The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

April 28, 2012

IHCC seeded fourth in Region XI tourney

OTTUMWA — Two years ago, days after President Barack Obama visited the Indian Hills campus, the fourth-seeded Indian Hills softball team surprised everyone and won the Region XI softball tournament in West Burlington.

On Wednesday, President Obama was back on an Iowa college campus when he paid a visit to the University of Iowa. Once again, the Indian Hills softball team is seeded fourth heading into the Region XI softball tournament in West Burlington.

Indian Hills softball coach Jim Overturf hopes that’s a good omen.

Overturf coached the 2010 IHCC softball squad all the way from the fourth seed in Region XI to a berth in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament. There is, however, one big difference between that squad and the Warrior team that will again take the field at Wagner Athletic Complex today.

“We’re playing much better softball than we were playing at this time two years ago,” Overturf said. “I think we got swept in a home doubleheader by Muscatine the day after President Obama visited, so we didn’t go into that tournament with a lot of momentum. Right now, this team is playing their best softball of the year.”

The record backs up Overturf’s point. After struggling below .500 for most of the season, the Warriors enter the postseason with a season-best 31-26 record.

“Our team has really come together. You can feel it in the dugout and all around campus,” freshman Kaitlyn Matzen said. “We’re not stopping either. We’re going to keep progressing until we get to nationals.”

Indian Hills enters the postseason having gone 4-8 in regular season regional play. They will open the tournament at 10 a.m. with the team primarily responsible for that record, No. 20 Iowa Western, who swept all four games against the Warriors — including three wins by a single run.

“We’re looking forward to it a lot,” freshman Paige Blom said of IHCC’s fifth encounter with the Reivers. “We’ve seen their pitchers a lot. We know what they throw and we’re prepared for it.”

“We talk about it every day about we want to take it to them and prove the better team didn’t win those games,” Matzen added.

While Indian Hills has fond memories of regional tournament play in West Burlington, Iowa Western has provided IHCC with many memories of frustration and heartbreak. The Reivers ended the Warriors season last year, coming back from a loss on Saturday with two straight Sunday wins to steal away the regional title.

This season, Iowa Western has squeezed out wins despite being outhit in every game by IHCC. In the last two games played between the two teams, the Reivers used four squeeze bunts to score four of their six runs in 2-1 and 4-3 victories at Hellyer Field.

“It’s not something we’re focusing on specifically. We’re trying to make sure we’re focused on everything defensively,” Blom said. “We’ll be prepared for the suicide squeeze if the situation calls for it, but it’s nice to be able to have a few days off to rest up for tournament play.”

The extra days of practice have allowed Indian Hills to focus in at the plate, using Thursday’s practice to showcase their new hitting confidence. No player is more eager to step up against Iowa Western then Matzen, who missed out on four chances to come up with a two-out go-ahead or game-tying hit in the Reivers’ doubleheader sweep last week in Ottumwa.

“I went in and hit in even more right after those games,” the Warriors’ co-leader in home runs said. “I knew we’d be facing them again in the postsason. I’m not going to go down easy against them. That’s for sure.”

One other thing that favors another potential Cinderella run for IHCC in the regional tournament is how close regional play truly was this season. Nine of the Warriors’ 12 regional games were decided either by one run or in extra innings.

Overturf truly believes that close competition will continue this weekend.

“The seeding doesn’t really mean a whole lot. All four of these teams match-up so close to each other,” Overturf said. “It really will come down to getting that one big hit when the opportunity presents itself. Lately, we’ve been getting those clutch hits. Hopefully, that will continue this weekend.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • 0416 OTT Sports Cody McConnell signs with IHCC Cody McConnell to run cross-country at IHCC OTTUMWA — Cody McConnell isn't ready to leave yet. He likes the City of Bridges; Ottumwa has been good to him. So, for McConnell, the internal tug to travel to new and exotic places hasn't been strong enough to point his compass away from the city.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ottumwa events postponed Monday OTTUMWA -- The Ottumwa Community school district announced several events were postponed on Monday. Among the events postponed was the OHS girls tennis first home meet of the season against Burlington. Also postponed on Monday was the OHS boys tennis

    April 15, 2014

  • Fairfield Maharishi opens boys tennis season CEDAR RAPIDS -- The quest for another championship caliber season began over the weekend for the Fairfield Maharishi boys tennis team. Facing a tough field and tough elements at the Cedar Rapids Washington "Warrior Challenge," the Pioneers battled th

    April 15, 2014

  • Legislature honors ISU men's basketball team DES MOINES (AP) -- Iowa lawmakers honored the Iowa State University men's basketball team for what they deemed a "brilliant" season. The state Senate and House adopted resolutions Monday to honor the team for its accomplishments and congratulate coac

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 OTT Sports Leanna Nelson photo Ottumwa girls tennis team takes third in Waterloo WATERLOO -- The Ottumwa girls tennis team captured third in the Top Gun tournament Saturday in a performance replete with No. 2 finishes. The Bulldogs corralled second in five of the nine brackets they competed in, which helped them accumulate 21 1/2

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Weekly Area Bowling Scores Monday April 14, 2014 Champion Bowl Top Scores Mens High Game: Craig Denato 300, Ben Moore 300, Leon Brewer 280, DeWayne Boyd 279, Gabe Bartlett 278, Bruce Hopkins 270, Larry Forrest 269, Scott Shively 268, Ron Burke 268, Justin Johnson 268, Duane Wi

    April 15, 2014

  • Featured Bowling Scores 300 GAMES: Craig Denato (Friday Night Mixed, 4-11) Ben Moore (Sundowners, 4-13)

    April 15, 2014

  • On Tap Wednesday College Softball Indian Hills at Iowa Western (DH), 2 p.m.

    April 15, 2014

  • 0415 OTT Sports Ottumwa girls track photo Records fall at Osky Relays OSKALOOSA — The 87th running of the Osky Relays was a bit on the warm and windy side. Temperatures got the the low 80s on Saturday while the strong southerly wind made performances a bit of a struggle at Lacey Complex Stadium. The Ottumwa girls cross

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0415 OTT Sports IHCC softball photo IHCC closes busy week with split against Muscatine OTTUMWA — Paige Schreiner has played plenty of softball over the years on plenty of different levels. Last week, however, was unlike any week Schreiner has been a part of over the years. “It was the longest week of games I’ve ever experienced,” Schre

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

NCAA Tournament Scoreboard
Sports photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook