Hawks softball is no stranger to qualifying for the NJCAA national tournament. In recent history, 4 times prior to this year's bid, the Hawks have earned the chance to play for a shot at being national champion.
In 1992, there were no set divisions, and under coach Wes Hoover, HCC swept Dundalk 12-6 and 5-1, in the best two out of three, becoming reigning Region XX champs. In the 16 team double elimination national tournament held in Htchinson, Kansas, the Hawks, seeded 14th, lost to Northeastern Oklahoma, 7-1, and then to Delaware Tech 5-3.
In 1997, a Division I contender (there was no DII, only DI and DIII,) HCC returned to Hutchinson KS for the 16 team double-elimination national tournament once again. The first game for the Hawks was an overwhelming loss, however the second game was very competitive, "We led Wabash Valley for most of the game and lost in the last inning," remembers Amy Sterner, now the ARCC & Athletics Coordinator at HCC. "I remember it after all of this time, so it still stings." Sterner was a sophmore, playing right field for the '97 Hawks. She accompanied the 2001 Division II Hawks to Phoenix, AZ as a chaperone, where HCC lost both initial games, and in 2006, Sterner was Assistant Coach for the Hawks, who earned a birth to the Division II national tournament in Bloominton-Normal, IL. "We lost both games, but both were very competitive." HCC's overall regular season recond in 2006 was 33-10.
This year, the Hawks represent Region XX and District L for the fifth time. Coach Knable and her team of seven freshmen and five sophomores will roll, into Clinton, MS on Monday, May 20th as the potential 12th seed. Knable feels the team set goals at the beginning of the season, and has been able to continue to meet them. Now with the stage set, the Hawks will take their .512 slugging percentage and .444 on base percentage coupled with a strong defense to meet one final goal...compete for the 2019 national title.