Softball News Archive 2017-2018

Ashley Yasin leads on the field, in the classroom

Hesston College prides itself in making sure students are not just a number. But what about 117, or 8.97 or 25? What do those number mean to the Hesston College softball team? They stand for strikeouts this season, strikeouts per game and total Lark wins. All numbers that Ashley Yasin has made her own on the softball diamond for the Larks this season.

Yasin broke the all-time wins record at Hesston College (24) by defeating the #9 Cowley Tigers last week. She leads all NJCAA DII pitchers for the most strikeouts in the country with 117 on the year. Yasin also holds the career strikeouts record at Hesston College with 253 Ks and counting in just a year and a half on the mound.

All of these things make Yasin stand out on the field, but what is more impressive is how she stands out around campus, as a teammate and in the classroom.

“I’ve known Ashley for less than a year now,” says freshman catcher Sam Amarante, “and she has been nothing but an awesome friend and teammate to me. She does a very good job of taking freshmen under her wing and making them feel included, continuously making an effort to build a friendship outside of softball.”

In the classroom, Yasin is also making an impact. As a nursing student – one of Hesston’s most challenging majors – she must stay on top of her game at every level.

“I can tell you that she is excelling academically, responsible and managing to balance her academic and athletic load very well,” said Director of Nursing Education Becky Bartell. “She is a positive young lady who is a joy to be around.”

Head Softball Coach Andy Sharp echoes more of the sentiment. “Since arriving on campus, Ashley has been exactly what we needed her to be,” said Sharp. “She has consistently worked hard and given her team a chance to be successful. I am grateful that she made the move from California to Kansas, and I could not be more proud of what Ashley has accomplished in her time on the Hesston campus.”

How is someone successful in the classroom and on the field at Hesston? Teammate Jaelyn Rufenacht sums it up well. “Her success is something she has worked to earn, not only have I seen her work to dominate in the circle, but she is constantly working to improve as a teammate. Ash was one of my first friends on the team and I have loved watching her become the player and teammate she is. I am going to miss the long days on the field with her.”

Not every story ends with breaking records and teammates and staff proud of who you are becoming. But, that is the goal.

Larks split with Cowley, Yasin earns wins record

Game one of yesterday’s softball doubleheader could not have finished on a higher note. At Cowley College in Region VI competition, the Larks pulled out a late comeback win, defeating the Tigers 6-5. The big story however, is that Ashley Yasin got the win on the mound for the Larks, giving her the all-time wins record at Hesston College. This, her 24th win of her career, was done in dramatic style.

Going down 3-0 in the first inning the Larks had to claw themselves back into the game. It started in the top of the second with Sam Amarante leading off with a hit. She would eventually be driven home to get the Larks on the board. Each team scored a run in the fourth making it 4-2. The top of the fifth inning the Larks were able to tie the game as the top of the order came through. Again Amarante makes a play, driving in both Taylor Martin and Lexi Avalos. The game was now tied 4-4. Each team scored again in the seventh making it 5-5 and sending the game into extra innings.

After a fruitless eighth inning, Sierra Long stepped to the plate with two outs. With the count at 1-1, one quick swing of the bat was all it took, Long drove the ball to left field, home run Larks. The defense would stand tall with no outs and bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to give the Larks the win and Yasin the record.

“I thought our group displayed a ton of poise at keys moments in the opening game,’ said Head Coach Andy Sharp. “It was an impressive win that our kids fought hard for. We need continued growth in some areas, of course, and will continue to work to get better. Overall, there were a lot of great takeaways from Tuesday’s games.”

Yasin finished the game with four strikeouts. On top of Long’s home run, she had 2 RBI, as did Amarante. The Larks fell in game two 24-11 taking their record to 15-6 and 2-2 in NJCAA Region VI play. They will be at home against Garden City on Saturday, March 10, with first pitch at 1 p.m.

