Athlete Spotlight

Sierra HardingSierra Harding is a sophomore outfielder from Liberty, MO and Liberty HS.  The speedy left-fielder is a threat at the top of the lineup and on the bases.  As a freshman she hit .288 with 7 stolen bases.  After Maple Woods she plans on attending a 4-year school to study biology.

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Sports Training Center (STC): MCC-Maple Woods

Monarchs Softball News

 

2018 Monarchs Softball Season Preview

After a run through the Region 16 Tournament to the championship game in 2017, the 2018 Maple Woods softball team is looking to hoist the trophy this season.  The 2018 Monarchs open their season on February 15 at Ottawa University against the NAIA team’s JV team. 

Seven sophomores headline and lead the 2018 team, including returning 1st Team All-Region 16 player Hillary Protzman (Liberty HS) and 2nd Team All-Region 16 pitcher Tara Prindle (Liberty HS).  Protzman, who primarily played 3rd base as a freshman while hitting cleanup, most likely will move to centerfield this season and fill the defensive shoes of Park University signee Kaylin Brooks.  As a freshman, Protzman started every game and hit .369 with 1 homerun, 13 doubles, and 35 RBI’s (both leading the team).  She also is a threat on the base paths as she stole 9 bases.  Prindle will lead the pitching staff after an outstanding freshman campaign where she led the Monarchs in every major pitching category, including wins (11), complete games (12), innings pitched, and strikeouts.

With Protzman anchoring the outfield, two other sophomores who saw significant time as freshmen also return to roam the Happy Rock grass: Jenelle Mausbach (Oak Grove HS) and Sierra Harding (Liberty HS).  Mausbach, who primarily played right field as a freshman, may also see time at 3rd base, a position she played at the end of last season.  She hit .330 and had 13 stolen bases in 2017.  Harding made the transition to a slapper mid-way through last season and came to be a threat with the short game, ending the season hitting .288 with 7 stolen bases.  Freshman Mariah Gondran (Lawson HS), Bailey Gardner (Kearney HS), and Celine Armstrong (William Chrisman HS) will also see time in the outfield.

The infield will be anchored by sophomore Micheia Gutierrez (Grain Valley HS).  Gutierrez stepped in as a full-time starter at 2nd base halfway through last season and played solid defense while adding some power in the middle of the lineup, as she hit .279 with 7 doubles (2nd on the team) and 18 RBI’s.  The void left at 1st base by the transfer of Lexi Hanson to Avila University will most likely be filled by last year’s starting catcher, Hannah Hirschvogel (Jefferson City HS).  As a freshman Hirschvogel hit .291 and was 2nd on the team in homeruns with 4, while driving in 28 runs.  Sophomore Allie Cook (Raytown HS), also returns at 1st base, she saw action in 5 games as a freshman.  The left-side of the infield could see two new starters.  Transfer Megan McDonald (North Kansas City HS), who will also see time at catcher, moves from the MW soccer field to the infield dirt at shortstop.  Freshman Devyn Callahan (Purdy HS) could see time at shortstop and 3rd base as well as fill in at 2nd base.  Two freshmen, Reghan Ross (Mid-Buchanan HS), who may also see time at catcher and 1st base, and Celine Armstrong, are battling at 3rd base along with Mausbach.

The catching corp includes last year’s starter, Hirschvogel, and Ross, McDonald, and sophomore Kaile Sipple (North Kansas City HS).  Sipple saw limited action as a freshman, playing in 8 games before her season was cut short due to an injury.  The pitching staff will be led by Prindle, and also includes freshman Karen Jaggars (Richmond HS), Olivia Nelson (Cameron HS), and Haley Patterson (Blue Springs South HS).

The Region 16 schedule includes a home and away doubleheader with foes North Central MO, State Fair, Crowder, Jefferson, St. Charles, and Three Rivers.  MW defeated Crowder, the defending regular season and tournament champion, twice in 2017, once in the regular season and once in the Regional Tournament, but fell to them in the championship and and-if game.  Those two losses are motivating the Monarchs this season, and nothing short of a Region 16 Tournament Championship will satisfy this year’s team.

 

Sophomore Lexi Hanson signs with Avila University

Sophomore Lexi Hanson recently signed a letter of intent to continue her academic and softball at NAIA Avila University.  The slugging 1st baseman led the Monarchs in homeruns in 2017 with 6 homeruns and was second on the team in RBI's with 32.

Lexi Hanson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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