By CONOR NICHOLL for Sports in Kansas
Pitcher Korryn Johnson and a group of talented freshmen has led Holcomb to its best record since the GWAC started in 2010-11. Johnson has posted a 15-3 record and 2.63 earned-run average with 152 strikeouts in 101 innings.
Holcomb has five starting freshmen at pitcher, catcher, shortstop, second base and left field. Korryn has the school single season wins and strikeout records.
The freshmen starters are Johnson, catcher Rian Rodriguez, shortstop Emma Cornelsen, second baseman Emily Dryden and left fielder Brooklyn Deniston. Senior Blair Holliday starts at first base. She and Faith Sharp are the team’s lone seniors. Holliday was a strong basketball player this winter and played in the Northwest Kansas basketball All-Star Game in late April.
Three juniors start: third baseman Ryleigh McVey, centerfielder Bella Lopez and right fielder Kyrah Lozano.
Holliday, McVey, Rodriguez and Cornelsen are all batting over .400.
Holcomb is 15-3 and in second place in the Class 3A Scott City regional. Host Scott City leads at 16-2. Colby is third at 11-7, and Cimarron posted a 9-6 mark. Five other squads in the regional are under .500.
Holcomb has not lost since April 8 after a 3-3 start. The Longhorns swept Hugoton in the season-opening doubleheader, 7-4 and 15-1. Then, Holcomb lost to Scott City, 10-3 and 4-3, on April 6. The Longhorns split with a quality Thomas More Prep-Marian squad with a 12-2 win and a 12-6 loss.
Since then, Holcomb has swept Cimarron, Stanton County, Ulysses, Southwestern Heights, Goodland and Lakin. Versus Goodland, a traditional power, Holcomb won 6-5 in extra innings and a 10-0 victory. In the 12-game winning streak, Holcomb has six shutouts. The Longhorns will finish the regular season at Colby on Friday.
Holcomb was 4-12 in the last 16 games versus Goodland before this season. The 10-0 victory is the biggest margin of victory and first shutout versus the Cowgirls in at least a decade.
On May 6, Holcomb swept Lakin, 15-4 and 12-5. Johnson, Holliday and Deniston all recorded three hits. Johnson struck out 20 in the two games. Versus Goodland, Cornelsen and Lopez went a combined 10 of 15. Johnson struck out 19 in 12 innings. Johnson also pitched a one-hitter. She struck out 63 in the first eight games.
Kaden Johnson, Holcomb’s standout quarterback, is Korryn’s brother. Kaden participates in football, basketball and baseball. Kaden was first team all-league in football after he threw for 1,715 yards with 25 touchdowns accounted for. Korryn also plays volleyball and basketball. Korryn has a long term goal to play college softball at University of Oklahoma, the current No. 1 team in the country and a longtime elite power.
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