From staff reports
No. 11-ranked Norteastern Oklahoma A&M faces Trinity Valley today at 5 p.m. CDT in the first round of the NJCAA Division I softball tournament in St. George, Utah.
The Lady Norse (42-9) are seeded fourth behind Butler (50-2), Salt Lake (48-9) and Chipola, Fla. (43-9). NEO is making its seventh national tournament appearance in Eric Iverson’s 18 years as head coach while Trinity Valley (33-25) has made the national tourney for the first time in the program’s five-year history.
“When we worked out (Monday) night it was 98 degrees at 8 p.m. St. George time," Iverson said in a release. "But, it was quite comfortable and was a lot better than the low 50's that we played in at Oklahoma City for the regionals a couple of weeks ago.”
Freshman right-hander Kaitlin Davis of Springdale, Ark., will start for the Lady Norse. Davis has a 26-3 record and a 1.24 earned run average. She has recorded 190 strikeouts in 185 innings. Alex Gilley, a sophomore, is 15-4 and a 3.25 ERA in 119 innings.
Sophomore third baseman Megan Higgins leads NEO with a .420 average, 17 doubles, six home runs and 55 RBI. Right fielder Lexie LaValley is hitting .404 and has stolen 31 bases.
Other first-round matchups today:
No. 1 Butler (50-2) vs. Pitt, N.C. (28-13);
No. 8 Wallace State, Ala. (50-11) vs. Santa Fe, Fla. (42-16);
No. 5 Pima, Ariz. (46-17) vs. Paris, Texas (36-17);
No. 3 Chipola, Fla. (43-9) vs. Odessa, Texas (46-19);
No. 6 Iowa Western (41-12) vs. Lake Land, Ill. (49-5);
No. 7 Walters State, Tenn. (38-7) vs. Weatherford, Texas (48-6);
No. 2 Salt Lake (48-9) vs. Georgia Perimeter (21-14).