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Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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Mayhew sparkles again for No. 3 Eagles

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The Kirkwood softball team featured the National Player of the Year the last two seasons with Taylor Nearad, who captured the award in 2016 and won it again in 2017.

DoniRae Mayhew could make it three in a row for the Eagles.

Mayhew sparkled again as a hitter and pitcher Saturday as the third-ranked Eagles dumped Iowa Lakes, 11-3 and 16-3, in a cold ICCAC doubleheader at Kirkwood.

Mayhew belted two home runs in the twinbill, including a towering shot into the trees behind the center field fence, and pitched a complete game in the opener.

Mayhew is tied for third in the country with 12 homers and is tied for fifth in the country with 13 victories. She's also played well on defense at a variety of spots.

Mayhew is hitting .456 with those 12 homers and 33 RBIs, and she's got a perfect 13-0 record and 1.56 ERA in the circle.

That's a lot of production from one player and undoubtedly puts her in the discussion for Player of the Year.

"She's a candidate probably right now for it, but I don't think we've played enough games to give her real consideration for anything yet," said Kirkwood Coach Joe Yegge. "She'll be in the conversation."

Mayhew, a sophomore from Bettendorf, seemed a little surprised when the topic was broached after the doubleheader.

"It's never crossed my mind," she said. "I've just been thinking about what I need to do for the team and taking those roles as important.

"I'll just keep myself out of it," she said. "I don't really think about those type of things.

"I bet Taylor (Nearad) never thought about that either. It's just something that happens. And I'm going to keep working hard."

Mayhew hit .440 last season with 18 homers and 83 RBIs, so her hitting is no surprise. Her pitching has been a bonanza, however.

She had a 5-0 record last season, mostly as a relief pitcher, and Yegge thought other pitchers would carry the load this year. That changed when several freshman hurlers left the program.

Mayhew, normally a corner infielder, has been a savior.

"Pitching-wise we weren't expecting to use her," said Yegge. "We were thinking we wouldn't have to this fall. But she's been doing great.

"She doesn't get hit hard, so that's a nice thing. She takes care of herself at the plate, too."

Nearad, the two-time National Player of the Year, is now the starting center at Iowa State. Mayhew, possibly her successor with national honors, will be taking her talents to the University of Iowa.

"I'm not satisfied. There are still things that I could do better," Mayhew said. "There are always things you can improve in the game, because nobody is ever going to be perfect."

Kirkwood raised its records to 27-3 overall and 4-0 in the conference with Saturday's victories. Iowa Lakes fell to 11-17 overall and 2-6 in the league.

Kenady Waugh went 5-for-6 in the doubleheader with a home run, three RBIs and six runs scored. Lauren Kuch was 4-for-5 with a double, four runs and five RBIs. Monika Bevans was 3-for-5 with a three-run homer and five RBIs.

Natalie Halvorson (12-3) collected the victory in Game 2. Both games lasted only five innings due to the college mercy rule.

GAME 1

Iowa Lakes    002 00 - 2 7 1
Kirkwood      452 0x - 11 13 0

W - Mayhew.

GAME 2

Iowa Lakes    000 30 - 3 6 4
Kirkwood      371 5x - 16 11 1

W - Halvorson.

 
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