PLANT CITY, Fla. - The top ranked Santa Fe Community College Saints (Gainesville, FL) will make their way here next week for the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division 1 women’s (fast pitch) softball national championship. With a roster that includes two players from Tampa, the Saints have been holding strong at the top of the Ringor NJCAA Division 1 Poll for five consecutive weeks now. With Chipola, last year’s winner, out of contention for a repeat, Santa Fe looks to capture their first national championship and bragging rights that every team aspires to hold.
Freshman third baseplayer Kristina Cruz (Holy Name Academy) and freshman second baseplayer Nadirah Nesfield (Sickles High School) bring a local connection to the Saints’ lineup.
The International Softball Federation is proud to host the NJCAA tournament for the third year in a row, May 15-17, 2008, on the grounds of their world headquarters complex.
The tournament’s 16-team pool is almost complete, with the final two spots to be determined before today is over. Santa Fe and Tallahassee Community College will represent the host state of Florida in the national tournament, while other teams will be traveling from Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
Stacy Iveson will be a familiar face to see in the tournament dugouts this year, but in unfamiliar colors. Coach Iveson led her former team, Pima Community College, to a national title back in 2006 in Plant City, and now hopes to do the same with her new team, Yavapai College (Prescott, AZ).
Each team will take to the fields located in the Randy L. Larson Softball Fourplex and Plant City Stadium. All 16 teams will be presented to spectators and supporters at the opening ceremony on May 15 at 1:15 p.m.
Tickets will be sold on gamedays at both the Plant City Stadium and Fourplex gates. Prices are set at $10 per day for adults or $20 for a three-day pass and $7 for both seniors (65+) and children under the age of 12 or $15 for a three-day pass. Kids under four years old are free.