Softball News Archive 2015-2016

Larks aim for turnaround in 2016

The Hesston College softball team opens its 2016 schedule with a weekend tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 5-6. This will be the Larks first appearance in the annual Cowtown Classic.

Seventh-year coach Andrew Sharp is optimistic for a rebound after a disappointing 2015 season. Seven sophomores and eight freshmen make up this year’s roster.

“I thought we were better than our record indicated last year,” Sharp said. “We started strong but weren’t able to maintain consistency. I’m confident this group can rebound and play better softball.”

Hesston’s 45-game schedule features six games against teams ranked in the preseason top 15 national poll and 35 games with NJCAA opponents.

“We’ve put together a challenging schedule and I expect our group to compete well,” Sharp said. “We’ll need to stay healthy to be at our best, of course. But we have good depth at a several positions and I look forward to getting the season started.”

Larks sign Ohio catcher to letter-of-intent

Hesston College softball coach Andrew Sharp announces Jaelyn Rufenacht, a catcher from Pettisville (Ohio) High School, as the latest addition to the Larks’ 2016 recruiting class.

A three-sport athlete at Pettisville High, Rufenacht runs cross country and plays basketball for the Blackbirds in addition to her time on the diamond. She is a four-year varsity letter-winner and two-time all-Buckeye Border Conference performer in softball.

Rufenacht, a National Honor Society member and Scholar Athlete, is deciding her major. She attends West Clinton Mennonite Church, Wauseon, Ohio, and is active in the youth group there.

“Jaelyn brings a lot to our campus and softball program,” Sharp said. “She’s an athletic lefty bat who can run. She’s also a tremendous student and will thrive in our academic community. I’m very eager to coach Jaelyn and watch her compete.”

Rufenacht is the daughter of Brad and Tina Rufenacht, Pettisville.

Hesston Softball inks two more

Hesston College softball coach Andrew Sharp announces Sierrah Long, a shortstop/utility from Citrus Valley High School, Redlands, Calif., and Brinkli Jones, a pitcher/utility from Sky View High School, Smithfield, Utah, as the newest additions to the Hesston program.

Long is a key part of a strong Citrus Valley program that has put together four consecutive 20-win seasons and looks to make another push in 2016. She plays travel ball for Team Easton, an 18 gold team based out of Southern California.

“We’re thrilled to have Sierrah join the program,” Sharp said. “She brings a very athletic presence to the diamond and we expect her to make an immediate impact on our infield. Sierrah is a versatile player who can do a little of everything and will find numerous ways to impact the game.”

An honor roll student, Long will study nursing at Hesston. She is the daughter of Justin and Heather Long, Highland, Ca.

Jones was voted first-team all-region and helped Sky View High Softball to a 19-win season in 2015. An honorable mention all-state selection, she will anchor the Bobcats’ pitching staff in 2016 and be a presence near the top of the batting order.

Jones is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. An honor roll student, she will study nursing at Hesston.

“Brinkli’s talents and personality are a nice match for Hesston College and our program,” Sharp said. “She’s a competitive kid who we’ll put to work in a variety of roles on the softball field. I anticipate her being involved in our campus in many ways outside of softball.”

Jones is the daughter of Shane and Judy Jones, Hyde Park, Utah.

Hesston Softball strengthens California ties with two latest additions

Hesston College softball coach Andrew Sharp announces Kendall Richardson, an infielder/outfielder from Lodi (Calif.) High School, and Ashley Yasin, a pitcher/first baseman from Kern Valley High School, Lake Isabella, Calif., as the latest west-coast talent to pledge to Hesston College Softball.

Richardson, a versatile player with speed and athleticism, brings a competitive softball background to Hesston. She will look to help solidify the Larks’ infield and can play several positions.

Aside from her time with Lodi High, Richardson plays travel ball for the California Grapettes 18 gold coached by Todd Clark.

