Local softball players compete with teams in college national tournaments
Former Woodland Lady Cat and Reinhardt NAIA All-American, Randi Wimpy, led the Eagles back to the NAIA National Tournament in 2016. Reinhardt was also named host for one of the national tournament's opening round sites. Unfortunately, the Eagles lost two straight in the double-elimination format and were eliminated on Tuesday.
REINHARDT FALLS IN NAIA OPENING ROUND The Reinhardt University softball team, consisting of several Bartow County players, lost consecutive games at the NAIA Opening Round hosted by the Eagles May 16 and 17. Locals, Taylor Braselton, Taylor Weeks, and Randi Wimpy, all saw action in both games. Wimpy, the Appalachian Athletic Conference Player of the Year and NAIA All-American, finished her senior season with a .429 batting average and started all 53 games. In 2016, she had 10 home runs and 64 RBI with 33 extra base hits. Weeks led the Eagles with a .444 batting average and drove in 39 runs.Braselton finished with a .353 batting average and 12 RBI.The Eagles lost to Huntington (IN), 2-1, in eight innings on May 16 and lost to William Carey (MS), 6-3, on May 17. Wimpy was 2-for-6 with one RBI in the two NAIA opening round games. Weeks went 2-for-8 and score one run. Braselton scored one run. Reinhardt finished its season 41-12.
BALLARD, ARMSTRONG STATE AT NCAA D2 WORLD SERIES Bethany Ballard, a former Cass Lady Colonel and member of the Armstrong State softball team, made a plate appearance May 17 at the NCAA D-II Women’s World Series in Denver, CO. The appearance came in a 3-2 loss to Humboldt State (CA) in the Pirates opening game of the eight-team tournament.
Armstorng State (41-14) knocked off defending national champ, North Georgia, two of three games, May 11-12, to win the South/Southeast Super Regional and reach the national festival of NCAA D2 events. The Pirates defeated Grand Valley State (MI) in an elimination game, 7-4, Wednesday, and plays Adelphi University (NY) Thursday, May 19 at 2pm in another elimination game. The Armstrong/Adelphi winner must defeat Humboldt State twice to reac a best-of-three national championship final set for May 20-21.
Ballard carries a .308 batting average as a catcher/firstbaseman/pinch hitter in 12 appearances. She has a pair of double and four RBI.
YANTIS, SAMFORD IN NCAA D-I NATIONAL TOURNAMENT
Former Cartersville pitcher, Annalyn Yantis, and the Samford Bulldogs are part of the NCAA D-I National Tournament. Samford is 40-18 and playing in the Opening Round at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
The Bulldogs earned the Southern Conference's automatic bid by sweeping three straight games in the SoCon conference tournament. Samford defeated UNC-Greensboro, Mercer, and Furman on their way to the conference title.
Yantis has pitched 17 and 2/3 innings this season across eight appearances with a 1-0 record and a 5.15 ERA.