From staff reports
Familiar adversary Iowa Western will visit Crowder for the NJCAA Division I District K softball playoffs.
Iowa Western, 48-18 and ranked 20th by the NJCAA, and Crowder, 42-16, open the best-of-3 series at noon today. The second game will follow at about 2 p.m. with a third game, if necessary, set for noon on Saturday.
The winner advances to the NJCAA Division I National Championship slated May 15-17 at the Canyons Complex in St. George, Utah.
Iowa Western ousted the Lori Videmschek-coached Lady ’Riders at this juncture last season in Council Bluffs.
The teams have played once this season with Crowder prevailing 4-1 on March 17 at the Carthage Bash.
Crowder won its sixth straight Region XVI title last Sunday by beating Three Rivers 5-1. Neosho-based Crowder went 3-0 in the six-team tournament on its field.
Kaily Harvey, a sophomore right-hander out of McDonald County High School, won the three games and joined five teammates on the first all-region team.
Other first-teamers were Jessica Neely of Nevada, Brooke Hulsey of Neosho, Morgan Coleman of Joplin, Carson Forge of Hallsville and Navada Campos of Pryor, Okla.
Jessica Wirzberg, from Coldspring, Texas, made the second elite.
Region XI champion Iowa Western, coached by Lana Ross, had the offensive and defensive player of the year from that region in sophomore catcher/third baseman Daleigh Fossler. The Reivers’ Greta Smeins was the pitcher of the year.