For the second consecutive season, Phoenix Community College (PCC) has sent the Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) softball team home from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Softball Championship with a third-place finish.
And PCC did it in identical fashion, defeating the Bears in the championship bracket semifinals and then again in the elimination bracket semifinals.
This season, PCC, seeded third, handed the second-seeded Bears a 2-1 loss in the championship bracket semifinals on May 24. DMACC responded with victories against Johnson County Community College (JCCC) and Kirkwood Community College (KCC), in elimination games on May 24 to reach the elimination bracket semifinals where the Bears dropped a 6-1 decision to PCC on May 25, resulting in DMACC's second consecutive third-place finish in the tournament.
DMACC, making its sixth consecutive appearance in the tournament and its seventh in the past eight seasons, also finished third in 2014 and placed fourth in 2015.
The Bears trailed 5-3 after three innings, but gained a 5-5 tie with one run each in the fourth and fifth innings. JCCC went up 6-5 with a run in the bottom of the fifth before DMACC got the win with a three-run rally in the top of the seventh.
Vos and sophomores Mia Ruther of Burlington, Avery Guy of Cedar Rapids and Kaisha Wells of Topeka, Kan., sparked DMACC offensively with two hits apiece, including a pair of doubles by Vos and one from Wells. Ruther, Wells, sophomore Ellie Dixon of Iowa City and freshman Johanna Diw of Perry drove in one run apiece.
Freshman Ally Anderson of Atlantic pitched the first four and a third innings for DMACC, allowing six runs on seven hits. Freshman Josie Swafford of Wellston, Okla., worked the last two and two-thirds innings, allowing two hits, striking out six and walking one. She picked up the victory.
Swafford drove in three runs and Karr, Wells and freshman Ally Pickering of Winterset drove in two runs apiece as DMACC defeated KCC, 13-8, recording its fifth win in six games against their Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) rivals this season.
KCC led 2-1 after the first inning, but DMACC took control of the game with six runs in each of the second and third innings. KCC made it a 7-5 game with three runs in the bottom of the second and scored its final three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Guy and Pickering led DMACC at the plate with three hits apiece and Swafford, Wells, Dixon, Vos and freshman Morgan Lewis of Cedar Rapids had two hits apiece. Lewis, Guy, Pickering, Dixon and Vos each doubled and Karr, Pickering and Wells drove in two runs apiece
Swafford went the distance for the win, allowing eight runs on six hits. She struck out 10 and walked three.
PCC's Brianna Harvey limited DMACC to just four hits in the 6-1 win May 25. PCC took a 4-0 lead with two runs in each of the third and fourth innings and added single runs in the sixth and seventh. DMACC tallied its lone run on a home run by Guy in the bottom of the sixth.
Swafford, Pickering and Wells each singled for the Bears.
Swafford went the distance and suffered the loss. She allowed six runs on nine hits, struck out three and walked one.
The DMACC softball team closed the season at 52-8.