Kirkwood bumps MCC softball from regionals

FORT DODGE – The Tigers’ record-setting season came to an end against the same opponent that’s had their number all year.

The Marshalltown Community College softball team closed its campaign with a 8-0 five-inning loss to top-seeded Kirkwood in the Region XI Division II Softball Tournament Sunday at Harlan Rodgers Sports Complex.

The fourth-seeded Tigers finished third overall and claimed a program-best 33 wins including a pair of victories in the loser’s bracket Saturday to earn a rematch with the NJCAA No. 1 ranked Eagles, who also defeated MCC 3-0 on Friday.

MCC (33-18) missed a couple scoring chances early when Lexie Biehl was left stranded in the first and McKenna Hotopp in the second though Sarah Wilson also kept Kirkwood off the board through the first two frames. The sophomore gave up back-to-back singles to open the game before retiring the next six batters in order.

The Eagles (52-8) broke through with five runs in the third including a three-run double and a two-run homer. Kirkwood started the inning with an out before putting four of its next five batters on base.

The Eagles added three more runs in the fourth off Mackenzie Gott in relief before the game ended in the fifth via the mercy rule. MCC finished with just two hits in the game as Biehl and Hotopp each had one and Tacie Blunk drew a walk.

Wilson (16-8) allowed five runs on six hits and a walk over 2 2/3 innings in the loss. Gott threw the final 1 1/3 frames surrendering three runs on two hits and two walks. Gott fanned three batters and Wilson retired a pair on strikes.

The Tigers’ semifinal appearance marked their deepest run through the tournament as MCC also established a school-record 16 wins in the ICCAC under first-year coach Tyrone Robinson.

The Tigers defeated each conference opponent at least once this season with the exception of Kirkwood, which claimed all six meetings.

The Eagles were defeated by second-seeded and No. 16 DMACC, 7-1, in the Region XI Tournament final. The Bears (40-10, 22-6) also defeated Kirkwood 5-1 on Saturday.