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College softball: BPCC edges San Jacinto in first round of Region XIV Tournament

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PORT ARTHUR, Texas — The Bossier Parish Community College Lady Cavaliers softball team defeated the San Jacinto College Coyotes 4-3 in the opening round of the NJCAA Region XIV Tournamentat Lamar State College – Port Arthur’s Martin Field.

Sophomore third baseman Chelsea Fagan led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo home run to give the Lady Cavaliers a 4-3 lead, one they would not relinquish. Fagan, who leads the NJCAA’s Div. I with 38 home runs, lined a 1-2 pitch over the right-center field wall. The Bastrop High product, who signed with Southern Arkansas University earlier this week, went 3-for-3 in the game and reached base in all four plate appearances.

BPCC pitcher Elisa Favela retired six of the final seven batters she faced to preserve the one-run win. With the potential tying run at second base ​Favela struck out San Jac’s Samantha Martinez for the final out of the game. The Ewa Beach, Hawaii native, allowed six hits and three runs over seven innings, walking three and striking out eight to earn the victory and improve her record to 15-6 on season.

Favela, who is the region’s leading hitter with a .503 batting average, helped her cause in a big way in the bottom of the third inning. With the Coyotes leading 2-1 and a runner at first, Favela blasted a towering two-run homer over the center field fence to give the Lady Cavaliers a 3-2 lead. The homer, which traveled an estimated 310 feet, was the 19th round tripper of the season for the sophomore.

San Jacinto took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Martinez and Lacey Gabaldon had back-to-back, two-out RBI singles. Gabaldon went 3-for-3 in the game with a double and two RBI’s.

The Lady Cavaliers would cut the Coyotes lead in half in the second inning when center fielder Dorrie Cormier delivered a two-out single that scored Jayleen Lantier, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.

San Jac’s Michelle Kristoff, who scattered eight hits over six innings, walked five and struck out seven, absorbed the loss for the Coyotes.

The home run and the pitching victory was sweet redemption for Favela and her BPCC teammates, particularly the seven other sophomores. In the 2017 Region XIV Tournament, San Jacinto beat BPCC when Favela lined into a triple-play to end the game.

BPCC will play the Galveston College – Angelina College winner at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Port Arthur’s Memorial High School.

— Charlie Cavell, BPCC athletic coordinator