SCA brings home NACA championship

Published 10:50 pm Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Suffolk Christian Academy softball team arrived home triumphantly Saturday morning with a national championship.

The team traveled to Tennessee this week to compete in the National Association of Christian Athletes tournament. The team competed in Division II and came away with a national championship, becoming the first athletic team in school history to earn such a distinction.

SCA got a big 22-1 win over Cross Lanes Christian School early Friday afternoon and later got a 7-6 win against Covenant Christian Academy to win the championship in a resilient effort.

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Covenant took a 5-0 lead after the first three innings of play, but in the fourth inning, SCA finally got on the board, trailing 6-2 going into the fifth inning.

The Lady Knights scored three runs in the fifth inning with Channing Acree, Penelope Franklin and Zoe Wheeler driving in runs. The fifth-inning momentum carried them through the final two innings, with SCA taking its first lead of the game in the seventh inning with two runs scored.

Earlier in the week, SCA had lost 6-2 to the same school, but the Lady Knights were able to write a different story the second time around.

Franklin went 4-4 with two runs and three RBIs and a triple. Her effort earned her MVP and a spot on the All-Tournament team. Daphne Franklin and Marlee were also selected to all All-Tournament team. Heidi Layne pitched and struck out nine batters in her pitching win.

“There were some nerves there at first, but we were able to work through them,” SCA coach Robbie Lester said. “Penelope provided a spark for us on the offensive end, and our defensive captain, Katie Glover, was able to be a big voice for us in the dugout. Once they finally relaxed, the whole team’s attitude was just unbelievable.”

The biggest difference from SCA’s trip to the tournament last year is that the team wanted it more. Coach Robbie Lester said the team motto before the tournament was “Bring home a banner,” and they were able to accomplish that.

“After the experience they gained last year, the girls went into this one with some goals they wanted to accomplish,” Lester said. “It was very easy to motivate them to play, because they had the prize in sight.”

Outside of the game, the trip to Tennessee was a good way for the Lady Knights to bond with each other even more. They all enjoyed the activities that were provided by the NACA, which allowed for an overall great experience.

SCA 7, CCA 6

SCA 0 0 0 2 3 0 2—7

CCA 3 0 2 1 0 0 0—6

SCA: Hits 8—P. Franklin 4, Wheeler 2, Acree 2; Runs 7—P. Franklin 2, Acree 2, Wheeler, Fowler, Francis; RBI 6—P. Franklin 3, D. Franklin, Wheeler, Acree

CCA: Hits 6—Federer 2, Proops, Wells, Meisner, Daniel; Runs 6—Gilmore 2, Daniel 2, Federer, Proops; RBI 2—Proops, Federer