The Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) softball team captured its third consecutive National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Region XI-A Softball Championship with victories over Northeast (Neb.) Community College (NENEB) and Iowa Central Community College (ICCC) May 11 and 12 at the DMACC softball diamond.
The Bears opened tournament play with an 8-0 win over NENEB and then defeated ICCC, 5-3, in a winner's bracket game. ICCC beat Southwestern Community College (SWCC) in an elimination game on May 11 to advance to the championship game against DMACC and the Bears took that one, 8-0, on May 12.
DMACC, ranked second in the NJCAA Division II poll, improved to 46-6 with the wins. The Bears have won nine of their last 10 games and take a seven-game winning streak into the NJCAA Division II District G Softball Championship.
Freshman Josie Swafford of Wellston, Okla., tossed a five-inning no-hitter and freshman Maddie Karr of Center Point belted a home run to lead DMACC past NENEB. The Bears took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first, padded their advantage to 5-0 with a pair of runs in the fourth and put the game away with three runs in fifth, when the game was called because of the mercy rule.
Freshman Morgan Lewis of Cedar Rapids, sophomore Mia Ruther of Burlington, sophomore Avery Guy of Cedar Rapids, Swafford and sophomore Ellie Dixon of Iowa City had two hits apiece in the win including doubles by Swafford, Lewis and freshman Ally Pickering of Winterset. Karr and Swafford drove in two runs apiece.
Swafford faced just 16 batters and retired seven by strikeouts. She improved to 22-1 with the win.
Ruther and Guy had two hits apiece and Swafford homered in DMACC's win over ICCC on May 11. The Bears trailed 2-1 after the first inning, but knotted the game at 2-2 with a run in the bottom of the second. They closed out the win with three runs in the fifth and ICCC made it close with a run in the sixth.
Swafford scattered five hits, struck out eight and walked three in getting the win.
Karr had a pair of hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs in DMACC's win against ICCC on May 12. The Bears led 4-0 after the first inning, 7-0 after two innings and tallied another run in the fourth. The game was called because of the mercy rule after ICCC batted in the top of the fifth.
Ruther paced DMACC's 11-hit attack with three singles and Guy and Swafford joined Karr with two hits apiece. Swafford added a pair of RBIs.
Swafford ran her record to 24-1 behind a one-hitter. She struck out six and walked two.
The DMACC softball team will face Southeast (Neb.) Community College in the NJCAA Division II District G Softball Championship May 15 and 16 at the DMACC softball diamond. The two teams will meet at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on May 15. A sweep by either team will end the double-elimination tournament. If the two teams split their two-game series on May 15, a championship game will be played at noon on May 16.
The District G champion will advance to the NJCAA Division II Softball Championship May 22 to 25 at Clinton, Miss. DMACC is seeking its sixth consecutive trip to the NJCAA Division II Softball Championship and its seventh in the past eight seasons.