The Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) softball team capped the most successful season in school history with a third-place finish in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Softball Championship May 16 to 19 at Clinton, Miss.
DMACC was making its fifth consecutive appearance in the tournament and its sixth in the past seven seasons.
The finish matched DMACC's third-place finish in 2013-14. The 2014-15 team placed fourth in the national championship tournament.
The Bears, who were the tournament's No. 1 seed, reached the championship bracket semifinals with victories against Mott Community College (MCC) and Lincoln Land Community College (LLCC). DMACC then dropped a 4-1 decision to fourth-seeded Phoenix College (PC) on May 18 to move into the consolation bracket. There DMACC defeated sixth-seeded Cowley County Community College (CCCC) and third-seeded LSU-Eunice(LSUE) in elimination games, also on May 18.
The Bears then faced PC in an other elimination game on May 19 and lost, 1-0. That loss eliminated DMACC from the tournament with a third-place finish. PC then lost to second-seeded Jones County Community College (JCCC) in the championship game.
DMACC was limited to five hits, including doubles by freshman Morgan Nealey of Urbandale and sophomores Molly Jacobsen of Adel and Taylor Briley of Creston in their 4-1 loss to PC. The Bears trailed 3-0 after PC rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fourth. DMACC made it a 3-1 game on a solo home run by freshman Avery Guy of Cedar Rapids in the top of the fifth and PC closed out the win with a run in the bottom the inning.
Jacobsen suffered her first loss of the season after winning her first 25 games. She allowed four runs on four hits and struck out 13 batters.
Nealey had two hits, including a solo home run, and drove in two runs in DMACC's win against CCCC. Freshman Mia Ruther of Burlington and Guy also had two hits in the win and Briley and Guy each drove in two runs. DMACC took a 3-0 lead in the first inning and all but put the game out of reach with five runs in the bottom of the third, opening up an 8-2 advantage.
Sophomore Gabby Schnathorst of Carlisle improved to 12-0 with the win. She allowed four runs on nine hits, struck out nine and walked two. Freshman Peyton Parker of La Porte City threw two innings and allowed four hits with three strikeouts and Jacobsen pitched an inning and struck out one batter.
Nealey had two hits and drove in four runs in DMACC's win over LSUE. The Bears trailed 3-0 after three innings, but scored six runs in the top of the fifth to take control of the game. Ruther and freshman Kelsey Hora of Ainsworth also had two hits apiece in the win.
Jacobsen notched her 26th victory of the season behind a six-hitter. She struck out 13 batters.
PC got a solo home run from Tylor Gill in the bottom of the fourth to defeat the Bears in the elimination game on May 19. Ruther and Jacobsen each singled to account for DMACC's only hits in the loss.
Jacobsen fell to 26-2 with the loss. She scattered seven hits and struck out 10.
The DMACC softball team closed the season at 48-2 and a 22-0 record in winning the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC). The Bears won their first 46 games of the season and were the No. 1 team in the NJCAA Division II poll for most of the season.