“Kendall represents a huge addition to our program,” Sharp said. “I’ve been scouting her travel team for a few years and am thrilled to build on this relationship. The Grapettes play hard and run the bases well. Kendall will have a smooth transition to our style of play.”

A consistent presence on the Lodi High honor roll, Richardson will study nursing at Hesston. She is the daughter of Pam and Dan Richardson, Lodi.

Yasin, Kern Valley Softball’s team MVP the last two years, is the reigning High Desert League Pitcher of the Year. Yasin also earned first-team all-conference honors as a first baseman in 2015, leading Kern Valley to a 20-win season.

An HDL all-academic member the last two years, Yasin will study nursing at Hesston.

“Adding Ashley to this recruiting class was a huge deal,” Sharp said. “She’ll be counted on right away to be a leader on the field and an instant contributor to our campus. Ashley is a true student-athlete, and we couldn’t be happier with her decision to bring her talents to Kansas.”

Yasin is the daughter of Jonathan and Dana Yasin, Lake Isabella.

Larks sign pitcher, outfielder to letters-of-intent

Hesston College softball coach Andrew Sharp announces Josie Noll, an outfielder from Jefferson County North High School, Winchester, Kan., and Mikayla Bomgardner, a pitcher from Lebanon, Pa., as the newest additions to the Hesston program.

Noll competes in volleyball and power lifting at Jefferson County North High and plays travel ball for the Lawrence (Kan.) Hummers. She was twice a state-tournament participant in volleyball and earned the Sportsmanship Award for her play with the Hummers.

A multi-year honor roll student, Noll will study nursing at Hesston. She attends Corpus Christie Catholic Church, Winchester.

“Josie brings an athletic presence and good competiveness to our roster,” Sharp said. “She has all the tools necessary for a great college experience and we’re thrilled she’s coming our way.”

Noll is the daughter of Joey and Sarah Noll, Winchester.

Bomgardner committed to Hesston Softball during a fall visit and adds depth to a promising Larks’ pitching staff. She plays travel ball for the Mid-Penn Lighting and is completing her high school degree through PA Distance Learning Center.

“Mikayla, like a lot of our recruits, is traveling a long distance for college but will be right at home on our campus,” Sharp said. “She does a nice job of keeping hitters off-balance, and I’m excited to see her compete.”

A member of Gingrichs Mennonite Church, Lebanon, Bomgardner will study business at Hesston. She is the daughter of C. Rodney and Melissa Bomgardner, Lebanon, Pa.

Softball announces first two recruits of 2016 class

Hesston College softball coach Andrew Sharp announces Jocelyn Chavez, an outfielder from Dwight D. Eisenhower High School, Rialto, Calif., and Brittney Postlewait, a catcher/outfielder from Adna High School, Chehalis, Wash., as the first additions to the Larks’ 2016 recruiting class.

A second-team all-Citrus Belt League performer as a junior and four-year varsity player at Eisenhower High, Chavez brings a big left-handed bat to the Hesston outfield. She plays travel ball for Team Easton, an 18 gold team based out of Southern California.

“Jocelyn got this recruiting class off and running with an early commitment,” Sharp said. “She’s a fantastic addition and will impact our program in a variety of ways. We’re very excited to have her on campus this fall.”

Chavez has been a mainstay on the Principal’s Honor Roll in high school and will study nursing at Hesston. She is the daughter of Lizet Hernandez and Mario Rojas, Rialto.

Postlewait, an all-conference player and varsity starter since her eighth grade season, was a big part of Adna High’s state championship title in 2015. She plays travel ball for the Washington Speed, an 18 gold team out of Gig Harbor, Wash.

“Brittney brings a ton of energy and talent to the Hesston program,” Sharp said. “She had an outstanding campus visit and it was clear she was an ideal fit for our school. Brittney will provide strong leadership and be a vocal presence on the field.”

A member of the National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars, Postlewait will study special education at Hesston. She is the daughter of Michael and Nicole Postlewait, Chehalis.

