By CONOR NICHOLL
Key Question: Will 6A be a rematch of Centennial League rivals Topeka High and Washburn Rural? Will the Sunflower League teams – Shawnee Mission North having an historic season, Olathe North and Gardner-Edgerton – make a run?
1.Washburn Rural (21-1) – Washburn Rural won state championships in ’95, ’08 and ’15 and was state runner-up in 2019. The Junior Blues are likely the state favorite after it took an early season doubleheader against rival Topeka High, 1-0 and 8-1. Rural graduated Olivia Bruno, who signed with KU. However, Rural, as usual, has its bevy of standouts, especially ace Emmerson Cope and Campbell Bagshaw, an infielder and KU commit. Rural paced 6A with just one run allowed per contest. Cope and Topeka standout Adisyn Carl are first cousins. Rural won its two regional games by a combined score of 17-1. In the 1-0 win against Topeka High, Rural had one hit and scored its single run in the first inning. Cope struck out 11 and allowed six baserunners.
8. Blue Valley (13-9) – Blue Valley has scored 7.3 runs a game and permitted 6.1 runs a contest. Blue Valley most recently lost in the state quarterfinals in ’17, ’18 and ’19. Blue Valley earned a upset 9-4 victory versus Olathe West. Blue Valley went 16-6 last season.
4. Gardner-Edgerton (19-3) – Gardner-Edgerton has made state the last two seasons after no trips since 2000. G-E has enjoyed the second-best record in 6A East. The Trailblazers have tallied 9.2 runs a contest, third-best in 6A East – considered deeper and stronger than 6A West. G-E split with Olathe West and took losses to Olathe North and Shawnee Mission North. G-E, Shawnee Mission North and Olathe North are the three Sunflower League teams that qualified for the state tournament.
5. Derby (19-3) – Derby split with Valley Center and Newton, both teams that reached the 5A state tournament. The Panthers have typically enjoyed great success with qualifying for state softball, including a final four team in 2019, and quarterfinal losses in ’16-18 in recent history. Derby finished second in ’07. Derby defeated Manhattan, 5-1, in the regional final. Derby had just two seniors, though returned standout pitcher Morgan Haupt. She, freshman Reagan Jackson and Trinity Kuntz are the standout players, along with Audrey Steinert, Kyler Demel and Rylee Frager. Haupt worked a complete game in the regional final. Haupt has signed with University of the Ozarks softball, an Arkansas school.
2. Shawnee Mission North (20-1) – SM North has enjoyed one of the state’s biggest improvements behind a talented senior class and sophomore ace pitcher Kelsey Hoekstra. This marks the program’s first state berth since 2010. Senior infielder Siera Hoekstra has committed to Wichita State. North lost in the regional final last year. SMN’s only loss came to Olathe West. North won back-to-back state softball championships in ’91 and ’92. Current coach Julie True was on both teams. North defeated longtime power Olathe South, 6-1, in the regional final. Hoekstra won the regional final and struck out 14 on a sprained ankle. In the regional title victory, Kelsey had a pair of RBI singles early. Plus, Rilee Bell and Madison Bruson had big hits. Bell recorded a two-run single, Bruson had a two-run double. In the regular season, Hoekstra worked 98 innings with 184 strikeouts against 25 walks with a 1.00 ERA and a .107 batting average against. She also carried a .466 average, .522 on-base percentage, .810 slugging percentage, three homers and 30 RBI. SMN has seven seniors. SMN has enjoyed a top-20 turnaround from ’21 in all classifications, per SIK research. Siera is a finalist for player of the year and Kelsey pitcher of the year in the greater Kansas City area.
7. Wichita Northwest (17-5) – Northwest easily paced 6A in scoring with 12.3 runs a game. Northwest lost twice to Bishop Carroll and once apiece to Maize, Goddard and Goddard-Eisenhower. Northwest last qualified for state in ’16 and ’19 and fell in the quarterfinals both times. Northwest earned a 13-1 win against Garden City in the regional final.
