Sunday, August 25, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Metro Sports Report

Prairie hitters stumped by West hurlers

IOWA CITY - Iowa City West pitchers Shelly Stumpff and Mackenzie Laux pitched complete games Monday as the Women of Troy swept Cedar Rapids Prairie, 5-1 and 6-0, in a Mississippi Valley Conference doubleheader.

Prairie (7-10, 3-7) was held to five hits in the twinbill.

Stumpff pitched a complete game in the opener and had Prairie hitters confused, allowing one run on three hits. She mixed a nice changeup with her fastball, causing Prairie hitters to lunge at pitches.

“In the first game, the changeup hurt us. We did not adjust well at all to the changing of the speeds,” said Prairie Coach Kim Hynek.

West scored early on an RBI single from Alise Miller in the bottom of the first in the opener. The Women of Troy (11-3, 6-2) plated three more runs in the second inning on consecutive RBI singles by Lynn Jehle, Mikaela Morgan and Tatum Klein.

Prairie scored its lone run in the third inning. Katelyn Kuch’s sacrifice fly to left field scored Brittney Lash from third base. Lash doubled to start the inning.



Saints sweep No.12 Hempstead in tight games

The Dubuque Hempstead softball team arrived in Cedar Rapids Monday with a sparkling 13-0 record and the No.12 spot in the new IGHSAU softball rankings.

The Mustangs (13-2, 8-2) went home with a headache.

The Xavier Saints (8-3, 7-3) swept Hempstead, 2-1 and 7-6, in a pair of Mississippi Valley Conference squeakers at the Xavier field.

Emily Walton drove in the winning run for Xavier in the first game with a fifth-inning double. Tyler Sampson hit a home run for the Saints (8-3, 7-3) in the second inning.

Abby Bedard went 3-for-4 and drove in a run in the second game for Xavier. Sydney Galligan was 2-for-3 with an RBI.


Matt Holland signs pro contract with Phillies

Matt Holland has signed his first professional baseball contract for $1,000 and a plane ticket to Florida.

It's not much, but he's delighted.

Holland, 23, was selected in the 22nd round of the Major League draft last week by the Philadelphia Phillies and will report to training camp in Clearwater, Fla., on Tuesday. He'll play for the Phils in the Rookie Gulf Coast League.

Opening day is Monday, June 20.

"I'm very excited," Holland said Monday. "It will be interesting to see what I can do down there."


Stokes, Stocker Linn County Athletes of Year

Kiah Stokes of Linn-Mar and Matt Stocker of Cedar Rapids Prairie were named the Linn County Athletes of the Year at the 11th Annual Celebration of Sports Banquet Sunday night at the Clarion Hotel & Convention Center.

The program was organized by the Cedar Rapids Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The winners were selected by members of the bureau's Sports Tourism Advisory Committee.


Determination propels Brittney Thomas into record books - and across the sea

Where volleyball is concerned, Brittney Thomas has had only two goals “my whole life,” she says. “I wanted to be captain of an All-Tournament team at state and I want to be an All-American in college. Fifty percent of my goals have been accomplished.”

The second goal seems attainable as well for the Mount Mercy University junior-to-be, a Marion High School grad who led her prep team to the 3A state title in 2009 and was named captain of the All-Tournament squad. Whatever happens, collegiate volleyball has already taken her to places she never imagined.

In her first season at Mount Mercy, Thomas broke the school’s single-season kills record with 504 and was named to the All-Conference team. She earned All-Conference honors again this past year and is on pace to break Mount Mercy’s career kills record of 1,283, set by Amy Osenbaugh in 1990-1993, in only her junior year next season.

At 5-foot-8, Thomas is not the tallest player on her team – or even the tallest of the three volleyball playing Thomas sisters, who include Jessica, a junior at Marion, and Alyssa, an eighth grader. Alyssa describes her oldest sister, who has been “hitting balls at my face as hard as she can since I was a little kid,” as one of her heroes.

The Thomas girls were nudged toward volleyball by their mother, Janet, who played volleyball at William Penn University. Their father, Greg, played baseball and basketball for the Statesmen. “My mom and dad are both really great athletes,” says Brittney.

The family moved to Marion when Brittney was in fourth grade after her father was named principal at Marion High School. “My mom put me in some volleyball camps and I just loved it,” she says. Thomas played club volleyball and joined the Vernon Middle School team. As a freshman at Marion, she played one game on the sophomore squad before being moved to the varsity.


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