Larks take two from Storm

Softball moved to 9-4 yesterday as they recorded two wins over the Storm of Southeast Community College, Beatrice, Neb. The Larks dominated game one, winning 7-1. They had to come from behind to win game two, 9-6.

Game one saw Ashley Yasin dominate from the mound. Yasin’s 14 strikeouts kept the Storm off the base paths and allowed for Hesston College cruse to victory.

Game two was not quite as comfortable. The Larks were down 6-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Home runs from Sierrah Long and Sam Amarante sparked the rally. Long’s two-run shot gave the Larks a lead they would not relinquish. Yasin again had a major impact in game two, coming off the bench in relief. She picked up four more strikeouts, giving her 18 on the day. She picked up the win in both games.

“Ashley had a night to remember, for sure,” said Head Coach Andy Sharp. “It was good to come from behind and get a win. I thought we were close to scoring early in game two. Our lineup did an excellent job of staying focused on getting quality at bats instead of trying to get everything back in one swing. We put pressure on their defense and were able to get the win.”

The Larks will be back in action on Wednesday, February 28. They will be at home for a doubleheader to take on Bethany College JV at 4 p.m. On Sunday, March 4, Kansas State University’s club team will come for two games, starting at noon. Then the Larks will travel to start off their Regional competition against Cowley College before taking on Garden City Community College on Saturday, March 10.

Larks softball goes 2-0 on Arkansas trip

Hesston College softball went 2-0 at North Arkansas College on Saturday. Friday’s doubleheader at Cottey College was not played due to poor weather but this did not stop the Larks on Saturday beating the Pioneers 15-3 and 13-2.

The Larks got the bats started right away scoring 1, 3 and 3 in the first three innings. Scoring 15 on 16 hits, the Larks really put together an offensive showcase. Sierrah Long went 4-4, scoring three times and driving in one run. Adding RBIs were Jenna Schneider (3), Josie Noll (2), Reese McCrary, Taylor Martin, Lexi Avalos, Sam Amarante and Ashley Yasin. Yasin was on the mound registering nine strikeouts and giving up five hits.

Game two in Arkansas was more of the same. The Larks scored four in the second, two in the third and seven in the fourth, putting the game out of reach quickly. Lexi Avalos and Adrianna Ruiz both went 3 for 3 with Ruiz scoring three times while driving in two. Sierra Long had another great offensive game scoring three times, stealing three bases as well as driving in two. Kaylen Lassley was on the mound for the win giving up five hits in five innings pitched.

Hesston College will host their first home game of the season on Wednesday, February 14, at 3 p.m. against Central Community College. They will follow that up with another home game on Saturday, February 17, against Garden City Community College at 1 p.m.

Lark softball opens 2-3 on Texas swing

Hesston College softball began their season on the road this weekend at the Cowtown Classic in Fort Worth, Texas. It started off hot with the Larks beating Ranger College 6-4 and Seward Community College 12-4 on Friday. The third game of the day saw the Larks lose to North Central Texas College 10-2. Saturday they could just not quite get going as Hesston College fell to Northern Oklahoma College-Enid 10-5 and Weatherford College 26-3.

After a tight win in game one, game two started off quickly for the Larks after going down 1-0 to Seward in the top of the first. With bases loaded, freshman Sam Amarante stepped up to the plate. She smacked a line drive to center field. Taylor Martin and Lexi Avalos scored while Kendall Richardson ended up on third. The Larks kept the pressure, scoring again as Sierra Long grounded to second for the RBI scoring Richardson. The Larks cruised onto victory with Amarante leading the way on offense, driving in 4 while going 3-3 for the game.

“Overall it was a good test for our group,” said Head Coach Andrew Sharp. “It was good to get a new season kicked off. We showed we have some talent and can compete well.”

The Larks will remain on the road this week as they travel to Cottey Collage on Friday and play at North Arkansas College on Saturday. They will then host Central Community College on Wednesday, February 14 at 3 and 5 p.m.

