TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 27, 2017) – First there was 2008. Then came 2011. Now, six years later, Tallahassee Community College's softball team, the No. 4 seed from the Panhandle Conference, hopes to channel some magic from years past when it opens postseason play on Friday.
The Eagles, part of a 16-team field at the NJCAA District/FCSAA State Tournament in Vero Beach, Fla., will play at 11 a.m. Friday morning against NJCAA No. 4/Region 8 No. 2 Florida SouthWestern State College, champions of the Suncoast Conference. Win or lose, Tallahassee will play a second game at 4 p.m. Friday against either Daytona State College or Palm Beach State College.
All games in the double-elimination tournament will take place at Historic Dodgertown. The tournament concludes Sunday with the final two teams earning a berth in the NJCAA Tournament in St. George, Utah.
Tallahassee, at 21-23 overall, will take the field as underdogs against the 56-5 Buccaneers, but history says to not count out Patti Townsend's Eagles just yet.
In 2008, the Eagles captured the FCSAA Gulf District Tournament as the PC's No. 4 seed, winning five straight elimination games in the process. Three years later, Tallahassee swept its way to the Gulf District title, again as the fourth seed from the Panhandle – then went on to a third place finish in the NJCAA Tournament.
Even in 2014, when Tallahassee entered postseason play as the PC Champions, it dropped its first game before winning six straight to capture another Gulf District Championship.
A formidable opponent awaits on Friday morning, however. Florida SouthWestern, still in its infancy as a program, has eclipsed 100 total wins in just two seasons as a member of the NJCAA. It boasts the state's pitcher of the year, sophomore Courtney Gettins (27-0) and an offense that has outscored opponents 414-99.
The Bucs rely on speed, as evidenced by their 237 stolen bases. Tallahassee can counter with the long ball and boasts not one, but two players with double-digit homers. Both Kristin Gunter and Samantha Malik have smacked 13 home runs, tying the school's single season record.
Sophomore Raya Moncus (11-11) will get the game one start in the circle for Tallahassee.
Cecchetti named All-State
Sophomore catcher Elisa Cecchetti was named Second-team FCSAA All-State on Thursday evening. The sophomore from Bollate, Italy, was previously named First-team All-Panhandle Conference.
Cecchetti has played in all 44 games this season for Tallahassee, posting a team-high .363 batting average with one home run and 27 RBIs. She also posted a team-leading .428 on-base percentage and, defensively, committed only four errors in 199 total chances (.980 fielding percentage).