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2021 Sports in Kansas 4A All-State Softball Team

Clara Edwards of Clay Center had a dominating year. (Phil Frigon)
By: Sports in Kansas - Chet Kuplen w/ Conor Nicholl
Jun 21, 2021

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Sports in Kansas has released its 2021 All-State Softball Team. Selections were finalized by Sports in Kansas (Chet Kuplen & Conor Nicholl) with input from several (25+) media members/media outlets in Kansas, this is not the coaches association team or just its members, every league and team in Kansas are eligible. Teams were also selected after the conclusion of the season. While the selection process is never perfect we encourage cooperation throughout the season with info/stats sent into Sports in Kansas at sportsinkansas@gmail.com. 

IF YOU MADE THIS LIST BELOW ORDER YOUR SPORTS IN KANSAS ALL-STATE SOFTBALL PATCH - FIRST OR SECOND TEAM, OR HONORABLE MENTION ASAP BY EMAILING Chet Kuplen of Sports in Kansas, at: sportsinkansas@gmail.com

2021 Sports in Kansas 4A Softball Player of the Year

Clara Edwards, Clay Center Sr.

Clay Center senior Clara Edwards was among the marquee names entering the 2021 softball season. Edwards, an elite three-sport standout and University of South Dakota softball signing, led Clay Center to a Class 4A final four run. Clay Center finished 21-4.

Edwards posted a 0.38 earned-run average and finished 16-2 in 111 innings. Her lone losses came against Wamego in the state semifinals and versus Holton in the third-place game. Against Wamego, Edwards allowed just one earned run with 13 strikeouts against one walk. Earlier in the season, Edwards had 17 strikeouts and zero earned runs permitted in 11 innings versus Wamego, a North Central Kansas League rival and eventual 4A state champion.

At the plate, Edwards batted .557 with 16 homers and 40 RBI, along with 43 runs scored. She walked 26 times and struck out on just five occasions. In five postseason games, Edwards walked six times in 18 plate appearances.

Edwards, Cheney’s Kylie Scheer, Andale’s Katelyn Fairchild and Pittsburg-Colgan’s Kaitlin Crossland were arguably Kansas’ best three-sport female athletes this school year. The 6-foot Edwards was a second team all-state volleyball pick at middle blocker. She was first team all-state in basketball. Edwards helped Clay Center to the state tournament (final eight) in all three sports.

Edwards enjoyed a remarkable softball career. As a freshman, Edwards finished 15-0 with a 1.12 ERA for a 22-1 squad. Two years ago, she went 18-1 with a 0.57 ERA.

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Congratulations to Clara Edwards and the Clay Center Tigers on an outstanding year. The Orange and Black Pack is a proud supporter of Clay Center Community High School Student Activities. We wish Clara the very best in her future at the University of South Dakota.  You have made our school and community very proud!

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Sports in Kansas 2021 4A Softball Coach of the Year

Luke Meyer, Wamego

Two years ago, Wamego softball was sub-.500 and had just one pitcher in Haley Asbury. This year, Wamego qualified for the state tournament. Meyer told SIK that Wamego “hadn’t got a lot of love most of the season” for the Red Raiders’ successful year. Entering state, Meyer did several interviews. The prevailing questions swirled around that Wamego was “kind of lucky” to be at state and whether the team was just “happy to be there.”

Meyer, though, knew Wamego had depth, speed and the resume to match up with the other 4A state qualifiers. Meyer used 15 players, including switching the catchers depending on who was pitching.

During the regular season, Wamego swept Rock Creek and split with Silver Lake, both 3A state qualifiers. Clay Center swept Wamego (3-2 and 9-3) on April 6, but the Red Raiders missed Asbury with injury.

Wamego played the state tournament with kind of a chip on its shoulder. The Red Raiders weren’t satisfied with just winning one game.

Wamego enjoyed a remarkable run to the Class 4A softball state championship with a 20-5 mark. It marked the first softball state wins – and first softball title in school annals. In the regional final, Wamego defeated Ottawa, a 16-6 squad, by a 13-3 margin.

The No. 6 seed, Wamego defeated Bishop Miege, 4-0, in the state quarterfinals. While the personnel was different, Wamego had lost to Miege in the state quarterfinals in volleyball and basketball.

Then pulled a slight upset against North Central Kansas League rival Clay Center, 2-1, in the semifinals. CC featured Clara Edwards, a South Dakota signee and 4A Player of the Year. Still, Wamego remained unsatisfied.

In the championship, Wamego held off longtime power Andale/Garden Plain, 6-2.  A/GP was the ’19 state runner-up, featured Division I signee Kyla Eck and had won four state titles from ’08-12. Top-seeded Holton had put together a dominant season, including multiple wins versus 5/6A Kansas City-area teams. Holton finished third to Clay Center. Wamego had the most losses for any 4A champion since ’06. The Red Raiders had a double-digit win improvement from ’19.

At state, Wamego hit just .176 as a team but put pressure on opposing defenses with its speed. The Red Raiders stole three bases, reached out three errors and made opportunities count. Against Clay Center, Wamego was down 1-0 after the first inning. Wamego scored two in the second on a walk, double, stolen base and ground out. In the final, Wamego scored six runs in the top of the first – and didn’t score the rest of the game. The Red Raiders took advantage of two walks, two errors and some timely hits.

Wamego never made an error on 72 chances in the state tournament. The Red Raiders walked just six batters.

Meyer has been at Wamego since 2014. He is also head middle school wrestling coach and assistant high school wrestling coach.

