Cowley sophomore named top player

Recent Cowley College grad Ashton Friend was named Most Valuable Player in voting by KJCCC softball coaches after leading the Lady Tigers in several offensive categories, including a .473 batting average, 13 home runs and 51 RBI.

Cowley College sophomore Ashton Friend, who led the Lady Tigers in nearly every offensive category, was named the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference Division II Most Valuable Player.

The Lady Tigers placed three players on the all-conference first team.

Friend batted .473 with 13 home runs and 51 RBI while splitting time between right field and the pitcher’s circle.

“Ashton had two great years at Cowley and will be hard to replace,” Cowley coach Jenny Hoyt said. “She was such a consistent leader for us in the lineup and I am very proud that she will leave Cowley with such great honors as being Freshman of the Year and now MVP her sophomore year.”

Sophomore third baseman Haleigh Scott and freshman utility player Christian Wind also earned all-conference first-team status.

Scott batted .399 with 36 RBI, and Wind batted .400 with seven home runs and 41 RBI.

Freshman catcher Skylar Darnell was named to the second team after batting .420.

Sophomore outfielder Taylor Hinnenkamp and freshman Kalyn Stigall received honorable mention. Hinnenkamp batted .310 with a team-leading 17 stolen bases, and Stigall batted .325 with 23 RBI.

“This is such a strong conference and if you are being recognized, it’s a huge honor to have because there are a lot of great athletes in this conference,” Hoyt said.

Former Arkansas City High School standout Chevelle Sartin was named to the all-conference first team at shortstop for Highland Community College.

Sartin batted .489 and led the Lady Scotties in runs (64), hits (66), doubles (12), triples (3), home runs (11), RBI (45) and slugging (.867). She struck out just five times in 135 at-bats.

Former Winfield High star Kerry Murphy was named to the second team for Johnson County.

Murphy batted .344 with 20 runs, 31 hits, six home runs and 27 RBI, with just eight strikeouts in 90 at-bats for the Lady Cavaliers.

Johnson County had the most players receive all-conference honors with nine. Hesston had the Freshman of the Year in All-Conference first-team pitcher Chelsea Smith (20-4, 2.08 ERA, 227 strikeouts), while Hesston’s Andrew Sharp was named Coach of the Year after leading the Larks to 23 straight wins and a 34-11 regular-season record.

Highland placed four on the first team.

CourierTraveler sports editor Joey Sprinkle contributed to this report.

KJCCC Division II

All-Conference Softball

Most Valuable Player — Ashton Friend, Cowley.

Freshman of the Year — Chelsea Smith, Hesston.

Coach of the Year — Andrew Sharp, Hesston.

FIRST TEAM

P — Chelsea SmithHesston

P — Kerrigan DixonJohnson County

P — Kaelee EscoeNeosho County

C — Audrey MillerLabette

1B — Alexis HodappHighland

2B — Bella KonieczkaHighland

3B — Haleigh ScottCowley

SS — Chevelle SartinHighland

OF — Ashton FriendCowley

OF — Hannah SchmidtHighland

OF — Macie CervantesAllen

Util — Christian WindCowley

———

SECOND TEAM

P — Haylee VanDeventerLabette

P — Bailey LacyHighland

C — Kerry MurphyJohnson County

C — Skylar DarnellCowley

1B — Stewart KinsleyNeosho County

2B — Britney SmithKansas City

2B — Torey BurkhardtJohnson County

3B — Kaylen LassleyHesston

3B — Julia HawkinsLabette

SS — Jessie MirandaHesston

SS — Hannah RedickKansas City

OF –Devin PurcellKansas City

OF — Alyssa WesleyHighland

OF — Lexi AvalosHesston

Util — Amy BretadoHesston

———

HONORABLE MENTION

Allen — Madisyn Thompson, Meg Kirk.

Cowley — Kalyn Stigall, Taylor Hinnenkamp.

Hesston — Paige Bittle.

Highland — Kami Zimmerman, Cassidy Geer.

Johnson County — Kelsy Orender, Jordyn Clough, Dezman Duncan, Emily Fox, Ivy Brewer, Megan Weigel.

Labette — Payton Nigh.

Neosho County — Sierra Spurlock, Alyssa Rogers.

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