Softball team eyes successful 2018 season

After what was arguably the best season in Hesston College softball history, setting an all-time wins record with 26, the Larks are reloaded and plan to build on last year’s success. Head Coach Andrew Sharp see no reason they cannot keep moving forward this year.

“Our sophomores will have a great deal of influence on our success this spring.” It will be hard to replace those who have graduated with the Larks losing Hesston College all-time home run and RBI leader in Jerrica Brown and career hits and stolen bases leader Ally Steiner.

The spine of the team is what Sharp sees as their strength. Sophomores Sierrah Long and Kendall Richardson will play major roles in the infield while Taylor Martin will lead the outfield. Freshman catcher Sam Amarante will also be someone to keep an eye on.

“We have good kids with great leadership potential, and we are excited to meet the challenges of our schedule,” says Sharp.

This schedule will start with a trip to Texas for the Cowtown Classic on Friday and Saturday February 2-3. They will continue to be on the road for their first 7 games, finally hosting Central Community College on Wednesday, February 14, at 3 p.m.

Softball falls to Neosho in regional

Taylor Martin heads home to score the Larks’ only run of the day.

Hesston College softball, seeded 8, dropped a double header on Tuesday to seventh seeded Neosho County Community College in Chanute, 7-0, 9-1 (6 inn.) in the first round of Region VI/District E playoffs.

The Larks saw success against Neosho in early March, splitting a two game series winning 9-1, before losing 8-0 at Hesston City Diamond. On Tuesday the Panthers pitchers stole the show, stifling the Larks all day, holding Hesston to a single run.

In game one, the Panthers jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead in the first inning off freshman pitcher Ashley Yasin (Lake Isabella, Calif.). Neosho added two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth for the 7-0 win. The second game saw two solo home runs for the Panthers early on, and a five run fourth inning to grab a 7-0 lead over the Larks. Freshman, Brinkli Jones’s (Cache Valley, Utah) hit an RBI double, scoring freshman Taylor Martin (Lancaster, Pa.) to tally the Larks’ only run of the day and bring the score to 7-1. The tough Panthers pitching staff allowed no walks in both games. Neosho tacked on two insurance runs in the sixth to end things at 9-1.

The Larks finished with a 26-26 record, capturing the most wins for the program, and will look to build on their success in the 2018 season.

“We never were able to get much going offensively. Give credit to Neosho – they played great, hit the ball well. No errors or walks the whole day,” commented Head coach Andrew Sharp. “It was a very positive season for HC Softball, with a lot of momentum to build on for next season.”

The Panthers advance to the second round where they will travel to Hummer Park in Topeka to take on top seeded Cowley College on Saturday.

Larks top Jays to finish regular season

Hesston College softball added two more wins to their record breaking season as they knocked off the visiting Tabor College Blue Jays 3-0, 10-2 (5 innings) Wednesday evening on sophomore night at Hesston City Diamond.

Game 1 –
Sophomore Jerrica Brown added to her home run record (15) with a solo home run and freshman pitcher Ashley Yasin (Lake Isabella, Calif.) tossed a 3-hitter as the Larks blanked the Blue Jays 3-0.

Game 2 –
Freshman pitcher Chantel Purcella (Albuquerque, N.M.) threw a complete game allowing 6 hits, 0 earned runs, 0 walks and a strikeout. Bailyn Piecewicz went 1-for-2 at the plate with a double, two runs scored and a pair of RBI. Freshmen Brianna Baca (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Sierrah Long (Highland, Calif.) each scored twice. Sophomore, Ally Steiner (Phoenix, Ariz.) added an RBI going 2-for-3 at the dish.

“It was a great way for our sophomores to go out. They represent a fantastic class, good students, etc. We will miss their contributions on the field and off. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors,” Head Coach Andrew Sharp commented following the sweep of the Blue Jays.

