LONGWOOD, Fla. (May 7, 2018) - New site. New format. Same champion.
Florida SouthWestern State College won its second straight NJCAA District G/FCSAA State Championship with a 2-1 win over Chipola College. The Indians, however, played their way through the losers' bracket and won the District H Championship with a 4-1 win over Seminole State College. Both Florida SouthWestern and Chipola will advance to the NJCAA Tournament in St. George, Utah, May 16-19.
The NJCAA District/FCSAA State Softball Tournament took on a new look in 2018. For the first time, the event was played at Boombah-Soldiers Creek Park in Longwood, Fla., just minutes away from the Seminole State campus. And for the first time in recent memory, the event featured only eight teams - two from each of the FCSAA's four conferences - in the double-elimination event.
The tournament again yielded two bids to the NJCAA Tournament in St. George, Utah, but, in another new twist, the winners' bracket final was deemed the FCSAA State Championship Game. The winner also earned one of the two automatic bids to the national tournament as the District G representative. The losers' bracket final was for the District H championship and second berth to Utah.
Top-ranked Chipola and No. 2 Florida SouthWestern advanced through the first two rounds and played in Saturday's District G/State Championship Game. The Buccaneers came out on top, 2-1, for its second straight state championship. The win also signaled the end of FSW's stay in Longwood.
Despite the loss, Chipola had a second chance at qualifying for the national tournament and took advantage, defeating Seminole State, 4-1, in Monday's District H Championship Game.
Seminole State, who fell to Florida SouthWestern in Friday's winner's bracket semifinal, won a pair of elimination games on Saturday (vs. Eastern Florida State and Indian River State) to advance to the final game of the tournament.
Florida SouthWestern pitcher Kelsi Collins was voted the tournament's Most Valuable Player. She was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Taylor Collins and Riley Russell. FSW's Robert Iamurri was named FCSAA Coach of the Year.
Other members of the all-tournament team were: Takiya London, Central Florida; Kelsi Smith, Seminole State; Bobbie Morris, Chipola; Julylia Savannah, Indian River State; Gabby Orland, Eastern Florida State; Jordenne Gaten, Chipola; Haley Hinz, Seminole State; Brooke Diaz, Eastern Florida State; Chelsea Peace, Seminole State; Jaden Kline, Indian River State; Krystal Goodman, Chipola; and Morgan Goree, Chipola.