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Triton softball begins regional play

Iowa Central plays in Boone vs. Southwestern

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Cheyenne Andersen of Iowa Central hits earlier in the year at Rogers Park.

BOONE — The Iowa Central softball team battled through the ICCAC regular season and came out with a Top-4 finish.

Now, the 15th-ranked Tritons begin the play in the Region XI Tournament here Friday night vs. Southwestern.

Iowa Central (38-15 overall) is grouped in Pod A with league champion and second-ranked Des Moines Area (43-6), Southwestern (14-39) and Northeast (3-45).

Pod B takes place in Cedar Rapids with No. 7 Kirkwood (44-13), 20th-ranked North Iowa Area (28-16), Iowa Lakes (17-33) and Ellsworth (17-37).

“We are super excited and ready to get after it,” Iowa Central freshman and Fort Dodge Senior High graduate Bre Tjebben said. “Playing for Coach (Andi) Adams and as a Dodger has taught me to work my hardest, never give up and to play for the name on the front of the jersey.

“All that hard work has prepared me for times like this.”

Iowa Central set a new single-season school record with 82 home runs, led by sophomore Cheyenne Andersen. The former Indianola standout broke the career and single-season records for homers, and currently ranks first in the nation with 23 homers and second with 66 runs batted in.

Sophie Cave is fourth in the country with 62 RBI and Gabi Bingham is tied for first with 47 steals. Parker Mathews is fourth with 80 hits.

Tjebben, a freshman, is hitting a team-high .443 with 13 homers, 56 runs and 54 RBI on the year. She has struck out just six times in 188 plate appearances.

“We’ve worked so hard this season and have come so far,” said Tjebben, who helped lead FDSH to state this past summer. “We’ve been working a lot on the little things lately, trying to string everything together for this weekend.

“I couldn’t have had a better experience my freshman year and I’m sure going to miss our sophomores next season.”

As a team, the Tritons are first in the nation in homers, runs and RBI, 11th in steals and fourth in team slugging percentage.

Bre Small leads the way with 12 wins inside the circle and 63 strikeouts, while Kallie Malloy has a team-best 90 strikeouts and 11 wins. Alex Boyce has five victories and 33 strikeouts.

The Pod A winner will host the District G championship against the winner of Region 9, with the Pod B winner going to Glendive, Montana to play for the District H title vs. the winner of Region 13.

The NJCAA Div. II Softball Championship takes place May 22-25 at Traceway Park in Clinton, Mississippi.

REGION XI SOFTBALL TOURNAMENTS

Pod A

(May 10-12 at Boone)

Friday’s Games

Iowa Central vs. Southwestern, 2 p.m.

DMACC vs. Northeast, 4 p.m.

Saturday’s Games

Iowa Central/Southwestern loser vs. DMACC/Northeast loser, noon

Iowa Central/Southwestern winner vs. DMACC/Northeast winner, 2 p.m.

Pod B

(May 10-12 at Cedar Rapids)

Friday’s Games

Kirkwood vs. Ellsworth, 2 p.m

NIACC vs. Iowa Lakes, 4 p.m.

Saturday’s Games

Kirkwood/Ellsworth loser vs. NIACC/Iowa Lakes loser, noon

Kirkwood/Ellsworth winner vs. NIACC/Iowa Lakes winner, 2 p.m.