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Tuesday, April 25, 2017
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Metro Sports Report

Bridenstine joins Iowa Women's Softball League

Audra Bridenstine, another talented member of the top-ranked Kirkwood softball team, has joined the new Iowa Women's Softball League that will begin next month.

Bridenstine, a shortstop from West Liberty High School, is the ninth player from Kirkwood to join the new program. She joins Taylor Nearad, Maddie Hansen, Lexi Kinnaird, Morgan Frost, Lexi Ferrari, DoniRae Mayhew, Monika Bevans and Morgan Kublik from Coach Joe Yegge's talented team.

Bridenstine is hitting .400 with two home runs and 33 RBIs for the Eagles. She has also solidified the left side of the infield after becoming the starting shortstop in mid-season.

Two former college softball players also have joined the program. Jessica Nearad, who played at Solon High School and the University of Dubuque, and Bethany Koskamp, who played at Kennedy High School and Central College, have accepted invitations to play.

(CLICK HERE TO REGISTER)

Jessica Nearad is the older sister of Taylor Nearad, who was honored as the Junior College National Player of the Year last season. Jessica Nearad hit .377 during the 2011 season at Dubuque and twice was named to the all-conference team in the Iowa Conference.

Koskamp earned five varsity letters during her career with the Kennedy Cougars. She served as a team captain at Central College and was named the Most Inspirational Player for the Dutch.

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No. 1 Eagles share ICCAC softball title

NORFOLK, Neb. - The Kirkwood softball team should send two dozen roses and a box of chocolates to their friends at Southwestern Community  College in Creston.

Thanks to Southwestern, the Eagles have finished the ICCAC season with a share of the conference title.

It looked like the top-ranked Eagles would finish a game behind  fifth-ranked DMACC in the league standings, but Southwestern upset DMACC on Sunday to open the door for Kirkwood.

Kirkwood obliged by sweeping its conference doubleheader at Northeast Community College Sunday, so Kirkwood and DMACC finished in a tie for  first place with identical 24-2 records.

Southwestern beating DMACC was quite an upset, because Southwestern finished in seventh place in the conference with a 6-22 record. Southwestern beat DMACC in the first game of their doubleheader, 6-2, but DMACC responded with a 10-0 victory in the nightcap.

Kirkwood Coach Joe Yegge has now won eight conference titles (outright or shared) in his 10 years with the Eagles.

Kirkwood swept Northeast, 9-2 and 20-4, on the road in Norfolk, Neb., on Sunday, raising their overall record to 48-3.

Lexi Kinnaird (24-2, 1.24 ERA) allowed one earned run in the 9-2 victory. She allowed four hits, with 12 strikeouts and one walk.

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Kirkwood baseball sweeps Iowa Lakes

The Kirkwood Eagles have put themselves in position to win the ICCAC conference baseball title this season.

Now they have to finish the job.

Kirkwood swept a doubleheader from Iowa Lakes, 8-5 and 8-7, Sunday at the Kirkwood field and is just one game out of first place in the  ICCAC standings with eight games left.

Southeastern leads the league with a 12-4 record, followed by Kirkwood (11-5), NIACC (10-6), Iowa Central (12-8), DMACC (11-9), Ellsworth (3-13) and Iowa Lakes (1-15).

Kirkwood finishes the conference race with a four-game series at NIACC April 29-30, then is scheduled to host Southeastern in a four-game set May 5-6 in a possible showdown for the title.

The Eagles won the nightcap against Iowa Lakes Sunday on a walk-off homer by Lorenzo Elion with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, snapping a 7-7 tie.

Kirkwood trailed in the nightcap 4-1, but the Eagles battled back and took a 7-4 lead in the bottom of the eighth. Ross Kramer collected an  RBI double to snap a 4-4 tie and give Kirkwood a 5-4 lead, then Cal Clark belted a two-run homer for a 7-4 margin.

Iowa Lakes responded with three runs in the top of the ninth, however, to tie the game at 7-7.

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Kirkwood puts Iowa Lakes in 'Funk'

Joe Funkhouser has great respect for his older brother and tries to emulate him on the pitching mound.

That's smart, because Kyle Funkhouser is pitching in the minor leagues these days after helping Louisville make two trips to the College World Series.

Funkhouser pitched eight scoreless innings Saturday as the Kirkwood Eagles topped Iowa Lakes, 6-1, in the second game of a conference doubleheader at the Kirkwood field.

Hunter Lee tossed a five-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory in the opener for Kirkwood, which climbed within one game of the conference lead with the sweep.

Funkhouser, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound right-hander, is a bulldog on the mound for the Eagles. He pitches quickly, challenges hitters and will throw all day if you let him.

"I kind of got that from my brother," he said. "The same mentality. I want to get the ball and go.

"I think our team feeds off that. A quicker pace and get back in (the dugout) faster."

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Goods named JUCO National Player of Year

Kirkwood sophomore Simone Goods was honored Friday with the 2017 Spalding NJCAA DII Women's Player of the Year Award after leading the  Eagles to the national title this season.

The selection was made by the DII women's basketball committee.

Kirkwood Coach Kim Muhl earlier was named the Spalding DII Coach of the Year by the committee.

Goods, a 6-foot-2 center from Omaha, averaged 16.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks this season. She shot 67.9 percent from the field, which led the country.

Goods transferred to Kirkwood for the 2016-17 campaign after spending one year at Western Kentucky.

Kirkwood finished with a perfect 37-0 record this year and won the seventh national title in school history.

Goods averaged 15 points and 8.5 rebounds in four games at the national tournament and was named the tournament MVP. She also was named the conference MVP and the regional MVP.

Goods collected 10 double-doubles this season and scored in double figures in 34 of 37 games.

   

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