American Implement Western Kansas Team of the Week: Haskell County softball stands 15-1, won third straight league title

Haskell County is 15-1 this season, including a recent key doubleheader sweep of Spearville.


Haskell County, the softball co-op of Satanta and Sublette, has enjoyed substantial improvements in the last three seasons. HC went 8-11 and 13-6 the last two springs, though won the Hi-Plains League title both years. This year, Haskell County again won the conference championship and currently stands at 15-1, including 8-0 in league play.

“I have a wonderful group of kids this year, and they are total beasts on the field,” Haskell County coach Jessica Ball said. “…They have a lot of fun on and off the field and hold themselves to a very high level of play.”

Haskell County has delivered several signature wins and outscored teams, 237-65. HC has a team batting average just under .500 and fielding just under .900. Junior Haven Jaso is the returning conference player of the year. She has 60 strikeouts in 13 games with a 2.88 earned-run average. Jaso carries a .578 average with 34 RBI, including one homer and zero strikeouts.

Senior catcher Abbey Zabel has caught 58 innings with three total passed balls and a .905 fielding percentage. She has signed to play college softball at Mid-America Nazarene. Zabel is the leadoff hitter with a .511 average and 10 steals. Senior first baseman Maylea Alexander has a .609 average, including .737 in league play. Alexander signed to play college softball at a private school in Oklahoma State.

Second baseman Karely Chacon is a senior known for her defense. Junior Jaylynn Carbajal starts at third base and carries a .476 average with 26 RBI. Junior Yanisa Gonzalez has a .460 mark. She paces the team in stolen bases (13) and runs (32).

“She also is a beast at SS, with three credited double plays this season and some amazing diving catches up the middle,” Ball said.

Sophomore utility player Yahaira Puerto is known for her great versatility. She can play anywhere on the field and has started at left field, second base, third base and is the backup catcher. Puerto can hit from both sides of the plate. She has a perfect fielding percentage with 32 putouts and 10 assists. Puerto is hitting .471 with 10 steals.

Sophomore center fielder Morgan Pendergraft has just one error with a .462 average and two homers this season. Senior right fielder Ebony Torres has just one error this season. Torres carries a .526 average in the nine-hole.

Junior Abbi Boese is the backup pitcher and outfielder. Senior Clarysa Webber is the backup utility player. Webber came off a knee surgery and is just getting back to games, though hit a huge grand slam against Spearville. She has signed to rodeo with Colby Community College. Sublette junior Zylah Berg is a utility player and the first one off the bench.

In the Scott Community regional, a remarkable seven teams are above .500. Haskell County is 15-1, Holcomb is 13-1, Cimarron/Ingalls stands at 10-4, Scott City is 11-5, Colby is 11-6, Goodland is 11-7 and Lakin is 10-8. Holcomb went to state two years ago and features a highly experienced group, including junior pitcher Korryn Johnson and catcher Rian Rodriguez. SC went to state last spring. Johnson has cleared 500 career strikeouts.

Haskell County swept Southwestern Heights and Ness City to open the spring. HC split with Bucklin on April 13 with a 7-5 loss and a 12-10 win. Then, Haskell swept Lakin, Elkhart, Colby and Stanton County. Last Thursday, Haskell swept Spearville, 12-2 and 9-8.

HC/Sublette had lost nine in a row to Spearville dating back to a wild 23-22 win on April 27, 2017.

In the 9-8 win, Haskell County trailed 3-2 after the first inning, 6-4 after two innings and 8-7 after five. In the sixth inning, Haskell County scored the final two runs of the contest.

Webber hit her first career grand slam against Spearville. Webber is a very talented four-sport athlete for Sublette High School. She is currently ranked 14th all-classes and 2nd in 2A in the 300M hurdles (47.60).

The wins against Elkhart have been key in the three straight league titles. Haskell County is 5-1 in the last six contests versus the Wildcats after a 1-15 stretch in the series.

Bucklin/South Central is 13-6 and remains a 2-1A contender this year. Last season, Bucklin was 17-3. Spearville was 21-3 and qualified for state. In 2022, Haskell County was 13-6 and played in a 3A sub-state that featured Scott City and Holcomb. HC also finished 13-6 in ’19.

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