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Archive for Saturday, June 14, 2008

Journal-World All-area softball First-team selections

The 2008 all-area softball team is made up of (from left to right): front row - Evan Folks, Eudora High; Lindsey Himpel and Lauren Himpel, Tonganoxie High; Haley Finucane and Alex Zordel, Baldwin High; back row - coach Ballard Patterson, McLouth High; Catherine Smith, Free State High; Kendall Patterson, Lezley Lawson and Samantha Farris, McLouth High; and Courtney Kasson, Perry-Lecompton High.

The 2008 all-area softball team is made up of (from left to right): front row - Evan Folks, Eudora High; Lindsey Himpel and Lauren Himpel, Tonganoxie High; Haley Finucane and Alex Zordel, Baldwin High; back row - coach Ballard Patterson, McLouth High; Catherine Smith, Free State High; Kendall Patterson, Lezley Lawson and Samantha Farris, McLouth High; and Courtney Kasson, Perry-Lecompton High.

June 14, 2008

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Catherine Smith
Free State High, senior

As the Firebirds' do-all leader, Smith turned in a magnificent season.

While starting nearly every game on the mound, the Delaware-bound pitcher had an earned-run-average of 1.44 and added 94 strikeouts in 21 games.

In addition to her brilliance on the mound, Free State's No. 4 hitter finished with a .333 batting average.

Lauren Himpel
Tonganoxie High, junior

Himpel proved to be a sensational mix of offensive and defensive talent for the Chieftains this season.

While holding down the leadoff spot in the THS batting order, Himpel finished with a .560 on-base percentage and a .455 batting average. In addition, she was 32-for-32 in stolen base attempts and led the team in hits, average and runs.

Defensively, from her spot in left field, Himpel used her speed, athletic ability and rocket arm to limit the offensive production of her opponents.

Lindsey Himpel
Tonganoxie High, senior

The older of Tonganoxie's two Himpels was a more steady force defensively, first in the outfield as the starting center fielder and later as a shortstop as a fill-in for an injury-ridden infield.

That's not to say she didn't do some damage on offense. Himpel led the team in doubles (9), triples (7), stolen bases (33) and on-base-percentage and was second in runs, hits and RBIs.

Courtney Kasson
Perry-Lecompton, junior

Kasson played a huge role in the dream season turned in by the Lady Kaws this year.

As the team's ace pitcher, Kasson recorded 158 strikeouts, 18 victories and had a 0.59 earned-run-average. She surrendered just 11 earned runs in 130 innings and faced more than 500 batters.

Offensively, she was nearly just as impressive, finishing with a .523 batting average and a .785 slugging percentage to go along with one home run and 19 RBI. The Kaws won the Kaw Valley League and their Class 4A regional before falling at state.

Kendall Patterson
McLouth High, junior

For the second year in a row, the KU committment earned all-state honors for her play with the McLouth Bulldogs.

In her encore performance to a stellar sophomore season, Patterson finished with an .810 batting average and an on-base-percentage of .866. She logged 47 hits, 10 walks, 23 doubles and five triples, to help lead MHS to third place at 3A state, a feat that included the squad's first state tournament victory in school history.

Lezley Lawson
McLouth High, junior

Lawson proved to be a dual threat for the Bulldogs yet again.

Offensively, the 2007 all-area player of the year led the team with seven home runs and finished with 36 hits and a .659 batting average.

Defensively, she crafted an 11-0 record on the mound, and logged 118 strikeouts and two no-hitters.

Samantha Farris
McLouth High, senior

Farris formed the third part of the Bulldogs' three-headed monster, finishing the season with a 9-0 record on the mound and 102 strikeouts.

Her most memorable feat from the hill this season came in the form of her first career perfect game.

Offensively, Farris packed a punch, as well. She jacked two home runs, drove in 19 and logged 29 hits for the Bulldogs, who finished the regular season 17-0 and 19-1 overall.

Evan Folks
Eudora High, sophomore

The Cardinals' sophomore catcher was an all-around threat during the 2008 season.

Folks finished the season with a .375 average, a .781 slugging percentage and a .605 on-base percentage.

In addition, she stole seven of the eight bases she attempted and, from behind the plate, threw out nearly half of the base runners that tried to run on her. She scored 27 runs, drove in 11 and had five doubles, nine triples and one home run to her credit.

Alex Zordel
Baldwin High, junior

From her spot as the Bulldogs' clean-up hitter, Zordel finished the year with a .474 batting average, an .807 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .516.

She scored 14 runs, drove in 19 and had 27 hits. In addition, Zordel is a three-year letter winner, was the team's No. 2 pitcher and went the entire season without striking out.

Haley Finucane
Baldwin High, junior

Finucane's offensive numbers put her among the elite in the area, but her defense put her among the elite in the state.

At second base, the BHS junior finished the season with a fielding percentage of 1.000.

In addition she recorded 37 putouts and 34 assists. Offensively, she split the season between the leadoff spot and the No. 3 spot in the order and delivered in both areas. She hit .386, scored 16 runs, drove in nine and struck out just four times.

Honorable Mention:

Kayley Lane, sr., shortstop, Free State High; LeeAnne Pringle, jr., catcher, Shelby Erickson, soph., shortstop, Perry-Lecompton High; Callie Craig, sr., pitcher, Tracie Weege, jr., shortstop, Baldwin High; DeAnna Durkes, jr., third baseman, Kaley Patterson, fr., second baseman, McLouth High; Melissa Pratt, sr., catcher, Tonganoxie High; Lauren Massey, fr., pitcher, Kristen Bell, fr., catcher, Brittaney Krug, sr., shortstop, Kalli McClure, sr., first baseman, Lawrence High; Hailie Ray, jr., pitcher, Jamie Voigts, sr., catcher, Anna Mages, soph., pitcher, Ottawa High; Kayci Vickers, sr., first baseman, Mackenzie Salzman, sr., outfielder, Eudora High; Jordin Burford, soph., shortstop, De Soto High.

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