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Red Hawks win regional softball title, punch ticket to first NJCAA Softball World Series since 2000

Lake Michigan College is headed to the 2024 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II Softball World Series after dominating the Region XII Great Lakes District B Regional Tournament in Port Huron over the weekend.  

It is the first time since 2000 that the Red Hawks have won the regional title, earning a shot to compete for a national championship.  

“We are so excited for our softball program and proud of this team and all of their accomplishments,” LMC Executive Director, Campus Life and Athletics Melissa Grau said. “What makes it so exciting for me is that two LMC alums are leading the charge, (head coach) Katie Scheuer, 2016, and (assistant coach) Jordyn Walter, 2019. The last two former coaches who led us to the national tournament were also alums, Kathy Leitke and Jamie Spitale, who are now at Notre Dame. We are so happy for our Red Hawk softball team. They will always be champions in our eyes.”  

The Red Hawks went 4-0 in the three-day tournament, soundly defeating Schoolcraft College 10-2 and Muskegon 5-1 on Thursday, May 9, and Mott Community College 12-1 in the May 10 semifinal setting up a rematch in the May 11 title game.  

In the final, Mott jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a solo home run. LMC tied it up in the bottom of the second when second baseman Lexie McCarty scored on an infield error. The Red Hawks took the lead for good the following inning when center fielder Savannah Karver drew a walk, and catcher Hailey Robinson hit a two-run home run to put LMC up 3-1.  

Pitcher Karly Manning shut down Mott the rest of the way, giving up just two hits and striking out 10 in seven innings to secure the regional title and a trip to the Softball World Series on May 20-25 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.  

“Giving up a home run to start a championship game is not ideal, but we made sure to get that run back and then later score two more,” LMC Head Softball Coach Katie Scheuer said. “Scoring lots of runs is always fun, but our defense was a key player in our success this past weekend.”  

Manning was commanding throughout the tournament, pitching 23.2 innings with just three earned runs against 35 strikeouts and a 4-0 record on the mound. On the other side of the plate, she went 5-for-10 with two doubles and an RBI. She was named tournament MVP.  

Her batterymate Robinson, meanwhile, was an offensive spark, hitting 7-for-15 with three doubles, two home runs, and eight RBIs. Other LMC standouts were McCarty (7-for-12, one double, three RBIs), infielder Regan Hughes (three home runs, seven RBIs), and shortstop Breanna Franks (5-for-13, two doubles, two RBIs). Along with Manning, McCarty and Hughes were voted to the all-tournament team.  

“Back in August, we had the team put together goals for the year. Across the board, the goal was to not only make it to the regional tournament but to win it,” Scheuer said. “It had been five years since we had made the tournament at all. Halfway through conference play, we dealt with some serious injuries, but these girls worked incredibly hard and, somewhere along the way, found their groove as a team. I am incredibly proud of this team and cannot wait to see what we can do in South Carolina!”  

The Red Hawks (29-15) will next face Rock Valley College (31-13) on May 20 in the opening game of the NJCAA Division II Softball World Series. Rock Valley is making its 11th straight trip to the NJCAA National Tournament. 

For more information on LMC Athletics, visit

2024 Womens' Softball Team

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Jeremy D. Bonfiglio
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Lake Michigan College
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