC moves on the championship series against Trinidad Junior College beginning on Saturday, May 6 in Trinidad. The Lopes have a 28-23 overall record and have split 3-3 with Trinidad in the regular season.