3. Topeka High (19-3) – Topeka High is the defending 6A state champion and returns ace Nija Canady, the Gatorade Player of the Year and Stanford commit. The quarterfinal game between Topeka High/Olathe North is a Topeka dropped a doubleheader to Washburn Rural in the regular season. Adisyn Caryl has committed to Illinois, where her sister also plays. Topeka High also split with Topeka Seaman, a Class 5A state qualifier, in a game that Canady did not pitch. Topeka High captured its two regional contests by a combined score of 30-0. In the 1-0 loss to Washburn Rural, Canady struck out 16 and permitted just two baserunners. Canady only threw two innings in the second loss to Rural. THS was undefeated last season, including a 7-1 win against Olathe North in the championship game. Topeka won its three ‘21 state games by a combined score of 13-1.
6. Olathe North (18-4) – Olathe North captured state titles in ’84 and ’89 and was the state runner-up last spring. ON has delivered 9.5 runs a contest. ON has losses to Olathe West and close defeats versus Shawnee Mission North and Washburn Rural. Olathe North defeated Olathe Northwest, 6-4, in the regional final.
Key Question: Will 5A be a rematch of undefeated Bishop Carroll and Basehor-Linwood? These two met in the final last season. Or will Newton continue it remarkable turnaround?
1.Bishop Carroll (22-0) – Bishop Carroll is the defending state champion and has a state-best 45-game winning streak, which is among the top-10 longest current runs nationally, per MaxPreps. Carroll and runner-up Basehor-Linwood are both undefeated. This is the deepest and best softball bracket with two perfect squads and all the sub-state top seeds won. Carroll has 15 all-time softball championships. BC and Silver Lake are the two most tradition-laden programs. Coach Steve Harshberger stands at 190-9 in eight seasons, including six trips to the state championship. Senior Kadence Brewster has signed with Oklahoma Christian and is the reigning 5A Player of the Year. Her twin, Kiley, has also committed to Oklahoma Christian. Senior Kendall Forbes has committed to Pittsburg State. All three are returning first team all-state players. Carroll has scored 14.3 runs a game and permitted 1.7. Carroll held off Salina South, 3-0, in the regional final. Kaylee Back leads with a .608 average, while Kiley Brewster has a .561 average, and Eve Morris is at .557. Campbell Riordan has five homers, and Kendall Forbes has stolen 18 bases for team leads. Kadence Brewster has three homers. Riordan has posted a 1.38 ERA, while Brewster is at a 1.99 ERA.
8. Goddard-Eisenhower (16-6)- Eisenhower has won back-to-back league titles and finished third in 2021. Eisenhower has tallied 7.9 runs a game and permitted 3.6. Eisenhower held off rival Goddard, 3-1, in the regional championship. Eisenhower opened with two losses to Valley Center and was 3-3 on April 15. On May 5, Eisenhower swept Goddard, 6-3 and 9-6. Audry Rumsey has a .543 average with a .577 on-base percentage. Karlee Ford has a .478 average with six homers and 23 RBI, the latter two that lead the Tigers.
4. Valley Center (20-2) – Valley Center has consistently been to state, including a state qualifier in ’16, third in ’17 and state qualifier last spring. VC beat Emporia, 8-1, in the regional final. VC has not lost since March. VC fell to Derby and Newton.
5. Spring Hill (19-2) – Spring Hill was 21-1 entering the state tournament last season, though lost 3-1 to Goddard in the quarterfinals. SH has scored 10.2 runs per game and permitted three runs a game. Spring Hill beat Shawnee Heights, 5-2, in the regional championship game. SH has won four straight. Spring Hill split with Eudora on April 12, and defeated Ottawa, 16-0, on March 29. SH split with Ottawa on May 10. Those squads both qualified for the 4A state tournament. Jaleigh White has a .517 average and .588 on-base percentage with six homers, all team-bests. Maggie McNally has a .439 average, .543 on-base percentage. Mya January leads with 31 runs scored. McNally has a 3.43 earned-run average, while Vanessa Murray has a 3.82 ERA. McNally and Murray were the aces last season.
