The new Iowa Women's Softball League received a nice boost Monday when Brittney Roby and Brooke Craig from the successful University of Northern Iowa softball team joined the program.
A total of 31 college softball players have now joined the league, including eight players from NCAA Division I schools.
Roby has been an outstanding hitter at every rung of her softball career. She began her prep career by batting .642 as an eighth grader at Twin Cedars High School in Bussey and then hit .568, .655, .634 and .651 during the next four seasons.
Roby, an outfielder, collected 12 homers and 133 RBIs in high school and was named first team all-state for five straight years from 2010 through 2014.
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Roby continued her lusty hitting in college at DMACC, where she hit .582 with 15 homers and 85 RBIs as a freshman in 2015 and followed by hitting .551 with 10 homers and 68 RBIs last season as a sophomore.
Roby was named a first team NJCAA All-American during both of her campaigns at DMACC. Remarkably, she struck out only one time in 2016 and struck out only two times in 2015.
Roby is currently a junior at UNI with two more years of eligibility.
Craig, a pitcher and first baseman, enjoyed an illustrious all-state career at Waterloo Columbus High School from 2011 through 2015. She hit .524 with 15 home runs and 67 RBIs as a senior and compiled a 20-5 record and 1.30 ERA as a pitcher that season.
Craig finished her high school career with 38 homers and 196 RBIs, along with a 61-34 record as a pitcher with 771 strikeouts in 630 innings. She also lettered in basketball and track at Waterloo Columbus and was named the Waterloo Metro Volleyball Player of the Year.
Craig hit .286 with one home run and five RBIs in limited action at Northern Iowa as a freshman last season. She also pitched in three games.
The Iowa Women's Softball League has been created by the Metro Sports Report to give college players an opportunity to play in a competitive summer league. It's the only program of its kind in Iowa and is gaining enrollment on a daily basis.
The league is open to anyone who is currently playing college softball in Iowa, as well as all Iowans who are competing at out-of-state schools.
The season will consist of 10 doubleheaders on Sunday afternoons, 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 31 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)
22. Lexi Ferrari, Kirkwood (Alleman Catholic)
23. DoniRae Mayhew, Kirkwood (Bettendorf)
24. Morgan Christner, Illinois State (New London)
25. Paige Timmerman, Luther (CR Kennedy)
26. Megan Kublik, Kirkwood (Wilton)
27. Morgan Smith, Southeastern CC (Davenport North)
28. Gabi Carter, Indiana State (Kirkwood/CR Prairie)
29. Taylor Bell, Waldorf (Madrid)
30. Brittney Roby, UNI (DMACC/Twin Cedars)
31. Brooke Craig, UNI (Waterloo Columbus)
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 this 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 for 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.