Softball signs Washington infielder

Hesston College softball coach Andrew Sharp announces Bailyn Piecewicz, a middle infielder/outfielder from Mt. Spokane (Wash.) High School, as the newest addition to the Larks program.

A softball team captain and Most Valuable Player her sophomore year, Piecewicz was a three-year varsity starter in the infield at Mt. Spokane High. She also played high school volleyball where she was a team captain.

Piecewicz will study biomedical engineering at Hesston. She is a National Honor Society member, Honor Roll student, National Language Arts and Academic Letter recipient.

“Bailyn gives our roster added talent at a crucial spot,” Sharp said. “She’s a middle-of-the-field player with speed, and we’ll put her to work immediately. Her academic resume speaks for itself and she’ll find numerous ways to contribute to our campus.”

Piecewicz is the daughter of Scott and Kelly Piecewicz, Spokane.

Larks rally falls short in Region VI playoff

The Hesston College softball team saw its season end with a first-round playoff loss at Johnson County CC (Overland Park, Kan.) in a best-of-three series Sunday, April 26. JCCC won the opener 8-0 before holding on for a 4-3 series-clinching win in game two.

Down 4-0 heading into the sixth inning of the elimination game, Hesston put together a three-run rally and had the tying run at 3rd with one out but couldn’t pull any closer.

Hesston sophomore Cheyenne Cherubini (Flint, Mich.) pitched well in her final outing in a Larks uniform, scattering seven hits without a walk in a complete-game effort. Gabby Willis (Rusk, Texas) went 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Softball sweeps on sophomore night

The Hesston College softball team earned a doubleheader sweep (5-3, 4-3) over Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.) on Wednesday, April 22, closing out its home schedule in style.

In the opener, freshman Dakoda Lee’s (Boise, Idaho) first-inning three-run home run gave the Larks an early lead, while RBI’s by Alicia Ramirez (Albuquerque, N.M.) and sophomore Megan Redd (Castle Rock, Colo.) provided the margin of victory.

Ramirez went 2-for-3 with a run, while Lee earned the pitching win with a complete-game effort that included five strikeouts. Sophomore Makenna Grow (Logan, Utah) went 2-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.

In game two, sophomore hurler Cheyenne Cherubini (Flint, Mich.) allowed six hits and one earned run in a complete-game win. Cherubini struck out three and didn’t walk a batter.

Sophomore Kasee Tully (McPherson, Kan.) walked twice, stole two bases and scored twice. Gabby Willis (Rusk, Texas) went 2-for-3 with two RBI.

The Larks travel to Johnson County CC (Overland Park, Kan.) for the first round of Region VI playoffs beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 25.

Larks get road sweep over Indy

The Hesston College softball team swept a Region VI double header at Independence (Kan.) CC on Tuesday, April 14, pounding out 10 hits in a 10-4 game-one win before winning the nightcap by a 7-5 score.

In the opener, Dakoda Lee (Boise, Idaho) tossed a complete-game, allowing four earned runs and striking out three. Alicia Ramirez (Albuquerque, N.M.) broke a 4-4 tie with a three-run HR in the Larks eight-run fifth. Lee made it back-to-back homers with a solo blast, and Riley Hannemann (Flagstaff, Ariz.) added a solo shot an inning later.

Ramirez finished with four RBI, while Lee, Kasee Tully (McPherson, Kan.) and Daisy Correa (Moreno Valley, Calif.) had two hits each.

In game two, Tully enjoyed a 4-for-4 day with a double, three runs scored and two stolen bases. Ramirez went 2-for-4 with three RBI. Cheyenne Cherubini (Flint, Mich.) went seven innings with just one earned run allowed for the win.

The Larks head to Highland (Kan.) CC for a 2 p.m. doubleheader on Friday, April 17.

Larks split at Pratt

The Hesston College softball team split a non-conference double header at Pratt (Kan.) CC on Monday, April 6, winning game one 12-2 (6 innings) before falling 8-7 in the nightcap.

