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Cathi Aradi

Chipola Claims NJCAA Division I National Title

Top-seeded Chipola claimed the NJCAA Division I national championship after a 6-3 win in the second match-up against eighth-seeded North Idaho at Plant City Stadium. 

The Lady Indians grabbed the lead in the top of the third inning, with the help of shortstop Christal Kotchman’s two RBIs and right fielder Areke Spel’s RBI single. North Idaho gained momentum in the next inning with RBIs in the bottom of the fourth from designated hitter Justine Williams, who singled, and center fielder Keely Torgison, who doubled. Another run in the bottom of the seventh by the Sharks tied it up, but Chipola rallied back in the top of the eighth, scoring three more runs to seal their national championship title. 

North Idaho forced the deciding game by edging the Lady Indians 5-4 in the first title game of the afternoon. North Idaho took an early lead in the bottom of the second inning, when catcher Alysha Krier hit a three-run home run. Chipola rallied to tie the game in the top of the fourth with four runs. The game extended into the eighth inning, when center fielder Keely Torgison delivered an RBI single that kept North Idaho’s title chances alive. 

The national championship, which took place at the world headquarters of the International Softball Federation (ISF), will return to Plant City in 2008. 

In the first game this morning, North Idaho added another victory to their four-game winning streak, shutting out sixth-seed Northeastern Oklahoma, 4-0. North Idaho got their first runs in the bottom of the third inning, with the help of second base player Angie Boardmen’s RBI. They struck again in the bottom of the fifth, with a double and another RBI by Boardmen, along with first basemanKristen Burtch’s single that produced another run. North Idaho’s Kelcey Cavan pitched a complete game with six strikeouts. 

The eighth-seed’s win advanced it to play Eastern Arizona at noon in the semifinals. There, they kept their momentum and upset the No. 2 seed 2-1. The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning, when North Idaho took advantage of Eastern Arizona errors. North Idaho’s Kirsten Bahr ran for catcher Alysha Krier, who was put on base by a walk. She advanced to third and scored on an error, contributing to the eighth-seed’s two runs. Shortstop Kelli Bridge’s single also drove a runner in, sealing North Idaho’s victory. 

In the top of the sixth inning, Eastern Arizona cut North Idaho’s lead to only one run when right fielder Noe Esperas crossed the plate on a passed ball. Kelcey Cavan slammed the door on the Eastern Arizona rally as she led North Idaho to the championship game with 10 strikeouts in the game. 

2007 NJCAA Division I All-Tournament Team 
Angie Boardman (IF), North Idaho College 
Christal Kotchman (IF), Chipola College 
Melissa Baker (IF), Eastern Arizona College 
Torri Fobb (IF), Chipola College 
Strohm Fouty (OF), North Idaho College 
Martina Landrum (OF), Chipola College 
Keely Torgison (OF), North Idaho College 
Cassie Lassiter (Ut./DP), Chipola College 
Brittany Minton (P), Chipola College 
Candace Handley (P), Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College 
Dandi Ammons (C), Wallace State Community College-Hanceville 
Kelcey Cavan (P), North Idaho College 
Tori Fobb (MVP), Chipola College 
Belinda Hendrix (coach), Chipola College