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NEO wins DI Region 2 Softball Championship
 May 10, 2013

Despite playing two tough one-run games, Northeastern A&M's 11th ranked Lady Norse earned their third consecutive trip to the National Junior College Athletic Association Women's Division 1 National Tournament Thursday after defeating the Baton Rouge, La., Lady Bears 1-0 and 6-5 in the District B playoffs on the NEO diamond.

While winning their sixth straight game, the Lady Norse make the 1,338-mile trek to St. George, Utah, May 15-18, with a 42-9 season record. The sweep caused Baton Rouge to finish 26-30 on the year.

With the 1-0 shutout in the first game, Lady Norse head coach Eric Iverson is only the fourth active D1 coach in NJCAA history to win 800 games and the seventh overall. During his 18 years as the Lady Norse head coach, Iverson has an 801-194 overall record. He needs 25 more victories to become the third-winningest active coach.

Along with reaching the coaching milestone, Iverson also joins only a few head coaches in NJCAA history to take to different athletic teams to the NJCAA National Tournament. The Lady Norse volleyball D 2 team finished 17-9 in the fall season.

Despite receiving 0.64 inches of rain in less than 24 hours, Iverson and assistant coach Lydia Neimeegers worked hard early Thursday morning to have the field in playing condition.

"This was a real dog fight of a playoff," Iverson said. "Baton Rouge came in here ready to play and it was all we could do to come back in the second game.

"But, our kids gained their emotional edge finally in the second game and fought back all the way," Iverson said. "Now we'll get ready to leave Miami at 6 a.m. Sunday and go play for a national championship."

After both teams battled to a scoreless draw through two innings, the Lady Norse finally struck for a run in the bottom of the third inning of the first game. Freshman right-fielder Lexie LaValley singled to left to start the rally. Sophomore shortstop Courtni Clark delivered a slap double down the right-field line as LaValley came all the way around to score,

Freshman Kaitlin Davis (26-3) continued her mastery on the mound for the Lady Norse by throwing her fourth shutout in the last five games.

Sophomore Alex Gilley allowed the Lady Bears to build a 5-3 lead before giving way to Davis in the the bottom of the fifth inning.

"Alex threw great," Iverson said. "She was the victim of some shoddy defense behind her and we decided to take her out in case we were forced to a third game Friday."

NEO finally took control of the game with two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh inning.

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