The Lamar Community College Softball team finished their 2017-18 season after two unexpected losses in the Region IX Tournament. The No. 1-seeded Runnin' Lopes fell to No. 4 Western Nebraska 6-4 in an eight-inning first-round game on April 27. Lamar, which hosted the tournament, lost 4-2 to eventual champion Trinidad State Junior College later that day in the first round of the elimination bracket.
Friday, April 27 vs. Western Nebraska Community College
The first round of the Region IX tournament went into extra innings, as the Western Nebraska Community College Cougars rallied in the top of the sixth inning to tie the score 4-4 against the Runnin' Lopes. Despite 11 hits from the LCC offense, 12 runners were left on base and the Lopes were unable to produce a run in the last two innings of the game. WNCC scored two runs in the top of the eighth to give the Cougars a 6-4 lead over LCC, which was enough to clinch the win in the upset of the top-seeded Runnin' Lopes.
Friday, April 27 vs. Trinidad State Junior College-
In the second game of the day, LCC took on Trinidad State Junior College in a loser out game on Friday night. After a scoreless four innings, the Trojans were able to push a run across on a squeeze play to take a 1-0 lead. The Runnin' Lopes had an opportunity to respond in the sixth inning, but base running errors kept Lamar off the board until the seventh inning. Trinidad scored three more runs in the top of the seventh, and LCC's two-run rally fell short, making the final score 4-2.
Despite the disappointing ending to their season, the Runnin' Lopes completed the year with a 35-18 overall recorded and finished first place in regular season Region IX play with a 24-6 record. Five Runnin' Lopes also received Region IX conference honors and head coach Kristen Silva received Region IX Coach of the Year for her second season in a row.
Runnin' Lopes Receive Region IX Honors
Lauren Reed, Pitcher, Fruita, CO
Lauren Reed received Region IX honors as a pitcher for LCC for her second season in a row. The sophomore completed the year with a 13-4 record, which was the best of the Runnin' Lopes pitching staff. Reed recorded 75 strikeouts in 110.2 innings with an ERA of 3.35. At the plate, Reed batted .327 and contributed 19 RBI to the LCC offense.
Emily Womeldorff, Pitcher, Englewood, CO
Womeldorff also received Region IX honors in the circle for the Runnin' Lopes in her first season at LCC. The freshman from Englewood, Colorado, led Region IX with a 2.96 ERA, throwing 116 innings for LCC and recording 111 strikeouts. Womeldorff pitched six complete games for the Lopes, including three shutouts and finished the year with a 12-8 record.
Alyvia Woolsey, Outfield, Springville, UT
Freshman Alyvia Woolsey received Region IX honors as an outfielder in her first season as a Runnin' Lope. Woolsey led the team with a .473 batting average and recorded 38 RBI for the LCC lineup. In the grass, she spent time in all three outfield positions and had a perfect fielding percentage.
Caitlin McCarthy, Catcher, Pueblo West, CO
The sophomore from Pueblo West, Colorado received Region IX honors for her second year in a row as a catcher. McCarthy batted .463 this season, leading the team with 23 doubles and recorded 46 RBI for the Runnin' Lopes. Behind the plate, McCarthy had a fielding percentage of .980 with only two passed balls on the year. McCarthy signed to continue her softball career at Colorado Christian University next fall, a NCAA Division II school in Lakewood, Colorado.
Larissa Royer, Utility, Berthoud, CO - Player of the Year
Larissa Royer received two Region IX honors for her 2017-18 season. The Colorado native received Region IX honors as a utility player, and was also named Region IX Player of the Year in her second season as a Runnin' Lope. As a freshman, Royer received Region IX Freshman of the Year and was able to continue her outstanding performance into her sophomore season. This year, Royer batted .434, leading the team with 76 RBI and 14 home runs with a slugging percentage of .910. In the circle, Royer threw 93.2 innings for the Lopes with a 3.36 ERA and 76 strikeouts. Royer pitched four complete games, including two shutouts and also played shortstop when she wasn't on the mound for the LCC defense.
Kristen Silva- Coach of the Year
Head Coach Kristen Silva also received Region IX Coach of the Year for her second season in a row. In the 2017-18 season, Silva lead the Runnin' Lopes to a No. 1 seed finish in Region IX regular season play with a 24-6 conference record and a 35-18 overall record. This year's performance built off the team's second-place Region IX finish in the 2016-17 season. In her time at LCC, Silva has been able to build the Lamar Community College softball program into a Region IX competitor, turning the program around from a losing record of 18-31 in the 2015-16 season, into two consecutive winning seasons in 2016-17 (28-25) and 2017-18 (35-18).