Wednesday, October 28, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Big rally saves KCC at nationals

CLINTON, Miss. - The Kirkwood Eagles had one foot on the bus for the  long ride back to Cedar Rapids Thursday, but a big rally kept them  alive at the NJCAA Division II national softball tournament.

Kirkwood fell behind Madison, 8-0, in the second inning of an  elimination game at Traceway Park, but the Eagles stormed all the way  back for a 12-9 victory to play another day.

Kirkwood (2-1) will face Louisburg (2-1) in the double-elimination  tournament Friday at noon. Eight teams are still playing in the  tournament and eight have been eliminated.

The Eagles lost to DMACC, 6-3, in their first game Thursday to fall  into the losers bracket. They had to play again right away and got off  to a miserable start against Madison before igniting.

Kirkwood scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull  within 9-7, then the Eagles tacked on five more runs in the sixth to  claim a 12-9 advantage in the wild contest.

Erin Hocker, who was the losing pitcher against DMACC, pitched three  scoreless innings in relief against Madison and became the winning  pitcher when Kirkwood's offense came alive.

Jayme Finn and Lauren Klaahsen were both 3-for-4 with a homer, three  runs and two RBIs against Madison. Randyn Carter also went 3-for-4.  Shelby Hulsebus and Taleah Smith had two hits. Sydney Albaugh and  Smith had two RBIs.

Two former Metro softball stars helped DMACC top Kirkwood in the first  game Thursday. Cedar Rapids Jefferson grad Avery Guy belted two homers  and drove in five runs for the Bears. Cedar Rapids Prairie grad Morgan  Lewis had two hits for DMACC.

London Jackson and Klaahsen hit home runs against DMACC. Jackson was  2-for-3 with two RBIs.

The winners bracket semifinals feature DMACC against Phoenix and LSU  Eunice against Highland. The losers bracket pits Kirkwood against  Louisburg and Johnson County against Itawamba.


DMACC      102 020 1 - 6 12 0
Kirkwood   000 120 0 - 3 4 1

Swafford and Schumacher. Hocker and Butler. W - Swafford. L - Hocker.  2B - Stewart. HR - Jackson, Klaahsen. RBI - Jackson 2, Klaahsen.


Madison    620 100 0 - 9 10 2
Kirkwood   020 145 x - 12 15 3

Fink, Martin (5) and Ferch. Bouman, Hocker (5) and Barthelman, Butler  (5). W - Hocker. L - Martin. 2B - Jackson, Carter. HR - Klaahsen,  Finn. RBI - Hulsebus, Albaugh 2, Klaahsen 2, Finn 2, Carter, Smith 2.  SB - Hulsebus, Smith.


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