Thursday, August 17, 2017
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Himmelsbach breaks loose as Saints split

Cassie Himmelsbach has been a capable hitter for the Xavier Saints during her career, but she had some pretty ugly stats this season heading into Thursday night's doubleheader against Dubuque Hempstead.

"They were really rough," she acknowledged.

That changed Thursday when the nomadic Saints were finally able to play some true home games at Bob Erusha Field, which has been plagued by drainage issues this year.

Himmelsbach swatted a pair of solo home runs in the first game as the Saints trimmed Hempstead, 3-2. The visitors captured the nightcap, 10-7.

Himmelsbach, a senior third baseman, was hitting .176 with no homers and no RBIs through Xavier's first seven games of the campaign.

"I had a lot of bad at-bats," she said. "I just couldn't hit anything. It was awful."

Pitch selection was the culprit. She'd been swinging at too many bad pitches and that had to end.


Xavier boys net 1A state title

WEST DES MOINES - The Xavier Saints captured the first boys state tennis title in school history Tuesday with an impressive performance at the Class 1A championships in West Des Moines.

The Saints whipped Pella, 5-2, in the semifinals and blanked LeMars, 5-0, in the championship round.

Jon Lansing, Alex Hinrichs and Charlie Esker won both of their singles matches for Xavier. Blake Magill won his singles match in the semifinals against Pella, while Calvin Ford and Ryan Jasper took their singles matches in the finals against LeMars.

Lansing and Esker, who won the Class 1A state doubles title in Waterloo on Saturday, won their doubles match in the semifinals  against Pella for the fifth and deciding point in that meet.


New softball league enjoys fast start

The big smiles and all the thank-you's told the story Sunday afternoon as the new Iowa Women's Softball League was warmly embraced by players, coaches, fans and the local media.

The Opening Day doubleheaders at the Kirkwood and Coe diamonds marked the beginning of the only fast-pitch summer softball league for college players in the entire state.

College softball players finally have a summer league of their own, and from the looks of things the program will grow in future years as the word continues to spread and players enjoy the games.

The Iowa Women's Softball League was created and organized by theMetro Sports Report with a lot of terrific help from college coaches, good friends and especially by the players themselves.

There are players from 23 different colleges and 34 different high schools in the league, with a nice mixture of NCAA, NAIA and Junior College players.

For the record, Ironside Apparel swept a doubleheader from Emil's Hideaway Restaurant, 3-2 and 8-4, in a pair of well-played games at Kirkwood.

Hawkeye Convenience Stores and Construction Materials split a  twinbill at Coe, with Hawkeye Convenience Stores taking the first game 4-3 and Construction Materials winning the second game 10-0 behind a shutout by Kirkwood ace Lexi Kinnaird.

Jaclyn Spencer, a star pitcher for the University of Northern Iowa, tossed six shutout innings for Ironside Apparel in its 3-2 victory in the first game. Spencer struck out 10 batters and spaced three singles.


Pauli can't get enough baseball

NORWAY - There is no such thing as too much baseball for Casey Pauli.

If the former Kirkwood and Wartburg infielder doesn’t get his fill of the game as an assistant coach for defending 4A champion Cedar Rapids Prairie or as the coach for his 6-year-old son Caden’s team, there is always his playing career to fill the void.

The 33-year-old Pauli suited up for another season of Iowa Valley League baseball on Sunday, helping Red Top salvage a doubleheader split with Norway with a 15-10 win in Game 2.

“There’s never too much baseball,” Pauli said. “It doesn’t get old, I just love being around the game in any way I can.”

Baseball has been a big part of his life for as long as Pauli can remember. For a decade and a half, the Iowa Valley League has helped feed Pauli’s love for baseball.

He started playing in the league in 2002 and now serves as a sort of player/coach for Red Top.

“I still get to play a little bit but I’m moving more into the coaching side, if I can still hang with these young bucks that’s all right,” he said. “It’s just fun to still be out here playing the best game.”


Bell helps Fairfax sweep IVL twinbill

WALFORD - Cody Bell hit two home runs and picked up the victory in Game 2 as Fairfax swept Walford, 11-0 and 11-1, on Opening Day in the Iowa Valley League Sunday in Walford.

Bell and Sammy Lizarraga belted two-run homers in the first game. Tyler Dralle, Steve Jensen and Alex Hayden had two hits for Fairfax, which exploded for eight runs in the fifth inning.

Austin Czerwiez allowed only one hit in five innings in the opener for Fairfax.

Bell socked another home run in the second game and was named the Iowa  Valley League Player of the Week for his overall performance as a hitter and pitcher.


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