The North Central Texas College Lady Lions scored three runs in the top of the seventh to beat Butler (KS) 5-2 in their first game at the NJCAA National Tournament in St. George, Utah Wednesday.
NCTC (44-16), the No. 12 seed at the tournament, will now take on No. 4 seed Chattanooga State (52-6) on Thursday at 6 p.m. (CT). Chattanooga run-ruled Darton State 9-1 in their first game.
Against Butler, the Lady Lions broke open a 2-2 tie with a two-out rally.
Shannon Green reached on a fielder’s choice, went to second on a single by Kenedi Jackson, then scored on a single to center by Laura Mabary. Molly Davison then brought them both home with a single of her own to put NCTC on top by three.
Lady Lion pitcher Taylor Ramsey then retired Butler in order in the bottom of the seventh. Ramsey threw a two-hitter, allowing just one earned run with three strikeouts and three walks.
Butler got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the fourth after a walk and a double.
NCTC went on top in the fifth thanks to three hits and two errors. Taylor Alexander led off with a single and Jaiden Pelton reached on an error, but Alexander was thrown out at third on the play. After a single by Green and a sacrifice by Rachel Hitt moved Pelton up to third, Jackson reached on an error that allowed Pelton to score. Mabary then singled to right to score Green and make it 2-1.
Butler tied it up 2-2 in their half of the fifth and it stayed that way until the seventh.
The Lady Lions out-hit Butler 8-2. Mabary had 2 hits and 2 RBIs, Davison added a hit and an RBI, and Jackson, Alexander, Pelton, Green and Vanessa Tankesly all added singles.
The win marked the first win ever for NCTC softball at the NJCAA National Tournament.