CORNING, N.Y. (WETM) – Corning Community College Softball is once again at the top of the mountain in NJCAA Region III.

Corning Community College captured their third-straight NJCAA Region III, Division III, North A District title, on Thursday. The Red Barons swept Hudson Valley Community College (2-0) in a best-of-three series. Top seeded Corning CC earned a comeback 4-3 win in Game 1, with a 2-run home run from Lexi Wood in the 5th and an RBI sacrifice fly from Hailey Hunter followed by an RBI single from Grace Vondracek in the 6th.

The Red Barons had no trouble scoring in the series deciding Game 2. Corning stormed out of the gates, taking a 3-0 lead after one and continuing to score, with 8 batters recording a hit in the game. On the mound, freshman Marley Lippitt tossed a 1-hit performance through 4 innings, then All-Tournament MVP Jayden Hill closed out the game with the 5th inning save.

Hill shared her excitement for being a key player on the mound with the Red Barons in the tournament.

“It’s exciting for me, thanks to the confidence my team has in me, said Hill. It just feels good.”

For the Red Barons, it was a banner day in the record books. The 2023 NJCAA Region III title is the third-straight since 2021 and just the 2nd time since 1997-99, that the program has claimed three-straight titles. Red Barons head coach Stacy Johnson earned the NJCAA Region III Coach of the Year award to accompany her 6th Region III title since taking the helm in 1998.

Johnson shared that she was proud that this Red Barons team could accomplish the championship three-peat, but stressed that each team she has coached is different.

“It is special to win with every team, said Johnson. The adversity, the things you go through, and bond over are different every single time. I am really happy for these kids because they could have cashed it in after some of the injuries we had this year.”

Corning CC added more hardware to their trophy case, as Grace Vondracek earned NJCAA Region III Player of the Year for the 2nd time in her career. Vondracek added a Region III All-First Team selection along with teammates Jayden Hill, Lexi Wood, Gabby Coletta, and Grace Talbut. Corning’s Caroline Courson earned a Second-Team selection. Wood, Hill, and Vondracek all earned a spot on the All-Tournament team.

The Red Barons will now return to the NJCAA Division III Softball National Tournament, beginning May 24th at Carrier Park in Dewitt, New York. Corning fell in the NJCAA National Title game in 2021 and 2022.

Stick with 18 Sports for more coverage, as the Red Barons chase down the NJCAA Division III National Title.