ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Ashlyn Holland still isn't through with her unprecedented Chattanooga State softball career.

The fourth-year sophomore from Fort Payne, Alabama, will be a rare junior college athlete playing in three NJCAA national tournaments. COVID-19 wiped out the 2020 season but extended Holland's eligibility.

After freshman Amber Gainer hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning, Holland added a two-run single in the fifth as the top-seeded Lady Tigers beat third-seeded Walters State 5-0 in the Region VII championship game Thursday at Chattanooga State.

The baseball top seed, national No. 1 Walters, also swept to a region title, downing third-seeded Dyersburg State 7-4 in the final. Dyersburg earlier defeated No. 2 seed Chattanooga State (44-14) 11-5.

"I would keep playing if I could," said the Lady Tigers' Holland, who is working on a second associate's degree and has changed her career plans from nursing to teaching and coaching softball.

TCCAA pitcher of the year Samantha Ryan (20-3) posted a three-hit shutout for Chattanooga State (52-8), which is 425-115 in Blythe Golden's 10 years as coach.

"I'm just happy for these girls," the six-time league coach of the year said.

Maggie Knight, Jade Gainer, Camryn Cernuto and Katlin Leverette joined Ryan from the champs on the All-TCCAA first team, and Holland and Cleveland State's Makala Strickland, Hope Ingle, Shelby Sullivan and Sarah Morris made the second team. Dyersburg outfielder Madison Berner was voted player of the year.

Walters (55-5) had the baseball player and pitcher of the year, Caleb McNeely and Kohl Drake, plus six other all-conference first-teamers. Among the others were Chattanooga State's Jared Emory and Cam Grimes and Motlow's J.D. Day. The second team included the Tigers' Griffin Clark, Haiden Hunt and Logan Smith, Cleveland State's Bryce Jenkins and Bryce Houghton and Motlow's Simms Owens.

Walters center fielder Dalton McLain was the tournament MVP.

The Senators will host Georgia Highlands for a place in the Junior College World Series.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT