JUCO softball: IHCC bats come alive against NCMC

Apr. 11—OTTUMWA — The Indian Hills softball team picked up an afternoon sweep over North Central Missouri College on Tuesday afternoon, dropping the Pirates 11-3 in the opener and 16-1 in the nightcap at R.L. Hellyer Field.

The Warriors made it four wins in a row with the sweep of North Central Missouri. The Warriors took the four-game regular season series 3-1 and outscored the Pirates 42-15 along the way. With the two wins on Tuesday, the Warriors move to 21-15 overall. Indian Hills has now won at least 20 games in each of the team's 36 seasons during the modern era of Warrior softball that dates back to the 1989 season.

As a team, the Warriors pounded out 32 hits, 16 in each contest, to surge past the Pirates on the team's home dirt. The offense relied on a six-run third in the opener and a 10-run first inning in game two to pull away early for the two run-rule victories. 11 different players tallied a hit on the day, including eight individuals that produced at least one multi-hit game at R.L. Hellyer Field.

Sophomore Eva Fulk continued her torrid attack at the plate to extend her hitting streak to 12 games. The outfielder went 5-7 at the dish with a double, an inside the park home run, four RBI and four runs scored. Fulk owns a team-high .458 batting average on the year.

Sophomore Tatum Aragon collected four knocks on the day, all going for extra bases. Aragon went 3-3 with two doubles and a home run in the opener to go along with a double in the nightcap. The sophomore is now tied for second in the nation with 21 doubles this year.

Both Aragon and Fulk continued to climb the record books at Indian Hills as the duo recently surpassed the 100-hit career milestone.

As part of the six-run third inning in the opening contest, sophomore All-American Julia Kwakernaak and Hannah Simpson delivered home runs for the Warriors to break the game open. Kwakernaak finished the opener 3-4 at the plate and has now hit four home runs in the team's last three outings.

Freshman Courtney Locke added a three-hit performance in the opener for the Warriors, scoring three times to aid in the win.

Ava Smith made the most of her at bats on Tuesday, going 5-8 at the dish, including a home run in the nightcap while driving in five runs on the day. The freshman upped her average to .433 on the year and is batting .750 (9-12) with three doubles and two home runs over the team's last four outings.

Sophomore Jenna Lemley put together a solid nightcap for the Warriors, going 3-3 at the plate with a team-high four RBI. The second-year catcher produced a second inning home run, her first of the year.

In the circle, the Warriors rode a trio of arms that secure the sweep. Freshman Ashlynn Sheets went the distance in game one to move to 8-6 on the year. Sheets struck out six batters while scattering six hits.

In game two, sophomore Sara Reid, this week's Iowa Community College Athletic Conference (ICCAC) Athlete of the Week, allowed just three hits in three innings of work while freshman Alivia Ruble secured the win in relief, blanking the Pirates over the final two frames to move to 2-1 in the circle this year.