Lady Trojans Achieve Historic First NJCAA World Series Appearance, Finishing 8th Nationally with Record-Breaking Season

by | Jul 9, 2024 | Trinidad Coloado

Last week, the Las Animas County Board of County Commissioners recognized the Trinidad State College Women’s Softball team, the Lady Trojans, and Coach Steve Swazo for their remarkable accomplishments and successful run in the May 2024 National Junior College Athletic Associations (NJCAA) Women’s Softball World Series in Alabama.

The Lady Trojans had an impressive season, finishing with a record of 46-16. They clinched the Region IX regular season and playoff titles, earning a spot in the NJCAA Women’s World Series for the first time in the program’s history. At the World Series, TSC went 4-2, securing an 8th place national ranking. This milestone season also saw Coach Swazo achieve his 500th career win, marking a significant career milestone.

Trinidad State College Athletic Director Mike Salbato expressed his gratitude towards the community and the Board of County Commissioners for their recognition of the Women’s Softball Program and Coach Swazo. He stated, “We are very grateful that Las Animas County and the Board of County Commissioners recognized the efforts of the Women’s Softball Program and Coach Swazo. We are thankful for all of the support from the community. This brings attention to the fantastic accomplishments of the Lady Trojans Softball Team this past season and what Coach Swazo has done over the past 18 years. What this group accomplished by making it to nationals for the first time, and how they competed at a very high level against some great teams and very good traditionally strong women’s softball programs. They represented us so well. This proclamation today is something special. I can’t forget that the TSC Women’s Softball was the top academic team with a 3.5 GPA. All this was the cherry on top for the program and Coach Swazo.”

Pete DeLuca, a long-time supporter of TSC, added, “This is a testament to the hard work of this team and how this program over the years has been built the right way. The college here has always received tremendous support from the community, and being recognized by the Las Animas County Commissioners today is a great honor. We are proud of them. They earned it. Coach Swazo is a great coach and mentor for his teams and TSC. It was fun to watch them this last season, and what a great season it was.”

Korean War Veteran and avid TSC fan Robert Skalko shared his pride and excitement for the Lady Trojans, saying, “As a fan, this was great. The girls played with heart. They put little ‘ol Trinidad State on the map. Finishing 8th in the nation is one of the best things to happen to Trinidad State College and Trinidad! That’s pretty good. Thank you to the team, Coach Swazo, everyone at TSC, the community for their support, and the commissioners for recognizing the accomplishments of the women’s team. And thank you, David, for always covering all the local teams and schools in our area. That helps them out. We are all Trojan proud.”

Jasper Butero, another long-time supporter of TSC and the Softball teams, and an announcer, highlighted the academic and athletic achievements of the team, noting, “It was a tremendous accomplishment what Coach Swazo has built and done with this program. Coach Swazo also does a great job making sure the teams do well in the classroom. This year’s team had a 3.5 GPA, which says a lot and helps prepare these players for life. That is a great accomplishment, and all of Coach Swazo’s team members do well in class and in life. This year, they excelled on the field. Never before did a team from Region IX win a game at the national level. TSC won four games at the national this year. If you watched the games at nationals, the suicide squeeze Coach Swazo called was the play and call of the national tournament. It was a good year to be a Trojan.”

Coach Swazo, emotional and grateful, thanked the commissioners for the proclamation, saying, “We are overwhelmed by the support of the college and our great community. It was a nice surprise that the program would be recognized today. We are blessed to have the support that we have. I want to thank everyone at TSC, the city, the county, and the community for their long time and continued support. It was a great season. We accomplished a lot. The team worked hard to make as successful of a season as it turned out to be.”

The Lady Trojans’ journey to the World Series and their accomplishments have not only brought pride to Trinidad State College but also highlighted the strong community support and dedication to excellence both on and off the field. Their historic season sets a high bar for future teams and solidifies the legacy of Coach Swazo and the Women’s Softball Program at TSC.

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