Softball News Archive 2016-2017

Grand slam powers Larks past Storm

After dropping the first game to the Southeast Community College (Neb.) Storm 4-3, the Larks softball team answered with a 14-9 victory at Hesston City Diamond Tuesday, March 28. Freshman Kayleigh Johnson (Cache Valley, Utah) hit a grand slam during a nine-run third inning to help lead Hesston past the Storm.

After a 1-1 ball game early, the Storm scored four runs in the top of the third inning to jump in front of the Larks 5-1. Hesston responded with nine runs to race in front 10-5. Southeast added a couple more runs in the later innings but it wasn’t enough as the Larks evened the series.

Freshmen Sierrah Long (Highland, Calif.) and Kendall Richardson (Lodi, Calif.) chipped in with three runs batted in for the Larks. Jessica Lusk went 2 for 4 with four runs batted in for the Storm.

With the split, the Larks move to 18-14 on the year. Next – Hesston will return to the field Friday, March 31, vs. Fort Scott Community College. First pitch vs. the Greyhounds will come at 4 p.m. from Hesston City Diamond.

Lark softball ends Blue Dragons’ 11 game winning streak

The Hesston College softball team hung on late after a furious Hutchinson (Kan.) CC rally to defeat the #15 ranked Blue Dragons 12-11 in the second game of a double-header, giving Hutch their first region VI loss (5-1). In the first match up at Hesston City Diamond, the Larks jumped out in front 2-0, but fell 4-2.

Game 1:
Freshman Kendall Richardson (Lodi, Calif.) got things going with a solo home run to put the Larks up 1-0. The Larks stretched their lead to 2-0 in the second inning before the Blue Dragons answered. A lead-off home run followed by a pair of RBI singles put Hutchinson on top 3-2 in the third inning. The Larks loaded the bases three times late in the game, but were unable to score. Hutchinson CC added an insurance run to win 4-2.

Game 2:
After trailing 5-3, sophomore Cierra King (Cochranville, Pa.) smashed a grand slam to put the Larks on top 7-5. Hesston added four more runs in the inning to lead 11-5. The Blue Dragons rallied with five runs in the fifth inning to cut the lead to 11-10. A Jerrica Brown (Clovis, Calif.) lead-off home run in the bottom of the sixth inning gave the Larks a 12-10 lead, which would hold up. The Blue Dragons would tack on a sacrifice fly to pull within one, but the potential tying run was stranded as the Larks held on. Hesston College was out-hit 16-10.

Next up- Softball (16-10) will travel to Parsons, Kan., on Friday, March 24, to take on Labette Community College in a double header. First pitch against the Cardinals is set for 2 p.m.

Larks race past Roadrunners in California

Hesston College softball finished their West Coast road trip in style, easing past the College of the Desert Roadrunners – 15-0 in five innings, and 11-1 in the second game at Kenny Dalglish field in Palm Desert, California. The Larks finish their four game swing with a 3-1 record after splitting 1-1 with San Bernardino Valley College on Monday.

Game 1:
After scoring a run in the first and two runs each in the second and third innings to go ahead 5-0, Hesston exploded for five runs in the fourth and fifth innings to put the game away. Sophomore Jerrica Brown from Clovis, Calif., had four RBI in the first game and Sierra Long from Highland, Calif., added three RBI to help propel the Larks. Freshman pitcher Ashley Yasin (Lake Isabella, Calif.) picked up with win (4-4)

Game 2:
Hesston jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. Kayleigh Johnson (Cache Valley, Utah) and freshman catcher Jordan Walton (Newkirk, Okla.) each picked up two RBI and freshman pitcher Chantel Purcella (Albuquerque, N.M.) had another solid outing going seven strong innings, giving up only one earned run. The Larks improve to 15-9 on the season and will enjoy a week off. The Roadrunners drop to 2-16 overall.

Next – Hesston College softball welcomes Hutchinson Community College to town on Tuesday, March 21, for a doubleheader. First pitch from Hesston City Diamond will be at 4 p.m.

