Monday, October 23, 2017
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Weeks delivers big hit for Red Top

WATKINS - Red Top's Ben Weeks has been in the Iowa Valley League since 2009.

Over those nine seasons, he has had plenty of at-bats against Watkins left-hander Luke Franzenburg.

On Sunday, the two IVL veterans matched up again in the second game of a doubleheader at Gabe Kuester Memorial Ball Park in Watkins.

With the game tied 1-1 in the top of the eighth, Weeks cracked a two-out RBI double off Franzenburg to right-center field, plating Trey Beckman with what proved to be the winning run in a hard-fought 2-1 victory for visiting Red Top to secure a split of the twinbill.

Watkins, behind six strong innings from University of Iowa left-hander Kyle Shimp, took the opener, 4-2.

Weeks, who played in high school at Solon before a collegiate career at Kirkwood and Winona State, said he wasn't looking for any particular pitch from Franzenburg when he came up in the eighth.

"I've played against Luke for quite a few years now, so I'm pretty much in tune with what he throws," Weeks said. "He's still a real tough pitcher and he was throwing a one-run game. I was just up there thinking a hit scores the go-ahead run."


Ironside Apparel clinches league title

Ironside Apparel has played at a high level all season in the new Iowa Women's Softball League and has received important contributions from everyone on the ballclub.

Now Ironside Apparel has the distinction of being the first champion in league history.

Ironside Apparel swept a doubleheader from Construction Materials, 8-1 and 9-1, at the Kirkwood field Sunday to take a five-game lead in the standings with only four games left in the campaign.

Ironside Apparel raised its record to 11-3 with the clean sweep. Emil's Hideaway and Hawkeye Convenience Stores are tied for second place with a 6-8 record and Construction Materials is fourth at 5-9.

Marissa Promes of Indian Hills pitched a complete game for Ironside Apparel in the 8-1 victory in the first game and DoniRae Mayhew of Kirkwood also tossed a complete game for Ironside in the 9-1 triumph.

Morgan Smith of Southeastern Community College went 3-for-3 for Ironside Apparel in Game 1 with two doubles and an RBI. Maddy Ryan of Coe also went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.


Fairfax clinches tie for IVL title

WILLIAMSBURG - The Fairfax Stars swept a doubleheader from Williamsburg Sunday, 11-1 and 8-1, to clinch at least a tie for the  Iowa Valley League title.

Fairfax raised its record to 14-2 and has a four-game lead over Red Top with four games left in the regular season.

Austin Czerwiec collected his seventh victory of the season with seven strikeouts in the 11-1 victory. Matt Berst, who just finished his all-state career at Kennedy, went 3-for-3 for Fairfax. Cody Williams had two doubles and scored three runs.

Ryan Arp and Cam Frazier had two hits for Williamsburg in the opener.

Jacob Henry had three hits and a double for Fairfax in the second game. Steve Jensen had two hits. Cody Bell was the winning pitcher.


Eagles help NJCAA all-stars in Canada

SURREY, British Columbia - Four members of the Kirkwood softball team have helped the NJCAA National All-Star team compile a 4-1 record so  far at the Canada Cup in British Columbia.

Taylor Nearad, the two-time National Player of the Year, is hitting .400 in the tournament and went 3-for-3 in one of the games with a single, double, triple and RBI.

Morgan Frost is hitting .385 with a home run, four RBIs and four stolen bases. Maddie Hansen has played in four games, but does not have a hit in the tournament so far.

Lexi Kinnaird has pitched a total of four innings in two games. She has a 3.50 ERA with no wins or losses.

Kirkwood Coach Joe Yegge is a member of the NJCAA coaching staff.

The NJCAA All-Stars have defeated the Quebec Nationals (3-1), Team Canada Juniors (9-2), Cahahoo Erins of Canada (5-2) and Team BC U21 (9-0). Their only loss was to Team Canada Elite (2-0).


Franzenburg still going strong at 36

WATKINS - Luke Franzenburg planned on calling it quits after last season.

A player with Watkins in the Iowa Valley League since 2000, Franzenburg had been player/manager for the Mud Hens the past three seasons.

"I was managing the last three years and it was getting to be too much of a time commitment away from family and away from work," he said.

When Franzenburg and his wife Steph told their three children, Avery, Finley and Tade of his decision there were plenty of tears.

"They were pretty bummed when we told them," Franzenburg said. "I talked to the team and they said they would find somebody to manage if I would just keep coming out and throwing for them."

Needless to say, a manager was found and the children were happy to see dad back on the mound.

The 36-year-old left-hander came on in relief in the opener of the annual holiday doubleheader contests against Norway with the Mud Hens holding a 3-1 lead. He struck out four and allowed just two hits in picking up the save as Watkins won, 5-2, at Gabe Kuester Memorial Ball Park.


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