In the opener, freshman Dakoda Lee (Boise, Idaho) went the distance, allowing six hits and two runs to pick up the win. Makenna Grow (Logan, Utah) went 2-for-3 with three runs knocked in including a solo home run. Daisy Correa (Moreno Valley, Calif.) went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Riley Hannemann (Flagstaff, Ariz.) went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.

Down 8-4 in the seventh inning of game two, Hesston nearly pulled off a comeback by plating three runs in the frame. The Pratt defense stiffened, however, to preserve the win for the home team.

Hesston Softball hosts Fort Scott (Kan.) CC for a 4 p.m. double header on Friday, April 10.

Softball adds more California talent to 2015 recruiting class

Hesston College softball coach Andrew Sharp announces Jerrica Brown, a pitcher/corner infielder from Hallmark Charter School, Sanger, Calif., as the newest addition to the Larks program.

Through her junior year at Hallmark Charter, Brown compiled a 3.34 ERA and .347 batting average. Voted team MVP her sophomore season, Brown was a first-team All-County Metro Athletic Conference player in 2013. Brown was awarded the Leadership Award following her junior season.

A four-year honor roll student and Scholar Athlete Award winner in 2014, Brown will study nursing at Hesston.

“Jerrica brings a strong skill set to the field and is well-rounded student athlete,” Sharp said. “She a very competitive and confident kid and will look to make a name for herself from day one.”

Brown is the daughter of Paul and Lori Brown, Clovis, Calif. She attends The Well Community Church, Fresno, Calif., and is active with Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Sanger High.

Hesston sweeps Allen

The Hesston College softball team earned a Region VI sweep over Allen CC (Iola, Kan.) at home on Saturday, March 21, to improve its season mark to 10-12.

In the opener, freshman Dakoda Lee (Boise, Idaho) went the distance, allowing six hits and one earned run in the 4-2 Hesson win. Lee walked one and struck out six. Riley Hannemann (Flagstaff, Ariz.) had two hits including a double in four at bats, scoring twice, while Makenna Grow (Logan, Utah) went 2-for-3.

In game two, sophomore hurler Cheyenne Cherubini (Flint, Mich.) scattered six hits and walked two in the complete-game 2-1 win. Gabby Willis (Rusk, Texas) went 1-for-2 with an RBI double in the Larks 2-run fifth.

Hesston hosts Hutchinson (Kan.) CC for a 3 p.m. doubleheader on Tuesday, March 24.

Larks earn Region VI sweep over Brown Mackie

The Hesston College softball team won a pair of games against Brown Mackie College (Salina) on Tuesday, March 17, improving the Larks to 8-10 on the year.

Cheyenne Cherubini (Flint, Mich.) tossed a complete-game in the opener, a 5-2 Hesston win. Cherubini scattered seven hits and didn’t walk a batter. Megan Redd (Castle Rock, Colo.) went 3-for-4 with three RBI.

Hesston outhit BMC 11-2 in the 8-4 game-two win. Dakoda Lee (Boise, Idaho) surrendered just two hits while fanning five in six innings. Lee, Redd, Makenna Grow (Logan, Utah) and Gabby Willis (Rusk, Texas) each had two hits.

The Larks host Neosho County CC at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 20.

Larks sweep Gateway to end spring break trip

The Hesston College softball team took a doubleheader (2-0, 8-3) from Gateway CC (Phoenix, Ariz.) on Wednesday, March 11, improving its season mark to 6-9. The Larks played six games in Arizona, March 9-11, going 2-4.

After a 2-0 game one win, Hesston exploded for 17 hits in game two to secure the sweep. Gabby Willis (Rusk, Texas) and Daisy Correa (Moreno Valley, Calif.) each went 3-for-4 in the nightcap.
Dakoda Lee (Boise, Idaho) and Riley Hannemann (Flagstaff, Ariz.) earned the pitching wins. Cheyenne Cherubini (Flint, Mich.) earned two saves after closing both games.

Hesston travels to Cloud County CC (Concordia, Kan.) on Monday, March 16, for a 2 p.m. region game.