Two more former all-state softball players have joined the new Iowa Women's Softball League, which will begin its first season of competition this May.
Emily Ira, a product of the famed program at Solon High School, and Sydney Robertson, a former star at Vinton-Shellsburg, are the 20th and 21st players to join the program.
Ira was named the All-Iowa Elite Softball Player of the Year by the Des Moines Register in 2015 and was a three time all-state selection. She helped Solon make five trips to the state tournament during her career and twice was named to the all-tournament team.
Ira compiled a 28-2 record and 0.53 ERA as a senior at Solon, with 363 strikeouts and only 35 walks in 185 innings. She also hit .588 with three home runs and 58 RBIs that season.
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Ira continued her good work as a freshman pitcher at Western Illinois last season. She collected 137 strikeouts and was named the school's Female Rookie of the Year. She also made the spring academic honor roll in the Summit League and was named a distinguished scholar.
Robertson, an outfielder, was a two time all-state selection during her prep career at Vinton-Shellsburg in 2014 and 2015. She hit .465 as a senior.
Robertson hit .579 in limited at-bats for DMACC last season as a freshman when the Bears reached the national junior college tournament and finished with a 52-8 record.
The Iowa Women's Softball League has been formed by the Metro Sports Report to give all college players in Iowa, along with all Iowans who are competing at out-of-state schools, a chance to play in a competitive league during the summer.
The season will consist of 10 doubleheaders on Sunday afternoons next summer, beginning on Sunday, May 28 and running through Sunday, July 30. All of the games will be played at Kirkwood Community College and Coe College in Cedar Rapids, beginning at 2 p.m. each day.
The goal is to have four teams with 16 players per team.
Here are the 21 players who have joined so far:
1. Erin Kuba, Indian Hills (CR Jefferson)
2. Peyton Baskerville, Mount Mercy (CR Kennedy)
3. Tianna Drahn, Northern Iowa (CR Kennedy)
4. Lexi Kinnaird, Kirkwood (Clear Creek Amana)
5. Maddy Ryan, Coe (Linn-Mar)
6. Mallory McArtor, Coe (Mid-Prairie)
7. Taylor Nearad, Kirkwood (Solon)
8. Bria Lenten, Loras (CR Washington)
9. Tawny Menster, Mount Mercy (Anamosa)
10. Maddie Hansen, Kirkwood (CR Jefferson)
11. Megan Bonnett, Luther (IC Regina)
12. Morgan Frost, Kirkwood (Don Bosco)
13. Taylor Kurtz, Waldorf (Mid-Prairie)
14. Haley Jones, Coe (Waterloo West)
15. Morgan Goedken, Wartburg (IC Regina)
16. Alyssa Wiebel, Illinois State (Benton)
17. Monika Bevans, Kirkwood (Solon)
18. Ali Herdliska, South Dakota State (Solon)
19. Erin Drahozal, Upper Iowa (Xavier)
20. Emily Ira, Western Illinois (Solon)
21. Sydney Robertson, DMACC (Vinton-Shellsburg)
Anyone interested in joining the league is strongly encouraged to register now and reserve a spot, even if they have not finalized their plans for next summer. The $100 player fee will be refunded if they are unable to play, with no questions asked.
The entire registration process can be handled on-line. Simply click on the link to the registration form that appears with this story.
The Metro Sports Report hopes all players will attend all of the games, but the company will certainly understand if a player needs to miss a few games due to a job commitment, family function, vacation or any other reason.
The league will use a continuous batting order with free defensive substitution, to make sure the playing time is as equal as possible for everyone.
Scholarships are available. All anyone has to do is ask.
The four gold medal sponsors of the Iowa Women's Softball League are Ironside Apparel, Construction Materials, Emil's Hideaway restaurant and the Barracudas AAU softball program. Play It Again Sports of Cedar Rapids is a silver medal sponsor.