SANFORD, Florida - Melanie Murphy was a difference-maker for the Seminole State Raiders Softball team this last season and her efforts paid off in more ways than one. The Florida Institute of Technology signee spent that last couple of weeks playing and representing her country against some of the best softball teams in the world.
Murphy stated, “Such an amazing opportunity and trip. I got to explore Canada's beauty and share moments with my team that I will forever cherish.”
The final recap, provided by Christi Weiser, Head Coach at North Iowa Area Community College is below. In her intro to the story, Coach Weiser stated (and we all know this about Melanie and all the ladies on the Raider team), “I can attest to what outstanding young women they are. They represented themselves, their families, schools, NJCAA and the USA in a classy, honorable way.”
The NJCAA National All-Star team split a pair of games on Sunday to end their run at the Canada Cup Women's International Division with a 3rd place Elite Bracket finish. The team began the day with a 16-5 win (5 innings) over Team BC. The offense continued the torrid pace it started in the team's first elimination game by putting 5 runs on the board in the first inning. Ashley Morris singled to start the barrage and was brought around to score by the first of three doubles in the game from Rebecca Skains. A single from Morgan Frost moved Skains to 3rd and both were brought around to score by a Maddie Hansen single and throwing error on Team BC. Brynn Minor then doubled down the left field line following a 14-pitch at bat to bring Hansen in to score. A Jade Lee double to score Minor forced Team BC into a pitching change. Team BC answered right back with 4 runs of their own in the bottom of the 1st. NJCAA All-Stars kept the scoring alive in the 2nd and 3rd putting up 3 runs before exploding for 5 more in the 4th. Cori McCrary singled to lead off the inning and was brought around to score on a Lee single. Breland then doubled to right and Nearad reached on an error putting two on for Skains who again doubled scoring 2. Team BC answered back with one before the game was put away by the All-Stars with 3 runs in the top of the 5th. Lexi Kinnaird got the start going 1 2/3 innings before being relieved by Kelsie Packard who picked up the win throwing the final 3 1/3, giving up only 1 hit, walking 2, and striking out 3.
The second game of the day found the All-Stars facing off with Canada Juniors for a right to play in the Elite bracket championship against Chinese Taipei. The red-hot offense was kept off balance and in check by the pitching and defensive efforts of the Juniors in a 6-2 loss. Four different players each had a hit for the All-Stars with Hansen and Frost being the sole All-Stars to cross the plate. Regan Mergele, Melanie Murphy and Brynn Minor threw for the National team in the tournament finale.
The 2017 NJCAA National All-Star team finished with a 6-6 record for the tournament having competed against 3 top-10 ranked teams in the world. Nearad led the team in hitting with 18 hits in the 12 games for a .462 batting average. Frost and Skains each hit a pair of home runs and led the team with 12 RBI's each with Frost also scoring 10 runs. Six walks in 12 games for Skains and Lee led the team with Lee having a .556 on base percentage. Lee, McCrary, Frost and Skains all reached base in 50% or more of their at-bats. Overall the team hit .349 with a .479 slugging percentage. Defensively the All-Stars committed only 8 errors in the tournament with 12 players playing error free ball for a .973 fielding percentage. In the circle Mergele was the work horse of the staff throwing 24 innings. Kelsie Packard led the team in ERA at 2.03, giving up only 3 earned runs in her 10.1 innings pitched. In addition to the numbers put up on the field the team also ran a youth clinic for local softball players during their time at the Canada Cup and interacted with teams from 8 countries from around the world.
About the Seminole State Raiders:
The Raider Athletics Department of Seminole State College was established in 1965 and initially led by Athletic Director and Head Basketball Coach Joe Sterling. Seminole State currently sponsors three sports all members of the NJCAA. Both Baseball and Softball facilities are located on College Drive on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.
For more about Raider Athletics, visit SeminoleStateRaiders.com, follow us on Twitter: @buildingRaiders and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/buildingRaiders/. Fans can follow the Raider Softball team on twitter (@SeminoleStateSB) and facebook (https://www.facebook.com/seminolestatesoftball).
Media contact: Kurt Esser, Director of Athletics, 407.708.2092, firstname.lastname@example.org