The Bossier Parish Community College softball team begins play today in the NJCAA Division I Softball World Series for the first time in school history, taking the field at Choccolocco Park in Oxford, Alabama, as the No. 11 seed against No. 6 Grayson College at 4 p.m.
The Lady Cavaliers, led by head coach Amanda Nordberg and coach Curt Williams, take a 45-15 record to the double-elimination national tournament, one win from the school record set in 2021 (46-8).
BPCC earned its first-ever berth in the 16-team national tournament by going 3-1 in the Region XIV Tournament it hosted. The only loss came in a hard-fought winners-bracket game to Angelina, 6-5. A day after the loss the Lady Cavs bounced back to defeat San Jacinto 12-3 and punch their ticket to nationals.
“We play tough competition all season long, but it’s especially tough in the regional tournament,” said Nordberg. “That first game just got away from us a little bit and we beat ourselves. For the game against (San Jacinto) we went back to playing BPCC softball … our girls do a great job of communicating with each other so they were talking between pitches, making adjustment at the plate and working together on defense to make big plays. Everyone did their part to get the job done.”
The Lady Cavs are a young team with five sophomores and 15 freshmen.
Sophomores include outfielder Lilly Hardy, pitcher Mallory Pitre and designated players that also play catcher — Gracie Bellard and Frances Robinson — and first baseman Fia Tofi. Pitre leads the team in wins with 16 in 22 decisions, innings with 121 2/3 innings pitched and the team’s second lowest earned run average at 2.70. Tofi, who has stepped up to play first base for injured freshman Skylar Heger, was 3-for-3 with a double and home run and drove in three runs in the loss to Angelina.
Freshman left fielder Piper Garcia leads the team with a batting average of .404, clubbing 15 doubles, collecting 64 RBI and is second on the team with 13 home runs. Serena Hopkins has played behind the plate and designated player and is second right behind Garcia in average at .400. Garcia tripled and homered to drive in four runs and Hopkins had a double and grand slam to drive in five runs in the San Jacinto win.
Heger is third on the team with a .377 average and third with 11 home runs. Right fielder McKenzie Vestal leads the team with 18 home runs, 51 runs scored, is second in RBI with 57 and has a .361 average and leads the team with a .759 slugging percentage. Center fielder Madison Ruiz is second on the team with 50 runs scored, leads with 14 stolen bases and carries a .335 batting average.
Pitcher Macie LaRue is second for BPCC with 15 wins against five losses. She has worked 120 2/3 innings with a team-best 162 strikeouts and stands third on the team with a 2.73 ERA. Brielle Moreno has a 10-2 record with a team-best 2.40 ERA. She had two wins and pitched 14 2/3 innings in the regional tournament with a 1.91 ERA.
Grayson College is located in Denison, Texas, and has a 46-7 mark after capturing the Region V North tournament title in Waco. The Vikings won the regular season Region V North. Odessa topped the Region V West and is the top-ranked team in the national tournament with a 51-4 record and 29-game win streak.