Wednesday, April 25, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

8 more softball players join IWSL for 2018

Eight more college players have joined the Iowa Women's Softball League for the 2018 season during the past week, swelling the ranks to 58 players with the opener still eight weeks away.

Four more players from Simpson College have joined the league, excited about playing their games in the new Central Division on their own college field in Indianola.

Two more players from Mount Mercy University also have registered, equally excited about playing their games in the Eastern Division on their terrific new field on campus.


The other two players to register in the past week are from Western Illinois University and Missouri Southern. All told, players from 29 different colleges have joined the IWSL so far.


Kramer's dramatic slam saves No. 4 Eagles

Ross Kramer will remember what happened on Saturday for the rest of his life. And he'll be smiling about it.

His special day began about 9 a.m. when Purdue baseball coach Mark Wasikowski called to see if Kramer wanted to play for the Boilermakers in the Big Ten next year.

The answer was a resounding yes, thank-you very much.

Kramer's day ended when he belted a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth to give Kirkwood a walk-off 9-7 victory over Iowa Lakes in the second game of their ICCAC doubleheader at Kirkwood.

The fourth-ranked Eagles scored 13 runs in the first inning of the first game and cruised to a 17-0 victory in five innings.

Kramer hit .363 with five homers for Kirkwood last season, but his batting average was languishing at the .200 level when he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the Eagles trailing 7-5 and the bases loaded with one out.

It was a fastball and Kramer walloped it over the wall in right-center field.


Mayhew sparkles again for No. 3 Eagles

The Kirkwood softball team featured the National Player of the Year the last two seasons with Taylor Nearad, who captured the award in 2016 and won it again in 2017.

DoniRae Mayhew could make it three in a row for the Eagles.

Mayhew sparkled again as a hitter and pitcher Saturday as the third-ranked Eagles dumped Iowa Lakes, 11-3 and 16-3, in a cold ICCAC doubleheader at Kirkwood.

Mayhew belted two home runs in the twinbill, including a towering shot into the trees behind the center field fence, and pitched a complete game in the opener.

Mayhew is tied for third in the country with 12 homers and is tied for fifth in the country with 13 victories. She's also played well on defense at a variety of spots.

Mayhew is hitting .456 with those 12 homers and 33 RBIs, and she's got a perfect 13-0 record and 1.56 ERA in the circle.


Lee accepts offer to pitch for Iowa

University of Iowa baseball coach Rick Heller was watching Monday when Hunter Lee pitched for the Kirkwood Eagles.

Lee got off to a good start when he struck out two batters in the first inning on a chilly day. Then he struck out the side in the second inning, giving him five K's in two frames.

Heller and Iowa pitching coach Desi Druschel were impressed.

Lee struck out two more batters in the third inning, fanned two more in the fourth and struck out the lead-off batter in the fifth inning, giving him 10 K's in 4 1/3 innings.

Things went downhill for Lee after that, but he got the victory and had shown Heller more than enough. Lee took an official visit to Iowa on Tuesday and accepted an offer to pitch for the Hawks next season.

"I'm feeling really good," he said Thursday after practice at Kirkwood. "I'm an Iowa kid through and through.


No. 3 Kirkwood softball sweeps NIACC

The Kirkwood softball team is facing an ambitious schedule this month with 24 conference games in 24 days, along with some non-conference games along the way.

It's a by-product of all the bad weather we've had this spring, forcing coaches to rip up their schedules and try all over again, with one eye on the weather forecast.

So far, so good.

The third-ranked Eagles began their ambitious stretch Thursday by sweeping an ICCAC doubleheader from NIACC, 10-2 and 15-0, with both games stopped early by the college mercy rule.

DoniRae Mayhew enjoyed a big day for Kirkwood by going 4-for-4 with two doubles, her 10th home run and five RBIs. She also raised her pitching record to 12-0 by tossing a complete game in the opener.

Kirkwood raised its records to 25-3 overall and 2-0 in the conference with the sweep.


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