COLLEGE SOFTBALL: Odessa College to face familiar opponents in this year’s NJCAA World Series (2024)

The Odessa College softball team is coming off two consecutive third place finishes at the NJCAA World Series.

If the Lady Wranglers want to add another top-three finish, they’ll have to get through as a No. 13 seed.

Odessa College (41-12) enters this year’s NJCAA World Series for the fourth consecutive year.

However, unlike last year when the Lady Wranglers were the top seed coming into the tournament, Odessa College enters as the No. 13 seed and will not have a bye in the first round.

Head coach Doug Eastman is fine with that.

“I look at it this way; we just want to get there,” Eastman said. “We just want an opportunity to see the movie. We have a ticket and we’re going to see the movie. I don’t think there’s a team in there that’s excited to play Odessa College.”

In 2021, Odessa College finished 11th overall at the national tournament.

The Lady Wranglers made it to the semifinals in 2022 and ’23.

Odessa College will face No. 20 seed Trinidad State in a play-in game at 11 a.m. Monday at Choccolocco Park in Oxford, Ala.

It’ll be the third time that the Lady Wranglers have faced Trinidad State this year.

Odessa College defeated Trinidad State in a doubleheader, winning by scores of 21-13 and 9-3 on Feb. 8 at home.

Odessa College-Trinidad State will be one of four play-in games to take place on Monday.

Other play-in games that day will include No. 16 seed Lake Land and No. 17 Iowa Western, No. 14 seed Pima and No. 19 Abraham Baldwin as well as No. 15 Hutchinson Community College and No. 18 Connors State.

The winner between Odessa College-Trinidad State will face a team that Eastman and the Lady Wranglers are well-familiar with — No. 4 seed (and two-time defending national champion) Florida Southwestern.

The last two years, the Lady Wranglers have lost to Florida Southwestern in the semifinals.

In 2022, it was Florida Southwestern that delivered the knockout punch to Odessa College as the Lady Wranglers lost 5-4.

Last year, Florida Southwestern defeated Odessa College 11-0, sending the Lady Wranglers to the elimination round where they lost to Northwest Florida State College 5-3.

Eastman-who coached at Yavapai College from 2014-22-has also been on the losing end against Florida Southwestern.

Two years ago, Yavapai College lost to Florida Southwestern 10-9 in an elimination game at the NJCAA World Series.

“Obviously, I’m looking forward and I played them two years ago at nationals,” Eastman said. “They scored four runs on us late and won so I have some bad taste in my mouth to get over that but that’s a whole other story.”

He knows there’s a reason why Florida Southwestern has won the last two national championships.

“They play fast,” Eastman said. “They play small ball. We have to play defense. We have to know that they will put bunts down. We have to throw to the base ahead. We can’t just throw wildly to a cutoff if there’s no purpose. We’re going to talk about what you have to do to beat a team like that. Defense is going to be the premium for a team like Florida Southwestern. I’ve already thought about it and know what we have to do but can we do it? Stay tuned.”

Florida Southwestern enters with a 54-8 record.

This year’s top seed is McLennan College (57-2).

Odessa College lost to McLennan College earlier this season in a nonconference doubleheader, losing by scores of 15-9 and 9-1 on Jan. 27.

Another team in this year’s tournament that the Lady Wranglers have played this year is No. 7 seed Galveston College.

The Lady Wranglers lost to Galveston College in a doubleheader (8-0, 12-3) back on March 2 on the road.

Galveston College will face No. 10 Walters State in the first round.

While the Lady Wranglers may not be the No. 1 seed this year, Eastman knows what his team is capable, provided they avoid the losers’ bracket.

“It’s a little different, but when you look at our offensive numbers and what we can do on the defensive side of things, we win games and not end on the losers’ side of the bracket and be thrifty with our pitching staff, I think we’ll be a tough team to play against,” Eastman said. “I like where we’re at. In our first matchup, I think we’ll play pretty well.”


COLLEGE SOFTBALL: Odessa College to face familiar opponents in this year’s NJCAA World Series (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Edwin Metz

Last Updated:

Views: 6120

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (78 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Edwin Metz

Birthday: 1997-04-16

Address: 51593 Leanne Light, Kuphalmouth, DE 50012-5183

Phone: +639107620957

Job: Corporate Banking Technician

Hobby: Reading, scrapbook, role-playing games, Fishing, Fishing, Scuba diving, Beekeeping

Introduction: My name is Edwin Metz, I am a fair, energetic, helpful, brave, outstanding, nice, helpful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.