ST. GEORGE -- Chattanooga State Community College did the unimaginable, coming through the consolation bracket and defeating Salt Lake Community College twice to capture the NJCAA Division I Softball National Championship on Saturday at Dixie State College.
SLCC could not figure out tournament MVP and outstanding pitcher of the tournament, Ashley Czechner. Czechner went all seven innings, only giving up one run on four hits and struck out seven. She had a 3.31 ERA in the tournament going 5-1, throwing 322aN3 innings and struck out 37 batters.
The Tigers figured out Bruins starter Ariel Zimmerman, getting to her for three runs on five hits in just 21aN3 innings of work. The short outing by Zimmerman forced SLCC to bring in Kylee Colvin to make her first appearance in the tournament and she promptly shut down the Tigers, giving up only one run on four hits in 42aN3 innings.
Shelby Johnson provided all the offense the Tigers would need, going two for four with two RBIs in the game. For SLCC it was a heartbreaking loss as they were only one out away from winning the title in the previous game with Chattanooga before Zimmerman was shook up by a line shot to the hip and was never the same.
The Bruins are the runner-ups for the second straight year, having lost the title last year to Yavapai College.
Top of Utah players on SLCC's roster included Mylee Davis (Syracuse), Colvin (Fremont), Meagan Nielson (Fremont) and MaCauley Flint (Roy).