Tuesday, May 26, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Women's Summer Collegiate Fast-Pitch Softball League

4 Illinois State players join IWSL

The softball team at Illinois State University hopes to battle for the Missouri Valley Conference title again this season after tying for the championship last year.

When their season is over, four of the Redbirds will be heading to Cedar Rapids to compete in the Iowa Women's Softball League this summer.

Alyssa Wiebel, a shortstop and left fielder from Benton Community, and Morgan Christner, a pitcher from New London, played in the inaugural season of the IWSL last summer.


Brittni LaFountaine, a catcher from East Moline, Ill., and Stephanie Thulen, a center fielder from Fenton, Ill., will be playing in IWSL for the first time this season.



Stranded SWCC players turn to summer league

The softball players at Southwestern Community College in Creston were bitterly disappointed this winter when the school announced it was canceling the 2018 season because there were only 11 student/athletes on the team.

Now at least two of those SWCC players will be finding an outlet in the Iowa Women's Softball League this summer. It's not the same as a college campaign, but it's the next-best thing in Iowa.

Addison Westercamp, a freshman at Southwestern, contacted the league this past weekend about playing this summer. She has not enrolled yet, but plans to register in the near future.


Westercamp contacted Meghan Gould, another freshman at Southwestern, and Gould promptly enrolled in the IWSL on Saturday. So even though SWCC will not be playing any games this spring, Westercamp and Gould will get to play 16 games this summer.

Gould is a middle infielder who was named to the Blue Grass All-Conference team while attending Murray High School. She lives in Osceola. Westercamp is a third baseman who attended Moulton-Udell High School.

Olivia Goodale, a sophomore All-American pitcher at Indian Hills Community College, also has enrolled for Year 2 of the summer league, putting 32 players in the fold with many more on the way.



Kurtz returning to IWSL for 2018 campaign

Taylor Kurtz has switched colleges, but she's sticking with the Iowa Women's Softball League.

Kurtz, a pitcher and corner infielder, has transferred to the University of Dubuque after two years at Waldorf University in Forest City.

Kurtz played sparingly at Waldorf, but she's hoping her experience in the IWSL last summer will pay dividends at her new college.

Kurtz starred at Mid-Prairie High School and was a member of the varsity softball team for five years, beginning as an eighth grader back in the 2011 campaign.


Kurtz compiled a 50-18 record as a pitcher, beginning with a 4-0 mark as an eighth grader and highlighted by an 18-5 record in 2014 as a junior. She was also a .300 hitter at Mid-Prairie with 19 home runs and 75 RBIs during her career.

Kurtz helped Mid-Prairie make four trips to the Class 3A state softball tournament, including a third-place finish in 2011 and fifth-place showings in 2013 and 2014. She twice was selected to the River Valley Conference all-star team.



Timmerman registers for 2nd year in IWSL

When Paige Timmerman enrolled in the Iowa Women's Softball League last year as a college freshman, she politely wondered if she could spend most of her time in the infield to boost her chances of making the starting lineup at Luther this year as a sophomore.

That's one of the benefits of playing in the IWSL: Players get a chance to help their college careers by playing a variety of spots against good competition, and Timmerman was an eager participant.

Timmerman can play just about any spot in the infield and outfield. She also can put on the gear and get behind the plate, but the Luther coaches suggested she focus on the infield for the 2018 college season that begins next month.


Timmerman appeared in nine games for Luther last year as a freshman when the Norse finished 41-5, won the Iowa Conference title advanced to the NCAA postseason tournament. She hopes to play a more prominent role for Luther this year, and perhaps her experience in the Iowa Women's Softball League last summer will help.

Timmerman is the 29th player to join the IWSL for the 2018 campaign, which will consist of eight Sunday doubleheaders in June and July. Players can choose either the East Division in Cedar Rapids or the new Central Division in Ames and Indianola.



Brie Tauber joins IWSL for 2018 campaign

Brie Tauber, an outstanding student/athlete at Clarke University in Dubuque, has joined the Iowa Women's Softball League for the 2018 campaign this summer.

Tauber, a middle infielder, hit .368 for Clarke last season as a sophomore. She also stole 23 bases and scored 51 runs in 53 games. She is a switch-hitter, somewhat of a rarity in college softball.

Clarke finished with a 41-12 record in 2017, including a 26-8 mark in the Heart of America Conference.

In addition to her work for the Clarke softball team, Tauber was named a Scholar/Athlete All-American by the NFCA in 2017 and made the Dean's List. She is studying biology and physical therapy.


Tauber earned five varsity letters during her high school career at Dubuque Hempstead and hit .397 as a senior in 2015. She was a member of the National Honor Society at Hempstead and was a two-time all-conference selection on the softball field.



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