2. Basehor-Linwood (22-0) – Basehor-Linwood has its bevy of stars, including junior Taylor Cruse, an Ohio State commit. B-L lost to Bishop Carroll in a close state championship game last spring. B-L has the two wins against Topeka Seaman with 4-0 and 4-1 games on April 21. Basehor-Linwood held off KC Piper, 7-5, in the regional championship. Cruse is a finalist for the Earl Award, which is the best overall softball player in the greater Kansas City Metro area. She is also a finalist for pitcher of the year. B-L has five seniors and won the United Kansas Conference. Audrey Spellman, a state powerlifting champion, has signed with St. Mary softball.
7. Topeka Seaman (17-5) – Topeka Seaman has delivered an excellent resume. Seaman has the pair of losses to B-L and two defeats against Washburn Rural. Those squads are a combined 43-1. Seaman split with defending 6A champion Topeka with a 6-2 win and 14-1 loss on May 12. Seaman is undefeated versus the rest of its schedule. Seaman won its two regional games by a combined score of 15-0. Rosalie Schneider has a .475 average with six homers to pace Seaman. Rylee Murray has a .583 on-base percentage and 14 steals, which both lead the squad. Aspen Burgardt has a .471 average, and Brilea Flott has a .435 average. Skylar Duncan has a 1.93 ERA.
3. Newton (20-2) – Newton has enjoyed the biggest turnaround in Kansas. The Railers ended a 35-game losing streak in 2019 and went 11-11 last season. Newton captured the AVCTL Division I crown for the first time in 10-plus years. The Railers have enjoyed a massive season from junior ace pitcher Tegan Livesay, who is in the strong mix for Kansas’ best player. Newton went 1-0 against Valley Center and 1-2 versus Derby. Livesay threw a no-hitter in the regionals. Per SIK research, Newton has the sixth-biggest winning percentage flip from ’21; the five teams ahead of the Railers did not make the state tournament. Newton has four seniors: Kennah and Kenzie Cusick, Olivia Sandoval and Gracie Rains. Kennah, Sandoval and Rains are headed to play a college sport; Kenzie is going to the Air Force. Entering the regional, Newton had a .450 average, while Livesay had a 15-0 record with a 1.20 ERA and 228 strikeouts against 20 walks. Livesay hit 11 homers entering the postseason. Newton has not lost since April 5. Newton was significantly featured on SIK last week.
6. Blue Valley Southwest (19-3) – Blue Valley Southwest is second in 5A East with 2.6 runs allowed a contest. Southwest held off Bonner Springs, 4-0, in the regional final. Southwest also qualified for state in ’14, ’16 and ’17 and was second in 5A in ’17. Carsen Tinkler has committed to Missouri Southern softball. Freshman Karter Skillman qualified for softball and track. She picked up the javelin and qualified for the 5A state meet. Sophomore Bailey Weber has a .455 average with 30 hits and 30 runs scored. BVSW has won back-to-back conference championships. Molly Heidrick finished the regular season 10-0 with 106 strikeouts, which set the school record for single season strikeouts. Heidrick has signed with Lindenwood (Mo.) University.
Key Question: Wamego is the defending state champion and is even better this season behind its veterans and standout freshman Peyton Hardenburger. Multiple teams with 2021 state experience return, including Eudora and ace left-hander Kira Baker. Can Wamego repeat?
