Bruins cap successful season as national runners-up
Jul 27, 2017 04:55PM
● By Greg James
The Bruins topped off a fantastic season by capturing second place at the National Junior College Athletic Association championships.
“I am very proud of my Bruins,” head coach Cyndee Bennett said after the team’s season finale. “They gave me everything they had, and I could not have asked for any more.”
The Bruins garnered victories in their first three games of the tournament. In game one, they defeated Georgia Military College 11-3, behind five innings from Bruins pitcher Addie Jensen. She allowed only three hits and had six strikeouts.
In game two, Jensen rolled again, allowing only two runs in eight innings in a 5-2 extra-innings victory over San Jacinto South. The Bruins had home runs from Madison Sisco, Ashlee Snyder and Copper Hills graduate Ashlee Anderson.
The Bruins’ third straight victory came over Lake Land College 6-1. Jensen came in relief for the final three innings and had two more strikeouts.
The first loss of the tournament came in the semifinals to Butler College 9-3. The Bruins rebounded in the one-loss division to defeat Florida Southwestern 3-1. That forced a finals rematch with Butler, the defending national champion.
The championship game began with the Bruins spotting Butler a three-run lead. Butler had four hits in the first inning and left three runners on base.
Despite falling behind early the Bruins battled back into the game. After Lauren Tycksen flied out to begin the game, Kaylee Bott doubled; Sisco singled her home before Laina SueSue singled home Snyder and Alex Valencia. The Bruins had captured a 3-2 lead.
The Bruins’ lead did not stick around for long. Butler scored three runs in the top of the second to regain the advantage and never looked back. They defeated the Bruins 11-7.
Four Bruins were named to the All-Tournament Team: Chantelle Ladner, SueSue, Tycksen and Valencia.
The Bruins entered the national tournament as the Region 18 champion. They defeated the College of Southern Idaho 2-1 in the region championship game May 12, scoring the winning run when Rian Rawlings touched home on a wild pitch in the fourth inning.
SueSue was named region tournament most valuable player. She connected on a game-winning home run against Colorado Northwestern in the opening game. Snyder, Jensen and Sisco were named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Bruins finished with 51 wins and had win streaks of 21 and 16 games. They had a .399 team batting average, led by Snyder at .507 and Sisco at .503. They combined to hit 39 home runs (18 from Snyder and 21 from Sisco). The team belted 79 home runs this season.
Jensen notched a 27-4 record pitching for the Bruins and had 162 strikeouts. Chantelle Ladner, from Sydney, Australia, led the team with a 2.56 earned run average. Freshman Bryce Taylor, from Herriman, appeared in 20 games.
The First Team NJCAA All-American team included four Bruins; Tycksen, Sisco, Valencia and Jensen.