They're a group responsible for lifting the Angelina College softball program to national prominence, but they won't have a chance to shoot for a repeat of a national title.
The Lady Roadrunners' magical two-year run came to an end on Monday following a 6-2 loss to Galveston in a Region XIV Conference Tournament elimination game at Roadrunner Complex in Lufkin.
The Whitecaps' Mariah Garcia crushed a three-run homer as part of a four-run first inning, and starting pitcher Brooke Anderson held AC bats in check to lift Galveston into Wednesday's elimination matchup against Navarro.
AC's loss came after a thrilling three-hour, nine-inning win over Tyler College earlier in the day. Lady 'Runner Ashley Ingle ripped a single through the middle to score Kassie James with the game winner in the bottom of the ninth of AC's 3-2 win over the Lady Apaches, setting off a celebration and hopes for another miracle later.
In the Tyler game, AC head coach Mark Mattson found himself piecing together a lineup, with several Lady 'Runners either out of the game – shortstop Sage Martinez missed her first game in two years – or banged up. Mattson moved the pieces around, and after Tyler took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, AC starting pitcher Gia Johns went on to throw eight scoreless innings to keep the Lady Roadrunners in contention.
But the Lady 'Runners could never mount a serious threat against the Whitecaps despite finishing the game having outhit Galveston by a 9-7 margin.
In AC's season finale, Kassie James extended her season RBI record to 79, giving her 145 in her remarkable two-year career.
The game marked the final games for sophomores James, Katelyn Barker, Kaylon Morvant, Trina Deyo, Gia Johns, Taylor Harper, Sage Martinez, Sidney Allen, Kayleigh Roy, Meranda Rodriguez and Ashley Ingle.
Earlier in the day, Galveston earned its matchup with AC by virtue of a 4-2 win to eliminate Paris College. Blinn topped Navarro 2-1 to earn a trip to the NJCAA Division I World Series in St. George, Utah later this month.
On Tuesday, Galveston will take on Navarro at 10 a.m. The winner will face Blinn at 12:30, with an if-necessary game following at 3 p.m.