Sunday, August 18, 2019
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

KCC women fall in regional finals

MASON CITY - The Kirkwood women's basketball team is ranked No. 4 in the country, but the Eagles will not get a chance to compete for the national title this season.

Kirkwood lost to second-ranked NIACC, 77-70, in the championship game of the NJCAA Division II regional tournament Sunday in Mason City.

NIACC, enjoying the home-court advantage in the entire regional, advances to the national tournament March 19-23 in Harrison, Ark., with a 27-5 record and 15-game winning streak.

Coach Kim Muhl and the Kirkwood Eagles finished the season with a 27-7 record.

Kirkwood and NIACC tied for the conference title, but NIACC won the tiebreaker for the No.1 seed and home court. Kirkwood and NIACC played three times this season and the home team won each time, with NIACC prevailing twice in Mason City.



KCC baseball drops entire series

ALTUS, Okla. - The Kirkwood baseball team squandered an early 6-0 lead Sunday and lost to Western Oklahoma State, 13-6.

The 10th-ranked Eagles dropped all four games in the series against the No. 8 team in the country and were outscored, 43-16.

Kirkwood fell to 2-5 for the campaign, with an 8.08 team ERA and .245 team batting average.

The Eagles scored three runs in the top of the second inning and added three runs in the third for a 6-0 lead. Western Oklahoma State countered with four runs in the bottom of the third and four more runs in the fourth for an 8-6 lead on their way to victory.



Jackson socks 2 homers for Eagles

ALTUS, Okla. - Taylor Jackson belted two home runs for the Kirkwood Eagles in an 8-3 loss to Western Oklahoma State in the second game of their doubleheader Saturday.

Western Oklahoma State, which is ranked eighth in the country, captured the first game 13-6 by scoring nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The two setbacks dropped the 10th-ranked Kirkwood Eagles to 2-4 for the season.

Jackson provided all the offense for Kirkwood in the 8-3 loss in the nightcap. The Eagles had only two hits in the ballgame and Jackson had both of them with his home runs.

Kirkwood had a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning in the opener, but Western Oklahoma got on the board in the bottom of the third and tacked on five runs in the bottom of the fourth to take command.



KCC softball splits at tourney

COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Kirkwood softball team split its final two games  at the NFCA Lead-Off Classic Saturday to finish the prestigious  tournament with a 2-and-3 record.

The fourth-ranked Eagles were nipped by Northwest Florida State, 2-1,  in their first game Saturday. Kirkwood blanked Sinclair Community  College, 7-0, in their second contest.

Northwest Florida State scored in the top of the seventh inning to  snap a 1-1 deadlock and claim a 2-1 victory. Erin Hocker (4-2) was the  tough-luck loser for the Eagles, allowing two runs on six hits.



Wilson, Eagles soar to nationals

Doug Wilson is a proud man, but he's also a humble man who rarely shows his emotions in public.

That changed Saturday. Dramatically.

First the Kirkwood superstar was named the MVP of the regional tournament and quickly dissolved in tears, only partially obscured by the towel he placed over his face in a failed attempt at privacy.

A few minutes later the 6-foot-7 sophomore from Des Moines was honored as the Outstanding Player for the entire season in Region XI and the tears flowed again.

This all happened after the second-ranked Kirkwood Eagles tamed seventh-ranked NIACC, 84-72, in a slugfest in the regional championship game at Johnson Hall Saturday afternoon.

Wilson poured in 27 points despite missing the final 11 minutes, 22 seconds of the first half with two fouls. He scored 21 of his 27 points in the second half to help the Eagles earn a spot in the NJCAA national tournament.



KCC women eye regional title

MASON CITY - To no one's surprise, the fourth-ranked Kirkwood Eagles  and second-ranked NIACC Trojans will battle for the regional title in  women's basketball Sunday.

To everyone's chagrin, only one of these premier teams will qualify  for the national tournament and the other one will be done for the year.

