Ross super-excited about Blue Devil softball recruiting

Head coach Lana Ross, left, and assistant Jenn Strohman have been busy since the end of the KCKCC softball season, signing 10 outstanding high school prospects for next season. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Lana Ross has gone near and far as she continues to build the softball program at Kansas City Kansas Community College, landing what has the makings of an outstanding freshmen class.

Limited in recruiting in her first season as head coach because of her late hiring last July, Ross’ first team nevertheless won 38 games and reached the Region VI championship game. This fall, she’ll have 10 promising newcomers to blend in with seven returning starters from this year’s 38-20 squad,

“I’m super excited for next year; it’s a team I think can make strides in the conference and put us back on the map in the Jayhawk,” Ross said. “We have a lot of freshmen who have played a lot of good softball and will make an impact not only athletically but in leadership roles as well. And all 10 have outstanding records in the classroom.”

Six of the newcomers come from Kansas and Missouri including five from the immediate Kansas City area. They’ll be joined by two pair of teammates, one duo from Oklahoma, the other from New Zealand.

Heading the list is a pair of Lansing High School standouts, right-handed pitcher Bradi Basler and infielder Haley Masisak.

“We are counting on Bradi making an immediate impact,” Ross said. “She throws hard, moves the ball around real well with good spin. An all-around athlete, she’s a good hitter and can also play first base. Masisak is a right-hand power hitter who plays on the KC Lightning Strike club team.”

They’ll be joined by two members of the PSA Messer club team, shortstop Madison Pope of McLouth and first baseman Madison Prough of Olathe South.

“Pope is a very good defensive shortstop while Prough is a left-handed power hitter,” Ross said.

Taylor Farr, an outfielder from Platte County High School, has the quickness and experience to be a defensive force in the outfield while Abby Henson of Pleasant Hope, Missouri, will provide right-hand power at third base. Henson plays on the Prospects Elite club team.

The Oklahoma prospects are catcher Alexandra Schafer of Purcell High in Lexington and first baseman Alexandra Martin of Norman North High School.

“Shafer is a good hitter, knows the game, is very vocal behind the plate and can be counted on as a leader from day one,” Ross said. “Martin was the defensive player of the two years in a row at Norman North and was 6A All-District honorable mention.”

Ross has yet to see the two prospects from New Zealand, lefthanded pitcher Nerida Elson and catcher Georgia Faunt. Both played on the same club team in New Zealand and were highly recommended by one of Ross’ former players.

Ross said as many as two more players may be signed by her and assistant Jenn Strohman. Returning sophomores will include pitchers Shay Grosstephan and Mackenzie Pinkerton, catcher Jennica Messer, shortstop Hannah Redick, third baseman Alaina Howe and outfielders Devin Purcell and Alexis Rymer.

Summer, fall scholarship recipients announced at KCKCC

by Kelly Rogge, KCKCC

The Kansas City Kansas Community College Foundation has announced the recipients of its Summer 2019 and Fall 2019 Scholarships.

Summer 2019 and Fall 2019 KCKCC Foundation Scholarship recipients:

