BOSSIER CITY - The Bossier Parish Community College softball team has punched their ticket to the highly prestigious NJCAA Division I National Championship Tournament for the first time in program history.
Led by Head Coach Amanda Nordberg and Coach Curt Williams, the Lady Cavaliers are entering the tournament as the Number 11 seed in the 16 team, double elimination event with an overall record of a 45-15. Sophomore outfielder Lilly Hardy said the team’s goal from the very beginning was simply to make top four in the region.
Little did they know that this would be the year they make history, becoming the Region XIV East Conference Champions for the third year in a row and earning a spot in the national tournament for the first time in the program’s 27-year history.
“We’ve exceeded all expectations this year,” Hardy said. “Having the opportunity to play for a national championship is unreal. We may be underdogs going in, but don’t count us out.”
The Lady Cavaliers will face the Grayson College Vikings of Denison, TX in the first round of tournament play on Tuesday, May 23, at 4pm CT in Oxford, AL. Their remarkable run in the regional playoffs earned them a trip to play on the national stage. The Lady Cavs went 3-1 in the Region XIV tournament, held May 12-16 on the BPCC campus. Their only loss came in a hard fought 6-5 battle against Angelina College of Lufkin, TX in the winner’s bracket championship game.
Nordberg says they were determined to bounce back and not let the loss to Angelina define their entire season. They were back on the field just 24 hours later to face San Jacinto for another shot at qualifying for the national tournament.
The Lady Cavs defeated San Jacinto 12-3 in a thrilling matchup Tuesday to close the regional tournament.
“We play tough competition all season long, but it’s especially tough at the regional tournament. That first game just got away from us a little bit and we beat ourselves,” Nordberg said. “For the game against [San Jacinto] we went back to playing BPCC softball…our girls do a great job of communicating with each other so they were talking between pitches, making adjustments at the plate and working together on defense to make big plays. Everyone did their part to get the job done.”
Nordberg says the support from the community has been overwhelming and encouraging for her team of five sophomores and 15 freshmen. Now as they prepare for nationals, her message is still the same to her athletes.
“The game isn’t over until the final out. This group has worked hard all year and has really stepped up to the competition. I’m excited to see what we do at this elite level of competition.”