Wednesday, May 27, 2020
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Jim Ecker, President & Editor

Women's Summer Collegiate Fast-Pitch Softball League

Young, Onken join MSR softball league

Abbie Young of Ellsworth Community College and Hannah Onken of Wartburg are the latest college softball players to join the new Iowa Women's Softball League that will begin this year.

Young and Onken are the 32nd and 33rd players to join the program, which is intended for all active college players in Iowa and for all Iowans who are competing at out-of-state schools.

Seventeen 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 and Ellsworth.

Kirkwood has the most players in the program with eight. There are three apiece from UNI and Coe.


In addition, the 33 players hail from 25 different high schools. Solon leads the way with four former Spartans in the program and Kennedy has three graduates in the league.

Young, a second baseman, is a freshman at Ellsworth this year. She hit  .380 with 19 RBIs at AGWSR High School in Ackley last season and was named second team all-state in Class 1A. Young helped AGWSR win the 1A state title in 2015 and place third in 2013 and 2014.



UNI's Roby, Craig join softball league

The new Iowa Women's Softball League received a nice boost Monday when Brittney Roby and Brooke Craig from the successful University of Northern Iowa softball team joined the program.

A total of 31 college softball players have now joined the league, including eight players from NCAA Division I schools.

Roby has been an outstanding hitter at every rung of her softball  career. She began her prep career by batting .642 as an eighth grader  at Twin Cedars High School in Bussey and then hit .568, .655, .634 and .651 during the next four seasons.

Roby, an outfielder, collected 12 homers and 133 RBIs in high school and was named first team all-state for five straight years from 2010 through 2014.


Roby continued her lusty hitting in college at DMACC, where she hit .582 with 15 homers and 85 RBIs as a freshman in 2015 and followed by hitting .551 with 10 homers and 68 RBIs last season as a sophomore.

Roby was named a first team NJCAA All-American during both of her  campaigns at DMACC. Remarkably, she struck out only one time in 2016 and struck out only two times in 2015.

Roby is currently a junior at UNI with two more years of eligibility.



Taylor Bell joins MSR softball league

Taylor Bell loves softball so much that she's willing to drive four hours every Sunday this summer to play in a collegiate league in Cedar  Rapids.

Bell, who lives 120 miles away in Madrid, has become the 29th player to join the new Iowa Women's Softball League. She'll have a two-hour drive each way to Cedar Rapids, but she's looking forward to the games.

Bell plans to redshirt this season as a fourth-year senior at Waldorf University in Forest City and then finish her collegiate career at Waldorf in 2018.

She thinks playing in the Iowa Women's Softball League against top-flight competition will help prepare her for her final year in college. Taylor Kurtz, one of her teammates at Waldorf who is from Mid-Prairie, told her about the league and encouraged her to get  involved.


"It sounds like fun and a good way to get ready for my final year at Waldorf," she said.

Bell began her college career at DMACC in 2014, when the Bears finished third at the junior college World Series. She transferred to Waldorf after her freshman year at DMACC and hit .252 last season.

Bell, a middle infielder and center fielder, was a five-year starter at Madrid High School and hit .437 as a senior in 2013. She earned  all-conference and all-district honors in high school.



Gabi Carter joins MSR softball league

Gabi Carter will return home to Swisher this May after playing  softball at Indiana State University, but the Cedar Rapids Prairie grad would like to keep playing in a competitive league this summer.

That's why she has joined the new Iowa Women's Softball League that is being organized by the Metro Sports Report.

Carter is the sixth NCAA Division I player to join the league and the 28th player overall.

Carter, an infielder, graduated from Prairie in 2015 and had a sensational year as a freshman at Kirkwood last season. She hit .442  with 21 home runs and 84 RBIs, helping the Eagles compile a 58-6  record and place fifth at the national tournament.


Carter was named a junior college All-American at Kirkwood and accepted a scholarship to join Indiana State this year as a sophomore.

The Iowa Women's Softball League has been created by the Metro Sports Report to give college players an opportunity to play in a competitive summer league. It's the only program of its kind in Iowa and is gaining enrollment on a daily basis.



Morgan Smith joins MSR softball league

The new Iowa Women's Softball League has added another talented player from the Quad Cities.

Morgan Smith, a former team captain and all-conference catcher at  Davenport North, has become the third player from the Quad Cities and the 27th overall to join the league.

Smith is currently a freshman at Southeastern Community College in West Burlington. She joins DoniRay Mayhew of Bettendorf and Lexi Ferrari of Rock Island Alleman as members of the Quad Cities connection. Mayhew and Ferrari are both at Kirkwood.

Smith was the starting catcher at Davenport North for five straight years, beginning as an eighth grader in 2012. She hit .379, .358 and .364 during her last three years in high school and also was a two-time selection to all-academic teams.


The Iowa Women's Softball League has been created by the Metro Sports Report to give college players an opportunity to play in a competitive summer league. It's the only program of its kind in Iowa and is  gaining enrollment on a daily basis.

The league is open to anyone who is currently playing college softball in Iowa, as well as all Iowans who are competing at out-of-state schools.



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