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Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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Metro Sports Report

Stars end Red Top's IVL reign

WALFORD - The regular-season Iowa Valley League championship has been the exclusive property of Red Top since the summer of 2011.

That all changed here Sunday afternoon as the Fairfax Stars secured the 2017 title after downing Watkins, 5-2, in the second game of a doubleheader.

Watkins got home runs from Jonny Frese and Luke Farley to post a 3-1 win in the opener.

Player/Manager Chico Lizarraga's Stars, with a roster featuring a number of former Cedar Rapids Kennedy standouts, sits at 15-3 with only a 5 p.m. twinbill next Sunday at Norway remaining. Red Top fell back into a tie for second with Norway at 10-8 after being swept by Walford, 8-2 and 15-7, on Sunday in Norway while the Bandits were sweeping a twinbill from Williamsburg.

After clinching the title, the Stars posed for a quick team photo and then celebrated quietly with some cold beverages.

"We've got a good group of veterans and a good bunch of young guys,"  said Lizarraga, who also serves as an assistant coach on Bret Hoyer's staff at Kennedy. "We have a really good chemistry together and that's why I think we came out on top of the league."

The Stars have been a team that has adapted all season. They haven't played a home game all summer in Fairfax. They have played home games at Kennedy and Iowa City West as well as here on Sunday. Lizarraga said the reason for not playing in Fairfax all summer had to do with the field.

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New softball league making history

The new Iowa Women's Softball League has made history this summer in Cedar Rapids as the only summer collegiate program in Iowa.

Now the History Center in Cedar Rapids plans to make the league part of its permanent exhibit.

The players and coaches for Emil's Hideaway and Construction Materials gladly posed for pictures Sunday following their doubleheader at Coe College for the History Center exhibit. Next Sunday, the teams from Ironside Apparel and Hawkeye Convenience Stores will post for similar pictures following their twinbill at Coe.

Team jerseys, league stories, schedule cards and other artifacts also will be part of the exhibit. It's all thanks to Margaret O'Banion, the Metro Sports Report photographer who is making it all happen with her friends at the History Center.

There were interesting developments on the fields Sunday. Emil's Hideaway swept a doubleheader from Construction Materials, 9-2 and  5-4, in their games at Coe.

Over at Kirkwood, Hawkeye Convenience Stores swept a doubleheader from Ironside Apparel, 11-5 and 6-5.

Ironside Apparel, which clinched the league title last week, fell to 11-5 for the season. Emil's Hideaway and Hawkeye Convenience Stores squared their records at 8-8, while Construction Materials fell to 5-11.

The historic season will end next Sunday with doubleheaders at Coe and Kirkwood at 2 p.m.

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Norway, Walford sweep IVL twinbills

WILLIAMSBURG - Colby Carmichael tossed a two-hitter as the Norway Bandits trimmed the Williamsburg Red Sox, 4-2, in the first game of their Iowa Valley League doubleheader Sunday in Williamsburg.

Norway captured the second game, 12-5, to sweep the twinbill.

Carmichael was named the IVL Pitcher of the Week for his complete-game  performance. JT Sole had a two-run single for Norway and Mitch Walser had an RBI base hit in the opener.

Tony Salato belted a three-run homer for the Bandits in the secon  game. It came during an eight-run outburst for Norway in the fourth inning to take command. Riley Braughton had a two-run homer for Norway.

Joe Anton, Ryan Arp and Nolan Arp had two hits for Williamsburg in the second game. The Arp brothers drove in two runs apiece.

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Nearad makes all-tourney at Canada Cup

SURREY, British Columbia - Taylor Nearad of Kirkwood was named to a prestigious all-tournament team at the Canada Cup International Softball Tournament in Canada this month.

Nearad batted .462 in the tournament in 12 games with three doubles, two triples, six RBIs and nine runs. She hit in the leadoff spot in  most of those games and helped the NJCAA All-Stars compile a 6-6 record against some of the top teams in the world.

Nearad was joined on the all-tournament squad by players from Venezuela, Australia, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico and  Japan. She was the two-time National Player of the Year at Kirkwood and has a full scholarship to Iowa State.

Morgan Frost of Kirkwood also excelled at the tournament. She hit .457 with four doubles, two home runs, 12 RBIs and 10 runs.

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IVL All-Stars, Red Top to face Hawkeyes

The University of Iowa baseball team will play two games later this month against members of the Iowa Valley League in preparation for their trip to the National Baseball Congress tournament in Wichita, Kan.

The Hawkeyes will host the Iowa Valley League All-Stars on Tuesday, July 25 at Duane Banks Field in Iowa City and will host Red Top Sports of the IVL on Thursday, July 27.

The Iowa Valley League All-Stars will be coached by Jim Van Scoyoc, the Hall of Fame coach from Norway who led the school to 12 state titles from 1972 through 1990.

The Hawkeyes will be competing as the USA National Team in the NBC tournament from July 29 through Aug. 6 in Wichita, Kan.

Iowa also will serve as the USA National Team from Aug. 19-30 in Taiwan. The Hawkeyes will host the Quad City Cardinals of the Quad Cities summer baseball league on Aug. 10 in preparation for their trip  to Taiwan.

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