Creek Wood High School graduate Shelby Dawson set a new single season record with 235 strikeouts as a freshman pitcher for Columbia State Community College. The Lady Chargers ended their season 38-16 with an 8-6 loss to Walters State in the NJCAA Region VII championship Monday in Gallatin. Dawson, the niece of Lady Red Hawk coach Nancy Dawson, left Monday’s title game with a 6-4 lead in the sixth inning but the Lady Senators completed the comeback with a grand slam to earn their first trip to the JUCO World Series in Utah May 15-18. Dawson broke the school’s single season strikeout mark of 211 held by Amanda Vaught in a 1-0 loss to Walters State Sunday when she whiffed 12 Lady Senators.
Columbia State battled back into title contention with a 4-0 win over Chattanooga State but had to beat Walters State twice Monday to move on to the national championship. Dawson got the start and tallied 11 more strikeouts as Columbia State took a 6-0 lead. Dawson gave up a solo homer in the fifth then surrendered three runs in the sixth before being relieved with a runner on base and one out. Walters State went on to load the bases to set up the game-winning grand slam. A transfer from Tennessee State University, Dawson finished her first season at Columbia State 20-4 with 235 strikeouts. Also on the Lady Chargers roster is Creek Wood grad Juliana Melton, a freshman catcher and infielder.