— By GREG WEBB
For most athletes at the college level, postseason games have likely been experienced already, in varying degrees. In its second year of existence, the Weatherford College softball team is about to provide for its players another postseason experience to perhaps outstrip all previous moments of athletic glory.
After winning top seed with the best record after the conclusion of North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference (NTJCAC) play, the Coyotes held serve throughout the North Regional Tournament which included the top six finishers from the conference, earning its slot in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Championship Tournament.
Joining a field of 16, WC will begin play at the Canyons Complex in St. George, Utah on May 15. The tourney will last until May 18. The Weatherford College women’s first match of the tournament will be Wednesday, at 7:30 p.m. CST. The Coyotes will face Walters State Community College out of Morristown, Tennessee. Weatherford (48-6) enters bracket play as the 10th seed, with Walters (38-7) as the 7th seed.
With Weatherford College fulfilling the nature of one of its monikers as a community college, their are several of its athletes who are indeed from nearby locales. Outfielder Makayla Baeza, who spent prep years playing for the Lady Roos is a WC roster member, as is Aledo-grad Carolyn Clayton, who enjoyed multiple years of playoff contention and a dugout full of postseason awards while with the Ladycats.
Emily Ditmore holds, and will always possess, the distinction of being the first WC recruit to sign a letter-of-intent for the start-up Coyotes. Ditmore played her high school ball at Azle High School. There are also a handful of others on the team in easy driving distance from the Weatherford Community in other burgs such as Burleson, Benbrook, Arlington, as well as Fort Worth proper.
Another handful hail from other Texas towns, though not necessarily a quick drive, as most Texans are aware.
The geographics for the balance of the Coyotes roster spreads out considerably. WC’s ace pitcher, Kylee Studioso, hails from Washington state, Molly Holliday from neighboring New Mexico and a trio of others from California.
Easily winning the distance-from-home category is catcher/DH Kortney Koroll, who hails from St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada. With Weatherford the furthest point south Koroll has ever been away from home, she will head even further south next season. The sophomore recently joined six other WC players with commitments to 4-year schools. Koroll will take up residence in San Marcos, attending and playing softball at Texas State University.
Koroll is also a veteran of JC-competition on the national stage, as her Chattanooga State Community College team won the Division I title in 2012. Her familiarity with the level of competition, as well as the venue (the NJCAA tourney has been held at The Canyons the past four years) will certainly be an asset for her Coyotes teammates as they step onto a national stage.
Local fans can follow the action at www.gamechanger.io.