The state of Kansas is making its mark on the softball world, with two all-Americans at the Division I level this season, both of whom were also all-SEC along with another Kansas lady who was All-Big 12 first team. All three were former Hovpen All-State players. Olathe South's Alex Hugo led the nation in home runs at Georgia, Ark City/Maize second baseman and leadoff hitter Kelsey Stewart led the National Championship Florida Gators in hitting, stolen bases, and several other categories, and Goddard's Shelby Davis was named to the Big 12 first team outfield from Oklahoma State.
In addition, we now have many many more young ladies playing the game at the Division I level and several made the tournament. We would like to publicly thank these three, and everyone who made a Division I or even II roster this season for their efforts in paving the road for the rest yet to come, and they are coming in flocks.
Needless to say, the selection of our starting team this year was indeed a hard choice as a few young ladies upped their game over previous seasons and competition was strong.
Most were seniors, although a couple of our hitters in the "meat" of the order are from the younger junior class, in fact, three young ladies give us a strong group coming back in order to choose around for next season's pre-season group.
But in the end, it comes out with three SEC players, five Big 12 players, one to the MVC and one headed to Notre Dame.
Some of what we have here is redundant from the preseason team, but warrants repeating with a few of the honors involved with these young ladies. And like we say every team selected here, you may pick someone else, but this is the team we would like to coach and our opinion.
Leadoff hitter Emily Griggs from Maize High School is a four time Hovpen All-State player and has signed with LSU for her freshman year of college. As a junior, Griggs hit 688 for the Eagles who have been to the state tournament in each of her three seasons so far. In addition to her All State honors, Griggs has been selected as a two time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-South Central Region player and was named to the Maxpreps underclass All-American Team. In addition, Emily has played in the Triple Crown All American game and is ranked 34th overall by Student Sports Magazine and is in the top five ranked outfielders nationally. Griggs plays with the Mustang Academy, currently ranked eighth nationally. As a leadoff this year, Emily had an on base percentage of .651
Batting second is Clearwater three sport all stater Bryna Vogel whom we saw play in person several times this season and who made some of the top plays we have ever seen in person that very few could have pulled off in the field. At the plate, Vogel hit four home runs in the state tournament alone helping her team to a second place finish in her Class. Vogel took a 20 game hitting streak into the tournament, and finished with a 641 batting average on the season along with 35 runs batted in. Vogel has chosen to play Division I Volleyball in college, but we feel this is one young lady we would like to have on our team on the diamond in the middle infield.
Goddard didn't make the tournament this season, but will still be ranked in our top three teams in 5A simply because the team that beat them also beat everyone else except for our champions in Bishop Carroll. This is Morgan Bohanan' s fourth selection as a member of our elite team, and second straight starting nine position at third base. Perhaps the most intentionally walked person over the course of the season we have in Kansas and that is saying a lot since our four hitter was intentionally walked three times in one game. With the speed of the first two now on base, Bohanan starts a middle of the lineup that would be nearly impossible to no hit in any situation. Look for her to make an impact at KU this coming season.
Reagan Hathaway who has as a junior this season verbally committed to the University of Texas was selected as the MVP of the Sunflower League this season and as such, almost an automatic selection here. Like Bohanan, Hathaway didn't see a lot of good pitches over the course of the season, especially late, hitting over 700 for the year against the strongest large school conference in Kansas for softball. Hathaway is our cleanup hitter this season.
As such, Hathaway moves our pre-season cleanup hitter down one spot in the lineup to fifth. Maddie McCracken who is also a two time All-State player from Olathe North was named as an All-American after her freshman season by the national coaches association. McCracken was one of three catchers in the country named by MaxPreps to their all-American team and the only sophomore. Notre Dame Coaches of course, can not comment on McCracken since she has not signed her letter of intent yet. Her sophomore season for North, she hit .491 and improved that to .590 as a junior, launching seven doubles and four home runs. Plays summer ball with the KC Peppers team which is ranked in the top 20 in the nation.
Brittany Finney who played for Bishop Carroll No. six hitter and will hold down first base in the infield. The right hander would also be one of our relief and has been clocked personally at 68MPH during the regional tournament this season. Finney played in the Triple Crown All-American game before her sophomore season with the Wichita Mustangs. Plays summer ball with the California Explosion and is committed to the University of Oklahoma upon her 2015 graduation. Her play this season, including 12 home runs and 47 RBI's, helped Bishop Carroll to an undefeated Class 5A State Title and recognition from Hovpen.rivals.com as the top team in Kansas overall. Finney on the mound had an ERA of 0.467, walking one hitter in 45 innings giving up three earned runs.