1. Wamego (21-1) – Wamego went 20-5 and captured the 4A state championship last spring, its first softball crown. Wamego is considered even better this season. The Red Raiders brought junior Maya Gallagher, the Manhattan Mercury Player of the Year and Holy Cross commit. Freshman Peyton Hardenburger, with high Division I interest, is on the verge of the Kansas state record for earned-run average. She has a 0.00 ERA. As first noted by SIK, Hardenburger has an opportunity break the Kansas all-time single season ERA record. Per the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, the current state record is 0.06 set by Arkansas City’s Jacey Juden in 2007. Overall, Hardenburger has pitched 66 innings with 160 strikeouts against 14 walks. She has permitted just 15 hits and five unearned runs. Gallagher has 1.93 ERA in 69 innings with 50 hits allowed. Gallagher has struck out 103 against eight walks. Returning first team all-state infielder Ashten Pierson has a .486 average with a .581 on-base percentage, 40 runs scored, 34 hits and 19 steals, all Red Raider highs. Gallagher has team-best eight homers and 36 RBI and carries a .437 average. Hardenburger has a .448 average. Delaney Campbell is also a returning first team all-state player. Wamego is third in 4A in scoring with 8.5 runs a game and second in runs allowed at 1.7. Wamego has won state girls’ golf and was final four in girls’ basketball this winter. Wamego swept Silver Lake and split with Rossville on May 2. On March 31, Wamego swept Rock Creek with 6-4 and 11-1 victories. Wamego bested Iola, 3-0, in the regional final.
8. Rock Creek (16-6) – Rock Creek was the No. 8 seed at the 3A state tournament last spring and lost to eventual champion Cheney in the quarterfinals. Sophia Haverkamp holds the Rock Creek single season strikeout record. RC and Wamego are in the same league and located just 13 miles apart. Rock Creek lost twice to Wamego in the regular season. Rock Creek pulled a slight upset versus McPherson, 5-2, on the road in the regional championship game. Haverkamp is headed to Hastings.
4. Andale/Garden Plain (20-2) – Andale-Garden Plain is a longtime state power and paces all of 4A with 12.1 runs a contest. AGP defeated Winfield, 10-0, in the regional final. Hannah Decker has committed to LeTourneau University. AGP won state championships in ’08, ’10-12.
5. Bishop Miege (17-3) – Bishop Miege ended a long state drought in 2021 and returns behind key players Jada Gilliland and Adrianna Smith, a Kansas City-Kansas community college signing. Smith was a key senior on Miege’s state-winning basketball team. Miege is 36-6 in the last two years after a 4-17 mark in ’19. Miege paced 4A East with 10.5 runs allowed a contest. Miege defeated Chanute, 2-0, in the regional final. Last season, Gilliland set single season team records for hits (43), runs (37) and RBI (43). Miege only lost to state qualifiers Blue Valley and Blue Valley Southwest, along with a split against rival St. Thomas Aquinas.
2. Clearwater (21-1) – Clearwater took an upset loss to Winfield in the regional final last spring and went 16-6. The Indians’ lone loss came to Garden Plain in a April 25 doubleheader split. Clearwater bested Rose Hill, 7-0, in the regional final. Clearwater has four seniors. The Indians had a top-35 turnaround from ’21 to this season for all classes. Seniors Hayley Gerberding and KJ Herdman, junior Carli Carlson, sophomore Lizzy Tjaden and freshman Kaylee Hampton are among the standout players. Clearwater was the AVCTL Division IV champions. Clearwater took second in 2014. Gerberding carried above a .500 average through the season’s first 18 games and has signed with Allen County CC.
7. Clay Center/Wakefield (15-5) – Clay Center has quietly returned to the state tournament. CC was a final four squad in 2021 and graduated Clara Edwards, the 4A Player of the Year who was South Dakota’s ace this spring. Clay Center held off Pratt, 5-4, in a regional road championship game victory.
3. Eudora (20-2) – Eudora left-handed pitcher Kira Baker has the school’s career strikeout record, has committed to Baker University and has led Kansas in strikeouts during the season. She is part of a talented group that has posted 15, 18 and 20 wins in the three seasons. Eudora paces 4A with just 1.50 runs allowed a contest. Eudora bested league foe Tonganoxie, 10-0, in the championship game. Baker is a finalist for the greater Kansas City pitcher of the year honor. Baker broke the previous record for strikeouts of 181 that she set last season. Eudora’s starters include senior centerfielder Harper Schreiner, senior shortstop Emma Durr, Baker, senior second baseman Elli Han and freshman catcher Reese Pattison. Schreiner is the reigning 4A player of the year in basketball and has signed with Pittsburg State basketball.
