On May 14, the GMC JC Softball team punched their ticket to the NJCAA National Championship with a stunning two-game sweep of #1 seed Gordon State College Highlanders. Freshman pitcher Jana Shellhorse set a single-season program record by throwing her 175th strikeout. Kinsley Goolsby sealed the win in game two with a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 7th inning.
The series started great for the Bulldogs; Sapp cracked a home run into left-center field off the first pitch. Two innings later, Caroline Hughes smashed one down the line to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead. The Highlanders scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the third. Shellhorse held them scoreless for the final four innings picking up ten strikeouts.
In game two, the teams combined for 15 runs on 15 hits. Sapp picked up her second home run as the Bulldogs raced to a 5-0 lead after two. The Highlanders fought back, scoring three in the third and three in the fifth to cut the lead to one. Shellhorse returned to the mound in the 6th. The Highlanders were able to tie the game on an error and hold the Bulldogs scoreless in the bottom of the inning. With a tie game, tensions were high. The Highlanders threatened in their half of the seventh. Shellhorse once again rose to the challenge, bringing up the heart of the Bulldogs lineup to the plate. Two of the first three batters reached, bringing Kinsley Goolsby to the plate with one out and runners at the corners. Goolsby got ahold of a fastball and launched it to left-center to score the game-winning run to advance the Bulldogs to their third National Championship appearance.
Coach Bunn commented, "I am extremely proud of them. We played a tough schedule early in the season and lost some close games but fought back to finish strong."
The NJCAA National Championship will begin on May 25 in Yuma, Arizona. More details to come, Go Bulldogs!