The Joplin Globe
OKLAHOMA CITY —
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College defended its NJCAA Division I Region II championship the difficult way on Sunday.
Coach Eric Iverson’s ninth-ranked Lady Norse claimed their fourth regional title in six years by winning three games at the ASA Hall of Fame Softball Complex.
NEO, the No. 2 seed, swept No. 1, seventh-ranked Seminole State College 3-2 and 7-2.
NEO opened on Sunday by ousting third-seeded, No. 19 Western State of Altus 2-1 in the losers’ bracket final.
NEO (40-13) will play host to Baton Rouge (11-35) Community College in the best-of-3 District B playoffs this week.
Baton Rouge, which is in its first year of competition, swept Meridian (Miss.) 8-0 and 10-0 on April 28 to capture the Region 23 crown.
Said Iverson after the sweep of Seminole: “These were very satisfying victories for our girls. We told them Saturday night that they could not lose today (Sunday) under any circumstances and you could see in their eyes they weren’t going to accept anything less.
“I am so proud of these young ladies,” Iverson said. “This was truly a total team effort. Every one of them gave everything they had and left it out on the field.”
NEO, which snapped a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning, garnered 13 hits in the 7-2 win against Seminole.
Singles by Megan Robison and Megan Sullivan started the uprising and a sacrifice by Lindy Fluman advanced the runners. Nicole Workman and Candice Monigold each followed with run-scoring singles to make it 3-1.
The Lady Norse made it 6-1 with three tallies in the sixth inning.
Brittany Watson singled and moved up on a bunt by Emily Walters before scoring on a double by Robison. Sullivan singled and Workman delivered a two-out, two-run double.
Jamie King’s solo home run in the seventh inning — her fifth of the season — closed out the NEO scoring.
Sullivan (who was 9 of 11 on Sunday), Monigold and Workman were all-Region selections.
Shelbie Wagnon (10-3) picked up the pitching decisions in both of Sunday’s wins against Seminole. Workman (13-1) was the winning hurler against Western State and Wagnon nailed down the victory.