The Lamar Community College softball team lost to Trinidad in the Region IX championship series on May 6 but enjoyed its best finish in five years as it earned the title of region runner-up.
In the first game of the series the Lopes were unable to quiet the hard-hitting Trojan lineup, falling 13-9 after holding leads up 3-0 and 7-4. The back-and-forth contest started with the Runnin' Lopes establishing a three-run lead in the first inning. Trinidad responded with a four-run third, making the score 4-3. LCC quickly reclaimed the lead in the fourth, scoring four more runs with hits from Catlin McCarthy, Mercedes Salazar, Kelsee Bushell and Mariah Lopez. Unfortunately, a six-run fifth inning by the Trojans gave Trinidad back the lead for good. Bushell and Larissa Royer hit back-to-back solo home runs in the sixth inning, but a three-run homerun in the bottom of the sixth by the home team gave the TSJC the lead they needed to win the game. LCC recorded 15 hits, led by Bushell, who went 3-for-5 with four RBI, two doubles and a home run.
The Runnin' Lopes struggled to bounce back after the game-one loss, and fell in an early hole in game two. LCC struggled to get their bats going, recording only six hits, and remained scoreless until the fourth inning in the 10-4 loss. Trailing 10-1, LCC rallied in the sixth with back-to-back home runs from Royer and Lopez, but it was not enough to get the Lopes back in the game. Lopez went 2-for-3 in the second game with a pair of RBI, a double and a home run. Royer had the other two RBI for LCC with a two-run home run.
The Runnin' Lopes softball team made great strides from last year's overall record of 18-31 (8-22 in conference), finishing the 2016-2017 season with a 28-25 overall record, and improving to 20-10 in Region IX play. LCC finished as Region IX runner-up for the first time since 2012.