After an unusual hiatus, Iowa’s summer sports season is here.
All across the state of Iowa, diamonds and parks have been eagerly waiting their chances to open up to the public. Just one month ago, so much uncertainty existed as to whether a chance of playing any ball would be a possibility. The answer to that hope was answered a few days before the start of this month. Now, with just a few weeks of legal practicing on the fields and with the coaches, Opening Day is finally upon us.
In Emmetsburg, Coaches Brett Hansen (baseball) and Travis Birkey’s (softball) varsity squads will play host to the Sioux Central Rebels. The junior heavy baseball team was put through the gauntlet last year ending the season 8th in the Twin Lakes Conference after finishing 12-16 (6-5 conference).
The E-Hawks will be without a few key seniors this year having lost Adam Deitering and Connor Joyce. But, Lex Kassel, Cole Keller, Grant Kibbie, Ben Dunlap, Cole Shirk, and Sean Brennan are expected to fill in with their growing experience.
Last year, Cole Keller started all 28 games for the E-Hawks and, after 100 at bats, he was able to mount a team high batting average of .350 and a slugging percentage of .370 after recording 35 hits and 16 RBIs. Keller will certainly be a player to watch for this season.
On the softball diamond, Coach Travis Birkey’s Lady E-Hawks are hopeful for another great season in the conference. Ending last season with an overall record of 23-10 (9-2 conference), the team is flush with talent and lost only one senior. Molly Schany finished last season on top of most of the team’s statistics with an incredible batting average of .485 and, after earning 3 of the team’s 7 home runs, she earned a slugging percentage of .773 bringing the team a .457 SLG.
Tonight’s games will both be held at Emmetsburg ball parks with first pitch scheduled at 7pm for softball and 7:30pm for baseball.