Softball: Six Players Earn Region IX Honors

Softball: Six Players Earn Region IX Honors

Six Central Community College softball players and its head coach have earned 2018 Region IX Division II Softball honors.

Sophomore shortstop Mackenzie Eller, freshman infielder Ashten Gibson, sophomore pitcher Katelyn Keene, sophomore infielder Jenna Robinson and sophomore catcher Danica Schaefer were named to the All-Region IX team.

Freshman outfielder Shelby Behnk joined Eller, Keene, Robinson and Schafefer on the Region IX All-Tournament team.

The Raiders fared well in individual honors as Eller (pictured second from left) was named as the Region IX Defensive Player of the Year, while Keene (far left) was tabbed as the Region IX Outstanding Pitcher. Gibson (far right) earned Region IX Freshman of the Year honors and Schafer (second from right) took Region IX Offensive Player of the Year honors. Additionally, CCC head coach Jack Gutierrez (center) was named as the Region IX Coach of the Year.

Behnk maintained a .259 batting average, recorded 18 RBIs and scored 35 runs. She recorded a pair of homeruns, six doubles and a triple.

Eller sported a .338 batting average, logged 18 RBIs and scored 35 runs. She also logged a homerun and 15 doubles, while only committing eight errors all season.

Gibson finished the season with a win-loss total of 8-9 with a 4.06 ERA and seven strikeouts in 91.1 innings pitched.

Keene logged the lowest earned ERA in the conference at 3.21 to go along with her 12-6 win-loss record. She also totaled 48 strikeouts in 131 innings pitched.

Robinson sported a .381 batting average, a team-best 55 RBIs and 32 runs. She also tallied a team-high 13 homers and three doubles.

For the second consecutive season, Schaefer was the leading hitter for the Raiders with a .488 batting average to go along with 33 RBIs and a team-high 39 runs. She netted two homeruns, a team-best 18 doubles and a triple.

The Raiders won the Region IX championship on Saturday with a pair of wins over Southeast Community College. CCC defeated the Lady Storm 11-3 in the first game, followed by a 12-4 triumph in the second. Both were five-inning victories. CCC is 20-19 on the season.

"Our girls were totally locked in for both games," said CCC head coach Jack Gutierrez. "They prepared well during the week and we all wanted the Region IX championship to happen in two games on our home field.  All 13 girls on our team contributed in the wins and we have a big challenge ahead of us."

Up next, the Raiders will meet Kirkwood Community College (Iowa) in the NJCAA District G Playoffs in Columbus on Thursday. The playoff is a best-of-three format with the first two games set for noon and 2 p.m. respectively. If a third game is necessary, it will be played on Friday at noon.

The Eagles won the Region XI-B championship over the weekend with a pair of wins over Iowa Central Community College. Kirkwood is 46-11 on the season.

"Kirkwood is a very good team and we will have to match the effort and approach plus some to beat them," said Gutierrez.