Five Red Raiders earned all-league honors: pitcher Maya Gallagher, catcher Emma Meyer, infielder Delaney Campbell and Ashten Pierson and outfielder Logan Carley.

Four Wamego players were honorable mention all-league: Asbury, Toree Hoobler, Alexis Billings and outfielder Alyssa Pence.

Emma Meyer caught Asbury, a Highland Community College signee. Sophomore Jordan Diehl had caught Gallagher in summer ball. Diehl served as Gallagher’s personal catcher.

Gallagher, a nationally ranked recruit for her class, was also the Manhattan Mercury’s Player of the Year. Wamego had seven seniors. Hoobler was consistently the first Red Raider at practice and the last one to leave. Hoobler, who Meyer labeled “the definition” of a server leader, has signed with Johnson County Community College softball.

The depth yielded a big offensive improvement. Two years ago, Wamego hit four homers. This season, the Red Raiders delivered 16 homers and hit .394 as a team.

Gallagher delivered an exceptional season with a .488 average with seven doubles, four triples, three homers and 28 RBI. Pierson hit .471, and Hoobler hit .459. Meyer batted .448. Asbury delivered a .433 average, and Campbell hit .422.

Campbell hit four homers with team-bests in doubles (eight) and RBI (38). Gallagher went 13-2 with a 2.14 earned-run average. She pitched 89 innings with 111 strikeouts against just six walks. Asbury delivered 86 strikeouts versus 17 walks in 54.1 innings.

Gallagher picked up the state victories against Bishop Miege and Andale-Garden Plain, and Asbury earned the Clay Center win. She struck out 11 against three walks and just one hit allowed.

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2021 Sports in Kansas 4A All-State Softball

First Team Order patch by email ASAP: sportsinkansas@gmail.com

P- Alyssa Mude, Andale/GP

P- Clara Edwards, Clay Center

P-Maya Gallagher, Wamego

P- Sadie Walker, Holton

C- Adrianna Smith, Miege

C- Timber Wilson, Holton

C- Emma Meyer, Wamego 

IF- Ashten Pierson, Wamego

IF- Toree Hoobler, Wamego

IF- Kyla Eck, Andale/GP

IF- Jayla Pierce, Eudora

OF- Brionna Woods, Clearwater

OF- Staci Bond, Holton

OF- Chloe Middleton, Clearwater

OF- Jaycie Theis, Pratt

Util- Delaney Campbell, Wamego

Sports in Kansas Second Team All-State Order patch by email ASAP: sportsinkansas@gmail.com

P- Kira Baker, Eudora

P- Kami Theis, Pratt

P- Morgan Pennycuff, Augusta

C- Makeznie Haslett, Clearwater

C- Carly Stuke, Hayden

IF- Brooke Flewelling, Holton

IF- Taylor Casbeer, McPherson

IF- Kailey Schinstock, Iola

IF- Jada Gilliland, Bishop Miege

IF- Madison Nightengale, Andale/GP

OF- Jaycee Schurle, Clay Center

OF- Payton Woody, Pratt

OF- Lauren Cook, Hayden

OF- Logan Carley, Wamego

Util- Grace Utz, Holton 

Sports in Kansas 4A All-State Softball Honorable Mention 

Order patch by email ASAP: sportsinkansas@gmail.com

Annika Smith – Bishop Miege, Jenna Dorsett – Bishop Miege, Katie Kolarik – Bishop Miege, Grace Godlunc – Bishop Miege, Camerson Soldner – Bishop Miege, Carly Stuke – Hayden, Ava Delgado – Hayden, Alyssa Droge – Hayden, Kamri Naff – Chanute, Brinly Bancroft – Chanute, Kori Babcock – Chanute, Hunter Winebrenner – Independence, Kayley Thorpe – Indpendence, Jayden Lorecher – Fort Scott, Addie Fowler – Fort Scott, Audrey Dewey – Labette County, Kylie Speer – Coffeyville, Arabelle Ashby – Ulysses, Shyann Fromm – Winfield, Reagan Streaker – Circle, Jacie Myers – McPherson, Savanna Nickum – Winfield, Tessa Irwin – Winfield, Kaylee Manning – El Dorado, Karter Alvord – McPherson, Keelynn Barnett – Augusta, Kineleigh Haskell – Augusta, Brooklyn Motter – El Dorado, Emma Schumacher – Winfield, Calynn Lindbloom – Buhler, Sophie Hererra – McPherson, Hannah Decker - Andale/GP, Addie Ross – Andale/GP, , Aspen Goetz – Rose Hill, Ashton Winter – Andale/GP, Anna Berblinger – Andale/GP, Kylie Horsch – Andale/GP, India Downs – Mulvane, Macie McCray – Clearwater, Destiny Ponds, Nickerson, Payton Woody – Pratt, Hannah Acree – Concordia, Dani Carson – Clay Center, Ashton Roth – Abilene, Emmy Scholtz – Chpman, Shelby Siebold – Clay Center, Alyssa Pence – Wamego, Hannah Walter – Abilene, Chloe Marshall – Chapman, Ella Girton – Clay Center, Makenzie Weller – Clay Center, Gracie Gallagher – Holton, Harper Schreiner – Eudora, Riley Titus – Ottawa, Maggie Kauk – Paola, Kylie Vandervoot – Tonganoxie, Ella Scoby – Baldwin, Katie Ediger – Paola, Emma Grosseoehme – Baldwin, Alexis Chapman – Paola


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