LONGWOOD, Fla. – The No. 1 Florida SouthWestern softball team defeated No. 2 Chipola, 2-1, to secure back-to-back state titles for the program on Saturday afternoon (May 5) at the FCSAA/Region 8 State Tournament at Boombah Soldiers Creek Park. The Bucs now punch their third consecutive ticket to the NJCAA National Tournament. The 2018 NJCAA National Tourney will take place May 16-19 in St. George, Utah at the Canyons Complex.
With the win, the Purple and Aqua improve to 51-3 overall on the season, while the Indians fall to 48-2 on the year. The Bucs have now won 43 of their last 44 games and are riding a 13-game winning streak.
The Buccaneers swept their way to the championship, going a perfect 3-0 over the weekend, outscoring opponents 11-6. The Buccaneers opened tournament play with a 3-0 win over Pensacola State, then defeated No. 16 Seminole State (6-5) and No. 2 Chipola (2-1) to lock up the District G Championship, the FCSAA/Region 8 State Championship and a berth to nationals.
Freshman Kelsi Collins got the start and picked up the win after pitching 4.2 innings and surrendering five hits and an earned run. Freshman Sarah Lawton came in to pitch in relief and recorded the save. Lawton pitched 2.1 innings and gave up just one hit.
Taylor Collins and Mikenzie Vaughn were huge for the Bucs, as the two sophomores were responsible for FSW's two runs. In the bottom of the first inning, with one out and a runner on second, Collins stepped in and slapped a single to score Riley Russell and give FSW the early 1-0 lead. Vaughn stepped up next and doubled to left centerfield to score Taylor Collins all the way from first base. Vaughn's big hit would prove to be the game-winner and the Bucs went on to pick up the 2-1 win and secure a second straight state championship.
FCSAA All-Tournament Team
Infield: Taylor Collins, Florida SouthWestern; Takiya London, Central Florida; Kelsi Smith, Seminole State; Bobbie Morris, Chipola; Julylia Savannah, Indian River State
Outfield: Gabby Orland, Eastern Florida State; Riley Russell, Florida SouthWestern; Jordenne Gaten, Chipola; Haley Hinz, Seminole State
Catcher: Brooke Diaz, Eastern Florida State; Chelsea Peace, Seminole State
Designated Player: Jaden Kline, Indian River State
Pitcher: Krystal Goodman, Chipola; Morgan Goree, Chipola; Kelsi Collins, Florida SouthWestern
Most Valuable Player: Kelsi Collins, Florida SouthWestern
Coach of the Year: Robert Iamurri, Florida SouthWestern
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SUNCOAST CREDIT UNION ARENA
The Buccaneers compete in the brand new Suncoast Credit Union Arena. Suncoast Credit Union Arena is approximately 75,000 square feet and is home to the FSW basketball teams and a student athletic center. The arena seats approximately 3,300 fans and includes six skyboxes, a hospitality event center, competition courts that convert into recreational courts, athletic office space, student, faculty and staff wellness, and an athletic center with a fitness pavilion, men's and women's locker rooms and a weight training area. The arena has two Daktronics displays, on the north and south walls, that each measure 10 feet high by 20 feet wide. Both displays incorporate variable content zoning to each show one large image or they can be divided into multiple windows to show any variety of live video, instant replays, up-to-the-minute statistics, graphics and animations, and sponsorship messages. One-hundred feet of ribbon displays have been installed on the east and west walls of the arena. The ribbons provide the opportunity to supplement the content on the main displays as well as highlight sponsors throughout events.
The Florida SouthWestern State College athletic program is a member of the Florida College System Athletic Association (FCSAA) and the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The Buccaneers are one of 25 schools in the NJCAA Region 8 and are one of six schools in the Suncoast Conference. Florida SouthWestern State College currently supports four intercollegiate athletic programs (Baseball, Softball, Men's Basketball, Women's Basketball).
Baseball and Softball began their regular season competition in 2016 at the City of Palms Park in Fort Myers. Located on the Thomas Edison (Lee) Campus in Fort Myers is the brand new Suncoast Credit Union Arena (completed in fall 2016), where FSW's men's and women's basketball teams compete.
The movement to form a unique sports association dedicated to America's two-year colleges arose in 1937 when several track and field coaches gathered in Fresno, California. A year later, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rejected a petition from 13 two-year colleges in California to grant their teams and athletes permission to compete at the NCAA Track & Field Championships.
In the spring of 1938, following the NCAA's rejection, those same 13 two-year colleges gathered again in Fresno to organize and form an association that would promote and supervise a national athletics program exclusively for junior and community colleges…and the rest is history.
On May 14, 1938, the first constitution of the National Junior College Athletic Association was accepted by its charter members and the organization held its first national championship event a year later in May 1939.
The NJCAA has played a vital role in collegiate athletics for the past eight decades and continues to be the leader in championing academic and athletic opportunities for student-athletes. This section of the association's website is dedicated to celebrating the NJCAA's rich history and tradition as the national governing body of two-year college athletics.
For more information on the NJCAA log on to www.NJCAA.org.
The Florida College System Activities Association, Incorporated (FCSAA) is a statewide non‑profit corporation regulating, coordinating, and promoting intercollegiate activities in: Athletics, Brain Bowl, Forensics, Music, Student Government, Student Publications, and Theatre.
Membership in the Florida College System Activities Association is open to any of the 28 colleges in the Florida College System. Each member institution is represented in the policy‑making deliberations of the Association through that institution's President or other designated representative. The institutional representatives constitute the FCSAA Presidents Assembly, the ultimate authority in FCSAA.
For more information on the FCSAA log on to www.TheFCSAA.com.
NJCAA REGION 8 & THE SUNCOAST CONFERENCE
Member colleges of the NJCAA are allotted to a specific NJCAA Region upon membership to the association. Unlike other collegiate organizations that defer to conference affiliation, the NJCAA guarantees each member college's membership within the regional structure of the association. In most cases, region assignment is based upon geographic location of the college.
The region structure of the NJCAA is the primary method used by all sponsored sports of the association in determining qualification for national championship tournaments. In certain sports, two or more regions are partnered to form a competition 'district', which is then used for national championship qualification. The organization of districts varies per sport and is formulated every two years under the authority of the association's board of directors.
FSW is in Region 8 and is joined by ASA College Miami (Region 8 only; non-FCSAA member), Broward College, Chipola College, College of Central Florida, Daytona State College, Eastern Florida State College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Gulf Coast State College, Hillsborough Community College, Indian River State College, Lake-Sumter State College, Miami Dade College, Northwest Florida State College, Palm Beach State College, Pasco-Hernando State College, Pensacola State College, Polk State College, Santa Fe College, Seminole State College of Florida, South Florida State College, St. Johns River State College, St. Petersburg College, State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota and Tallahassee Community College.
The Bucs are also in the Suncoast Conference with Hillsborough Community College, Polk State College, South Florida State College, St. Petersburg College and State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota. The women's basketball program is also in the Suncoast Conference, but with only three other teams (Hillsborough Community College, St. Petersburg College and Eastern Florida State College).
For more information on Region 8 log on to www.TheFCSAASports.com.