Ninth inning home run carries Chipola to nationals

LONGWOOD, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Chipola's softball team was supposed to know its fate Sunday.

Come sunday night, nobody was going anywhere. Mother nature made the Lady Indians and Florida Southwestern sweat it out.

Tied at 1 after seven innings, lightning postponed extra innings in Sunday's second place game until Monday morning.

The wait was worth it.

A Lauren Finch solo home run in the ninth lifted the Lady Indians to a 2-1, eliminating the number one team in the country and claiming the final spot in the NJCAA Tournament.

In between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, the team had to do laundry, rebook the hotel, and manage the stress of a lengthy dealy. They passed every this unusual test.

"There wasn't a lot of anxiety," co-coach Jimmy Hendrix said. "They played loose and they've done kind of what they've done throughout the year at times is just trying to pass it on to the next person. We didn't have a great game form our 1-2-3 in the lineup. We had six hits and they all came from the number four hitter down."

No hit was bigger than Finch's; an unlikely hero in an unlikely scenario.

"I'm extremely proud. That's a kid that has worked two years. This year she struggled statistically, but she's hit balls all year just right at people--and she has hit them hard. It's the biggest home run she's ever hit."

Hendrix says they play to take a day or two off and schedule a scrimmage before the national tournament begins in St. George, Utah on May 22.