Tuesday, June 19, 2018
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Women's Summer Collegiate Fast-Pitch Softball League

Duwa joins Iowa Women's Softball League

Another elite all-state softball player from Iowa has joined the new Iowa Women's Softball League.

Hailey Duwa starred at Pleasant Valley High School, where she was the Quad City Times Player of the Year and the Mississippi Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the Spartans.

Duwa enjoyed an incredible season as a senior in 2015 when she hit  .615 with 17 home runs and 60 RBIs.


Duwa, a first baseman, is currently a sophomore at Western Illinois University, where she leads the Leathernecks with a .356 batting average along with four homers and 13 RBIs.

Shelby Crist, who played at Kirkwood Community College and Upper Iowa University, also will be playing in the league this summer as a player/coach. She will be a head coach and also a catcher for her team.

Crist, a Cedar Rapids Prairie grad, hit .392 for the Hawks as a senior in 2011. She made the all-region team at Kirkwood and won a Gold Glove award from the Northern Sun Conference at Upper Iowa.



KCRG 9.2 will televise MSR softball games

The Metro Sports Report and KCRG 9.2 are happy to announce that the local ABC television station will broadcast two of the doubleheaders in the new Iowa Women's Softball League this summer.

KCRG 9.2 will offer live broadcasts of the twinbills that will be played at Coe College on Sunday, June 25 and Sunday, July 2 at 2 p.m. both days.

The new league has been formed by the Metro Sports Report to give active college players a league of their own. A few former college players will be playing as well.

"We are delighted that the folks at KCRG have decided to broadcast two  of our doubleheaders," said Metro Sports Report president Jim Ecker. "Thanks to 9.2, the players will get a chance to showcase their skills on TV and get the recognition they deserve.

"In addition, having the games on KCRG will help publicize the league and help us continue to grow."

The Iowa Women's Softball League is the only summer collegiate league in Iowa and has been well-received by players, coaches and the community.



Bridenstine joins Iowa Women's Softball League

Audra Bridenstine, another talented member of the top-ranked Kirkwood softball team, has joined the new Iowa Women's Softball League that will begin next month.

Bridenstine, a shortstop from West Liberty High School, is the ninth player from Kirkwood to join the new program. She joins Taylor Nearad, Maddie Hansen, Lexi Kinnaird, Morgan Frost, Lexi Ferrari, DoniRae Mayhew, Monika Bevans and Morgan Kublik from Coach Joe Yegge's talented team.

Bridenstine is hitting .400 with two home runs and 33 RBIs for the Eagles. She has also solidified the left side of the infield after becoming the starting shortstop in mid-season.

Two former college softball players also have joined the program. Jessica Nearad, who played at Solon High School and the University of Dubuque, and Bethany Koskamp, who played at Kennedy High School and Central College, have accepted invitations to play.


Jessica Nearad is the older sister of Taylor Nearad, who was honored as the Junior College National Player of the Year last season. Jessica Nearad hit .377 during the 2011 season at Dubuque and twice was named to the all-conference team in the Iowa Conference.

Koskamp earned five varsity letters during her career with the Kennedy Cougars. She served as a team captain at Central College and was named the Most Inspirational Player for the Dutch.



Aikey joins new Iowa Women's Softball League

The new Iowa Women's Softball League has reached all the way into Kentucky for its 40th player.

Kelsey Aikey, a Waverly-Shell Rock graduate who is currently pitching for Western Kentucky University, has joined the program that will begin this summer in Cedar Rapids.

Aikey pitched for Cedar Falls High School for four years before transferring to Waverly-Shell Rock as a senior in 2016, when she went 19-3 with a sparkling 0.87 earned run average. Aikey struck out 261 batters in 161 innings that season and also hit .381 with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs.

Aikey currently has a 4-3 record and 3.37 ERA as a freshman at Western Kentucky, an NCAA Division I school that competes in Conference USA.


The Iowa Women's Softball League has been formed by the Metro Sports Report as the only summer collegiate fast-pitch softball league in Iowa. The goal is to have four teams with 12 or 13 players apiece, so we're getting close with 40 players.

All told, 19 different colleges have at least one player in the  league. The list includes Kirkwood, UNI, Coe, Mount Mercy, Luther, Wartburg, Waldorf, Illinois State, Indian Hills, Loras, South Dakota  State, Upper Iowa, DMACC, Western Illinois, Southeastern Community College, Indiana State, Ellsworth, Webster and Western Kentucky.



Opiola, Promes join MSR softball league

Adara Opiola and Marissa Promes, a pair of outstanding softball players during their high school careers, have joined the new Iowa Women's Softball League for this summer.

Opiola, currently a freshman at Northern Iowa, was a three-time all-state selection during her prep days at Iowa City West, where she finished with 32 home runs, 195 RBIs and a .464 career batting average.

Opiola finished her career at Iowa City West in 2016 by hitting .479 with 11 homers and 64 RBIs and was named first team all-state for the third consecutive year.


Opiola has played sparingly at Northern Iowa this season. She has appeared in six games and is hitting .200 with one RBI.

Promes, now a sophomore at Indian Hills Community College, was a star pitcher at Greene County High School and Jefferson/Scranton during her  prep days. She compiled a glossy 72-13 record in high school with 723 strikeouts in 759.1 innings pitched.



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