Softball wins first game in California

The Hesston College softball team knocked off San Bernardino Valley College 12-9 in eight innings, before dropping the second game to the Wolverines, 7-2.

Hesston moves to 13-9 on the season and will play another double header on Tuesday when they face off with the College of the Desert Roadrunners (Palm Desert, Calif.). First pitch will be at 3 p.m. central time (1 p.m. local).

Softball will have a week off before returning to Hesston for a big double header with Hutchinson Community College March 21. First pitch against the Blue Dragons from Hesston City Diamond will be 4 p.m. Game two begins at 6.

Softball takes one from Warriors

The Hesston College softball team traveled to Sterling, Kan., and picked up a shutout win (4-0) in the first game against the Warriors before falling 10-2 in the second matchup.

The Larks’ pitching was solid in game one, also receiving good play defensively to perverse the 4-0 win. The Warriors got the bats going early in game two, going on to win 10-2.

Up next – The Larks will take their 12-8 record to the West Coast for a pair of matchups in California. First up – Hesston College will take on San Bernardino Valley College on March 13 at 3 p.m. central time. On March 14 the Larks will take on The College of the Desert (Palm Desert, Calif.) at 3 p.m. central time.

Larks split with Northeast Community College

Hesston College softball picked up a win in two games vs. the Northeast (Neb.) Community College Hawks at the Hesston City Diamond.

In the first game, Northeastern made quick work of the Larks, going ahead 2-0 in the first and adding six runs in the second and one in the fourth to win 9-0 in five innings. The second game was a different story as the Lark offense came to life, rallying from 6-0 down to squeak by the Hawks, 13-12.

Freshman infielder Brianna Baca (Albuquerque , N.M.) had 4 RBI, while sophomore catcher Ally Steiner (Phoenix, Ariz.) went 3-for-5 at the plate, scoring a run, with 2 RBI. Freshman 1B Dezz Bretado (Whittier, Calif.) was a perfect 3-for-3 with 3 runs and an RBI. Freshman infielder Sierrah Long (Highland, Calif.) went 2-for-4 with 3 runs scored in the win for the Larks.

Hesston College sits a steady five games above .500 (11-6) as their spring break trip to California looms. Before that Hesston will face the Sterling (Kan.) College JV in a Friday, March 10 doubleheader. First pitch against the Warriors will be at 2 p.m.

Larks take one from Panthers

The Hesston College softball team defeated Neosho County CC 9-1 (5 innings) in the first game Sunday, March 5, before dropping the second game 8-0 (5 innings) to the Panthers.

In the game one, sophomore Ally Steiner (Phoenix, Ariz.) was perfect at the plate (3-3) with a double, RBI and a run scored to help lead Hesston College past the Neosho. Sophomore Jerrica Brown (Clovis, Calif.) went 2-3 with 2 RBI and a run scored. Freshman infielder Kendall Richardson (Lodi, Calif) provided two hits, including a triple, and scored twice.

Freshman pitcher Chantel Purcella (Albuquerque, N.M.) went the distance for the Larks, striking out four batters and giving up only three hits. The lone run was unearned for Purcella. Hesston College sees their record jump to 10-6.

Next up – the Larks will welcome Northeast (Colo.) Community College in a double header on Wednesday, March 8. First pitch from Hesston City Diamond will be at 3 p.m.

Larks split with Threshers

After a successful weekend in which the Hesston College softball team took three of four games, they split with the Bethel College Threshers on Tuesday afternoon at Hesston City Diamond. The Larks won game one 3-2, before falling 11-3 (6 innings) in the second game.

Freshman Kendall Richardson’s (Lodi, Calif.) 2-run home run early in the game was enough, as Hesston College held on for the one run win. The Threshers got the bats going in game two, and ended things early; 11-3.

Freshman pitcher Chantel Purcella (Albuquerque, N.M.) recorded the win for Hesston. “She had a nice game, going seven innings and only giving up one run,” head coach Andrew Sharp commented. Hesston sits at a nice 9-5 heading into the weekend.

