April 29, 2009
Lipira, Kirsch Named MIAA Athletes of the Week
MARYVILLE, Mo.-Northwest Missouri State senior tennis player Jordan Lipira (St. Joseph, Mo.) and junior right fielder Brandon Kirsch (Papillion, Neb.) have been named MIAA Athletes of the Week for the period ended April 26.
Lipira went 9-1 last week in leading the Bearcats to their 11th MIAA Championship. Kirsch hit .389 with five home runs and 14 RBIs in leading the Bearcats to a 5-0 record which included a four-game sweep at Southwest Baptist.
Lipira was 5-0 in singles play and 4-1 with teammate Veronica Castilla in doubles. She moved into fourth place on Northwest's all-time wins list (153) and improved to 23-5 in singles and 16-5 in doubles play this season.
Lipira won all five singles matches last week in straight sets. She beat Washburn's Whitley Zitsch, 6-1, 6-2, in the championship match, avenging an earlier loss to Zitsch in a 5-4 Washburn win during the regular season. Lipira's win Sunday was the key in reversing the team result against the Lady Blues, which secured the Bearcats' 15th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.
Kirsch had seven hits in the five games, all for extra bases, and hit home runs in back-to-back innings both Friday and Saturday against Southwest Baptist. Of his five round trippers, two were solo shots, two were three-run bombs and one was a grand slam, his second of the season and third on the year for the Bearcats.
Kirsch was 0-for-2, but walked and scored a run in a 5-3 win at Nebraska-Kearney Tuesday. He went on to hit safely in all four games against Southwest Baptist and had a 3-for-5 effort with a season-high six RBIs in a 13-10 win in Friday's nightcap.
He gave Northwest an 8-7 lead with a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning of game one Saturday. When Southwest Baptist tied it in the bottom half to force extra innings, he smacked a three-run homer in the eighth to put Northwest up for good. His final hit was another three-run blast in a 7-0 win in game two.
Kirsch scored in all five games during the week and upped his RBI total to a team-high 32. His 11 home runs this season are more than a third of Northwest's team total.
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