ROCKFORD, ILL. - It may not have come as easy as other years, but in the end, Rock Valley College remained the NJCAA Region IV Division III Softball Tournament champions for a seventh consecutive year. The top-seeded Golden Eagles were taken to the limit by second-seeded Joliet Junior College before eventually claiming the crown with a 5-0 victory in the second title game on Sunday. Rock Valley College is in pursuit of a record sixth NJCAA national title.
Reigning national pitcher of the year Breanna Crown tossed seven innings of three-hit softball and struck out five batters to get the clinching win, and her 21st victory of the season. Trinity Fry was one of seven players with a hit for RVC, driving in three runs and scoring another.
Prior to that game, Joliet Junior College (38-18) used a five-run inning and a walk-off hit in the eighth inning for a 6-5 victory in the first championship game. A late rally by the Golden Eagles in the seventh came up just short as they scored three runs to pull within one. The final matchup was the result of a three-team round robin tournament on Saturday, which eliminated third-seeded Elgin Community College (5-27).
Golden Eagles coach Darin Monroe was named the Region IV Coach of the Year for the seventh time.
Rock Valley College (50-12), currently ranked #1 in the NJCAA Division III Poll, advances to the NJCAA District G Championship and will host Region XII winner Schoolcraft College (MI/26-16) for a best-of-three series in Rockford, Illinois, on Friday, May 17 at 1pm. The winner will qualify for the 2019 NJCAA Division III Softball Championships at McQuillan Softball Complex in Rochester, Minnesota, from May 23-25.
2019 Region IV Division III All-Tournament Team
Morgan Welch - Elgin Community College
Paige Webster - Rock Valley College
Ashley Phelps - Joliet Junior College
Mackenzie Lawrence - Rock Valley College
Megen Anthony - Joiet Junior College
Cadyn Ehrenberg - Rock Valley College
Lexi Meurer - Joliet Junior College
Breanna Crown - Rock Valley College
Isabelle Ortiz - Joliet Junior College
Kirsten Fudge - Rock Valley College
Coach of the Year
Darin Monroe - Rock Valley College