Pima Community College sports

Pima softball No. 14 seed in NJCAA Division I national tournament

Pima’s softball team celebrates its NJCAA Region I, Division I championship Saturday at Eastern Arizona College (Pima photo)

Pima Community College’s softball team will begin play in the NJCAA Division I national tournament at Oxford, Ala., on Monday at 11 a.m., Tucson time, with a first-round game as a No. 14 seed against No. 19 Tifton (Ga.) Abraham Baldwin.

The Aztecs (42-12) earned the bid to the national tournament by winning the NJCAA Region I, Division I championship on Saturday at Eastern Arizona College.

Under coach Rebekah Quiroz — a former Flowing Wells and Arizona player — the Aztecs have won 33 of their last 37 games.

Abraham Baldwin (34-16) earned the Mid-Atlantic District championship by winning two of three games last week at home against Florence-Darlington (S.C.) Technical College.

The Abraham Baldwin-Pima winner advances to play No. 3 Northwest Florida State of Niceville, Fla., on Tuesday at 9 a.m., Tucson time, in the Round of 16.

The Raiders (55-4) have been ranked No. 2 nationally the entire season.

Pima earned its first Region I, Division I championship and NJCAA Division I national tournament appearance with Quiroz as the head coach.

The Aztecs took third place in 2013 and were fourth in 2012 under Quiroz’s father, Armando Quiroz, who serves as a consultant for his daughter and the coaching staff.

“I’m not surprised by what these girls did,” Rebekah Quiroz said of her team, which recently went on a 26-game winning streak. “They are resilient and the most dangerous team in the country. They respond when their backs are against the wall.

“I prefer when they are behind in games, it’s a dangerous way to play but I know my team.”

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