Argos punch ticket to College World Series

Hope was fading fast for the West Florida women’s softball team in its NCAA Division II Super Regional showdown with Lee Friday afternoon in Pensacola.

Down 4-0 going into the sixth inning and still searching for its first hit of the day, the Argonauts came to life and took this dream season one step further with a 7-6 victory that propels them into the College World Series next week in Salem, Va.

The Argos scored all seven of their runs in the sixth, taking the lead for good on a run-scoring triple by Baleigh Boltz that put West Florida in front 5-4. West Florida went into the game leading the best-of-three Super Regional series after a 2-0 victory in Thursday’s opener.

The Argos didn’t allow the series to go the distance on the strength of their big inning and secured their 45th win of the year. They are headed to the College World Series for the first time since 2003.

West Florida (45-13) has come a long way from two seasons ago when it won only 19 games. Despite the early struggles, Melissa Paul always believed this type of moment was possible when she took over as the head coach in 2015.

“We envisioned and we have been working on it,” Paul said. “Everyone gets to see the finished product but don’t see everything we work on day in and day out and all of the hard work and sweat and tears we put it into it. It’s nice to see them have the success they have had out on the field.”

For freshman Callan Taylor, a former Navarre softball standout, this season has been a dream come true and she took time to savor the moment with her teammates on a humid, sun-splashed May afternoon.

“This has been the best softball season I’ve ever been a part of my entire life,” Taylor said. “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had in a season.”

Read more about the West Florida softball team in the May 25 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

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