Clarion Staff Photo
The Madison College softball team will enter the NJCAA Regional IV Tournament on May 8 with plenty of momentum, riding an eight-game winning streak.
Although the WolfPack finished third in North Central Community College Conference play with a 7-6 record, they wrapped up the season with a 36-10 overall record.
The team hasn’t lost since a double-header split against Joliet Junior College, which finished in second place in the conference behind seven-time defending champion Rock Valley.
In that time, Madison College has swept doubleheaders against Kankakee Community College, Illinois Valley Community College, Waubonsee Community College and Kishwaukee College.
By sweeping Kankakee Community College on April 26, the WolfPack reached 30 wins for the fifth straight season.
The first game saw Madison College jump out to an early lead than hold off a late rally for a 5-4 victory. Morgan Dercola and Paige Hintz both had two hits in the game to lead the WolfPack, while Maddie Fink pitched a complete game for her 10th win of the season.
In the second game, Jordan Martin pitched a three-hit shutout to earn her 10th win of the year as Madison College scored a 5-0 victory. Paige Cornelissen had three hits to lead the WolfPack, while Montana Platts hit a home run.
Another big game by Cornelissen gave Madison College the victory in the first game against Illinois Valley on May 2. The slap-hitter broke a 5-5 tie with a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning and the WolfPack held on to win, 7-5. It was the second home run of her career and her second this season.
The second game was a 9-1 victory in five innings for the WolfPack. Five players had multiple hits in the game – Maegan Brookins, Irene Tomasovic, Nicole Ferch, Platts and Dercola – as Madison College posted 13 total hits.
Madison College didn’t allow Waubonsee to score in either of the two games played on May 3, winning 3-0 and 7-0.
The first game saw Dany Gumz hit a home run in the fourth inning for the first run of the game, followed by a two-run double from Cornelissen in the fifth inning. Fink pitched a complete game two-hitter for the WolfPack.
Madison College had a few more hits in the second game, with 17. Platts led the way with three hits and four runs batted in. Martin pitched the win, allowing just four hits and striking out 10.
The doubleheader with Kishwaukee on May 4 was a tale of two extremes. Madison College ran away with the first game, winning 11-0 in five innings. The second game was up for grabs until the final out, with the WolfPack scoring in the top of the seventh to win 6-5.
Dercola hit two home runs to lead the WolfPack to victory in the first game, while Tomasovic added three hits. Martin pitched the win, allowing just two hits and striking out seven in 3-2/3 innings.
The second game saw Dercola come up big again with a seventh inning, run-scoring double to give the WolfPack a 6-5 victory. Madison College took a 5-0 lead early, but Kishwaukee tied it in the bottom of the fifth. Brianna Farrington earned the win in relief, allow two hits and one earned run in two innings of relief.
Ranked 11th in the NJCAA Division II poll that came out on April 30, Madison College has high hopes for making a return trip to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament.
Their tournament path begins with the NJCAA Regional IV Tournament Quarterfinal on May 8, followed by the NJCAA Region IV Tournament on May 11-12. If they win, they will travel to the national tournament in Clinton, Missouri, on May 22-25.