Pensacola, FL - Top-ranked Tallahassee Community College will play for the region championship on Monday after winning its way through Sunday's loser's bracket play at the NJCAA Region 8B/FCSAA Gulf District Tournament with wins over St. Petersburg College, Gulf Coast State College and Chipola College.
FCSAA No. 1/NJCAA No. 5 Tallahassee will play No. 3/No. 10 Polk State College, the Suncoast Conference Champions, at 11 a.m. eastern Monday. The Eagles will have to defeat Polk State twice to claim the region championship and the accompanying trip to the national tournament in St. George, Utah.
Monday's action can be seen live on Panhandle Sports Broadcasting (www.PSBlive.com).
The 10-5 win over Chipola came in dramatic fashion as the Eagles exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth, quickly halting the Indians' momentum, gained after scoring two runs in the top half of the inning to take a 5-4 lead.
A bases-loaded walk to Te Reo Powhiri Matautia brought home the tying run, and Brenda Santana's two-out single scored Danielle Patterson and Ashley Smith with the go-ahead runs. But the Eagles weren't finished.
The next batter, Brianna Murillo, capped the rally with a three-run homer to left centerfield to give Tallahassee a 10-5 lead.
Mariah Rivera, who started in the circle, was relieved by Ashley Dobson in the fourth, but reentered in the sixth and was credited with the victory – her second of the day.
Rivera, who tossed a complete-game in Tallahassee's 4-0 win over Gulf Coast State in Sunday's middle game, needed some time to settle in against Chipola. She gave up a three-run homer in the top of the first to Brashante' Dareus, but Alexis Huss got two of the runs back in the bottom half with a two-run homer.
After tying the game at 3-all, Tallahassee took its first lead when Taesha DuBoise led off the fourth with a solo home run.
Rivera pitched a one-hitter in Tallahassee's 4-0 win over Gulf Coast State. Her effort followed a no-hitter by Dobson in Sunday's opener, a 3-0 win over St. Petersburg College.