6. Ottawa (16-5) – Ottawa lost to eventual champion Wamego in the regional final last season. This year, Ottawa pulled a 4-3 upset against Holton in a road win. The game was suspended because of weather. Holton was 19-2 entering the contest. Brooklyn Hadl has a .493 average with a .521 on-base percentage. Kirsten Evans, who has signed with Fort Hays volleyball, has a .480 average with a .494 on-base percentage. Alex Powell has a team-high seven homers and has been the team’s leading pitcher.
Key Question: This is likely the deepest classification as at least six teams can make a strong case to be the favorite. Many of these squads will likely enjoy the best season in school history, including Hoisington/Central Plains, Kingman, Scott City and Council Grove. Rossville is the only team to beat Wamego and swept Silver Lake. Will elite defense – which Kingman has – prove the difference? None of the top-three 2021 teams reached state this spring.
1. Hoisington/Central Plains (22-1) – Hoisington/Central Plains, featured on Sports In Kansas last week, captured 20 wins and was a 3A final four team last spring. Hoisington has never won a state softball title. H/CP is the lone squad that returns from the ‘21 3A final four as Cheney, Silver Lake and Haven all didn’t qualify for state. The Cardinals have its four well-known seniors of Kassidy Nixon, Kadence Urban, Shaylah Kempke and Grace Aylward. Hoisington defeated Beloit ace Chloe Odle, 1-0, in an extra inning regional game last spring. This year, Hoisington beat Beloit and Odle in a run-rule win in the regional final. Nixon, a player of the year in volleyball and basketball, is 13-0 with a 1.42 ERA. In 59 innings, she has 83 strikeouts against 26 walks. Jordyn Boxberger has 50 innings with a 1.12 ERA. She has struck out 43 against 14 walks. Urban has a .618 average with seven homers and 43 RBI. Nixon has a .507 average. Aylward has a .403 average, while Kempke has a .368 mark. Catcher Kashlin Beck has a .424 average. Hoisington has enjoyed a great batting eye with 124 strikeouts against 67 walks.
8. Santa Fe Trail (19-4) – Kaelee Washington has delivered a huge year for SFT with a .583 average and .630 on-base percentage. She has posted a 0.79 earned-run average. Santa Fe Trail has enjoyed a top-30 all-classes turnaround from 2021 after a 12-10 season. SFT qualified for the first time since ’14.
4. Kingman/Norwich (21-2) – Kingman has set a school record for wins behind its big senior class, including pitcher Alex Schreiner (Newman commit) and shortstop Aly Hageman (Butler County CC). Coach Ross Bruggeman has led Kingman to a sizable turnaround. The Eagles lost to eventual state champion Cheney in the regional final last year. This time, Kingman swept Cheney in the regular season for the Central Plains League championship. Kingman beat Cheney, 4-3, in the regional final. Bruggeman has built his program on the “Brick by Brick” mantra. Schreiner leads with a .507 average and a .560 on-base percentage. Junior Marley Munz has enjoyed a breakout season with a .477 average and .551 on-base percentage. Hageman has a .467 average with a .559 on-base percentage. Hageman has 18 steals, while sophomore Laney Wood has two homers and 17 steals. Schreiner has posted a 1.45 earned-run average. Wood has 39 runs scored, which paces the Eagles. Jadyn Belt has stepped up as the No. 2 pitcher with a 2.64 ERA. Kingman is known for its defensive efficiency and has posted a .938 fielding percentage, along with 202 assists (8.8 per game), 11 double plays and one triple play. Kingman has won 17 straight games. Hageman is an elite powerlifter.
