No. 20 NIACC splits with No. 7 Kirkwood

NIACC's Kristen Peka delivers a pitch in Wednesday's doubleheader against Kirkwood. Photo by NIACC's Leo Driscoll.
NIACC's Kristen Peka delivers a pitch in Wednesday's doubleheader against Kirkwood. Photo by NIACC's Leo Driscoll.

MASON CITY - The No. 20 NIACC softball team split an ICCAC doubleheader with No. 7 Kirkwood on Wednesday in its home opener.

Kirkwood won the first game 2-0 as Erin Hocker tossed a two-hit shutout.

NIACC won the second game 13-8 as the Lady Trojans slugged four home runs, including two from Kristen Peka. The Lady Trojans also received home runs from Alyssa Laxson and Morgan Kelley.

Peka (8-4) gained the win in relief in the second game. She relieved starter Kylie Sherwood in the fourth inning and allowed two runs on two hits in three innings of work.

NIACC, which trailed 5-0 after two innings, tied the contest with five runs in the third inning. The Lady Trojans outscored Kirkwood 8-3 over the final 3 1/2 innings to claim the victory.

Also in the second game for NIACC, Laxson had four RBIs, Kaitlyn Carlson drove in three runs and Kaci Sherwood collected three hits.

NIACC (13-7 overall) and Kirkwood (22-7 overall) are tied for second in the ICCAC at 5-1. No. 4 DMACC (23-4 overall) leads the league with a 6-0 mark.

NIACC returns to action Saturday and Sunday at home with a pair of ICCAC doubleheaders. The Lady Trojans host Northeast CC starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday and host Iowa Central starting at noon on Sunday.

IN THE RANKINGS: The NIACC softball team entered the NJCAA Division II rankings at No. 20 on Tuesday. It was the first time since the 2016 season that the Lady Trojans have been ranked.

Last season, NIACC was ranked 19th in the March 6, 2018 poll.

In 2016, the Lady Trojans were ranked 14th in the March 9 poll and were 15th in the March 16 rankings.

Before the 2016 season, the last time that the Lady Trojans were ranked was in 1994 when they were ranked as 14th at one point in the season.

2019 season (13-7 overall)

NIACC 3, Rock Valley 2

Kirkwood 9, NIACC 6

NIACC 9, Bryant & Stratton 0

NIACC 6, Rock Valley 5

Daytona State College 5, NIACC 4

Daytona State College 10, NIACC 4

NIACC 5, Eastern Florida State 3

NIACC 7, Eastern Florida State 4

Indian River State College 4, NIACC 3

Indian River State College 9, NIACC 5

Indian Hills 1, NIACC 0

NIACC 12, Indian Hills 6

NIACC 9, North Central Missouri College 0

NIACC 3, North Central Missouri College 0

NIACC 9, Iowa Lakes 5

NIACC 15, Iowa Lakes 9

NIACC 11, Iowa Central 4

NIACC 12, Iowa Central 0 (5)

Kirkwood 2, NIACC 0

NIACC 13, Kirkwood 8

THE LAST TIME NIACC ....

Scored 20 or more runs in a game: 27 vs. Century College (1st game DH) (3-2-18)

Scored 15 or more runs in a game: 15 vs. Iowa Lakes (2nd game DH) (3-31-19)

Scored 10 or more runs in a game: 13 vs. Kirkwood (2nd game DH) (4-3-19)

Had 20 hits in a game: 20 vs. Southeast CC (2nd game DH) (3-9-18)

Had 15 hits in a game: 16 vs. Iowa Central (1st game DH) (4-1-19)

Hit 4 home runs in a game: 4 vs. Kirkwood (2nd game DH) (4-3-19)

Hit 7 doubles in a game: 7 vs. Southeast CC (2nd game DH) (3-9-18)

Hit 6 doubles in a game: 6 vs. Iowa Lakes (1st game DH) (4-2-18)

Shut out the opponent: 12-0 (5 innings) vs. Iowa Central (2nd game DH) (4-1-19)

THE LAST TIME A LADY TROJAN HAD ...

Hit 2 home runs in a game: Kristen Peka vs. Kirkwood (2nd game DH) (4-3-19)

Hit 3 doubles in a game: Courtney Johannes vs. RCTC (2-24-18)

Had 7 RBIs in a game: Courtney Johannes vs. Southeast CC (1st game DH) (3-9-18)

Had 6 RBIs in a game: Hannah Faktor vs. North Central Missouri College (1st game DH) (3-27-19)

Had 5 RBIs in a game: Alyssa Laxson vs. Northeast CC (1st game DH) (4-11-18)

Had 4 hits in a game: Kaci Sherwood vs. Iowa Central (1st game DH) (4-1-19)

Had 5 hits in a game: Courtney Johannes vs. RCTC (2-24-18)

Had 15-game hitting streak: 16, Morgan Thesing-Ritter (Feb, 16 to March 18, 2017)

Hit a grand slam: Alyssa Laxson vs. Iowa Lakes (2nd game DH) (3-31-19)

Shutout: Kylie Sherwood vs. Iowa Central (2nd game DH) (4-1-19)

Struck out 12 in a game: 13, Courtney Johannes vs. Century (3-2-18) (1st game DH)