Nabila Abdul Rahman – Asian American Chamber of Commerce Scholarship
Jessica Akin – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Kevin Allen – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Chanel Ashley – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Amber Bailey – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Jeffrey Barnes Jr. – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Mana Botu – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Leona Bradley – Etta Blanche Smith Dahlgren Scholarship
Corinne Brewer – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Barry Browne – R. A. Long Foundation Scholarship
Barry Browne – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Lauren Brownlow – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Kaitlin Burgess – Heart of America Patriot Foundation Scholarship
Marcos Cabral – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Cassie Callaway – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Perla Canul – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Brooke Clayton – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Cindy Contreras – Etta Blanche Smith Dahlgren Scholarship
Emma Cook – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Adrian Daniels – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Adrian Daniels – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Sapphire Deed – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Michael Dowse – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Iviany Echevarria – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Daniela Enriquez – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Javier Escobar – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Darren Evans – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Crystal Fernandez – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Amanda Fletcher – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Paola Flores – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Austen Fuller – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Amanda Garcia – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Jessie Garcia – Dr. Karin Ogden Roberts Nursing Scholarship
Mia Garcia – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Clarissa Gomez Santana – Etta Blanche Smith Dahlgren Scholarship
Charles Graham – George Powell Applied Technology Scholarship
Rachel Greene – Philip W. Miller Memorial Scholarship
Erika Gudino – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Ethan Hacker – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Raniya Handy-El – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Susana Hanses – Etta Blanche Smith Dahlgren Scholarship
Kaleb Harrison – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Kathleen Hattaway – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Tayla Hawkins – Dr. Karin Ogden Roberts Nursing Scholarship
Courtney Henry – Etta Blanche Smith Dahlgren Scholarship
Ricardo Herron – R. A. Long Foundation Scholarship
Micki Hill – Heart of America Patriot Foundation Scholarship
Shaneishia Hinson – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Anna Jackson – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Jenna Kanoy – Dr. Lelia H. Alexander Memorial Scholarship
Marisa Kearns – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Kaely Kirwan – J. Paul and Fern Watkins Jewell Scholarship
Kenny Laboy – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Kyleen Leiker – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Van Lian – Etta Blanche Smith Dahlgren Scholarship
Vitor Lo – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Lucia Lopez – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Miguel Lopez – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Alyssa Lorenz – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Adan Machado – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Angelica Maese-Solano – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Madison Martin – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Faith Matthews – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Kaitlyn Megee – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Miguel Mérida Castro – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Guilherme Moreno – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Leslie Moreno-Perez – R. A. Long Foundation Scholarship
Nicolas Morris – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Drake Murphy – Etta Blanche Smith Dahlgren Scholarship
Donnell Nunn – R. A. Long Foundation Scholarship
Treza Olima – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Alexcia Owens – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Joel Peterson – R. A. Long Foundation Scholarship
Joel Peterson – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Caleigh Pirnik – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Cheyenne Porter – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Emma Quinlan – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Blanca Ramirez – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Julia Ratterman – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Thomas Richards – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Darian Richter – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Darian Richter – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Mason Root – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Mayra Ruiz – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Quinn Sadrakula – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Mayra Sanjuan-Herrera – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Katrina Sargent – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Samantha Scott – Clarence L. Turpin Trust Scholarship
Fnu Shubham – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Moe Sin – Etta Blanche Smith Dahlgren Scholarship
Kledian Skendaj – George Powell Applied Technology Scholarship
Justin Smith – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Lei’Onna Smith – Juanita Miller Nursing Scholarship
Heather Snook – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Talesha Stansberry – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Biak Sung – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Anicet Takor – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Thawng Thang – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Ashley Tillmon – Frances Speer Memorial Scholarship
Nicole Tolefree – Clarence L. Turpin Trust Scholarship
Malcom Turner – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Nadia Vallecillo – Etta Blanche Smith Dahlgren Scholarship
Ivan Verduzco – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Itzel Villarreal – Wyandotte Lions Club/Bill Gregg Honorarium Scholarship
Adam Villegas – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Casey West – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Stephanie Whisenant – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship
Andrew Witt – KCKCC Foundation Scholarship
Ghao Xiong – Wyandotte Lions Club/Bill Gregg Honorarium Scholarship
Jirias Xiong – Etta Blanche Smith Dahlgren Scholarship
Sarad Yang – Etta Blanche Smith Dahlgren Scholarship
Daniel Zacapa-Morales – Frank and Doris Schlagle Scholarship

The students, donors and KCKCC family will celebrate the scholarship recipients at the KCKCC Foundation Scholarship Award Social June 6 in Upper Jewell on the KCKCC Main Campus, 7250 State Ave.

For more information on becoming a KCKCC Foundation donor, contact Sharon Clay, director of development, at 913-288-7353 or by email at sclay@kckcc.edu.

