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Thursday, May 23, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor
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Metro Sports Report

KCC softball team in tough spot

The Kirkwood softball team has to defeat NIACC in two straight games  Sunday afternoon or its promising season will be over.

The seventh-ranked Eagles lost to the 20th-ranked Trojans, 6-3, in the  winners bracket finals Saturday in the regional tournament at Kirkwood  and are facing an uphill battle on their home field.

If Kirkwood sweeps NIACC on Sunday, the Eagles will advance to the  district tournament on Wednesday. If NIACC wins one of the games, the  Trojans will keep their season alive.

The first championship game on Sunday is scheduled for noon. If  Kirkwood wins that game, they'll play again at 2 p.m. in the  double-elimination event. If they lose that game at noon, it's over.

Kirkwood clobbered Ellsworth for the second straight day, 16-2, in the  losers bracket finals Saturday and has a 2-1 record for the regional.  NIACC is sitting with a 2-0 mark, just one victory away from the title.

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Eagles upset No. 19 DMACC in regional

CLINTON – The Kirkwood baseball team picked the right time to play one  of its best games of the season Friday.

The Eagles walloped 19th-ranked DMACC, 10-0, in six innings in the  winners bracket semifinals of the regional tournament as Ashford Field.

Kirkwood (33-18) will face Southeastern (40-17) in the winners bracket  finals Saturday at 6 p.m., needing two victories to win the regional  title for the second straight year.

The Eagles are the No. 5 seed in the regional, but they’ve already  defeated No. 4 seed Northeast and No. 1 seed DMACC in the first two  rounds. Northeast and DMACC both won their regular-season series  against Kirkwood this year, 3-1, but the Eagles have made amends in  the postseason.

Carter Lawler (5-3) pitched a strong game against DMACC. He pitched a  complete game, allowing only three hits in six innings with six  strikeouts and three walks.

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Eagles roll in softball regional

Sydney Albaugh belted two home runs Friday as Kirkwood smashed  Ellsworth, 15-1, in five innings in the first round of the regional  softball tournament at Kirkwood.

The seventh-ranked Eagles (45-13) will face 20th-ranked NIACC (29-16)  in the winners bracket finals Saturday at 2 p.m.

Albaugh went 2-for-3 with her two homers and four RBIs. Lauren Kuch  was 3-for-4 with a double, home run and six RBIs. Taleah Smith was  2-for-3 and scored twice. Shelby Hulsebus and Rachel Stewart also  scored twice. Lauren Klaahsen hit a solo home run.

Erin Hocker (24-7) and Bradee Bouman shared the pitching. Hocker ranks  second in the country with her 24 victories, just one victory behind  the national leader.

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Eagles trip Northeast in regional opener

CLINTON - The Kirkwood Eagles got off to a promising start in the  regional baseball tournament Thursday in Clinton.

The Eagles got a strong pitching effort from Cam Cowan and trimmed  Northeast Community College, 5-3, at Ashford Field.

Kirkwood (32-18) will face 19th-ranked DMACC (37-15) in the winner's  bracket semifinals Friday at noon.

Cowan (3-2) was touched for three runs in seven innings, but all three  runs were unearned. He allowed five hits, with seven strikeouts and  three walks.

Austin Krob pitched 1 2/3 scoreless inning in relief and Jackson  Bennett got the final out for his fifth save.

Levi Usher and Zion Pettigrew had two hits for Kirkwood. Taylor  Jackson, Jamarion Loston and Joel Thompson collected RBIs.

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Opening ceremony set May 23 at Prospect Meadows

In the classic 1989 movie “Field of Dreams,” an Iowa farmer plows under a corn field and builds a real baseball field in its place when a mysterious voice whispers “If you build it, he will come.”

That was fiction, of course, but the real thing has been happening at Prospect Meadows. And instead of just one field that attracted legendary ghost players, Prospect Meadows will feature nine fields this year and a total of 17 fields when the project is finished in 2023.

Thousands and thousands of young folks – not ghosts like Shoeless Joe Jackson and Kevin Costner’s father -- will be getting a chance to play baseball and softball at the complex.

The Opening Day ceremonies and ribbon-cutting will be held on Thursday, May 23 at the sparkling new complex, which is located  at the juncture of Highway 13 and County Home Road just north of Marion.

There will be a reception for invited guests at 3 p.m., with the ceremony at 4 p.m., a public open house that begins at 5 p.m. and ballgames on five of the fields at 5:30 p.m., including a game on the Miracle Field for people with special needs.

It’s taken almost 10 years to plan the facility, raise the funds and actually get it built, but Prospect Meadows is already being hailed as a first-class baseball and softball complex in Iowa.

Jack Roeder, the general manager at Prospect Meadows, was the GM of the Cedar Rapids Kernels when they opened their new ballpark in 2002 and helped oversee that project.

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