Florida SouthWestern wins the NJCAA Softball National Championship in Yuma

The Florida SouthWestern Buccaneers softball team broke into a tie late Saturday at the Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex in Yuma to become National Champions of the National Junior College Athletic Association in 2021.

The Buccaneers of Fort Myers, Florida defeated the Grayson College Vikings of Denison, Texas 5-1. The win ended with five game days with 16 teams from around the country for the doubles elimination tournament.

Florida SouthWestern were 1-0 down in the 6th inning when catcher Taylor Jensen pushed a 1-0 field deep into the center left to end the game 1-1.

The Buccaneers’ Chelsea Brown then hit a single with two runs in the 7th to give their team a 3-1 lead.

Natavia Ellis provided the runs for the final result with a single with two exits and two exits. Grayson’s lone run in the game came from a two-out-of-RBI single from outfielder Hailey Vess.

Florida SouthWestern midfielder Janessa Plummer talks about winning the NJCAA Softball National Championship in Yuma.

“It means so much,” said Janessa Plummer, midfielder in southwest Florida. “Me and my girls, we’ve worked for it all year. It’s been our goal since day one of the season.”

Throughout the week, players from the various teams ate in restaurants and shopped in stores around Yuma. Only positive mood was expressed by players and coaches alike.

“Boy, Yuma is definitely different from Florida,” said Plummer. “I love everyone here, they are very welcoming and I had a great experience here.”

The 2021 season was a challenge for everyone. For student athletes in college sports, this meant starting and stopping, changes in schedules, COVID-19 testing, and possibly adjusting if players and coaches tested positive for the virus.

Florida southwest head coach Robert Iamurri talks about winning the NJCAA National Softball Championship in Yuma.

“It’s been a tough year,” said FSW coach Robert Iamurri. “They held together. COVID hit. Games were canceled but they remained focused and determined.”

Iamurri said the team loved their stay in the southwestern desert.

“It reminds me of Naples, Florida, where I grew up,” he said. “Very friendly city … good old folks who appreciated and were very nice to us when we were here.”

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