Tuesday, May 26, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

4 Illinois State players join IWSL

The softball team at Illinois State University hopes to battle for the Missouri Valley Conference title again this season after tying for the championship last year.

When their season is over, four of the Redbirds will be heading to Cedar Rapids to compete in the Iowa Women's Softball League this summer.

Alyssa Wiebel, a shortstop and left fielder from Benton Community, and Morgan Christner, a pitcher from New London, played in the inaugural season of the IWSL last summer.


Brittni LaFountaine, a catcher from East Moline, Ill., and Stephanie Thulen, a center fielder from Fenton, Ill., will be playing in IWSL for the first time this season.

A total of 36 players have now registered for the summer league, including 25 players for the Eastern Division in Cedar Rapids and 11 players for the new Central Division in Indianola and Ames.

Wiebel hit .259 with eight homers and 27 RBIs for Illinois State as a freshman last season. She was the Iowa Gatorade Player of the Year in 2016 as a senior at Benton Community.

Christner had a 1-0 record and 2.95 ERA in eight appearances last year as a rookie in college.

Thulen appeared in 27 games last year at Illinois State as a pinch-runner but did not have any official plate appearances as a freshman. She was a four-time all-state selection at Erie-Prophetstown High School in Illinois and holds her school records for home runs.

LaFountaine, who was an all-conference catcher in high school, is just starting her career with the Redbirds.

According to NCAA rules, as many as four players from one school can play on the same team in the summer, and the plan is for all four Redbirds to play together in the IWSL.

The Iowa Women's Softball League was created by the Metro Sports Report last year and is the only summer college league in Iowa. The league began with four teams and 60 players in Cedar Rapids, and a new Central Division is planned for Ames and Indianola.

All current and former college softball players are eligible for the league, including graduating seniors. The player fee is $100. Scholarships are available.

Click on the registration link with this story to enroll. Have a credit card handy to pay the $100 through PayPal.

The IWSL will play a 16-game schedule this summer, with eight Sunday doubleheaders in June and July.

The Hawkeye Convenience Stores are the title sponsor for the league.


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