The Temple College softball team run ruled Chattanooga State 8-0 in five innings to open the 2019 NJCAA National Tournament in St. George, Utah. The Leopards got on the board early with two runs in the bottom of the first. Alyssa Escamilla started things off with a lead-off double followed by a Tiler Noyola RBI triple. Noyola scored on an error by Chattanooga's short stop. Leopards scored in the bottom of the second when Lenzi Stewart stepped up to the plate and hit a shot over the fence to put Temple up 3-0. In the bottom of the third Daisy Gonzalez led things off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Maddie Weatherly then sent a double off the centerfield fence to move Gonzalez to third. MacKenzie Purcell hit a sac fly to increase the Leopard lead to 4-0. In the bottom of the fourth Stewart singled to get things going and took second on a throwing error by Chattanooga's centerfielder. Noyola plated Stewart with an RBI double putting the Leopards up 5-0. Chattanooga's only scoring threat came in the top of the fifth when they had runners on first and second with two outs and Chattanooga's Breanna Vinson singled up the middle. Lauren Hamby tried to score from second but Noyola fired a bullet home to get out Hamby to end the inning. The bottom of the fifth started with Weatherly and Purcell singles followed by a double steal and then a two RBI single by Kennedy Jimenez. Pinch hitter Morgan Doucet moved Jimenez to third base which allowed her to score on a Stewart single to end the game at 8-0 in the fifth. Temple's Breanna Hernandez threw the complete game shut out allowing just four hits to earn the win for the Leopards.
The Leopards will face Chipola College tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. central) in a rematch of last year's title game in which the Leopards defeated the Indians 6-1 to clinch the National Championship. The Leopards faced Chipola earlier this season and lost 4-2 back on January 25 in Galveston.