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Kirkwood Softball

Kirkwood - Softball

Nearad repeats as National Player of Year

Kirkwood Community College center fielder Taylor Nearad has been named the Schutt Sports/NFCA National Junior College Player of the Year for the second straight season.

The award goes to the top player at any level of junior college softball, including NJCAA I, II, III, Cal JC and NWAC.

Nearad, who is from Solon, led the nation in hits (112), doubles (35) and runs scored (106). She hit .516 and finished fourth in the nation in homers (19) and sixth in RBIs (80).

Nearad shattered a long list of school records during her two years at Kirkwood. She hit .561 for her career with 257 base-hits, 66 doubles, 19 triples, 49 home runs, 209 RBIs and 220 runs.

Kirkwood led the nation with 55 victories this season and reached the Junior College World Series.

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Kirkwood - Softball

4 Eagles named softball All-Americans

Maddie Hansen, Taylor Nearad, Lexi Kinnaird and Lexi Ferrari from Kirkwood have been named softball All-Americans for 2017.

Hansen and Nearad were named first team All-Americans, while Kinnaird and Ferrari earned second-team honors.

Hansen, a catcher from Cedar Rapids Jefferson, hit .534 with 19 home runs and 92 RBIs to rank in the top-4 in the country in all three categories. She will continue her career at North Dakota State.

Nearad, who has been named the National Player of the Year for the second straight season, hit .516 with 19 homers and 80 RBIs. She led the nation in runs (106), hits (112) and doubles (35).

Kinnaird, a right-handed pitcher, led the nation with 30 victories, 285 strikeouts and 12 shutouts. She will continue her career at Wisconsin-Green Bay.

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Kirkwood - Softball

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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Kirkwood - Softball

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.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 May 2017 18:02

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Kirkwood - Softball

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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