The Larks finish the regular season with a 26-22 record, receiving the #8 seed and will head to Chanute on Tuesday, May 2, to take on the seventh seeded Neosho County Community College Panthers in the first round of Region VI playoffs. First pitch is 11 a.m. The winner advances to face top seeded Cowley College on May 6 in Topeka.

Softball enjoying record breaking season

Records are meant to be broken. Just ask the Hesston College Larks softball team. With a two-game sweep of the Independence CC Pirates earlier in the week in Independence (Kan.), Hesston softball reached 24 wins (24-18). This surpasses the program’s record for wins in a season – 23 during the 2012 season, Coach Sharp’s third year at the helm. That year they finished 23-29, eventually falling in Topeka to Labette CC in the second round of Region VI playoffs.

Along with the team accomplishment, a couple Larks have reached individual milestones during this record breaking spring. Sophomore first baseman Jerrica Brown (Clovis, Calif.) has become the Larks’ all-time leader in home runs (14) along with runs batted in (89). Sophomore catcher Ally Steiner (Phoenix, Ariz), who is headed to the University of Northern Colorado (NCAA DI), has tied the records for the career hits (113) and stolen bases (60).

Brown and Steiner have received plenty of help, as the Larks’ bats have been solid from top to bottom, led by Sierrah Long’s 32 RBI. “Our lineup has been quite balanced with a lot of production from a lot of different players,” Coach Sharp commented. “We have good athletes all around the defense and our offense brings a little bit of everything to the table.”

Pitchers Ashley Yasin (Lake Isabella, Calif.) and Chantel Purcella (Albuquerque, N.M.) have been extremely consistent this spring, combining to go 24-17 and accounting for all of the team’s 24 wins. Yasin has struck out 121 batters, while Purcella has fanned 86. “They (Yasin and Purcella) have been outstanding. Ashley’s 121 strikeouts sets the all-time single season record. Chantel, not far behind, will likely finish as #2 in a season for strikeouts,” Sharp added.

The Larks (24-22) followed up their performance with a tough double header loss to Cowley College before dropping both games to #8 Johnson County (5-4, 7-2) competing with one of the best teams in the country. Even so, the Larks will have an opportunity to head into Region VI playoffs next weekend (April 29-30) on a positive note as they host one more double header to conclude the regular season. “We’re looking forward to a great showing in post season play,”” Sharp commented.

Next up – The Larks will look to add to their season’s win total when they welcome Tabor College on Wednesday, April 26, for sophomore recognition night. First pitch against the Blue Jays is at 5 p.m. from Hesston City Diamond.

Larks sweep Pirates on road

The Lark offense got going Monday and Hesston College softball took both games from the Independence (Kan.) Community College Pirates: 9-0 (6 inn.) and 12-3 (6 inn.) in Independence.

In game one, freshman pitcher Ashley Yasin (Lake Isabella, Calif.) had a solid outing, going six innings and only giving up three hits, while striking out eight. Yasin finished with zero walks. Freshman infielder Kendall Richardson (Lodi, Calif.) and Yasin were both perfect at the plate at 3-for-3. Freshman infielder Sierrah Long (Highland, Calif.) went 2-for-4 with a 3-run HR and 4 RBI to help propel the Larks past the Pirates.

In the nightcap, sophomore first baseman Jerrica Brown (Clovis, Calif.) went 2-for-3 with a 2-run HR and 2 RBI. Freshman center fielder Taylor Martin (Lancaster, Calif.) went 2-for-3 with an RBI double. Freshman pitcher Chantel Purcella (Albuquerque, N.M.) went five innings for the win: 3 strikeouts and no walks.

“It was an outstanding job of our staff setting the tone. Ashley (Yasin) and Chan (Purcella) got ahead and stayed ahead the whole day, which really gives a team a great chance to be successful,” Head coach Andrew Sharp said following the key sweep of the Pirates.

Next: The Larks will host #11 ranked Cowley College on Tuesday April 18 in Hesston. First pitch against the Tigers is set for 4 p.m. from Hesston City Diamond.

