July 23, 2014

Lansing Kee pulls upset in 1A quarterfinal, Highland advances in 2A

Senior catcher Ellie Heiderscheit slammed a two run triple in the fourth inning to snap a scoreless tie and scored on an errant throw as Lansing Kee stunned second rated Lynnville-Sully 4-0 in a class 1A quarterfinal round game. “I’ve been waiting for one and it just happened to hit the right spot,” Heiderscheit says. ” I was exhausted by the time I got home, but it was all worth it, completely worth it.”

The Hawks are a win away from the state championship game just two years after posting an 0-25 record. “We’ve had a long hard road coming, it took a lot of work in the offseason, it started in January. This just means so much, it’s so nice,” Heierscheit says.

Class 2A

Katie Springer tossed a three hitter as top ranked Highland of Riverside blanked St. Ansgar 5-0. Highland coach Carrie Wieland says Springer appeared to be a little nervous at the start, but they knew with good defense she could do it. Wieland says while happy with the victory there is plenty of room for improvement. She says they left too many runners on base or the game would not have been close.


Defending 5A champs win opener at softball tourney

Defending champion Dowling Catholic scored three runs in the top of the fifth and got a 3 hitter from senior pitcher Claudia Farrell as the second rated Maroons got by number-seven Pleasant Valley 4-1 in a class 5A quarterfinal.

Farrell says she was concerned when the game was scoreless heading to the fifth inning. After falling behind 4-0, Pleasant Valley scored its lone run in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Spartans had a chance to score the first run in the bottom of the fourth but failed to convert with a runner at third and one out.

Markee Brown’s RBI single in the top of the sixth inning scored the first run of the game as third ranked Southeast Polk edged sixth rated Cedar Rapids Jefferson 2-0 in a class 5A quarterfinal.

Southeast Polk coach Tia Stiles says she was confident her team would find a way to score. Jefferson failed to score despite registering 7 hits.


Bondurant-Farrar, Clarke get opening wins at state softball tourney

Defending champion Bondurant-Farrar rolled to a 9-4 victory over West Burlington/Notre Dame in a class 3A quarterfinal round game. Coach Roger Roland’s team started quickly by scoring seven runs in the first inning. “Then we got a little shaky, it’s a long time to keep a lead for 7 innings when you play a really good team,” Roland says. He says they deserve credit for continuing to battle to the end.

Roland says the Blue Jays lost the momentum after the big first inning and says he began to wonder “Am I the only coach in the world that’s going to lose a 7-0 lead at state?”

West Burlington/Notre Dame coach David Oleson says he was proud of the way his team battled back. “It was an unfortunate start for us, had an error, had maybe a ball that should have been caught, walked a couple and the next thing you know, they’ve got 7 on the board,” Oleson says.

It was too big of a hill for the Falcons to climb out of as they fall to 23-13. Oleson says a couple of breaks would have let them back into it, “But we didn’t quit, I’m really proud of them for that.”

Third ranked Clarke blew the game open by scoring seven runs in the third inning in a 13-0 win over Spirit Lake in a class 3A quarterfinal. Carley Robbins had a two run homer for the Lady Indians, her fifth round tripper of the season. “I had 3 last year up here, so it’s kind of ironic. I’ve kind of been in a hitting slump…so I am glad I hit that,” Robbins says.

Clarke scored a run in the first and five more in the second and Robbins says that helped everyone relax.

Dallas Center-Grimes, East Marshall win to open softball tourney

Dallas Center-Grimes showed why it is heavily favored in class 4A. The top ranked and defending champion Fillies pounded out 12 hits and rolled to a 12-2 victory over LeMars.

Dallas Center-Grimes coach Steve Schlafke who says his team was expecting a tough battle. “It was a good game for us, I though Le Mars battled. It was their first time here and I thought they had some jitters,” Schlafke says. He says jitters are normal for a first-time tournament team, but he thought they outplayed his team late in the game.

After two straight first round losses,  second ranked East Marshall finally broke through. The Mustangs got home runs from Ashley Allen and Sophia Grego and held off a late rally by Mid-Prairie to post a 4-3 victory in a class 3A quarterfinal. Allens was a two run blast to right center in the third that made it 3-0.

Allen says the Mustangs were motivated after losing all three games at the state tournament a year ago. Trailing 4-1 heading into the seventh the Golden Hawks rallied with two runs but could not get the tying run across.

Mid-Prairie coach Kara Beatty who says her team will have a chance to bounce back in the consolation round.


Hawkeye football players ignoring preseason hype

With preseason camp a little more than two weeks away members of the Iowa football team are ignoring predictions for the upcoming season. After posting an 8-5 record a year ago, including a trip to the Outback Bowl, most of the preseason magazines predict another successful campaign for the Hawkeyes but quarterback Jack Rudock says nobody is satisfied with last year’s results. “I’m not complacent, I’m pushing myself, coaches are pushing me, everybody on our team is pushing each other,”Rudock says. He says if someone gets complacent, the leaders on the team will get them going.

Rudock says he is focused on the present and not looking at the season as a whole. He says the workouts ahead of them are the most important thing and the only game that matters right now is the season opener against UNI.

Defensive end Drew Ott says he does not pay any attention to the preseason predictions. He says no one really gets too involved in the preseason hype. The Hawkeyes open the season at home against UNI on August 30th.

Lebron James’ choice of Cleveland makes Hawkeye Aaron White happy

Iowa basketball player Aaron White had a front row seat last week as basketball fans waited for LeBron James to decide on his future. White attended a skills academy in Las Vegas hosted by the NBA superstar who announced late last week he will be returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

White grew up near Cleveland and is a Cavaliers fan. “The first night I got there we had a banquet and they actually advised us not to ask him questions regarding his future plan and stuff like that,” White says. “When he actually decided he wasn’t in town and he wasn’t at the camp. Obviously being from Cleveland and having pride in being from there, I’m happy. I’m glad for the fans, and I think it was a good choice by him.”

White says James’ return to Cleveland is great news for the city. He says they are estimating the James will bring $500 million to the city by him coming back.


Watson enjoys one pitch, one out in All Star game

Tony Watson after the All Star Game.

Tony Watson after the All Star Game.

It was a late entrance and an early exit for Iowa’s baseball All Star last night. Pitcher Tony Watson came out of the bullpen to begin the 8th inning for the National League squad, but only ended up throwing one pitch, as he induced a fly out from White Sox slugger Jose Abreu. “He told me I was just going to have the first hitter, so I just wanted to go out there and just have fun with it and enjoy it and try to get him out,” Watson says. “Pitching in the Major League All Start game is a thrill, very exciting.”

Watson says he wasn’t disappointed to only get to throw a single pitch. “I was just thrilled to come in at all. I didn’t have to ice my arm or anything, just one pitch and really enjoyed it,” Watson says. He says to get to meet the other players and share baseball talk was a great time with the two days flying by.

As one of twenty five players playing in their first All Star Game, Watson says he’s hopeful for a chance to get back. He says other guys were talking about how much fun it was and says it would be great to come back. The National League lost the game to the American League 5-3.

Former Cedar Rapids Kernel Mike Trout, now in his third season with the Angels, was selected as the game’s Most Valuable Player after driving in two runs and scoring another.

Story and photo by Jesse Gavin, KCNZ, Cedar Falls