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Riverhawks Softball joins Div II

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Riverhawks Softball joins Div II

Softball player Sylvia Frye throws to her teammates.

Softball player Sylvia Frye throws to her teammates.

Softball player Sylvia Frye throws to her teammates.

Softball player Sylvia Frye throws to her teammates.

Arianna Beers, Sports Editor

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AACC Softball moved up from Division III to Division II this season, which means the team will face tougher opponents in playoffs and coaches may offer scholarships to recruits.

AACC is a part of the National Junior College Athletic Association, or NJCAA, which has a three-division system for ranking sports teams.

AACC Athletic Director Duane Herr said coaches in Division II programs can recruit more aggressively because they can offer potential players scholarship money as well as a spot on the team.

The softball team won the regional championships and came in second place in the district championships last year. Head coach Guy Klingensmith said he has high expectations for his team this year and hopes to have another successful season.

“We have a lot of young talent coming in with a team of all freshmen and one returning sophomore,” Klingensmith said. “So the freshmen are going to have to step up and show they can compete at this higher level.”

Herr said the softball team will play in the Division II tournament instead of in Division III this post season, which means it will face more skilled teams than in previous years.

Katie Rosati, a pitcher and second-year nursing student, described the team as “a force to be reckoned with.”

“I think we have a lot of commitment and love for the game,” Rosati said. “I see people working so hard, like they want to be out here and get better and be competitive.”

NJCAA is considering a move to categorize colleges by division in 2022, which would require each community college to choose a single division for all of its teams, rather than placing different teams into different divisions.

“We’re treating it as a pilot program and we’re looking at the potential of moving up the rest of our programs to Division II from the Division III level,” Herr said. “So we’re seeing just how successful we can be.”

Riverhawks Softball kicks off its Division II season at home on March 6 against Paul D. Camp Community College at 2 p.m.

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Riverhawks Softball joins Div II