Tuesday, June 27, 2017
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Metro Sports Report

Softball games are smash hit on KCRG 9.2

College softball players rarely get a chance to play their games on live TV, but that changed Sunday at Coe College.

The doubleheader between Construction Materials and Hawkeye Convenience Stores in the new Iowa Women's Softball League was  televised by KCRG 9.2 to a live audience in Eastern Iowa.

From all accounts, it was a smash hit.

The college athletes got a chance to showcase their skills on TV, the folks at KCRG 9.2 got a good show for their viewers, and the softball league got some terrific exposure.

Construction Materials swept the twinbill, 7-6 and 8-1.

Hawkeye Convenience Stores jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two innings in the first game, but Construction Materials scored five runs in the third inning to pull within 6-5.

It stayed that way until Alyssa Wiebel of Illinois State belted a  two-run homer to left-center in the fifth inning to give Construction Materials a 7- 6 lead and the victory.

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Big innings lift Walford to sweep

WATKINS - The Walford Hogs came into Sunday's doubleheader with Watkins at the bottom of the Iowa Valley League standings.

Coach Kevin Moser has had to juggle his roster for a variety of reasons and it showed as the Hogs got off to a 1-7 start through the  first four weeks of league play.

That changed on Sunday. Walford used a five-run fourth-inning outburst in the opener to post a 6-1 win, then rallied from a 7-2 deficit in the nightcap, scoring six again in the fifth inning en route to an 11-7 triumph at Gabe Kuester Memorial Ball Park.

After a pair of tough losses last week at home to Red Top, the Hogs showed Sunday they will be a force as the second half of the league schedule begins next week.

"A lot of these guys are college ballplayers and they know how to fight and never give up," Moser said.

The roster has changed quite a bit since the opening week of the season. Moser admitted it was tough to build any real team chemistry.

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KCRG 9.2 will broadcast MSR softball games

Guess what?

This Sunday's doubleheader in the Iowa Women's Softball League will be televised live by KCRG 9.2 from Coe College at 2 p.m.

The local ABC affiliate will broadcast the twinbill from Coe next Sunday, July 2 as well.

How about that!

The new league has gotten off to a fabulous start this season with 52 college players on four teams. All told, there are players from 24 different colleges and 35 high schools in the program.

The Iowa Women's Softball League is the only collegiate summer fast-pitch league in the state. Everything is going so well that we're looking into the possibility of expanding with four more teams in Des Moines in 2018.

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"Hellerball" alive and well in IVL

WALFORD - Just two short weeks ago, the University of Iowa baseball team came within an eyelash of hosting an NCAA Super Regional.

Many of the Hawkeyes on the field during that memorable weekend of baseball in Houston were back at it again Sunday as members of the Red  Top and Walford teams in the Iowa Valley League.

And, as fate would have it, two Hawkeye hurlers went against each other in the opening game of a doubleheader. Red Top's Cole McDonald and Walford's Elijah Wood both showed that Iowa fans should feel good about the future of the pitching staff for Coach Rick Heller.

In the end, it was McDonald who prevailed, with a huge assist from reliever Jack Greene in the bottom of the seventh as Red Top held on for a 4-3 win. Coach Adam Sadler's team completed the sweep, taking the nightcap, 6-3, behind a complete game effort from Anthony Gagliardi.

The win was also sweet for McDonald as he got the victory in front of his father, Cory, who, along with the rest of the McDonald family, made a surprise trip to watch his son pitch on Father's Day.

"I knew my grandpa would be here," McDonald said. "I didn't know my family was going to come and watch. It was nice that they took the time to drive down."

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Nearad sisters hit homers for Emil's

Anyone who follows college softball in Cedar Rapids knows that Taylor Nearad is a terrific power hitter.

Her sister Jess is very good, too.

The Nearad sisters both slugged home runs Sunday to help Emil's Hideaway defeat Hawkeye Convenience Stores, 10-0, in the second game of their Iowa Women's Softball League twinbill at Coe.

Hawkeye Convenience Stores won the first game, 5-4.

Taylor Nearad, who starred at Kirkwood the past two years, got the family started Sunday with a solo home run. Jess Nearad, who played at the University of Dubuque, followed with a solo shot of her own later in the game.

The Nearad sisters are from Solon, and Taylor Nearad was named the National Junior College Player of the Year for the second straight  time this season for Kirkwood.

Kelsey Aikey of Western Kentucky pitched a shutout for Emil's Hideaway in the 10-0 victory.

Taylor Kurtz hit a home run for Emil's Hideaway in the first game.

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