The Buccaneers walked off for a 3-2 win in the opener before rallying for a 3-1 triumph in game two to ensure a place in the Region XIV Tournament. 

Blinn (26-20 overall) jumped to 12-10 in the South with only a region road twin bill against Lamar State College-Port Arthur remaining in the regular season.

“There was a sense of urgency today,” Buccaneers head coach Rick Church said. “Today came down to helping yourself; we couldn’t rely on any other teams to help us.”

Blinn showed a bit of that urgency by taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.

Freshmen Alayna CalvilloErynne Castillo, and Alyssa Boozy each singled in the Bucs’ first three at bats of the game, with Boozy’s base hit to center field driving in Calvillo for the lead.

(Pictured: Blinn freshman Ripley Welker slides safely into home plate during a game against Alvin Community College on May 1)

That was all the offense either team would muster until Blinn pushed its cushion to 2-0 on an RBI groundout for Castillo in the fifth. Freshman Ripley Welker scored on the play.

In the top of the sixth, the Dolphins finally broke through against Blinn sophomore pitcher Chloee Mason, tying the game with a pair of runs.

After freshman Peyton Welker came on in relief to toss 1 1/3 innings of relief for the Bucs, Blinn’s offense sealed the win in the home half of the seventh. 

Sophomore Skylar Shanahan started things off when she was struck by a pitch and was lifted for pinch runner and freshman Haley RustRipley Welker bunted for a base hit that moved Rust to second and Calvillo moved both runners with a ground out. After Castillo walked to load the bases, sophomore Emily Kristynik came to the plate one out later and poked a soft dribbler to third base. The Dolphin third baseman opted for a force out at third base but was unable to make the play, allowing Rust to cross the plate for the victory.

“My goal was to put something on the ground,” Kristynik said. “I had a couple at bats before in the game where I put something in the air and Alvin made a play; so with two outs, I wanted to challenge them to make the out.”

Blin finished with eight hits, led by three for Ripley Welker. Freshman Madison Dorrow had a double.

(Pictured: Blinn sophomore Chloee Mason delivers a pitch during a game against Alvin Community College on May 1)

Peyton Welker earned the win in the circle after allowing two hits and striking out one. Mason finished her day with a no-decision after allowing two earned runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and a walk.

“Chloee did really well, and it was her last home game here at Blinn, so that really made me want to do well for her,” Peyton Welker said. “I knew my offense would come through, so I was ready.”

In game two, with Peyton Welker back in the pitcher’s circle, Alvin took a 1-0 lead in the second inning before the Bucs rallied for single tallies in the third, fourth, and fifth frames.

Castillo singled in Calvillo in the third; Ripley Welker plated Kristynik with a single in the fourth; and sophomore Caitlyn Stevens‘ ground out scored Castillo in the fifth.

Kristynik and Calvillo led Blinn’s eight-hit attack with two knocks apiece. Calvillo and Shanahan each had a double.

Peyton Welker improved to 10-7 on the year with her second win of the day. She worked 6 2/3 innings of five-hit ball while allowing one earned run with five punchouts and three walks. 

(Pictured: Blinn freshman Peyton Welker delivers a pitch during a game against Alvin Community College on May 1)

“Chloee and Peyton both did a really good job of hitting their spots today,” said Kristynik who caught both pitchers behind the plate Monday. “They came out there, knew what their job was, and got it done.”

Sophomore Kailey Eldridge got the final out of the seventh to finish the game.

Blinn will battle Lamar State-Port Arthur in a region twin bill beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, in Port Arthur, Texas.

“Now that we have our playoff seed locked up, I’m hoping we can loosen up and continue to compete well,” Church added. “Hopefully we can cap conference play off with two wins and have that momentum with us as we get ready to face the top team from the North Zone in the region tournament on May 12.” 

Blinn has competed in intercollegiate athletics since 1903 and captured 43 NJCAA national championships since 1987.

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