The Larks will host Neosho County Community College in a Region VI matchup on Sunday, March 5. First pitch vs. the Panthers will be at 1 p.m. Second game will start at 3 p.m.

Larks take down Swedes

Hesston College softball traveled to Lindsborg, Kan., and knocked off Bethany College JV in a double header 7-6, 14-2 (5) at Anderson Athletic Complex on Tuesday afternoon.

After the Swedes took an early lead, the Larks rallied from 4-0 down. Freshman infielder Kendall Richardson (Lodi, Calif.) connected on a two-run double in the sixth inning to cut the Bethany lead to 4-2. “We hit six singles in the 7th inning, that got it done,” Head Coach Andrew Sharp said. “ Chantell (Purcella, freshman, Albuquerque, N.M.) pitched very well going for 11 strikeouts with six hits and 0 walks.”

The Larks jumped all over the Swedes early in game two, exploding at the plate. Freshman pitcher Ashley Yasin (Lake Isabella, Calif) hit a grand slam in the first inning, finishing with 5 RBI and a complete-game win on the mound. Yasin pitched a gem with no earned runs, six strikeouts and no free passes.

With the double header sweep vs. Bethany JV, the Larks improve to 5-3 on the season and will look to continue winning ways with a big weekend series looming. Saturday, Hesston welcomes Region VI foe Allen Community College to Hesston City Diamond in a rare February region matchup. First pitch will be at 1 p.m. On Sunday, it’s a short trip north to McPherson to take on the Bulldogs. Double header begins at 2 p.m. at Wall Park Fields.

Big second inning sparks Larks softball in home opener

The Hesston College softball team scored five runs in the second inning as the Larks defeated Central (Neb.) Community College 12-7 Tuesday afternoon at Hesston City Diamond.

The Larks gave up an early solo home run to Mackenzie Eller, putting the Raiders up 1-0 in the top of the first inning. Hesston responded with a five-run bottom of the second inning. Freshman infielder Kendall Richardson (Lodi, Calif.) connected on a two-run single to right field to give the Larks a 2-1 lead. Sophomore outfielder Ally Steiner followed up with another 2-run single to left field to go ahead 4-1.

Freshman infielder Sierrah Long (Highland, Calif.) added an RBI single and the Larks saw themselves up 8-1 before the Raiders scored five runs in the top of the fifth to pull things within 8-6. The Larks loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth and plated four more runs. The Raiders tallied one in the seventh but it wasn’t enough. Larks pitcher Chantel Purcella (Albuquerque, N.M.) went the distance, picking up the win.

Hesston dropped the second game to Central, 6-3. The Raiders took a 2-0 lead and went on to hold off the Larks. With the split, Hesston College moves to 3-3 on the year. “We are off to decent start, but we have some work to do.” Head Coach Andrew Sharp commented. The Larks will be back on the road for their next game Tuesday, February 21. Hesston will see Bethany College JV. First pitch vs. the Swedes will be at 3 p.m. in Lindsborg.

Larks split opening weekend

Hesston College softball traveled to western Kansas for their opening weekend and lost a double header to Garden City CC Saturday (6-1, 5-3) before beating Pratt (Kan.) Community College on Sunday (8-6, 11-10)

Saturday, Garden City, at Tangeman Sports Complex

The Broncbusters went up 6-0, before Hesston sophomore Dezz Bretatdo (Whittier, Calif.) hit a sacrifice fly to score the Larks lone run in the top of the sixth inning. In game two, the Larks let a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning slip away, after Garden City Community College responded with a solo home run and a three-run sixth inning to lead the rally.

Sunday, Pratt, at Pratt Community College

On Sunday, the Larks took on the Beavers from Pratt Community College and took both games. Hesston jumped out front 4-1 in the top of the second. Pratt began to sneak back into things and eventually forced extra innings at 6-6. The Larks scored twice in the top half to prevail 8-6 and get their first win of the early season (1-2).

In a high scoring second game, Hesston came out on top 11-10, sweeping the doubleheader. The Larks move to 2-2; Pratt falls to 0-9 with the losses.

