HOUSTON – The San Jacinto College softball team took home the 2016 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Region XIV championship, earning its third ever trip to the NJCAA National Softball Tournament, scheduled for May 18-21 in St. George, Utah.
Entering this weekend’s regional tournament as the fourth seed from the South, San Jac swept the regional tournament with wins against number one East zone seed, Tyler Junior College (6-2;number two South zone seed, Blinn College (5-2); Paris Junior College (4-1), and the regional championship game, again facing Tyler, winning 7-2.
“I told them from the very beginning that it didn’t matter that we were coming in as the number four seed,” said Head Coach, Kelly Saenz, who is in her 12th year at the helm of the San Jacinto College softball program. “All they had to do was work hard and stay focused, and they would accomplish what they set out to do. Today definitely proved that to be true.”
Along with the Region XIV championship title, several players received all-region and all-conference honors. Sophomore catcher, Gabby Gonzalez (Baytown / Ross S. Sterling HS) earned first-team All-Region honors. Second-team All-Region honors went to freshman pitcher Niki Gonzalez (Baytown / Ross S. Sterling HS), and freshman infielders Katlin Kerl (Silsbee / Silsbee HS) and Tylor Office (Seabrook / Clear Falls HS). First-team All-Conference honors went to the Gonzalez sisters, Kerl, and Office. Second-team All-Conference honors went to freshmen outfielder Shelbi Doherty (Santa Fe / Santa Fe HS) and freshman utility player Alexis DeLeon (Katy / Cinco Ranch HS).
With the regional title win, San Jac advances to the NJCAA National Softball Championship Tournament in St. George, Utah, May 18 – 24. This is the third-ever national tournament appearance for San Jacinto College, who finished this season with a 36-23 overall record. The last national tournament appearance for San Jac was in 2014, when the team finished fifth in the nation.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.