Tuesday, March 20, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

KCC women seeking 8th national title

The Kirkwood Eagles learned what it takes to win a national title last year when they captured the NJCAA Division II crown in Arkansas.

Now they hope to do it again.

The second-ranked Eagles (31-3) face Gogebic of Ironwood, Mich. (16-12) in the opening round of the women's basketball tournament Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Pioneer Pavilion in Harrison, Ark.

It took a combination of talent, clutch shooting and a little luck to win the title in 2017. Six of the Eagles who played on last year's team are back for another shot.

This year's sophomores were wide-eyed freshmen a year ago. Now they are battle-tested and ready to tangle.

"After going our freshman year, it's more like a business trip for us sophomores," said Olivia Usher, a Cedar Rapids Prairie grad. "As a freshman you have a ton of emotions, you're extremely excited. You don't know what it's going to be like when you get down there.

"But we know the kind of teams that are going to be down there," she said. "It's going to be tough games every single game, every night."

There are only 16 teams at the national tournament, so the Eagles will need four victories this week for Coach Kim Muhl to claim his eighth national title in 29 years at Kirkwood.

Gogebic presents an unusual challenge for the Eagles. They have only seven players on the roster, but two of them are prolific scorers who know how to put the ball in the basket with Lori Wardynski averaging 27.0 points and Bailey Froberg at 22.5 points.

Kirkwood cannot match that kind of individual firepower, but the Eagles have superior depth on their roster. Eight players are averaging between 5 and 11 points per game and several others make valuable contributions off the bench as well.


Duwa, Menster returning to IWSL for 2018

Hailey Duwa of Western Illinois and Tawny Menster of Mount Mercy were two of the mainstays in the Iowa Women's Softball League last season in the first year of the new program.

Now they are coming back for an encore in the 2018 campaign this summer.

There are now 42 players in the IWSL for 2018, with 29 players in the Eastern Division in Cedar Rapids and 13 players for the new Central Division in Ames and Indianola.


Duwa, a first baseman from Pleasant Valley, is currently hitting .337 at Western Illinois with one homer and 11 RBIs.

Menster, a pitcher and outfielder, is hitting .333 with eight homers and 17 RBIs. She also has a 4-3 record and 4.23 ERA as a pitcher.


No. 14 Eagles win eight games in Florida

WINTER HAVEN - The 14th-ranked Kirkwood baseball team finished a remarkable trip to Florida on Friday with two more impressive victories.

The Eagles dumped Rowan College, 8-1, in their first outing and rolled by Monroe Community College 19-6, in their second contest.

Kirkwood compiled an 8-1 record on its spring trip and returns home with a 14-3 overall mark.

Ellison Hanna went 4-for-5 with a double, home run and five RBIs in the 19-6 victory over Monroe. Taylor Jackson was 2-for-3 with a homer, three RBIs and three runs.

Korry Howell, Izaya Fullard, Cal Clark, Ross Kramer and Chili Moseley all had two hits against Monroe. Howell scored four times, Fullard had two doubles and Moseley drove in two runs. Kirby Kerr also had two RBIs.


Halverson tosses no-hitter for Kirkwood

FAYETTE, Mo. - Natalie Halvorson tossed a no-hitter for the Kirkwood Eagles Thursday in an 8-0 victory over Central Methodist in the second game of a doubleheader in Fayette, Mo.

Halvorson, a freshman from Cedar Rapids Prairie, struck out 10 batters and walked two while raising her record to 9-2.

DoniRae Mayhew also pitched a strong game for the third-ranked Eagles in a 7-1 victory in the opener. Mayhew (9-0) did not allow an earned run and had seven strikeouts with no walks.

Kirkwood raised its overall record to 20-2 with the sweep.

Monika Bevans went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI in the 7-1 victory in the opener. Lauren Kuch went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Rachel Stewart was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Kenady Waugh and Jessi Butler also picked up RBIs in the first game.


No. 14 KCC baseball wins twice

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - The red-hot Kirkwood baseball team won a squeaker and a laugher Thursday.

The 14th-ranked Eagles scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh for a 5-4 walk-off victory over the College of Rhode Island in their first game in Winter Haven, Fla.

Ellison Hanna scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch as Ross Kramer drew a walk.

Kirkwood (12-3) rolled to a 17-1 victory over Dakota County Technical College in its second game Thursday with a strong effort on the pitching mound by Cal Stalzer.

Korry Howell went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs in the 5-4 victory over Rhode Island. Taylor Jackson socked a solo homer, Hanna scored twice and Kramer picked up an RBI.

Will Rodruck pitched three innings in relief for the victory, allowing no hits and one unearned run with four strikeouts. Cameron Leff tossed the first four innings for the Eagles.


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