5. Frontenac (20-3) – Frontenac is a traditional power with two recent state championships and a state berth in 2021. As first reported by Sports In Kansas, Heather Arnett closed in on the Kansas all-time record for career steals entering the postseason. She passed the mark in the regional tournament last week – in just three seasons of play after COVID cancelled 2020. Arnett has committed to Pittsburg State softball. She is closing on single season state records for steals and runs. Arnett was featured on SIK last week. Arnett has 153 career steals. Frontenac has multiple stars, including Abi Beaman, Hattie Pyle, Mia Brown, Kaitlyn Hayslip, Annie Lee and Tenley Sullivan. Frontenac coach Cassie Rhuems has more than 215 wins at her alma mater. Freshman Avery Johnson has emerged in the circle.
2. Scott City (20-1) – Scott City is at state for the first time. Coach Erin Myers, in her eighth season, won her 100th career game in the regional final. Sophomore ace Cheyenne Cramer helped the Beavers go 3-0 against rival Holcomb, including a win in the regional final. SC lost to Holcomb in the regional championship last spring. Senior Rhiley Stoppel carries a .574 average with nine extra base hits. Senior Melany Duff is at .521 with seven doubles. Sophomore Malorie Cupp is at .486 with 10 doubles, three triples and five homers. Sophomore Cheyenne Cramer is at .413 with 13 doubles and two homers. Junior Madison Miller has a .400 average with four doubles. SC’s only loss came against Liberal. Cramer is 17-1 with a 1.61 ERA. She has 155 strikeouts and 33 walks allowed in 108.2 innings. Scott City has a .934 team fielding percentage with 93 assists (4.9 per game).
7. Prairie View (19-4) – Prairie View has returned to the state tournament after a quarterfinal loss last year. PV rolled in the regionals with three wins by a combined score of 38-3. PV is 38-9 in the last seasons after 13-24 in the two previous years. PV qualified for state every year from ’14-17, per PV historian David Heidrick.
3. Council Grove (21-2) – This will likely be the best season in Council Grove softball history. CG split with 2-1A powerhouse Mission Valley. Council Grove has Elle Dragone, a Division II Harding (Ark.) commit. She leads CG with a .627 batting average, .642 on-base percentage, 47 hits and 44 runs scored and five homers. Senior Mija Carlson has a .531 average, .568 on-base percentage and paces the squad with 29 steals. Paisli Butler has a .466 average and three homers. Junior Jessica Filkin has 132 strikeouts and 45 walks in 96.2 innings. She has 19 appearances with a 1.16 earned-run average. CG has won 10 straight games. Council Grove swept state qualifier Central Heights on April 1 and split with state qualifier Mission Valley on April 14. MV is a 2-1A state favorite. CG also split with Chapman on April 26. Karly Goodell has tallied 37 runs. CG last qualified for state in ’16 and reached in ’99 with quarterfinal losses both seasons.
6. Rossville (20-3) – Rossville has paced Kansas in homers for the bulk of the spring. The Bulldawgs have John Nitsch, a RHS graduate who has coached softball in the area for 20-plus years. Rossville captured the Mid-East League. Rossville finished 19-4 last season. Rossville’s pitchers, Brinley Dyche and Vanesa Quinones, are both left-handed. Quinones has signed with NAIA Corban (Ore.). Rossville has key players Caylee Douglas, Emma Mitchell, Kinley Porter, Kinsey Perine and Ryan Leathers. Nagos Hale missed time early with an injury. Perine, Quinones and Mitchell have hit over .500 the bulk of the year. Rossville has 179 victories in the last 11 seasons, though this is its third state berth in that span, first since ’17. The Bulldawgs took second in ’17. Perine is the starting catcher.
Key Question: Can Ell-Saline, Troy and Mission Valley, both led by their elite arms, break through? None of the trio has won a state title. Colgan is the two-time defending state champion.
