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Ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA, Prescott’s Yavapai College softball team defeated the No. 8-ranked Central Arizona College Vaqueras 4-3 in game one of its doubleheader on Saturday, April 30th to clinch the 2022 ACCAC Championship while also earning the rights to host the NJCAA Division I Region I Tournament.
The Roughriders fell 10-3 in game two to bring their 28-game win streak to a halt, however, the split moves their overall record to a sparkling 48-3 with a 40-2 mark within the conference.
Sophomore pitcher Emily Dix started inside the circle in game one and delivered a gutsy six-inning performance that featured three runs allowed (only two of which were earned) and nine strikeouts.
The Vaqueras struck first with a run in the top of the first, however, YC responded quickly and took the lead in the bottom of the frame.
The teams traded zeros until the fifth inning when Central scored once in the top half to cut the deficit to one and Yavapai responded with a run of its own on a sacrifice fly off the bat of sophomore outfielder Kayla Rodgers.
Down 4-2, Central refused to give up and launched a solo homer in the top of the sixth to cut the deficit to just one run once more.
After the Roughrider bats were held scoreless in the bottom half of the sixth, freshman pitcher Emily Darwin entered the game in the top of the seventh with a 4-3 lead and pitched a scoreless inning to earn the save, secure the 4-3 win and clinch the conference championship.
At the plate, freshman infielder Yaya Kaaialii led the way with two hits while Weckel, Rodgers, and Moreno all tallied one.
The second game of the day wasn’t as kind to the Roughriders as game one was. The Vaqueras scored three runs in the top of the first and led 3-0 until the fifth inning when they tallied another run to take a 4-0 lead.
The Roughrider rallied, however, in the bottom of the fifth as Weckel launched a three-run homer to cut the deficit to just one and bring the score to 4-3.
Central then responded with a five-spot in the top of the seventh to put the game on ice and bring the score to its eventual final of 9-3.
The Roughriders conclude their regular season on Tuesday, May 3, in Thatcher, Arizona, where they will take on the No. 12-ranked Eastern Arizona College Gila Monsters with the first pitch of the doubleheader set for 11 a.m.