Lady Conqs Look to Continue Success
The Lady Conq Softball Team will look to continue their rise to the top of the Jayhawk East with a great combination of sophomore experience and a very good freshman class. Last year, the Lady Conqs went from 5 wins in 2011 to a 5th place finish in the 16 team conference along with a 25 win season and that was done with 14 freshman playing all year. Coach Howie Smith states that “we are very excited to get our season going because of the high expectations and goals that this team has set for itself”. “We believe that if we stay healthy that we have a real opportunity to make some noise in the conference race and battle for a Region VI Championship”.
The Lady Conqs will go with a 3 person rotation this spring. Jaycie Morris (Winnipeg, Manitoba) is the only returning pitcher from last year. Jaycie battled two different infections last year and was not able to ever get to 100% and is looking to capitalize on a healthy sophomore season. Abbigail Morrison (Great Bend, Kansas), a transfer from Fort Hays State University pitched last year in the tough MIAA and will be looked upon to bring her experience from last year to the Jayhawk Conference. Freshman Taylee Heckman (Las Vegas, Nevada) will round out the rotation.
KJCCC “Freshman of the Year” and 1st Team All-Conference and All-Region selectee Amanda Best (Parker, CO.) will be back behind the plate for the Lady Conqs. Best tied a school record for home runs in one year with 17 and broke numerous other hitting records at DCCC. Backing up Best will be freshman Haley Wedgewood (Abbotsford, British Columbia) and sophomore Danielle Kenton (Dodge City, Ks.)
The Lady Conq infield will have plenty of versatility this spring. At 1st base will be the combination of Morrison and Heckman with freshman Brandy Huff (Henderson, Nevada) also possibly seeing playing time there. 2nd base will be handled by sophomore Makensy Payne (Winnipeg, Manitoba) and freshman Ashley Stephenson (Dodge City, Ks.). At shortstop, sophomore Rio Beck (Henderson, Nevada) will be backed up by both Morrison and Payne. Freshman Danika Chavez (Flora Vista, New Mexico) will start at 3rd base and will be backed up by Heckman and Beck.
The Lady Conq outfield will rotate 5 players at the time of this writing to help gain valuable experience to what is the least experienced part of our ballclub. Freshman Mackenzie Maes (Parker, CO.) will start in centerfield with sophomore Kayli Keate (Elizabeth, CO.) an All-Region VI selection in the outfield will back her up. In Leftfield, Huff and Keate will compete and both will play early in the year. In Rightfield, Stephenson and sophomore Kylie Newton (Dodge City, Ks.) will vie for playing time with sophomores Haley Kollenz (North Vancouver, British Columbia) and sophomore Danielle Klassen (Winnipeg, Manitoba) rounding out the outfield.