June 16, 2024

Driskell earns MVC honor

Local collegiate sports briefs

Rylie Driskell

CEDAR FALLS — University of Northern Iowa golfer Rylie Driskell of Creston has been featured in the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete spotlight.

Driskell is a junior on the UNI women’s golf team. To be considered for the MVC Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, athletes must have a cumulative GPA of 3.30, completed one academic year at a Valley school and be at least a sophomore.

In addition to the academic qualifications, student-athletes are evaluated on their campus involvement and community service. Driskell is majoring in communications disorders at UNI.

Freshman of Year

DES MOINES — Grand View first baseman Nevaeh Randall of Creston was named Freshman of the Year in Heart of America Conference softball honors announced on May 3.

Nevaeh Randall

As a freshman, Randall hit .383 in 107 at-bats with an on-base percentage of .422. Randall hit six home runs with 23 RBIs, nine doubles and 18 runs scored.

Randall and Grand View pitcher Jessica Walljasper were named to the all-conference first team. Named to the second team from Grand View were outfielder Olivia Harmon, catcher Rachel Anderson and pitcher Madi Huisman. Outfielders Allyx Lee and Olivia Kyes received honorable mention.

Grand View (33-19) was one of 48 teams selected to play in the NAIA softball national tournament. The Vikings competed in the Sioux Center bracket, falling to Madonna University of Michigan in the opener, 6-3; before a 2-0 loss to Bellevue University.

In the elimination game Tuesday, Randall was 2-of-3 at the plate with a double. Sophomore Gracie Hagle of Creston appeared in the game as a pinch runner. Hagle hit .200 for the year as a part-time outfielder and infielder, with six runs scored, two doubles and seven runs batted in.

All-region softball

Three Southwestern softball players received all-region honors.

Freshman pitcher/first baseman Erika Kruse was named to the ICCAC first team at a utility spot. Sophomore infielder Ashton Willis and freshman outfielder Jayleigh Robins were both named to the second team.

Kruse, freshman from Fort Madison, pitched in 26 games for the Spartans including 19 starts, posting a 6-13 record with two saves. She led the Spartans with 103.2 innings pitched and 80 strikeouts. Offensively, Kruse tied for the team lead with 10 home runs and ranked second with 39 RBIs while batting a team-high .447.

Willis played both third base and shortstop for the Spartans. She hit .401, which ranked second on the team, and scored a team-high 39 runs. She collected 35 hits including eight doubles, three triples and four home runs while driving in 25 runs. Willis posted a .933 fielding percentage in 90 total chances.

Robins, a freshman from Eagleville, Missouri, played some innings at catcher and first base while also playing regularly in the outfield for the Spartans. Robins tied Kruse for the tam lead with 10 home runs, while driving in a team-high 48 runs and scoring a team-best 39 runs. She hit .386 for the season.

All-region baseball

Southwestern outfielder Bryson Vernon and designated hitter Zade Stark, both sophomores, received all-region second team honors following the 2024 baseball season. Sophomore pitcher Barrett Lodge received honorable mention.

Vernon batted .333 with 11 home runs and 37 RBIs. Stark batted .321 with 18 RBIs. Lodge had a 2-7 pitching record with a 4.57 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 67 innings.

Golf concludes

WATERLOO — The Southwestern Community College golf team concluded its season May 6-7 by placing ninth at the North Central District Championship at Gates Park Golf Course.

Isac Fredriksson earned all-region honorable mention. Other Spartans competing in the district meet were Sofus Lyck, Charlie McDonald, Ethan Badolato, Carson Thompson and Maddux Weeks.

Larry Peterson


Former senior feature writer at Creston News Advertiser and columnist. Previous positions include sports editor for many years and assistant editor. Also a middle school basketball coach in Creston.