“Two gutty wins today,” Head Coach Andrew Sharp said. “We were tired and didn’t play all that well, but gave a great effort.”

Next Up: Softball returns to Hesston for their home opening series on Valentine’s Day. The Larks welcome Central (Neb). Community College. First pitch against the Raiders will be at 3 p.m. Second game begins at 5 p.m.

Softball primed for a big 2017

After a preseason scrimmage vs. Tabor College, the Hesston College softball team is ready to get things going. The Larks open their 2017 schedule on the road with a weekend series at Garden City (Kan.) Community College (Feb. 11) and Pratt (Kan.) Community College (Feb. 12).

Head Coach Andrew Sharp, entering his eighth season, is optimistic for a brighter year after a disappointing 2016 season (finishing 17-28). “I’m very excited about this group. We have good depth and talent all around the field.” The Larks have plenty of new faces this spring as they will carry 12 freshmen and eight sophomores on this year’s roster.

Hesston’s schedule features eight games against teams ranked in the preseason top 15 National Junior College Athletic Association poll. Several of these schools are familiar opponents for the Larks: Johnson County #9, Labette #11, Highland #13 and Cowley County #15

The Larks are hoping that this year they can finish over the hump and make a postseason run. “I expect us to take a competitive edge onto the field every time out.” coach Sharp commented. “This group has the potential to advance to post season play.” Softball will open their home schedule at the Hesston City Diamond vs. Central Community College on Valentine’s Day.

Softball inks Utah slugger

Hesston College softball coach Andrew Sharp announces Kayleigh Johnson, an infielder/corner outfielder from Sky View High School, Smithfield, Utah, as the latest addition to the Larks’ 2016 recruiting class.

Johnson, a two-time all-valley and second-team all-region player, has been a mainstay in the middle of the Bobcats lineup the past several seasons. She’s helped Sky View High to a berth in the state tournament each of the past two years.

An honor roll student and National Honor Society member, Johnson will study secondary education/counseling at Hesston.

“Kayleigh’s signing adds to an already talented recruiting class,” Sharp said. “She had a wonderful campus visit and will have an opportunity to make a big impact on our team. I’m thrilled she’s headed our way.”

Johnson is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is the daughter of Cameron and Nicole Johnson, Smithfield.

Larks sign Oklahoma catcher to letter-of-intent

Hesston College softball coach Andrew Sharp announces Jordan Walton, a catcher/utility from Newkirk (Okla.) High School, as the latest addition to the Larks’ 2016 recruiting class.

Walton helped lead Newkirk High to three consecutive district championships and was twice named an all-conference player. As a senior, Walton hit .363 with 14 doubles and threw out 48 percent of runners on stolen base attempts. She will study nursing at Hesston.

“I’m thrilled to add Jordan to our program,” Sharp said. “She has some nice athletic tools to work with and is a great student. Jordan’s contributions to campus will go well beyond the softball field and we’re looking forward to getting her here in the fall.”

Walton attends Hillcrest Bible Baptist Church, Arkansas City, Kan. She is the daughter of Glenn and Lora Walton, Newkirk.

Larks slam Cloud in Sophomore Night finale

The Hesston College softball team split a doubleheader with Cloud County CC (Concordia, Kan.) on Friday, April 22, in the Larks final home games of the season.

Cloud took game one 7-5 after jumping out to a 6-0 lead. Hesston nearly fought its way back into it, and had the tying run in scoring position with two outs in the seventh but couldn’t close the gap.

In the nightcap, Jerrica Brown (Fresno, Calif.) blasted a first-inning grand slam, her 11th long ball of the year, to give Riley Hannemann (Flagstaff, Ariz.) all the cushion she would need in a 10-0 five-inning game. Hannemann was dominant in her last home start, going five shutout innings with seven strikeouts. Brown finished the game with six RBI, while sophomore Alicia Ramirez (Albuquerque, N.M.) went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI.

Hesston Softball awaits its first-round postseason opponent. The three-game series will be played on Saturday, April 30 to Sunday, May 1.