Mark DeCotis, Athletic Communications

Office:  321-433-5700, 321-759-4540 (C)

BCC Softball Faces Final 6 Games in Quest for State Tournament

April 3, 2013 - Holding onto the third and final Florida College System Activities Association state tournament qualifying berth Brevard Community College's softball team is prepared for the final six games of the regular season beginning with Saturday's 1 and 3 p.m. home doubleheader against Broward College.

BCC is 5-5 in conference and 26-23 overall. It trails nationally No. 1-ranked Indian River State College (7-1 in conference and 33-6 overall) and Miami Dade College (7-2 and 21-10 overall) in the standings but leads Palm Beach State (2-7 and 5-34) and Broward (2-8 and 9-23). BCC visits Indian River for an April 9 doubleheader and finishes up by hosting Palm Beach State for a Saturday, April 13 doubleheader.

That BCC is in contention for the postseason is a testament to the grit and heart it has displayed in overcoming myriad injuries and an offense that has produced a nation's-best 526 hits, which is 86 more than second-place Howard College.

Also, BCC is ranked first in at bats (1,437); second in walks (131); third in runs scored (339); third in doubles (83); third in runs batted in (331); third in total bases (674); and is tied for eighth in triples (13). Its team batting average of .366 is tied for 12th nationally.

Setting the pace for BCC are infielder Kat Ammons and centerfielder Cassie Boggs who are hitting at national-caliber levels.

Ammons, a sophomore infielder from Jacksonville, FL, and Bishop Kenney High, finished the month as the NJCAA Division I national leader in runs batted in with 73.

Boggs, a sophomore centerfielder from Longwood, FL, and Lyman High, finished the month as the national leader in hits with 90.

Boggs also ranks first nationally in games played (49); plate appearances (192); at bats (182) and doubles (22). She is third in total bases (131); fourth in runs batted in (60); fourth in runs scored (55); seventh in triples (5). Boggs also has struck out just three times.

Ammons is tied with Boggs for first in games; is second nationally in hits (78) and at bats (167); third in plate appearances (183). She is 13th in total bases (103). Ammons also has struck out just three times.

"They are very focused, they've been focused since we started on day one," BCC assistant coach Bob Yanczewski said of Ammons and Boggs.

"They're the role models for the team. They're the perfect athletes . . . on and off the field. Anytime you can get student-athletes to be good in the classroom and good on the field that leads to a good leader."

Pitching wise sophomore Shannen Marchu of Fort Pierce, FL, and Lincoln Park Academy, is tied for 12th nationally with 14 victories. She also is ranked fourth nationally in complete games (20); fifth in innings pitched (154); seventh in appearances (28).

So prodigious numbers aside what is it going to take for BCC to finish its final six games on a winning note and reach the state tournament?

"We have to be consistent, we have to stay consistent, limit the mistakes and continue to hit the ball," Yanczewski said.

Hitting has been a hallmark of BCC head coach Ed Yanes' approach and it is paying off. But also contributing is the team's cohesiveness.

"At the beginning they weren't really together but right now they are showing a little character and they're pulling together now," Yanzcewski said. "The goal is and it always was we've got to make the state tournament."

BCC has reached the state tournament eight of the last nine years but nothing is guaranteed in the very competitive Southern Conference.

"Anybody can beat anybody on any given day," Yanczewski said.

And that includes BCC beating nationally No. 1-ranked Indian River State, and Miami Dade.

With its hitting continuing, its defense improving and its pitching solidifying anything is possible.