Softball defeats Salt Lake 9-6 at NJCAA World Series

May 21, 2024Gail Crutchfield
Bayleigh Rouse homerun

Wallace State softball players meet Bayleigh Rouse at the plate after her second homerun during the fifth inning of the Lions game against the Salt Lake Community College Bruins at the 2024 NJCAA DI Softball World Series.

Oxford, AL — Wallace State softball’s bats were on fire during their first game at the 2024 National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Softball World Series. The 11th seeded Lions defeated the 6th seeded Bruins 9-6 as the sun set at Choccolocco Park in Oxford.

The Lions took the lead in the first inning and never relinquished it. Wallace State scored 3 points after lead-off batter Caroline Cartron singled to left field before advancing to second base on a wild pitch. A double by sophomore Laura Leigh Wheeler of Sulligent brought home Cartron, a sophomore from Hazel Green. A homerun by freshman Bayleigh Rouse of Harrison, Ga., her first of two for the game, allowed them both to circle the bases.

The Bruins answered with 2 points in the bottom of the first, bringing the score 3-2, which lasted through the fourth inning.

Cartron once again got on base with a single in the fifth inning, followed by a single by Wheeler. Rouse hit her second homerun of the game, bringing all the Lions on base home to make the score 6-2.

The Bruins pushed back, earning two runs in the bottom of the fifth to bring score 6-4.

Jessie Taylor Triple

Wallace State softball coach Lauren Stewart congratulates Jessie Taylor on her 2 RBI triple during the seventh inning of the Lions game against the Salt Lake Community College Bruins at the 2024 NJCAA DI Softball World Series.

After a scoreless sixth inning, Wheeler reached first on a walk and advanced to second on a single by freshman Haley Hollyhand of Tuscaloosa. Sophomore Jessie Taylor of Athens tripled to score Wheeler and Hollyhand before a single by freshman Brandy Phillips of Beulah allowed Taylor to touch home plate. The Lions entered the bottom of the seventh with a 9-4 lead.

The Bruins put two more runs on the board in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Lions.

For the game, Rouse had 5 RBI off her two homeruns, Taylor earned two RBI and Phillips and Wheeler had 1 each.

Pitcher Emily Simon got the win for the Lions, after pitching four innings. Her sister Katie Simon, both from Athens, came in for relief for the final three innings.

The Lions will next play on Wednesday, May 22 at 3 p.m., in the third round of play. They will take on the winner of today's 1 p.m. game between the No 3 seeded Northwest Florida State and No. 14 Pima. Games can be viewed on the NJCAA network via

This year marks the Lions fourth straight appearance at the NJCAA World Series and their 16th overall. The Lions won the national title in 2013.

See photos from the game at:


About Wallace State

Wallace State Community College (Ala.), a member of the Alabama Community College System, is a comprehensive community college in north central Alabama offering more than 200 options in academic, health and technical programs of study leading to an associate degree, certificate or transfer, as well as workforce-credit training and adult education. An Achieving the Dream Leader College, nationally-recognized by the Aspen Institute among the top institutions according to student outcomes, ranked by Southern Business and Development among the Top 3 institutions in the South for workforce development, named a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing and the National Security Administration, rated the Top Online Community College in Alabama, a Military Friendly Institution and an All-Steinway School, Wallace State is an outstanding place for students to pursue their education and career goals. Classes are offered online and on campus, day, evening and on weekends, with numerous start dates each year. Visit Wallace State’s beautiful main campus located on 300-acres in Hanceville, Ala., our satellite location in downtown Oneonta, Ala., find us online at, or call 256.352.8000.


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