Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Hansen making bid for JUCO Triple Crown


OTTUMWA - Taylor Nearad made a serious bid for the Triple Crown in junior college softball last year.

Now it's Maddie Hansen's turn for Kirkwood.

Hansen went 4-for-5 and belted two home runs Wednesday as the  top-ranked Eagles swept a doubleheader from Indian Hills, 9-2 and 5-1, in Ottumwa.

Hansen is batting .557 with 15 home runs and 72 RBIs. She leads all NJCAA Division II players in RBIs, is tied for second in home runs and  is third in batting average.

Nearad is not far behind her teammate. She went 4-for-8 with two home runs and four RBIs Wednesday and is hitting .527 with 15 homers and 63  RBIs.

Nearad has socked 45 home runs in two years at Kirkwood, tying the school mark set by Kayla Tatge in 2012 and 2013. Nearad hit 30 homers  last year to break the single-season record.

Kirkwood originally was scheduled to play DMACC Wednesday in a showdown for the conference lead, but that doubleheader has been switched to Friday in Boone.

Lexi Kinnaird, who leads the nation in victories and strikeouts, raised her record to 21-2 in the first game against Indian Hills. She struck out nine batters and has 213 whiffs in 139 innings.

Hansen went 3-for-3 in the opener with two home runs. Nearad was 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs. Lexi Ferrari and DoniRae Mayhew also belted home runs and drove in two runs in the 9-2 triumph.

Angie McBeain (17-0) pitched a six-hitter in the 5-1 victory in the second game. Nearad was 2-for-4 again with another homer and two more RBIs. Mayhew hit another home run and drove in three runs. Audra Bridenstine was 2-for-3.

Mayhew has 13 home runs this season and Ferrari has 12.

Kirkwood raised its record to 43-2.


Kirkwood       301 023 0 - 9 10 2
Indian Hills   000 002 0 - 2 10 0

W - Kinnaird. L - Goodale.


Kirkwood       000 030 2 - 5 9 0
Indian Hills   000 001 0 - 1 6 2

W - McBeain. L - Promes.


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