Saturday, July 21, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Eagles edged in finals by No. 1 team

HARRISON, Ark. - The Kirkwood Eagles made another remarkable run at the national tournament this year, but this time they landed a few points short against the No. 1 team in the country.

The second-ranked Eagles made a spirited comeback Saturday night but lost to top-ranked Monroe Community College of New York, 62-56, in the championship game of the NJCAA Division II women's basketball tournament at Pioneer Pavilion.

Kirkwood was aiming for back-to-back national crowns, but the Eagles had to settle for second place after seeing their 24-game winning streak finally come to an end with their first loss in three months.

Kirkwood finished the season with a 34-4 mark, giving the Eagles an incredible two-year record of 71-4 with one national title and one second-place showing.

Coach Kim Muhl saluted his team after the game, especially the six sophomores who played the past two seasons.

"They're a special group of kids. There's no question about it," said Muhl.  "My gosh, you play 75 games and win 71 of them, you must have done something well.



No. 2 Eagles win thriller in semis

HARRISON, Ark. - Kim Muhl has enjoyed a long list of tremendous victories during his 29 years as Kirkwood's head coach, but Friday night's triumph over Highland has to rank near the top.

The second-ranked Eagles stormed back from a nine-point deficit in the second half and trimmed the third-ranked Scotties, 77-74, in the semifinals of the NJCAA Division II national tournament at Pioneer Pavilion.

Kirkwood (34-3) will face top-ranked Monroe (28-2) in the championship game Saturday night at 7:30, with Muhl seeking his eighth national crown with the Eagles and second in a row.

Highland had won all 34 of its games this season and was averaging 99.3 points per game, by far the highest mark in the country with outbursts of 138, 137 and 134 points, but the Eagles kept them under wraps for the most part with an effective zone defense that yielded to a man-to-man in the fourth quarter.

Highland launched a long 3-pointer in the final seconds in an effort to tie the game and force overtime, but the shot missed the basket by several feet and Kirkwood got the ball out-of-bounds with just six-tenths of a second remaining.



Mayhew creates mayhem for Eagles

DoniRae Mayhew figured she'd spend most of her time as a corner infielder for the Kirkwood Eagles this season, but she's turned into a star pitcher who's also spent time at shortstop.

No matter where she plays, Mayhew continues to cause major problems for Kirkwood's opponents.

Mayhew tossed a one-hitter and went 3-for-3 Thursday afternoon as the third-ranked Eagles dumped No. 20 Madison College, 8-0, in the first game of a doubleheader at Kirkwood.

Mayhew then slugged a home run in the second game to help the Eagles sweep the twinbill, 8-1, raising their record to 22-2.

Mayhew, a sophomore from Bettendorf, is now 10-0 with a 1.77 ERA for the Eagles as their co-No. 1 pitcher with Natalie Halvorson. She's also hitting .406 with eight home runs.

Mayhew did not expect to pitch so much this season, but she's moved to the forefront after several other hurlers left the team.

"When the school year started we had, I think, five pitchers," she said. "Our pitching depth is a little short now, but I think we can still get it done with what we have."



No. 12 Kirkwood baseball sweeps twinbill

MARSHALLTOWN - The 12th-ranked Kirkwood baseball team raised its record to 16-3 Wednesday afternoon by sweeping a doubleheader at Marshalltown, 5-3 and 10-1.

The Eagles have won seven straight games heading into weekend doubleheaders at DMACC Saturday and Sunday.

Kirkwood scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to snap a 3-3 tie and grab the opener. Taylor Jackson went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, two RBIs and three runs.

Izaya Fullard was 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Will Rodruck picked up the victory in relief with two scoreless innings and Kaden Wadle got the save with a perfect inning in the bottom of the seventh.



No. 2 Eagles survive upset bid at tourney

HARRISON, Ark. - The Kirkwood Eagles breathed a big sigh of relief Wednesday night and moved into the semifinals of the NJCAA Division II national tournament.

The second-ranked Eagles squandered most of a 16-point lead but survived an upset bid by seventh-ranked North Arkansas, 65-61, in the quarterfinals of the women's tourney at Pioneer Pavilion.

Kirkwood (33-3) will face third-ranked Highland (31-0) in the semifinals Friday night at 6 p.m.

Kirkwood led 45-29 midway through the third quarter, but the Eagles committed a string of turnovers that helped North Arkansas storm back into the ballgame at 45-43 early in the fourth period with a 14-0 run.

The Pioneers, playing before a big crowd on their home floor, had all the momentum in their favor, but the Eagles never got rattled and found a way to win their 23th straight game and hand North Arkansas its only loss at home this season.

