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Wednesday, July 18, 2018
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Metro Sports Report

IWSL enjoys strong start for Year 2

The second year of the Iowa Women's Softball League got off to an  impressive start Sunday with lots of tight games and lots of smiles.

The Metro Sports Report team in the Central Division and Hawkeye  Convenience Stores in the Eastern Division both posted a pair of  victories to take the early league in the standings.

The IWSL is playing a 16-game season this year with games at Simpson  College and Mount Mercy University. The IWSL is the only women's  summer college softball league in Iowa and is sponsored by Hawkeye  Convenience Stores.

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Hargens helps Stars split with Red Top

The defending Iowa Valley League champion Stars were in need of a spark in the nightcap of Sunday's doubleheader with Red Top.

After being blitzed 13-6 in the opener at Mount Mercy's Robert W. Plaster Athletic Complex, the Stars turned to a pitcher who felt right at home at the brand new facility.

Blake Hargens, who just completed his junior season at Mount Mercy, took the mound for the Stars in Game 2. He pitched a complete-game three-hitter as the Stars salvaged a split with a 7-2 victory.

"We always like to at least split, especially if we lose the first one," Hargens said. "We just needed to pick things up around here in the second game."

Players on both teams had some trouble adjusting to not only the all-artificial turf playing surface, but a brutal sun that made it almost impossible for the right fielders on both teams to track fly balls in the second game.

"It felt really good throwing on a mound that I know," said Hargens, a Kennedy grad who was 3-and-4 this past spring for the Mustangs. "We had troubles (at Mount Mercy) adjusting to the sun and playing on the turf to start the season. It is something that guys in this league will have to get used to."

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Watkins sweeps Norway in wild twinbill

NORWAY - The Norway Bandits belted five home runs and collected 18 hits in the first game of their doubleheader against Watkins in the  Iowa Valley League on Sunday.

Despite all that heavy hitting, the Bandits lost the ballgame 19-13 on their home field.

Watkins finished the sweep by taking the nightcap, 5-3, in nine innings on a two-run homer by Luke Farley in the top of the ninth.

Norway hurt itself in the opener by committing at least five errors in the sixth inning, helping Watkins score seven times. Farley socked a grand slam in the midst of all those fielding miscues by the Bandits.

Riley Braughton hit two home runs and had four hits for Norway in the opener. Braedon Brown, Jordan Pierce and Christian Stekl also hit homers for the Bandits in Game 1.

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IWSL softball league begins Year 2 on Sunday

The Iowa Women's Softball League starts Year 2 on Sunday with three games at Mount Mercy University and two games at Simpson College.

The IWSL began last year with 52 players, but there are 80 players in the league this season with a waiting list to get in.

The Iowa Women's Softball League is the only summer league in Iowa for women's fast-pitch collegiate softball. The 80 players attend 36 different colleges in 11 states.

The triple-header at Busse Field at Mount Mercy begins at noon with Emil's Hideaway facing Hawkeye Convenience Stores. There will be games at 1:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. as well, with Ironside Apparel joining the mix.

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Lohaus enjoys his return to baseball

IOWA CITY - Tanner Lohaus felt like a kid again Sunday, roaming around at shortstop and bantering with his teammates in the dugout at Iowa City West High School.

There was just one problem.

"The spikes don't quite fit. I need a new pair," he said after playing for Red Top on opening day in the Iowa Valley League. "But it felt really good to be out there. It was fun."

Lohaus, an Iowa City West grad, spent two years at the University of Northern Iowa on their basketball team, but he's planning to change schools and change sports.

He wants to play baseball for his remaining years in college after his basketball career did not take root. He was redshirted at UNI as a freshman in 2016-17 and played sparingly this past season, appearing in seven games and playing a total of 35 minutes with eight points and 10 rebounds.

Lohaus announced this spring that he'd be making a major change and the search has begun. He's primarily viewed as a pitcher now, but played shortstop in high school and is a good athlete.

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