We stay with Bishop Carroll for our seven hitter as well as our pitcher and who best to be on the mound than someone who threw her school to four straight softball championships in Kansas with her 65 MPH heat. With a 616 average at the plate, topped off with a 1.356 slugging percentage along with an OPS of 2.011 Jessie Haffner is one tough out. Haffner will join All Big 12 Goddard outfielder Shelby Davis from Goddard on the team at Oklahoma State next season. Haffner was 13-0 with an ERA of 0.373 and gave up three earned runs for the season.
Our No. 8 hitter and another of the top pitchers in Kansas is Allison Stewart from Olathe East. Stewart is also a four time All-State player and has received All-American status. As a junior state champion for Olathe East last season, Stewart had a 0.39 ERA on the mound while hitting .487 at the plate with 12 doubles and two home runs. In her 90 1/3 innings she recorded 164 strike outs while giving up only two walks. Student Sports ranks Stewart as the No. 73 player in the country overall and she is headed to the University of Arkansas for her college career. Stewart also plays summer ball with the nationally ranked KC Peppers.
Brooklin Hinz hits the nine hole on this team, and in the past two seasons in high school has lost two ball games on the mound, both in regional's which kept her out of the state tournament. Hinz has been selected three times as a Kansas Class 5A All-State player and pitched in the state championship game against Haffner as a sophomore. Nationally she is ranked as the No. 95 player in the country. Hinz holds single season records for home runs, hits and triples for STA among some fairly top notch alumni although none have paved the way to the University of Kentucky for her next season where she will attempt to help that team back to the WCW.
Our designated player in this lineup is Elizabeth Leonard, Olathe East shortstop who has signed with Bradley in the Missouri Valley Conference. Leonard committed only three errors in her junior season last year and hit 533 at the plate for the state champions. Leonard will hit on any normal team in the country, having recorded 42 base hits during the regular season this year but for our purposes will play the middle infield as we look to name as many as possible to our first team.
Our three juniors who return have the distinction of being named among the top 100 players in the country by Student Sports Magazine. Madison McCracken is ranked at 98th, Reagan Hathaway is ranked at No. 64, while Brittany Finney is the No. 18 ranked player in the nation. Respect has been earned, not given to these young ladies who play against the best the country can offer every summer.
Starting Team *=Seniors 1. Emily Griggs, CF. Maize * 2. Bryna Vogel, 2b, Clearwater * 3. Morgan Bohanan, 3b Goddard* 4. Reagan Hathaway, DH Olathe Northwest 5. Maddie McCracken, C Olathe North 6. Brittany Finney, 1b, Bishop Carroll 7. Jessie Haffner, P, Bishop Carroll * 8. Allison Stewart, LF, Olathe East * 9. Brooke Hinz, RF, St. Thomas Aquinas * 10. DP: Elizabeth Leonard, SS Olathe East * The rest of our roster on players we would love to coach in an All Star game is as follows by position: We list three complete teams and players must meet or exceed our standards as good team members as well as having the talent to be listed. Media personal wishing to publish the list should ask in writing by emailing us here at HovpenSports.
Relief Pitchers: Brittnee Hill Pratt * Brooklin Hinz, St. Thomas Aquinas * Brynn Minor, Goddard Eisenhower Lexi Storrer, Olathe South Rowan Turner, Shawnee Mission East * Haidyn Basset-Oskaloosa
Closing Pitchers: Dani Fincham Marysville * Ashlynn Godown, Derby Mary Henning, Wichita Northwest * Hannah Herald, Hays Hunter Middleton, Great Bend Taylor Compton, Riverton
Catchers Lauren Buchanan, Bishop Carroll Reagan Hathaway, Olathe Northwest Bailey Holt, Mulvane Wichita State * Maddie McCracken, Olathe North Casady Marlnee, Augusta *
Infield: Morgan Balderas Bishop Carroll * Morgan Bohanan, Goddard * Morgan Byrn, Lawrence Emily Byers, Free State Casey Campbell, Saint Thomas Aquinas Chelsey Kerr, McPherson Elizabeth Leonard, Olathe East * Allie Macfarlane, Blue Valley North * Savannah Moore, Washburn Rural * Miranda Rohleder Goddard Tali Shepherd, Goddard Bryna Vogel, Clearwater *
Emily Bermel, Free State Cassidy Berry, Desoto * McKenna Davis. Olathe East Emily Griggs, Maize, LSU * Hunter Hogan, Bishop Carroll * Erin McGinley, Shawnee Mission * Taylor Mannis, Maize South * Sam Stallbaumer, Haven Kenzie Young Derby
Utility & DH Alyssa Bates, Olathe South Kala Holder, Olathe South Cassidy Kelsheimer, Chase County * Kaelah McMullin Paola *
2014 season Honorable Mention
There are some very good athletes on this list and several will be playing another sport at the next level. Many of the under classmen will also move into next years pre-season spots pending how they look over the summer.
