St. George, UT – For the first time in program history, Temple (TX) captured the NJCAA DI Softball National Championship. The No. 3 seeded Leopards outlasted No. 2 Chipola (FL) 6-1 in the title game.
Chipola forced a winner-take-all championship game with a 2-0 victory over Temple, but it was the Leopards who came out on top in the final game of the 2018 tournament. Karina Sanchez was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after picking up four wins in the circle. The sophomore totaled seven strikeouts in the championship clinching win.
Chipola finished as runners-up for the second-time in three years. Sophomore Barbara Woll was named the tournament's Most Oustanding Defensive Player while the Indians placed four players on the All-Tournament Team.
Two of the top pitchers in the nation throughout the year, Sanchez and Chipola's Krystal Goodman kept both sides scoreless through four innings. The Leopards' offense came alive in the fifth as Kelsi Murie's three-run home run provided enough of a spark for the eventual champions. Dalilah Barrera closed out the game with five strikeouts in two innings for the victory.
- Temple's 5-1 record in the tournament including three victories over the last three national champions (Butler, 2016-17 and Chipola, 2015).
- The Leopards placed four players on the All-Tournament team- Sanchez, Daisy Gonzalez, Tiare Lee and Maddie Weatherly.
- Temple's Kristen Zaleski was named the Coach of the Tournament.
- The two-time defending champs, Butler (KS) finished third at the tournament.
- Butler's Celina Sullivan was named the Most Outstanding Pitcher after the sophomore allowed just four earned runs in 18 innings for a 1.55 earned run average with 22 strikeouts.
- Temple is just the second Texas school to win an NJCAA softball national championship, joining the 2014 Angelina team.