Larks sweep Greyhounds

Hesston College softball completed a two-game sweep over visiting Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College Greyhounds; 3-2, 9-0 (5) Thursday at Hesston City Diamond.

The Larks’ freshman Taylor Martin (Lancaster, Pa.) who was perfect at the plate (3-3) knocked in the game winning walk off single to score freshman Josie Noll (Hutchinson, Kan.) to break a 2-2 tie. Hesston College took a 2-0 lead in the second inning and the Greyhounds answered with runs third and sixth innings to tie the game at 2 before the Larks walk off single in the seventh.

Hesston made quick work of the Greyhounds in game two. Freshman Jocelyn Chavez (Realto, Calif.) smacked a two-run home run in the second inning to put the Larks up 2-0. The Larks would add two more runs in the inning to build a comfortable lead, before putting up a five spot on the fourth inning to blow open the game. Game two ended in the fifth with the Larks ahead 9-0.

&ldqyo;A great couple of wins for us. Ashley (Yasin) and Chantel Purcella pitched very well again, and we got some timely hitting to propel us to the sweep,” Head Coach Andrew Sharp commented after the games. “Martin came up huge for us 3-for-3 in game 1 with the walk-off winner and an RBI triple in game three.”

Up next: The Larks (22-18) travel to Independence (Kan.) Community College on Monday, April 17. The Pirates come in winning two in a row to improve their record to 9-22. Hesston and Independence will square off in a double header that was originally rescheduled a couple weeks ago, but was moved due to weather. First pitch against the Pirates is set for 3 p.m.

Larks softball splits in Concordia

Hesston College softball traveled to Concordia on Tuesday, knocking off the Cloud County Community College T-Birds 6-4, before dropping the second game 11-1 in 5 innings.

In game one, the Larks enjoyed an early 3-0 lead in the first inning as Hesston benefited from two runs scored via T-Birds fielding errors. Cloud County answered with a pair of runs in the first and a run in the second to tie the game at 3. The Larks responded with three runs in the third inning to jet ahead 6-3. The T-Birds would add a run in the fourth, but that would be it, as the score held 6-4 Hesston.

Freshman Kayleigh Johnson (Cache Valley, Utah) lead the way for the Larks with two RBI. Freshman pitcher Ashley Yasin (Lake Isabella, Calif.), who picked up the win, added an important RBI. Sophomore catcher Ally Steiner (Phoenix, Ariz.) and sophomore Jerrica Brown (Clovis, Calif.) also knocked in runs.

In game two, the T-Birds jumped in front 3-0 in the first inning and scored five in the second to take a commanding 8-0 lead. The Larks were unable to get the offense moving and were held to one run on five hits by T-Birds pitcher Bayleigh Cope.

Next: The Larks will return to Hesston City Diamond on Thursday, April 13, as they welcome the Fort Scott Community College Greyhounds for a double header. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.

Larks split in Kansas City

Hesston College softball picked up a 3-1 win over Kansas City Kansas Community College, before losing 11-1 (5 innings) to the Blue Devils in the second game.

The win in game one is a valuable one on the road as the Larks have one eye on the postseason.

Freshman Ashley Yasin (Lake Isabella, Calif.) pitched a complete game allowing six hits, striking out eight batters and only giving up two walks. She helped her own cause at the plate with a 2-run RBI single in the seventh that proved to be the difference for the Larks.

“Ashley and catcher, Ally (Steiner, Phoenix, Ariz.) were masterful in game one,” according to Head Coach Andrew Sharp. &ldqup;They kept the KCK offense off balance the whole game and, overall, executed a very good game-plan.”

Next Up: After taking on the Scotties from Highand College in Sunday, the Larks (19-15) will travel to Concordia on Tuesday, April 11, for a double header with Cloud County Community College. First pitch will be at 2 p.m. against the T-Birds.

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.