Rachel Anstaett, Shawnee Heights Tori Burkhardt, Chase County Olivia Brees, Jeff West Taylor Compton, Riverton Hannah Geneva, Fort Scott Megan Graf, Goddard Meghan Grimes, Maize Megan Hayes. Augusta Kacia Hilty, Hutchinson Madison Hoffman, McPherson Bre Hogan, Salina South Emily Jacobs, Cheney Amanda Johnson, Topeka West Aubry Jung, Manhattan Lexi Myers Shawnee- Mill Valley Morgan Myers, Medicine Lodge Breanna Mogle, Columbus, Meredith Morris, Free State Julisa Ortega, Goddard Courtney Richey, Humboldt Chloe Rogers, Blue Valley Julie Sinclair, Hillsboro Mikala Smith, Seaman Sarah Teufel, Clearwater Kyenne Wade, Fort Scott
Savannah Bellem, Shawnee Mission East Savanah Buntemeyer Pratt Piper Coen, Olathe Northwest Ellena Cott-Laurie, Topeka High Danielle Cross, Topeka High Abby Denton, Fort Scott Lexi Eisenbart Maize Paige Ellison, Andover Nicole Gaboian, Maize South Bre Hogan, Salina South Samantha Karten, Perry LeCompton Caroline Lipp, St. James Academy Ashley Mars DeSoto Cassidy Merriman, Holton Lyndi McIntyre, Wichita Northwest Jenny Metzger Washburn Rural Madison Miller, Oskaloosa Laci Myers, Mill Valley Brandi Nowak, Hillsboro Sesely Omli Ell-Saline Kelsey Quinn Rock Creek Dani Spence, Seaman Shelby Simmons, Rose Hill Kaitlyn Styve Blue Valley Northwest Lizzie Walz, Atchison Lindsey Webb, Derby
Danae Bina, Hillsboro Annika Bray, Maize South Ryleigh Buck, Wellington Shayna Byers, Blue Valley Southwest Marly Carmona, Lawrence, Shelby Dahl, Santa Fe Trail Shayla Degarmo, Hutchinson Tyler Downs, Maize Brooke Eberhardt, Augusta Abby Ford Shawnee-Mill Valley Kaitlyn Gemmill -Bishop Miege McKenzie Harper, Larned Madison Hoffman, McPherson Alley Hovey, Winfield Kaylie Ines, Wichita Southeast Allie Jurgensen, Maize Allison Kasick Basehor-Linwood Moriah Kayhill, Wellsville Morgan Kirk, Augusta Kaity Kukowski, Olathe Northwest Sami Loos, Udall Brenna McClure, Lyons Madison Miller, Bishop Carroll, FR. Tori Miller, Derby Dani Nevelle, Andale Katy Nordman, Augusta Breanna Pingry, Winfield Lauren Rambat Pratt Gabby Rangel, Goodland Allison Rassette, Salina South Hayley Reibenspies, Clearwater Whitney Rothwell Lawrence Free State Gabby Sandoval, Valley Center Rebecca Schulte, Andover Central Danielle Sprinkle, Ell Saline, Emporia State Shanae Strate, Rose Hill Chasity Ward, Spring Hill Mikayla Warren, Olathe Northwest Abby Weber, Olathe South Ashley Wilson, Mulvane Jayce Worrell, Royal Valley. Kelsey Wright, Olathe Northwest
Maddie Abbs, Olathe North, Macy Allred, Maize South Lily Channel, Kapuan Kylie Cobb, Free State Brianna Fuchs, Goddard Bailey Gillig Pratt Winter Henry Rock Creek Kristina Jadenborg, Shawnee Mission Northwest Kiley Kerr, McPherson. Katie Lackner Basehor-Linwood Lindsey Marcus, Shawnee Mission Northwest, Caitie McNulty, Shawnee Mission Northwest Andrea Mills, Lawrence Logan Morrow, El Dorado Cadie O'Donnell Salina South Taylor Officer, Olathe East Alex Snovelle, Chase County Jeris Thomas Topeka-Seaman Emily Voegeli, Valley Center Shayna Weers, Spring Hill Kylie Wesbrooks, Augusta Emily Wessel, Hutchinson Reagan Wilson, Circle
Utility & DH
Lauren Berry, Olathe South Chandler Elsner, Olathe Northwest, Kenzie Garvin, Lawrence Carly Gum, Derby Kylie Fox, Wichita Southeast Sierra Hall, Baldwin Abby King, Shawnee Mission South Jana Long . Blue Valley Aliya Morroquin, Olathe North Konner Patterson, McLouth Caitlin Savage, Wichita Northwest Alyssa Sllivan, KC Piper Kate Shields, Rose Hill Alexa Sidoti, Olathe North Blair Tommelein, Blue Valley Southwest
If you are a college coach and think one of these ladies might be able to fill your needs on the diamond, give one of them a tryout.