The Central Community College softball team lost to Southeast Community College, 12-4, in the second game of the best-of-three Region IX Championship.
The victory gives SCC the Region IX Championship and a ticket to the District G Championship tournament.
The Storm got on the board first with a run in the bottom of the first inning to go up 1-0.
The Raiders evened the game at one apiece in the top of the second as Kaitlyn Kleinheksel batted in Alyssa Dockerty. SCC responded in a big way with four runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 5-1 lead. The Storm added a run in the third and in the fourth to move ahead 7-1.
In the top of the fifth inning, CCC's Ashten Gibson logged a base hit which allowed Shelby Behnk (pictured) to score to make the score 7-2 in favor of SCC. In the bottom of the fifth, the Storm's Morgan Parsons belted a two-run homerun to make it a 9-2 advantage.
The Raiders added a pair of runs in the top of the sixth as Chloe Miller batted in Liberty Josoff and Tori Mullen to cut into the SCC lead, 9-4. But the Storm tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 12-4 lead and the game was called at that point giving SCC the Region IX Championship.
The Storm's Cassie Evans was the winning pitcher, while CCC pitcher Grace Townsend took the loss.
With the loss, the Raiders finish the 2019 season with a mark of 13-24.
"We had some key injuries that kept us from being really good, but I believe the team played to its potential," said CCC head coach Jack Gutierrez. "They worked hard and had fun as a team. Our schedule was up and down with weather but we pushed through it."
For Gutierrez, the region championship series marked the end of his tenure as CCC softball coach.
"Overall my softball career was very gratifying," said Gutierrez. "I started the program 12 years ago and each year we improved and gained the respect of our opponents. Our teams were always very competitive and we had great school and family support."
Gutierrez fondly spoke of the accomplishments of his players had away from the playing field.
"Academically, our teams shined and our girls always were well-schooled in the game," said Gutierrez. "Many of our former players have gone on to be successful in their fields and I can honestly say that 99 percent of the girls I worked with were great teammates."
Later this year, Gutierrez will also step down as CCC athletic director, a role he oversaw in addition to his coaching duties.
"I enjoyed the pace of softball and it was great to add women's softball as a varsity sport for Central Community College," said Gutierrez. "I am so proud to have been the first softball coach at CCC and to be able to design the all-turf softball field on campus. "