"They had a great crowd, a great atmosphere," said Kirkwood Coach Kim Muhl, who is seeking his eighth national title. "They hit shots that were tough shots, I thought.

"We survived it," he said. "I thought our kids showed a lot of resilience. Just enough to win."

Christmas Puok hit a pair of big 3-pointers to give Kirkwood a little breathing room at 52-44 with 6:15 left and it was still an eight-point game at 60-52 when Awal Ajak scored for the Eagles with 1:45 remaining.



No. 2 KCC women roll at national tourney

HARRISON, Ark. - The Kirkwood Eagles jumped to a 24-2 lead after the first quarter Tuesday afternoon and crushed Gogebic Community College, 95-56, in the opening round of the NJCAA Division II national tournament.

The second-ranked Eagles (32-3) will face North Arkansas College (20-6) in the quarterfinals Wednesday at 8 p.m.

North Arkansas is the host school and the entire tournament is being played on its home court at Pioneer Pavilion in Harrison, Ark., where they have a strong following.

"It will be packed here tomorrow night," said Kirkwood Coach Kim Muhl. "It will be rocking, because they're pretty excited about them playing. It will be a wild one, I think."

North Arkansas won its regional title to earn a spot in the national tournament as the No. 7 seed.

"They had to win the right to get here and they did," said Muhl. "It's not going to be easy, because they play very well here. I'm telling you, it's going to be packed.

"They had a large crowd today and the gym was full, so I can't imagine at 8 o'clock how many people will crawl out from under the rocks."



No. 14 Eagles win eight games in Florida

WINTER HAVEN - The 14th-ranked Kirkwood baseball team finished a remarkable trip to Florida on Friday with two more impressive victories.

The Eagles dumped Rowan College, 8-1, in their first outing and rolled by Monroe Community College 19-6, in their second contest.

Kirkwood compiled an 8-1 record on its spring trip and returns home with a 14-3 overall mark.

Ellison Hanna went 4-for-5 with a double, home run and five RBIs in the 19-6 victory over Monroe. Taylor Jackson was 2-for-3 with a homer, three RBIs and three runs.

Korry Howell, Izaya Fullard, Cal Clark, Ross Kramer and Chili Moseley all had two hits against Monroe. Howell scored four times, Fullard had two doubles and Moseley drove in two runs. Kirby Kerr also had two RBIs.



Halverson tosses no-hitter for Kirkwood

FAYETTE, Mo. - Natalie Halvorson tossed a no-hitter for the Kirkwood Eagles Thursday in an 8-0 victory over Central Methodist in the second game of a doubleheader in Fayette, Mo.

Halvorson, a freshman from Cedar Rapids Prairie, struck out 10 batters and walked two while raising her record to 9-2.

DoniRae Mayhew also pitched a strong game for the third-ranked Eagles in a 7-1 victory in the opener. Mayhew (9-0) did not allow an earned run and had seven strikeouts with no walks.

Kirkwood raised its overall record to 20-2 with the sweep.

Monika Bevans went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI in the 7-1 victory in the opener. Lauren Kuch went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Rachel Stewart was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Kenady Waugh and Jessi Butler also picked up RBIs in the first game.



No. 14 KCC baseball wins twice

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - The red-hot Kirkwood baseball team won a squeaker and a laugher Thursday.

The 14th-ranked Eagles scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh for a 5-4 walk-off victory over the College of Rhode Island in their first game in Winter Haven, Fla.

Ellison Hanna scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch as Ross Kramer drew a walk.

Kirkwood (12-3) rolled to a 17-1 victory over Dakota County Technical College in its second game Thursday with a strong effort on the pitching mound by Cal Stalzer.

Korry Howell went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs in the 5-4 victory over Rhode Island. Taylor Jackson socked a solo homer, Hanna scored twice and Kramer picked up an RBI.

Will Rodruck pitched three innings in relief for the victory, allowing no hits and one unearned run with four strikeouts. Cameron Leff tossed the first four innings for the Eagles.



No. 14 KCC baseball smashes foe, 22-0

VERO BEACH, Fla. - Ross Kramer picked a good day to pitch for the Kirkwood baseball team.

The 14th-ranked Eagles erupted for 14 runs in the fourth inning Wednesday and demolished the Ontario Nationals, 22-0, in five innings on their spring trip to Florida.

Kramer tossed a one-hit shutout for Kirkwood (10-3). He struck out eight batters and walked two.

Korry Howell, Izaya Fullard and Manny Olutunde had three hits for the Eagles. Howell, Fullard, Ellison Hanna and Max McCay had three RBIs.



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