Saturday, March 17, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Waugh sparks No. 7 Eagles to victories

DAVENPORT - Kenady Waugh went 6-for-7 with six RBIs Sunday as the seventh-ranked Kirkwood softball team won two more games at the Winter Dome Tournament in Davenport.

Waugh went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs when the Eagles defeated Southeastern, 9-1, in their first game. She then went 4-for-4 with four RBIs in a 10-0 victory over John Wood.

Kirkwood won all four of its games at the tournament and outscored its opponents, 32-1, with three shutouts.

Natalie Halvorson pitched all five innings in the 9-1 verdict over Southeastern. She allowed five hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

Hannah Mausser went 3-for-3 with three RBIs against Southeastern. DoniRae Mayhew was 3-for-4. Rachel Stewart and Lauren Kuch had two hits.


Kirkwood men clinch tie for title

Kirkwood Coach Bryan Petersen was worried about his team's mental toughness back in December when the Eagles stumbled into the Christmas break with an 8-4 record.

The surging Eagles have not lost a game since then and Petersen is not worried anymore.

The sixth-ranked Eagles rallied for an exciting 80-77 victory over Iowa Lakes Saturday at Johnson Hall to clinch at least a tie for the ICCAC title with their 12th straight win.

Kirkwood has a three-game lead over Iowa Lakes and Southwestern with three games left in the regular season. Everyone else has been eliminated from the race.

There's no question about Kirkwood's mental toughness now after the Eagles rallied from an 11-point deficit.

"I feel like we've really grown up in the last month," said Petersen. "When adversity has hit, we're still staying together and focused on the next possession."

Iowa Lakes socked the Eagles with a 21-2 burst in the first half to grab a 38-27 lead, but Kirkwood responded with a 17-4 burst of its own to take a 44-42 edge at intermission.


No. 2 KCC women win 14th straight

The graduating sophomores on the Kirkwood women's basketball team were honored after their choppy victory over Iowa Lakes on Saturday, but otherwise there was not a whole lot to celebrate at Johnson Hall.

It took the second-ranked Eagles more than seven minutes to make their first field goal in a sluggish 59-44 outing that lacked passion and execution for most of the afternoon.

"That was an ugly one," Kirkwood Coach Kim Muhl acknowledged.

Pretty or not, the Eagles raised their records to 24-3 overall and 10-0 in the conference with their 14th win a row. The Eagles own a three-game lead in the ICCAC standings with four games remaining as they march toward another league title.

Muhl was happy to leave the gym with a 15-point victory considering the circumstances on Sophomore Day.

"It's hard when it's snowing and they're worried about their parents getting here. They lose focus," he said.


KCC softball begins with 2 shutouts

DAVENPORT - The seventh-ranked Kirkwood softball team began the 2018 season by collecting a pair of shutouts at the Winter Dome Tournament in Davenport on Saturday.

The Eagles blanked the Saint Ambrose junior varsity, 7-0, in their first outing and topped Waubonsee, 6-0, in the second game.

DoniRae Mayhew pitched five innings in the first game for Kirkwood. She allowed three hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Alli Sprague tossed the last two innings to complete the five-hit shutout.

Audra Bridenstine collected three RBIs in the victory over Saint Ambrose. Sonya McCormick, a transfer from Iowa Central, had two hits and two RBIs in her first game with the Eagles.

Natalie Halvorson, a freshman from Cedar Rapids Prairie, pitched a complete game in the 6-0 verdict over Waubonsee. She allowed only four hits with nine strikeouts and one walk.


Kirkwood softball begins year at No. 7

Their two-time National Player of the Year is now patrolling the outfield at Iowa State. Their All-American pitcher, an All-American catcher, an All-American left fielder and two other all-Region selections are gone from last year's club as well.

Despite losing all that talent, Kirkwood softball coach Joe Yegge does not think the Eagles are rebuilding as they enter the 2018 campaign. Reloading is more like it.

"I hate to use the word rebuilding," he said, "because we think we have enough tradition here that we're never rebuilding."

It's hard to argue.

Yegge has compiled a formidable mark of 488-99 in 10 years at Kirkwood. That includes eight ICCAC conference titles, five regional titles, five district titles and five trips to the NJCAA Division II World Series.

The Eagles have 13 freshmen on the team and only six sophomores, so it's a young ballclub. And there are definitely are big shoes to fill.


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