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Tuesday, October 17, 2017
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor
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Metro Sports Report

IABA state tourney trimmed to 3 teams

NORWAY - The Iowa Amateur Baseball Association state tournament has been trimmed to three teams with Fairfax, Red Top and Norway still in  the hunt for top honors.

Fairfax has a 4-0 record in the tournament after clipping Walford, 3-2, Saturday on a three-run homer by Chico Lizarraga and a complete  game by Austin Czerwicz.

Red Top and Norway both have one loss in the double-elimination event heading into Sunday's games.

Fairfax and Norway will meet in the first game Sunday at 1 p.m. If Fairfax beats Norway, the Stars can claim the 2018 championship by defeating Red Top at 3 p.m.

If Fairfax loses to Norway, all three teams - Fairfax, Norway and Red Top - would have one loss and they'd battle it out from there in dramatic showdowns.

Red Top won the state title last year, Fairfax won the Iowa Valley League title this year and Norway has a rich tradition in the state  tournament over the years.

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2018 MSR softball league off to fast start

It took Morgan Goedken exactly 50 minutes to register for the Iowa Women's Softball League for next season.

Goedken, a catcher from Wartburg College who played in the league this summer, received an e-mail from the Metro Sports Report at 11:17 Friday morning to tell her the registration process had begun.

Fifty minutes later - at exactly 12:07 p.m. - Goedken had submitted her registration form with the $100 player fee to become the first player in the IWSL for 2018.

Five more players quickly followed, including a shortstop from Crystal Lake, Ill., who plans to drive from the Chicago suburbs to Cedar Rapids so she can play in the league.

Yes, we're off to a fast start.

(CLICK HERE TO REGISTER)

We had four teams and 60 players in the league this past summer in Year 1, with all the games held in Cedar Rapids at Kirkwood Community College and Coe College. We plan to have 10 teams and approximately  140 players in the league next summer, with six teams in Cedar Rapids and four teams in Central Iowa at Simpson College and the Iowa State University Recreation Field.

Erin Kuba, a third baseman from Indian Hills Community College and Cedar Rapids Jefferson, and Mallory McArtor, a middle infielder from Coe and Mid-Prairie High School, have both enrolled after playing in the league this summer.

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Bell sparkles in IABA state tourney

WALFORD - Cody Bell has been pitching to Chico Lizarraga for about 15 years now.

First it was the Junior Cougars, then Kennedy High School, then Mount Mercy University, now the Fairfax Stars.

"Yup. A long, long time," Lizarraga said Sunday night.

It's been a winning combination every step of the way.

Bell tossed another strong game Sunday as Fairfax trimmed Red Top, 2-1, in a winners bracket game of the IABA state tournament at Walford.

Bell pitched a five-hitter with seven strikeouts for the Stars, who won the Iowa Valley League title this season and are 3-0 in the IABA tournament heading into the final round next weekend.

"Cody was brilliant tonight," said Lizarraga. "He had his stuff working. Fastball both sides of the plate, off-speed pitch, behind in the count. He had his 'A' game tonight."

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IVL teams advance in IABA tourney

It was a good day Saturday for the five Iowa Valley League teams entered in the Iowa Amateur Baseball Association state tournament.

IVL teams went 6-2 during the first-round of play and all advanced to the next round Sunday. The league's only two losses came in games against each other. Norway needed 10 innings to down Walford, 8-2, while Fairfax was a 10-5 winner over Watkins.

Norway received a bye and doesn't have to play Sunday. The Bandits allowed just two runs in their two victories, earning the day off due to allowing the fewest runs.

Action continues on Sunday with four games in Walford, beginning at noon.

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IABA state tourney set for 2-week run

The top five teams from the Iowa Valley League will play in the Iowa Amateur Baseball Association tournament that begins Saturday.

Fairfax, the regular-season champion, has drawn a No. 1 seed in the  tournament and will face the Allison Cats from the North Iowa League on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Watkins.

The other top seeds in the 12-team tournament are the Quad City 76ers from the Blackhawk Valley League and Osage from the North Iowa League.

Norway, Red Top, Walford and Watkins also will participate in the tournament from the Iowa Valley League. Red Top is the defending state  champions.

Saturday's games will be played at Watkins, Walford and Rock Island  with games at 12, 2, 4 and 6. The tournament will continue Sunday at Walford with games at 12, 2, 4 and 6 as well.

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