Wednesday, July 24, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Hocker shines as KCC wins regional

Erin Hocker is going home to Montana for the district softball  tournament this week and she's taking all of the Kirkwood Eagles with  her.

Hocker twirled a pair of shutouts Sunday as the seventh-ranked Eagles  blanked NIACC in the championship round of the regional tournament,  5-0 and 8-0 in five innings, at Kirkwood.

Kirkwood (48-14) will face 18th-ranked Dawson Community College (42-3)  on Dawson's home field in Glendive, Mont., in the two-team district  tournament that starts Wednesday.

Hocker pitched all 12 innings in the two ballgames, tossing a two-hit  shutout in the opener and hurling a one-hitter in the second game.

Kirkwood lost to NIACC in the winners bracket final Saturday, so the  Eagles needed two victories Sunday to reach the district. They  responded like true champions.

After Hocker tossed her two-hitter in the opener, Kirkwood Coach Eric  Frese asked his ace right-hander how she felt about pitching the  second game against NIACC as well.


KCC baseball takes 3rd at regional

CLINTON - The Kirkwood baseball team lost to Northeast Community  College, 7-4, in the losers bracket final Sunday and finished third at  the regional tournament in Clinton.

Northeast will face Southeastern in the championship round Monday.

Kirkwood topped Northeast, 5-3, in the opening round of the tournament  Thursday, but the Hawks jumped to a 5-0 lead in the second inning  Sunday and never lost the lead.

The Eagles scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning to pull  within 5-3, but Northeast tallied twice in the seventh for a 7-3  advantage to give itself some breathing room.

Kirkwood Coach Todd Rima and the Eagles finished with a 33-20 record.  They went 2-2 in the regional.


KCC baseball falls into losers bracket

CLINTON - The Kirkwood baseball team lost to Southeastern, 4-2, in the  winners bracket finals of the regional baseball tournament Saturday  night at Ashford Field.

Kirkwood (33-19) will face 19th-ranked DMACC (38-16) or Northeast  Community College (28-18) in an elimination game Sunday at 3 p.m.

If the Eagles beat DMACC or Northeast, they'll face Southeastern  (41-17) in the first championship game Sunday at 6 p.m. And if the  Eagles beat Southeastern, they'll face the Blackhawks again Monday at  noon for the regional title and a berth in the NJCAA Division II World  Series.

Kirkwood took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning against  Southeastern Saturday on an RBI single by Levi Usher. Southeastern  tied the game, 1-1, in the fourth, but the Eagles grabbed a 2-1  advantage in the top of the sixth on an RBI double by Zion Pettigrew.


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.


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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