As projected, the top two seeds met in both winners-bracket finals of the NJCAA Region VII diamond tournaments Wednesday at Chattanooga State, and the No. 1s won.
The host Lady Tigers (52-8) downed Volunteer State 4-1 on a one-hitter by TCCAA softball pitcher of the year Samantha Ryan and are one win away from a repeat trip to Arizona for the national tournament.
But the baseball Tigers fell 11-1 in five innings to nationally top-ranked Walters State (54-5), which has won all three of its regional games by at least eight runs. The Senators play for the title at 4 p.m. Thursday against Chatt State (44-13) or Dyersburg State (41-12), a 13-3 victor over Motlow State. That game is set for 1 p.m.
Haiden Hunt had the RBI and two of the three hits for Chatt State, while Korey Klingenbeck was 3-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs for Walters. Andre Tarver was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Bryce Jenkins homered for Cleveland State in a 9-7 loss to Motlow.
Makala Strickland hit a three-run homer in Cleveland's 4-3 softball loss to Walters, which then beat Vol State 4-0 as Ashley Milligan (20-1) threw a no-hitter and Ava Brooks blasted a two-run homer.
The Lady Senators will challenge Chatt State at 12:30. Wednesday for the defending champions, Camryn Cernuto had a tying single in the fifth inning, preceding a three-run sixth that included a Jaden Ezell sacrifice fly that ended up with an error and an extra run.