Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Lee shines as Eagles upset No. 7 SCC

CLINTON - Kirkwood baseball coach Todd Rima calls Hunter Lee a "bulldog" because he'll fight for every scrap of food and pitch until his paws fall off.

He proved it Saturday in the biggest, boldest game for Kirkwood this season (so far).

Lee threw 131 pitches in eight glorious innings as the 16th-ranked Eagles upset seventh-ranked Southeastern, 5-4, in the winners bracket finals of the regional tournament at Ashford University Field.

The victory, which was Rima's 200th as Kirkwood's head coach, lifted the Eagles into the championship round on Sunday or Monday, needing one more victory to claim the regional crown.

Lee went blow-for-blow with Southeastern ace Chas Sagedahl, who threw a dandy game himself, but Lee made the biggest pitches when it counted as the Eagles dumped the No. 1 seeds into the losers bracket.

Spencer Wiskus delivered a huge three-run homer against Sagedahl in the top of the first inning for a 3-0 lead before the big lefty settled into the game. The Blackhawks came close several times, but never fully caught the Eagles.


KCC softball facing elite field at Series

The Kirkwood Eagles will be facing a strong field at the NJCAA Division II Softball Championship in Clinton, Miss., this week.

There are 11 ranked teams in the 16-team tournament and two other teams that are receiving votes in the national poll.

The tournament features No. 1 DMACC (44-0), No. 2 LSU Eunice (46-18), No. 4 Jones County (49-3) and No. 5 Kirkwood (48-11) as the likely top-four seeds in the event that begins Wednesday at Traceway Park.

If the tournament goes according to form, Kirkwood would be seeded to meet DMACC in the semifinals. DMACC swept the four-game series from the Eagles in the ICCAC conference this season.

The other seeded teams are No. 6 Phoenix (49-8), No. 7 Cowley (39-14), No. 9 Madison (49-8), No. 11 Illinois Central (35-9), No. 12 Lansing (40-9), No. 14 Mercer County (37-6) and No. 17 Pitt (32-11).


No. 16 Eagles stun NIACC at regional

CLINTON - It's extremely hard to beat a good team in a postseason baseball tournament when you commit six errors, but the Kirkwood Eagles found a way Friday.

The 16th-ranked Eagles exploded for 10 runs in the top of the eighth inning and stunned NIACC, 13-5, in the second round of the regional tournament at Ashford University Field in Clinton.

Kirkwood (38-14-1) is scheduled to face seventh-ranked Southeastern (46-11) in the winners bracket final Saturday at 3 p.m.

The Eagles committed three of their errors in the bottom of the seventh inning to help NIACC grab a 5-3 lead, but instead of sulking they battled back and promptly took control of the game.

NIACC got sloppy on defense in the top of the eighth with two errors and a passed ball to help Kirkwood take a 6-5 lead, giving the Eagles a golden opportunity. They cashed in.

Korry Howell hit a two-run single to make it 8-5, and shortly later Izaya Fullard socked a two-run homer to make it 11-5. Spencer Wiskus drove in Ross Kramer with an RBI single to make it 12-5, then Kal Youngquist drew a bases-loaded walk for the 10th run of the inning to make it 13-5.


Pitching gems send Eagles to World Series

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. - DoniRae Mayhew pitched a no-hitter and Natalie Halvorson followed with a perfect game Thursday as the fifth-ranked Kirkwood Eagles dominated Nebraska Central, 10-0 and 9-0, to win the district softball title in Nebraska.

Kirkwood (48-11) earned a spot in the NJCAA Division II World Series for the fourth straight year and for the sixth time during Joe Yegge's 11 seasons as head coach.

The national tournament will be held in Clinton, Miss., from May 16-19.

Mayhew (20-3) struck out five batters in the first game, which ended after five innings due to the college mercy rule.

Halvorson (25-8) did not allow any runners to reach base in the second game, which ended in the bottom of the sixth inning on a three-run walk-off homer by Monika Bevans.


No. 16 Eagles win opener at regional

CLINTON - Peyton Long pitched seven strong innings Thursday to help the 16th-ranked Kirkwood Eagles defeat DMACC, 9-1, in the opening round of the regional baseball tournament at Ashford University Field.

The Eagles (37-14-1) will play in the winner's bracket semifinals Friday at noon. The game was moved up from the original 3 p.m. start in anticipation of rainy weather in Friday's forecast.

Long (3-2) allowed only one run on five hits in seven innings. He struck out four batters and walked three.

Cameron Cowan pitched the eighth and final inning for Kirkwood. The game ended after eight frames due to the tournament's mercy rule with the Eagles leading by eight runs.

Korry Howell, Taylor Jackson, Ross Kramer, Chili Moseley and Joel Thompson had two hits for Kirkwood. Jackson and Izaya Fullard had two RBIs. Thompson socked a solo home run and had a double.

Kirkwood scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning and took a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the second.


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