Pima Community College sports

Pima softball wins region championship, advances to NJCAA national tournament

Pima won its first region title in 11 years with today’s championship at Thatcher (File photo/Stephanie van Latum/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

Pima Community College’s softball team earned its first ACCAC Region I, Division I title since 2013 with an 8-5 victory Saturday over host Eastern Arizona College in the championship game at Thatcher.

The Aztecs, 42-12 overall, are one of 16 region champions who advance to the NJCAA Division I national tournament at Oxford, Ala., from May 24-28. The 20-team field will also have four at-large teams.

The bracket will be revealed Tuesday.

Pima, which went on a 26-game winning streak this season, head into the national tournament on a seven-game winning streak, including three wins at the region tournament at Thatcher this weekend.

In Saturday’s win over Eastern Arizona, the Aztecs rallied back from a 3-0 deficit heading into the fourth inning.

Pima scored four runs that inning, three on a homerun by Sunnyside graduate Alyssa Lopez with one out. Her home run followed a double by Alyssa Noriega (Pueblo alum) and single by former Blue Devil teammate Natalya Rivera.

Pima loaded the bases with two outs after Aubrey Marx (Cienega) was hit by a pitch and Camila Zepeda (Tucson) and Jazmyne Waddell (San Manuel) each singled. Mallory Wrobel then walked to force in Marx and put the Aztecs ahead 4-3.

Eastern Arizona tied the game at 4 in the bottom of the fourth and the game remained knotted up until Pima scored another four runs in the sixth inning, all with two outs.

Zepeda started the rally with a solo blast — her 17th home run of the season. She also has 62 RBIs, which tops the ACCAC.

Waddell and Wrobel hit consecutive singles before Mina Chacon (Tucson) reached on an error to load the bases.

A fielding error allowed Waddell and pinch-runner Mari Asher (Canyon del Oro) to score, putting Pima ahead 7-4.

Rivera followed with a single that scored Chacon.

Eastern Arizona scored a run in the bottom of the seventh but that was all as Waddell (12-1) finished the complete-game effort for the victory. She also went 3 for 4 at the plate with a run.

Zepeda was 3 for 5 with her home run.

Rivera was 2 for 3 with a run and RBI and Lopez, the No. 9 batter in the order, went 2 for 3 with her three-run home run.

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