Only the regional champion reaches the national tournament. There are  no at-large bids in NJCAA Division II basketball, so one of the best  teams in the country will not make it.

Kirkwood reached the regional finals by topping DMACC, 68-60, in the  semifinals Saturday in Mason City. NIACC advanced by stomping Iowa  Central, 88-49, in the other semifinal.

Kirkwood (27-6) and NIACC (26-5) will tangle Sunday at 1 p.m. on  NIACC's home floor in Mason City. The two teams tied for the  conference title and swapped six-point victories on their home courts,  but NIACC won the tiebreaker and was awarded the home-court advantage  in the regional.



Eagles nipped by No. 1 Jones County

COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Kirkwood women's softball team battled top-ranked  Jones County to the wire Friday, but dropped a 6-4 verdict when Jones  County scored twice in the top of the seventh.

The fourth-ranked Eagles finished with a 1-2 record on the first day  of their trip to Georgia. They lost to Indian River, 7-1, in their  second game Friday and topped Rock Valley, 6-3, in eight innings in  their final contest.

The outcomes left Kirkwood with a 9-2 record for the campaign.

Taleah Smith continued her hot hitting for Kirkwood. She went 7 for 12  in the three ballgames and scored three runs. Smith is hitting .622  for the campaign.



No. 10 KCC baseball team falls

ALTUS, Okla. - The 10th-ranked Kirkwood baseball team traveled to  western Oklahoma in search of warmer weather Friday and lost to  eighth-ranked Western Oklahoma State College, 11-1, in seven innings.

Western Oklahoma State (16-2) scored five runs in the second inning  and tacked on five more runs in the seventh inning to end the game by  the 10-run mercy rule.

Kirkwood (2-2) collected only five hits. Zion Pettigrew hit a double  and D'Eric Shenault had a triple.



No. 2 Eagles reach regional finals

The Kirkwood Eagles have a strong candidate for National Player of the  Year with Doug Wilson, but they proved they can win a big game without  him playing a big role Thursday night.

The second-ranked Eagles knocked off DMACC, 87-77, in the regional  semifinals with Wilson saddled with foul problems for a long stretch  of the second half with the game in doubt.

Kirkwood (26-4) will host seventh-ranked NIACC (25-4) in the NJCAA  Division II regional finals Saturday at 3 p.m., with a trip to the  national tournament to the victor.

Wilson, a 6-foot-7 All-American from Des Moines, picked up his third  foul with 16:57 left in the game and headed to the bench with the  Eagles clinging to a six-point lead at 42-36.

As it turned out, they had nothing to worry about.



No. 4 Eagles cruise in regional

The Kirkwood women's basketball team plans to spend the weekend in Mason City, but the Eagles are not going there for the fine cuisine or weather.

The fourth-ranked Eagles are headed to Mason City for the final two rounds of the NJCAA Division II regional tournament, with a trip to the national tournament the ultimate prize.

Kirkwood reached the semifinals of the regional Wednesday night by pounding Southwestern, 87-49, in the opening round at Johnson Hall.

The Eagles led, 47-11, at halftime and put the game on cruise control in the second half.

Kirkwood (26-6) will face DMACC (16-14) in the semifinals Saturday at 3 p.m. in Mason City. NIACC (25-5) will meet Iowa Central (18-12) in the other semifinal, with the winners colliding Sunday for the regional title.

NIACC, which is located in Mason City, is hosting the semifinals and finals as the No. 1 seed in the regional. NIACC and Kirkwood tied for the conference title and swapped six-point victories during the regular season, but NIACC got the No. 1 seed based on point differential against all the other teams in the ICCAC conference.

Kirkwood Coach Kim Muhl does not like the way "point differential" was employed to break the tie, thinking it can lead to unsportsmanlike conduct by teams that might be inclined to run up the score against a hapless opponent. It did not escape Muhl's attention that NIACC scored 131 points against winless Ellsworth when NIACC and Kirkwood were battling for the No. 1 seed.



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