1.Brookville/Ell-Saline (23-0) – Ell-Saline finished 20-4 and lost to Mission Valley in the state quarterfinals in 2021. Ell-Saline features standout pitcher Raleigh Kramer, who has committed to Southwestern College. E-S defeated Sacred Heart, 11-1, in the regional championship game. Kramer has been a key player in volleyball and basketball and helped the basketball team to a sizable turnaround in the winter. Ell-Saline won 12 of its 20 regular season games via the run-rule. Kramer posted a 1.57 ERA in the regular season. Centerfielder Sadie Bradley and Valerie Vanzant (SS/P) are among the other key players.
8. Pittsburg-Colgan (11-12) – Colgan won 2-1A state championships in ’19 and ’21 and entered as the substantial favorite last winter. The Panthers have just one player in the same position as last spring. Colgan has went through significant roster changes. The Marietta twins, who have signed with Division I St. Louis, elected not to play. The shortstop moved before the season started, a key pitcher transferred to Girard within season. Colgan will be featured more later this week as Craw-Kan’s team of the week. Coach Annie Dellasega, a Colgan graduate, has done a nice job finding the right players in a season of change. Lauren Yaghmour, Gabi Radell, Emily Imhof, Lauren O’Brien, Trinity Taylor and pitcher Ava Wilson are key for the Panthers.
4. Spearville (21-2) – Spearville finished 22-2 and lost in the state quarterfinals in 2021. Spearville is at state for a third straight season. The Lancers have a .696 average by Kara Brakey. Tawney Krominga has a .590 average, while Taelor Rucker is at .586. Spearville was state champion in volleyball and state qualifier in basketball.
5. Mission Valley (20-2) – Mission Valley is a returning final four squad and features Morgan Tomlinson, who is on the short list for 2-1A Player of the Year. Tomlinson has committed to Hutchinson Community College. Senior Jaycie Calvaruzo has a .412 batting average. Tomlinson is second at .406, while Paige Martin is at .405. Tomlinson heads with a .523 on-base percentage. Catcher Kyplee Jacobson stands second with a .465 OBP. Calvaruzo has delivered an excellent four-year career, including 12 doubles, six triples and two homers this year. Martin has nine doubles. Tomlinson has delivered eight doubles, two triples and a pair of homers. Tomlinson has a 17-2 record with a 0.80 ERA in 131 innings. She has struck out 210 and walked 13. MV has a .937 fielding percentage with 84 assists.
2. Troy (21-0) – Troy has enjoyed easily the best season in school annals. The Trojans could finish as the best girls’ sport in Troy history. Star pitcher Paityn Engemann struck out all 18 batters in a perfect game against Onaga. Engemann has 131 strikeouts and a 0.66 earned-run average. Reagan Hill has a .422 average, including 13 extra-base hits. Claire Winder has a .526 average with six doubles. Emma McConnaughey is hitting .267. Paige Hinds has a .408 average, including 13 extra-base hits. Engemann has a .556 average, including 18 extra-base hits. She has a 1.204 slugging percentage. MV’s Morgan Tomlinson and Engemann are the leaders for 2-1A Player of the Year. Emerson Weber has a .464 average, including five doubles. Cayley Grable has a .389 average. Avery Euler has a .463 average with 14 extra-base hits. Jacey Moore is hitting .385.
7. Belle Plaine (11-8) – Belle Plaine has enjoyed an excellent last two seasons with a final four finish last year. BP has 30 wins in the last two years after 31 in the previous five. Delaynie Esterly has a .360 batting average, while Josie Walker has a .464 on-base percentage.
3. Bluestem (22-1) – Bluestem has not lost since a 9-0 defeat against Humboldt on April 4. Bluestem defeated Moundridge, 1-0, at regionals. Bluestem has been a consistent winner and is a combined 40-5 in the last two seasons. Delaney Blakesley struck out 11 in a complete game versus Moundridge. Reagan Pirtle drove in the lone run. Bluestem split with Humboldt on April 4.
6. Richmond-Central Heights (14-7) – Central Heights has won eight in a row after a 6-7 start. CH pulled some slight upsets with a 16-5 win against Yates Center and 7-5 victory versus Jayhawk Linn in the regional. YC is 17-3, and JL was 14-3 before facing Central Heights.