Tuesday, June 27, 2017
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Kirkwood baseball team has tough day

The Kirkwood baseball team began Friday in a tie for first place in the ICCAC conference standings, but by the time the long frustrating  day was over the Eagles had slipped all the way to fourth.

Now the Eagles have to bounce back in a rare "triple-header" against 19th-ranked Southeastern Saturday afternoon to climb back on top of the standings on the final day of the regular season.

Kirkwood wasted a terrific effort by right-hander Joe Funkhouser and lost the first game of Friday's doubleheader to Southeastern, 1-0, at the Kirkwood field.

The second game was suspended by darkness with the score tied, 8-8, after eight innings. The Eagles had an 8-2 lead after five innings, but saw it slip away.

Kirkwood and Southeastern will resume the suspended game at noon Saturday, followed by the regularly scheduled doubleheader.

If the Eagles win all three times Saturday, they can clinch at least a tie for first place. If they lose all three games, they can fall all the way to fifth place.


McBeain stars as Eagles sink Lakers

Angie McBeain has made a powerful impact on the Kirkwood softball team this season as a freshman.

Powerful arm. Powerful bat.

McBeain starred as a hitter and pitcher Thursday as the second-ranked Eagles topped 16th-ranked Iowa Lakes, 12-4, in six innings in the second round of the regional tournament at Kirkwood.

Kirkwood (51-4) will face Southwestern (9-27) in the championship round again Friday at noon. The Eagles need one more victory to win the regional title, but the Spartans would have to win twice in the double-elimination tourney to earn the crown.

McBeain, who hails from Prior Lake, Minn., went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer and four RBIs Thursday. She also pitched well in relief, allowing no runs in 2 2/3 innings.

Lexi Kinnaird, who set the Kirkwood record with her 51st victory in  the opening round Wednesday, suffered a rough patch in the fourth inning against Iowa Lakes and was touched for four runs, but McBeain came to the rescue and stopped the bleeding.

McBeain is hitting .433 with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs, and she's compiled a 19-1 record and 1.72 ERA in the circle.

DoniRae Mayhew, another talented freshman who can hit and pitch, also socked a three-run homer Thursday. She's hitting .441 with 15 homers and 74 RBIs, along with a 5-0 record and 2.38 ERA as the team's No. 3 hurler.


Kinnaird, Nearad snap KCC records

Lexi Kinnaird and Taylor Nearad engaged in some good battles against  each other at rival high schools in Eastern Iowa, but they're teammates at Kirkwood Community College now and destroying the record book at one of the top softball programs in the country.

Kinnaird snapped the career record for victories and Nearad broke the career mark for home runs Wednesday as the second-ranked Eagles pounded Southwestern, 20-0, in five innings in the opening round of the regional tournament at Kirkwood.

Kinnaird, a right-hander from Clear Creek Amana, raised her record to 51-5 the past two years by tossing three perfect innings. She broke the old school mark of 50 victories set by Amanda Lambrecht in 2010-11.

Nearad, a center fielder from Solon, cracked the 46th home run of her remarkable career, snapping the old mark of 45 homers set by Kayla Tatge in 2012-13.

"It's awesome," Kirkwood Coach Joe Yegge remarked after seeing two career marks fall in the same game.

Kinnaird and Nearad, both sophomores, competed against each other in high school in the Wamac Conference before moving to Kirkwood last season. Kinnaird prefers having Nearad on her side these days.

"She's always been tough to pitch to. In high school and now," said Kinnaird. "She was always someone I dreaded pitching to."


Duwa joins Iowa Women's Softball League

Another elite all-state softball player from Iowa has joined the new Iowa Women's Softball League.

Hailey Duwa starred at Pleasant Valley High School, where she was the Quad City Times Player of the Year and the Mississippi Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the Spartans.

Duwa enjoyed an incredible season as a senior in 2015 when she hit  .615 with 17 home runs and 60 RBIs.


Duwa, a first baseman, is currently a sophomore at Western Illinois University, where she leads the Leathernecks with a .356 batting average along with four homers and 13 RBIs.

Shelby Crist, who played at Kirkwood Community College and Upper Iowa University, also will be playing in the league this summer as a player/coach. She will be a head coach and also a catcher for her team.

Crist, a Cedar Rapids Prairie grad, hit .392 for the Hawks as a senior in 2011. She made the all-region team at Kirkwood and won a Gold Glove award from the Northern Sun Conference at Upper Iowa.


Long stars as Eagles split with NIACC

MASON CITY - Peyton Long and the Kirkwood Eagles are coming back from a cold, wet weekend in Mason City with a chance to win the ICCAC conference title in Cedar Rapids this week.

Long sparkled on the mound Saturday as the Eagles topped NIACC, 10-2, in the first game of a league doubleheader.

Long tossed a complete game and allowed two earned runs on five hits, with 10 strikeouts and three walks. The freshman from Des Moines raised his record to 6-1, giving him the most wins on the staff.

NIACC won the second game, 10-6.

The split left Kirkwood with a 13-7 record in the conference, good for a virtual tie for first place with Southeastern in the compact league standings.

Southeastern leads the race by percentage points with a 12-6 record heading into a doubleheader with DMACC on Sunday. Kirkwood will be hosting Southeastern in a four-game series this Friday and Saturday in what could be a showdown for the title, but three other teams are still in the hunt as well.


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