Blue Devils off to fast start in softball recruiting for 2020

With 38 wins, the second most in history, the 2019 KCKCC softball team set the bar high for excitement on the diamond in 2020. The 2020 season opens Feb. 23. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

While the start of the 2020 softball season at Kansas City Kansas Community College is still more than two months away, laying of the foundation for the 2020-2021 season is well underway.

“We lose two pitchers, two outfielders, two infielders and a catcher so our main focus was on finding pitchers, catchers and a true shortstop and we got exactly what we wanted,” KCKCC coach Lana Ross said in announcing the signing of six recruits for 2020-2021.

The Blue Devils are coming off a 38-20 season in Ross’ first year as head coach. The 38 wins tied the KCKCC record for the second most wins in a season and the Blue Devils’ 12-8 Jayhawk Conference record was the first winning record in the conference since 2014.

Here’s a look at the 2020 recruiting class:

Savannah Maynard, shortstop from Blue Springs. Batted .478 with eight home runs and 37 runs-batted-in this past season at Blue Springs High School. A four-year starter, Maynard was all-district all four years and first team all-conference two years. She’s also an accomplished race car driver as a two-time Queen of the Track winner at Tulsa and Kansas Dragways and three-time finalist In Sportsman’s and modern hemi classes.

“A great athlete with exceptional speed, we’re looking at her as an ideal leadoff hitter,” Ross said.

Shannon Jessup, outfielder from Lansing – Batted .478 with 33 hits, 10 RBI and 12 stolen bases this past spring. Three-year letter-winner in both softball and basketball. All-conference second team on state tournament team in 2019. National Honors Society with 3.95 GPA. Fellowship of Christian Athletes president. Two-year choir member on No. 1 rated state qualifying choir.

“Real hard worker with great speed; very positive, will be a great team leader with her attitude,” Ross said.

BreAnna Droge, right-handed pitcher from Topeka Hayden. Injured sophomore season after playing on sub-state championship team as a freshman. All-City first team as a junior. Lettered four years in softball, two in basketball and one in cross country. On the honor roll four years and in National Honor Society two years.

“A very fluid pitcher with good velocity,” Ross said. “A perfectionist who works every day to get better.”

Samantha Reynolds, right-handed pitcher from Tonganoxie. All-state honorable mention in both 2018 and 2019 and second team all-conference in 2019. Also National Honor Society 2018-2019.

“Samantha has great spin on the ball and has been very successful with a rise ball,” Ross said.

Jenna Daugherty, catcher from Olathe Northwest. A three-year letter-winner, won Junior of the Year award for the 21st Century program for eCommunications. “

A left-handed power hitter who throws right-handed,” Ross said. “Brings a lot of different tools to the plate and defensively. When not behind the plate, she will be in the outfield.”

Lindsey Gettle, catcher from Pleasant Hope, Missouri. – First team all-conference and all-district at Pleasant Hope High School. On the AB honor roll; has received state degree in FFA.

“Hits well, throws well. Gritty, gets the job done,” Ross said.

In addition to physical skills, the recruits bring an impressive array of academic success to the KCKCC program.

“All six are highly motivated academically and have future plans to continue on with their careers after KCKCC,” Ross said. “They fit right in with the high academics of our softball program.”

While off to an outstanding start, the recruiting by Ross and assistant Jenn Strohman for 2020 is by no means over.

“We’re definitely continuing to look,” Ross said. “We’d like to bring in four more. We’re looking for pitchers, hitters and speed. We really like speed in a good athlete.”

Veterans who will be lost after next spring are pitchers Shaylun Grosstephan and Mackenzie Pinkerton, catcher Jennica Messer, infielders Alaina Howe and Hannah Redick and outfielders Devin Purcell and Alexis Rymer. The Blue Devils open the season with three home doubleheaders starting Feb. 23.

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