Journal-World 2021 All-Area softball team

photo by: File

Free State seniors Tatum Clopton (left) and Sara Roszak (right) were named co-players of the year for the Journal-World's all-area softball squad.

Co-players of the year: Tatum Clopton, Free State and Sara Roszak, Free State

Both of these Firebirds had strong senior seasons to lead Free State to a fourth-place finish in Class 6A. They were also integral parts of FSHS’ back-to-back state titles in 2018 and 2019.

photo by: Carter Gaskins

In this file photo, Free State players Sara Roszak (23) and Tatum Clopton (16) celebrate Roszak’s diving catch that ended the sixth inning of a 1-0 win over Washburn Rural and set the stage for the Firebirds’ second consecutive Class 6A state title on Saturday, May 25, 2019, at Arrocha Ballpark.

Both of these Firebirds had strong senior seasons to lead Free State to a fourth-place finish in Class 6A. They were also integral parts of FSHS’ back-to-back state titles in 2018 and 2019.

Clopton, who is now headed to Oklahoma State University, was overwhelming in the circle all year. She piled up 226 strikeouts (76 looking) in 118 total innings and finished the year with a 17-2 record. As a hitter, she had a .532 batting average, 33 RBIs and nine home runs. Twice in her career, she was named the Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year.

Roszak, Free State’s dependable shortstop, rarely let a ball get by her in the middle of the field. She was just as important offensively, demonstrating quick hands on every swing, and she hit .547 this year with 46 RBIs and 12 homers. A highlight of Roszak’s season was when she delivered the walk-off blast in the regional championship. Next season, she will take her talents to the University of Kansas.

Coach of the year: Bill Finucane, Eudora

photo by: Contributed

Bill Finucane, Eudora

Under Finucane’s guidance, the Cardinals made it as far as the Class 4A state quarterfinals and assembled an 11-game winning streak that included back-to-back double-digit victories in regionals. Eudora ended the year with an 18-5 record.

First team

photo by: Contributed

Kira Baker, Eudora

Kira Baker, Eudora — Baker was a dominant pitcher during her junior campaign. She fired a program-record 170 strikeouts and had a 1.11 ERA over 94 1/3 innings. She was named to the all-Frontier League first team as a pitcher and played in center field when not in the circle.

photo by: Contributed

Taylor Damme, Perry-Lecompton

Taylor Damme, Perry-Lecompton — In just her first season at the high school level, Damme was an all-league first team selection. The freshman centerfielder has tremendous speed to cover all areas of the outfield. She also hit .451 and had nine home runs and nine stolen bases.

photo by: Chance Parker

Lawrence infielder Sydney Delfelder tosses the ball to first base against Free State. Lawrence High fell 15-2 Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

Sydney Delfelder, Lawrence — In her final season, Delfelder led the Lions both on and off the field. She hit .385 at the plate, scored 18 runs and swiped 15 bases, and she earned an honorable-mention selection from the Sunflower League coaches. Delfelder will continue her softball career at Baker University.

photo by: Contributed

Emma Grossoehme, Baldwin

Emma Grossoehme, Baldwin — Grossoehme, a senior, has played every position throughout her high school career, and she ended it on a high note as an outfielder. She led Baldwin in both batting average (.481) and runs scored (24), and she was named to the all-Frontier League second team. Next year, she will wrestle and play volleyball at Baker University.

Sarah Mays, Tonganoxie — Mays was the only returning starter from a team that was expected to be strong in 2020 before COVID-19 canceled that year’s spring sports. In 2021, she closed out her high school career with a batting average of .403 and 23 RBIs. She also crushed nine home runs, five doubles and two triples.

photo by: Contributed

Jayla Pierce, Eudora

Jayla Pierce, Eudora — Pierce finished her high school career with a bang by hitting a team-record seven homers. She never committed an error at first base all year and as a hitter she had 40 RBIs and a batting average of .636. She was also named to the all-Frontier League first team.

photo by: Contributed

Harper Schreiner, Eudora

Harper Schreiner, Eudora — Schreiner, a multi-sport athlete, switched to shortshop for her junior year. She finished with a .488 batting average and scored 37 runs, and she also stole 20 bases this year and was never caught.

photo by: Carter Gaskins

Lawrence High’s Hailey Ramirez (2) catches a line drive in the outfield during a rivalry matchup Thursday night at FSHS on May 13, 2021.

Hailey Ramirez, Lawrence — Patrolling centerfield, Ramirez displayed plenty of speed and took the right angles to make strong defensive plays. Her speed was especially obvious in the basepaths, and she led the Sunflower League in stolen bases with 25. She also hit .452 and blasted two homers during her junior campaign.

photo by: Chance Parker

Free State senior Georgia Rea is jubilant after making a sliding catch against Olathe South during the Class 6A State Tournament. Free State won 6-0 Thursday, May 27, 2021.

Georgia Rea, Free State — Rea was as reliable as it gets behind the plate as Free State’s catcher. In addition to calling pitches, she displayed quick reactions when catching foul balls. As a hitter, she batted leadoff and had a .356 batting average, 22 RBIs, six triples and six home runs. Next year, Rea will play for Western Illinois University.

photo by: Contributed

Ella Scoby, Baldwin

Ella Scoby, Baldwin — In addition to being the No. 1 pitcher on the team, Scoby also played first base and outfield and was a designated hitter for the Bulldogs. The junior led the team in doubles, RBIs, walks, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. She hit .383 with 20 RBIs and 16 walks.

photo by: Contributed

Kylie Vandervoort, Tonganoxie

Kylie Vandervoort, Tonganoxie — Vandervoort, a sophomore centerfielder, robbed several hits in the outfield and hit .377 with 10 RBIs from the leadoff spot in the lineup. She was a first-team all-Frontier League selection.

Honorable mention

Jasmine Brixius, Free State; Trystan Buttram, Perry-Lecompton; Caitlyn Champagne, Perry-Lecompton; Elli Han, Eudora; Zoey LaTessa, Baldwin; Leah Mueller, Free State; Robin Todd, Free State; Kenzie Yoder, Eudora.


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