Sunday, June 07, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Clutch Eagles will host softball regional

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.  Randy 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.


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