Wednesday, June 26, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Eagles win thriller at national tourney

CLINTON, Miss. - The Kirkwood Eagles scored in the bottom of the  seventh inning Wednesday to snap a 2-2 tie and trim Illinois Central,  3-2, in the opening round of the NJCAA Division II national softball  tournament.

Kirkwood (51-15) will face DMACC (49-6) in the quarterfinals Thursday  at 3:30 p.m., matching two rivals from the ICCAC conference.

Kirkwood led 2-1 heading into the top of the seventh, but Illinois  Central loaded the bases and scored the tying run on a wild pitch  before Erin Hocker got the final out on a fly ball.

The Eagles wasted no time in the bottom of the seventh. Taleah Smith  led off with a double to left-center. Shelby Hulsebus hit a single to  left field with one out and Smith raced home with the winning run on  an error by the left fielder.

Hocker (27-9) walked seven batters and allowed seven hits, but made  big pitches when it counted to escape further damage. Illinois Central  left 13 runners on base. Kirkwood did not commit any errors, greatly  helping the cause.


KCC golfers climb into 3rd

PLYMOUTH, Ind. - The Kirkwood men's golf team climbed five spots in  the standings Wednesday and is sitting in third place after 36 holes  of the NJCAA Division II national tournament at Swan Lake Resort.

Walters State leads the tournament at 12-over-par 588. South Mountain  is in second place at 594 and Kirkwood is third at 31-over 607,  trailing Walters State by 19 shots.

The 72-hole tournament continues Thursday and Friday.

James Morgan fired a 1-under-par 71 to lead Kirkwood Wednesday. The  Eagles are bunched together with Ben Epperly at 6-over 150, Ryan  Morrison at 7-over 151, Morgan at 8-over 152 and Will Babcock at  10-over 154. Epperly is tied for fourth place.


Pint named to NJCAA golf Hall of Fame

Darin Pint's journey as an athlete and coach has taken him through  Wapsie Valley, Coe and Kirkwood Community College.

Now it's taken him all the way to the Hall of Fame for the NJCAA Men's  Golf Coaches Association.

The Coaches Association announced Monday that Pint has been selected  as a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2019 for his outstanding work  as the men's golf coach at Kirkwood the past 23 years.

Pint is coaching in the NJCAA Division II national tournament this  week for the 23rd straight year. He's taken his entire team to the  national tournament in 16 of those years and he's led individuals from  Kirkwood to the tournament in the other seven years.

TJ Redding of Kirkwood was the individual national champion in 2006  and the Eagles finished second in the team standings in 2006 and 2016.  Pint was named the National Coach of the Year in 2016. He has coached  17 All-Americans.


KCC's Epperly shares lead at JuCo golf

PLYMOUTH, Ind. - Ben Epperly of Kirkwood fired an even-par 72 in wet  conditions Tuesday and is tied for first place after the first round  of the NJCAA Division II national tournament at the Swan Lake Resort  Golf Course.

Epperly is tied with Brice Wilkinson of Mississippi Gulf Coast and  Will Kidder of Meridian at 72.

The Eagles are sitting in eighth place in the team standings. Only 12  of the 21 teams in the tournament were able to finish the first 18  holes Tuesday due to inclement weather.

The 72-hole tournament runs through Friday.

Walters State has the lead in the clubhouse at 9-over-par 297.  Kirkwood finished the day at 20-over 308.


KCC softball is No. 7 at nationals

CLINTON, Miss. - The Kirkwood Eagles have drawn the No. 7 seed in the  NJCAA Division II national softball tournament.

Kirkwood (50-15) is scheduled to play No. 10 seed Illinois Central  (23-14) in the opening round of the 16-team tournament Wednesday at  3:30 p.m. at Traceway Park in Clinton, Miss.

With its 50 victories, Coach Eric Frese and the Eagles have won more  games this season than any other team in the tournament.

The DMACC Bears, who finished ahead of Kirkwood in the ICCAC  conference standings this year, are seeded No. 2 in the tournament. If  DMACC and Kirkwood both win their first-round games, they would clash  in the second round on Thursday.


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