Lakers advance to Nationals
FORT DODGE — The Iowa Lakes softball team jumped out to 4-0 lead in the first inning and held on for a 5-1 victory to beat Muscatine in the Region XI championshipo on Monday.
The win propels the Lakers to the NJCAA Worlds Series in Normal, Ill, starting on Thursday, May 15.
The win completes a 4-0 weekend where the Lakers defeated No. 4 Iowa Central on Saturday (4-2), the defending champion Kirkwood and Sunday (7-3) and No. 2 Muscatine on Monday (5-1).
Iowa Lakes (54-11) will play Kankakee CC at noon on May 15 in the first round of the World Series.
Iowa Lakes’ four-run first inning began when Camiel Salcedo was hit by a pitch to start the game. She advanced to second on a single by Stephanie Ochoa and the bases were loaded when Kimmie White reached on an Muscatine error.
Freshman Kristina Manser then took the first pitch over the left field fence for a grand slam, putting the Lakers on top 4-0.
It remained that way until the third, when Brittany Brohmer hit her 20th home run of the season to put Iowa Lakes up 5-0.
Sophomore pitcher Aly Bowers held a very good hitting Muscatine team in check throughout, striking out eight before allowing a single run in the seventh.
Bowers got All-American Sarah Saldino to ground out to second baseman Caiti Block to end the game and give Iowa Lakes its first regional title in softball. Andy Hacker was 2-4 and Manser 1-3 with the four RBIs.
Iowa Lakes CC 401 000 0 – 5 7 0
Muscatine CC 000 000 1 – 1 9 2
WP: Bowers (31-7); LP: Watkinson; HR: Manser, Brohmer