The Cottey College Comets are back-to-back regional softball champions after sweeping the Region XVI Tournament last weekend in Farmington, Missouri. The Comets defeated the nationally-ranked St. Louis Community College Lady Archers 4-1 to secure their second consecutive title.
On Friday, the second-seeded Comets defeated Mineral Area College 3-1 to put Cottey in the winner’s bracket, where they then crushed the Archers 15-1 in a five-inning game. St. Louis beat Mineral Area in the loser’s bracket to set up Saturday’s championship game.
In early April, the Lady Archers travelled to Nevada and ended Cottey’s school-record 18-game win streak, taking three of four games over a two-day period. St. Louis had to be thinking of that as they took the field against the Comets.
“We were better prepared this time around against St. Louis,” said head coach Mark Skapin.
Freshman pitcher Kirsten Wallace (15-2) was dominant as she pitched a complete game, giving up only three hits. Wallace held St. Louis scoreless until the seventh inning when the Lady Archers pushed across an unearned run. That was it, however, as the Comets shut the door and earned their second championship in as many years.
Skapin was named the region Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year. Wallace and Rayne Wright were named Region XVI First Team selections and Emily Killion and Izzy Milligan were named Region XVI Second Team selections.
Next up for the Comets is hosting a district matchup against the second-place team from Region XXIV. The games will be held on May 10-11 at Vanek Family Memorial Field on the Cottey campus. Times have not yet been announced. The winner of this matchup will play in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series in Mississippi.
This is the last season the Comets will compete in the NJCAA as Cottey will become a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) effective July 1.