BOONE — Defending regional champion Des Moines Area Community College swept visiting Southwestern Wednesday, 5-2 and 8-0, in a rematch of last year’s regional finals.
The No. 12-ranked Bears ended the day with a three-run walk-off homer by Allie Fitzgerald to finish the nightcap in five innings in the eight-run mercy rule.
The first game was much more competitive, as Southwestern scored in the top of the first for a 1-0 lead that held up until DMACC scored in the third on a solo home run.
SWCC went ahead again, 2-1, in the fourth. Then the Bears started to reach some success at the plate against SWCC starter Leah Kipfer, who was effective up to that point against the nationally-ranked lineup of coach Bob Ligouri. It was tied 2-2 in the fifth and DMACC scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Sophomore Mari Silliman of Winterset got the win in the opener for the Bears. She gave up seven hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks. Kipfer allowed four earned runs in six innings with six strikeouts and three walks.
“Leah pitched a strong game,” SWCC coach Lindsay Stumpff said. “They started hitting her a little and getting people on in the last couple of innings, and we kept hitting the ball right at them. We stayed off Silliman’s rise ball better this time.”
Kipfer and Taylor Powers drove in runs for Southwestern. Kipfer was 2-for-3 with a double and RBI.
Courtney Wagner pitched for Southwestern in the second game.
“It was 5-0 in the sixth and then they hit a three-run homer,” Stumpff said. “Courtney is just missing. She’s getting a little bit closer. Walks are hurting her a little bit, and then she gets frustrated.”
Wagner yielded eight earned runs with one strikeout, five walks and eight hits allowed.
DMACC freshman Katlin Briley of Creston played shortstop, reaching base once on a hit by pitch while playing solid defense. She batted second and first in the Bears lineup in the two games.
DMACC is now 8-0 as the conference leader at 17-1 overall. No. 9 Kirkwood is second at 6-0 and 20-3 overall.
Southwestern, now fourth at 3-5 and 9-7 in all games, travels to Central Nebraska of Columbus today.