Clutch Eagles will host softball regional

FR Randyn Carter
FR Randyn Carter
Monday, 06 May 2019 05:08 Metro Sports Report Kirkwood 
MASON CITY - The eighth-ranked Kirkwood softball team delivered in the clutch Sunday by sweeping an ICCAC doubleheader from NIACC, 5-3 and 6-4, in the final games of the regular season.

As a result, Kirkwood will host an NJCAA Division II regional tournament this weekend in Cedar Rapids.

Kirkwood (44-13) will face Ellsworth (17-36) in the regional opener  Friday at 2 p.m., with NIACC (28-16) meeting Iowa Lakes (17-33) at 4 p.m. in the four-team, double-elimination event.

The second-ranked DMACC Bears, who won the ICCAC title, will be hosting a different four-team regional. Kirkwood finished second in the ICCAC standings behind DMACC.

DMACC and Kirkwood will not meet again this season unless they both reach the NJCAA World Series and meet in the national tournament.

Regional champions advance to district tournaments, and district champions advance to the World Series.

Kirkwood entered Sunday's games with a one-game lead over NIACC in the conference standings. If NIACC had swept the twinbill, the Trojans would have vaulted over Kirkwood in the standings and they would be hosting the regional this weekend.

Kirkwood clinched second place in the standings by winning the first game, 5-3. Jayme Finn belted two solo home runs to power the Eagles.  Randyn Carter also hit a home run, her ninth of the season.

Erin Hocker (23-7) tossed a complete game for the victory with 12  strikeouts. Hocker is tied for second in NJCAA D2 with her 23 victories.

Finn went 3-for-3 in Game 1. Rachel Stewart was 2-for-4.

Shelby Hulsebus went 4-for-4 with three runs, three RBIs, a double and her first homer of the season in Game 2. She also had two stolen bases. Autum Barthelman had three steals. Bradee Bouman (19-6) pitched a complete game for the victory.


NIACC      000 102 0 - 3 5 x
Kirkwood   220 100 x - 5 9 0

Hocker and Butler. W - Hocker (23-7). 2B - Stewart. HR - Carter, Finn  2. RBI - Jackson, Albaugh, Carter, Finn 2. SB - Finn.


NIACC      000 040 0 - 4 6 x
Kirkwood   120 102 x - 6 6 1

Bouman and Barthelman. W - Bouman (19-6). 2B - Hulsebus. HR -  Hulsebus. RBI - Hulsebus 3, Clemens. SB - Hulsebus 2, Barthelman 3,  Finn, Smith 2.