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Tuesday, June 27, 2017
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Metro Sports Report

No. 2 Kirkwood stunned twice at nationals

CLINTON, Miss. - The Kirkwood softball team suffered two stunning defeats at the national tournament Thursday and is now facing a long, sad bus ride home from Mississippi.

Coach Joe Yegge's second-ranked Eagles lost to 11th-ranked Cowley County, 4-3, in the winners bracket semifinals Thursday and immediately had to play  again in the losers bracket.

Perhaps still shaken, the Eagles promptly lost to Illinois Central, 6-0, and were eliminated from the tournament with two losses in three games.

Kirkwood ripped Illinois Central, 9-0, n five innings in March, but the rematch went to Illinois Central in a stunner.

Kirkwood finished the season with a 55-6 record. Cowley County advanced to the winners bracket semifinals at 45-15, and Illinois Central stayed alive in the losers bracket at 27-23.

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No. 2 Eagles roll at national tourney

CLINTON, Miss. - The second-ranked Kirkwood softball team brought their potent bats to the national tournament on Wednesday.

The Eagles scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning and dumped Oakland Community College, 12-3, in five innings in the opening round of the NJCAA Division II tournament at Traceway Park.

Kirkwood (55-4) will face Cowley County (44-15) in the winners bracket quarterfinals Thursday at 3:30.

Taylor Nearad, the 2016 Junior College National Player of the Year, belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning to get things started. Morgan Frost had a two-run single in the first inning and Chaise Light collected a two-run double for the early 6-0 lead.

Laken Berthume, the starting pitcher for Oakland, got only one out in the first inning before being chased from the game.

Kirkwood scored three runs in the third inning for a 9-3 advantage and scored three more times in the fourth to make it 12-3. The game ended after the top of the fifth due to the mercy rule.

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Xavier is host site for Metro tourney

Xavier is one of two host sites for the 48th annual Bob Vrbicek Metro Tournament, which kicks off the high school baseball season for the Saints, the other six schools in the Cedar Rapids Metro and Mount Vernon.

Xavier Coach Bob Cataldo's team, which finished last season at  12-23-1, will host Marion at 7 p.m. on Monday, following the 5 p.m.  contest between Jefferson and Washington at Ken Charipar Field.

Prairie is the other host site. Coach Todd Rima's Hawks, the defending Class 4A state champions, face a tough opener against traditional power Kennedy at 7 p.m. following a 4:30 p.m. contest between Mount Vernon and Linn-Mar.

Semifinal and consolation round games are set for Tuesday. The championship and third-place games will be Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Stadium with the fifth and seventh-place games to be played at Xavier.

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KCC softball draws No. 2 seed for nationals

The Kirkwood Eagles have drawn the No. 2 seed for the NJCAA Division II national softball tournament and will face No. 15 seed Oakland (Mich.) in the first round Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.in Clinton, Miss.

Jones County of Mississippi is the top seed.

Kirkwood, which placed fifth in the national tournament last year, enters this year's event with a 54-4 record.

The Eagles feature the most potent offense in the country and also have two of the top pitchers with Lexi Kinnaird and Angie McBeain.

Kinnaird (29-3, 1.30 ERA) leads the nation in victories and strikeouts (267). McBeain is 20-1 with a 1.62 ERA.

Kirkwood center fielder Taylor Nearad, who was the 2016 National Junior College Player of the Year, leads the nation this season in  hits (111), runs (105) and doubles (35). She ranks third in triples (8), fourth in home runs (18), sixth in batting average(.531) and seventh in RBIs (77).

Catcher Maddie Hansen leads the nation with 92 RBIs. She ranks second in home runs (19) and fourth in batting average (.541).

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No. 2 Eagles sweep to national tourney

GLENDIVE, Mont. - The long bus ride to Montana was worth it.

The second-ranked Kirkwood Eagles swept Dawson Community College, 10-1 and 4-0, to claim the district softball title Thursday and earn another trip to the NJCAA Division II national tournament.

Coach Joe Yegge is taking the Eagles to the national tournament for the fifth time in 10 years as head coach. The event will be held in  Clinton, Miss., from May 17-20.

Taylor Nearad belted a three-run homer and DoniRae Mayhew had a grand slam for Kirkwood in the 10-1 victory, which ended after five innings due to the mercy rule. Mayhew's homer was the 100th for Kirkwood this season.

Maddie Hansen hit a solo home run in the second game and Morgan Frost had a two-run single.

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Page 7 of 1355

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