Chipola softball wins national championship

ST. GEORGE, Utah (WJHG/WECP) - There was a time Chipola's chance to win the softball national championship seemed in doubt: a loss earlier this month, dropping them into the loser's bracket of the state tournament.

That was the only time it's been in doubt.

The Lady Indians (52-5-1) won out at state and they blew through nationals, beating Angelina 19-2 in Saturday's championship to win their third national title in program history and first since 2015.

The outcome was almost never in doubt, with Chipola answering Angelina's two runs in the first with 10 runs by the end of the second inning, including four runs batted in and a home run by Haley Sandridge in the second.

Candela Figueroa was named Most Outstanding Player.

Saturday's blow out win, coupled with a pair of wins Friday by a combined score of 33-3, is the Chipola season in a microcosm. They've powered ahead through it all, with seldom a speedbump.

"The kids never got overwhelmed," co-head coach Jimmy Hendrix said. "We wasn't too high and we wasn't too low. We just kept playing and a lot of stuff went our way. We talked about being in the moment right now. This is exciting."

The sophomore class, led by Figueroa, had a lot to do with their success.

"We brought the sophomores off to the side and talked to them where they had team meetings--player only meeting before the state and national tournaments just to try to give the freshmen an idea of what to expect and I really think it calmed some of our kids down."

The team is already beginning their journey home, flying out of Las Vegas with the intent of arriving on campus early Sunday afternoon.

We'll hear more from Hendrix and players over the coming hours/days on NewsChannel 7.

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