From AC ATHLETICS
ST. GEORGE, UTAH – “I’ve never been so scared of a fly ball in my entire life.”
The fly ball to which Angelina College left fielder Emilee Cernosek referred was the final out of Friday’s game against No. 1 Seminole State Community College.
Cernosek needn’t have feared the ball. She made the catch, flipped the ball in the air and set off the Lady Roadrunners’ celebration after AC beat the top-seeded Trojans 3-2 to advance to Saturday’s championship day in the NJCAA Division I National Championship tournament in St. George, Utah.
AC’s win snapped the Trojans’ 48-game winning streak.
Sara Mayes, getting her first start of the tournament as AC’s designated hitter, drove in all three runs for the Lady Roadrunners. She blasted a two-run, opposite-field homer in the bottom of the third and added an RBI single to centerfield in the fifth. In that inning, Tristin Anders and Kaylee Ancelot each reached base with two-out singles. Mayes followed with a sharp grounder up the middle to score Anders with the eventual winning run.
McKenna Fryar, who earned saves in the team’s first two wins, earned the “W” in the circle on Friday, allowing just one hit and striking out four over 4 1/3 innings.
Fryar got much-needed defensive help in the white-knuckle contest, including a running, over-the-shoulder catch from right fielder Jessica Husband in the Trojans’ last at-bat. The next hitter launched the scary fly ball to Cernosek to end the game and propel the Lady ‘Runners into the semifinals.
In the evening’s winners’ bracket, head coach Mark Mattson elected to rest some of his starters against Chipola College – saving them for Saturday’s championship rounds – and the Lady Roadrunners fell 18-1 in five innings.