The spring 2020 KCKCC Foundation scholarship application deadline is Oct.1. The Foundation Scholarship Application and Scholarship Criteria are available online at www.kckcc.edu/foundation/scholarships/index.html.

For additional questions, call Debbie Cowick, foundation scholarship coordinator, at 913-288-7369 or by email at dcowick@kckcc.edu.

Blue Devils’ 23-9 Jayhawk record best in 15 years

Rally caps weren’t needed too often at home for the Blue Devils of KCKCC, who finished 20-5 at home and 39-16 overall including a 23-9 record that was the best since the 2005 season. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

Statistically, it was an outstanding year for baseball at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

The Blue Devils’ 23-9 record in the Jayhawk Conference was the best in 15 years and their outright third place finish was the highest since 2007. They finished fourth in the nation in triples and 11th in doubles. Their team batting average of .325 ranked 21st nationally.

After a 0-4 start in Texas, the Blue Devils won 19 straight and 21 of 22 games. Their 39 wins left them one win short of a 40-win season for the third time in four years under coach Matt Goldbeck.

Unfortunately, it all ended on a sour note. Originally scheduled to have a bye week the first week of the season, it was pushed back to the end of the season because of horrific spring weather so while the other eight teams in the Jayhawk were winding up conference play, the Blue Devils had no one to play except for one game with William Jewell’s junior varsity.

Paired against defending Region VI champion Barton County in the opening round of the playoffs, the Blue Devils were sent to the sidelines by 6-2 and 7-3 losses.

“We just didn’t play well and Barton played really well,” Goldbeck said. “And we really felt good going into the regional.”

The disappointing finish, however, did not stop four-year colleges and universities from snapping up some of the sophomore leaders.

Pitchers Orlando Ortiz and Carlo Soto have signed with NCAA Division universities, Ortiz at Troy State in Alabama and Soto at Southern University in Louisiana. First baseman Eric Hinostroza will continue at Washburn; catcher J.T. Goodfellow and second baseman Traice Hartter at Central Oklahoma; and pitcher Victor Gotay at Kaiser University in Florida. Still others are weighing their options.

Graduation is hitting the KCKCC roster hard this season, taking the entire infield of Hinostroza, Hartter, shortstops Kemper Bednar and Kevin Santiago, third baseman Brady Holder and Goodfellow behind the plate. Also departing will be three of the four starters in Ortiz, Soto and Gotay.

Hinostroza (.359) and Bednar (.355) led the Blue Devils in hitting. Santiago led the team in home runs with six while hitting (.333) and Hartter batted .317. Both finished with 32 RBI. Goodfellow hit .319 and Holder .236.

Ortiz (6-2) led the pitching staff in earned run average (3.53) and strikeouts (80) while Soto was 6-1 with a 3.92 ERA and Gotay 2-3 with a 4.68 ERA. Each had 10 or more starts. Jose Amaro, who had four saves, and southpaw reliever Hunter Paxton (2-1) will also be lost to the pitching staff.

On the plus side, three of this season’s top four hitters will return. Jose Sosa, who was the designated hitter and played first base, led the team in hits (70), extra base hits (27), and RBI (43) while hitting .350.

Outfielders Eduardo Acosta (.352) and Tyler Henry (.345) were close behind. Henry led in slugging (.613) and second in RBI (42), led in triples with eight and shared the lead in extra base hits (27) with Sosa; Acosta was third in RBI with 36. Catcher Griffin Everitt who hit .319 in 35 games also returns as well as infielder Trey Hoover (.278).

Osvaldo Mendez, who was 7-3 with a 4.26 ERA and a Gold Glove winner, and reliever Gaby Ramos, 4-3 with three saves in 14 games return to head the pitching staff. They will be joined by Matthew Fred, who was 2-1 in 11 games; and Zavier Morin, 2-0 with two saves.

Recruiting for next season is well under way.

“We have an offensive group to build around but we need arms, more pitching depth,” said Goldbeck said.

Weather undoubtedly cost the Blue Devils another 40-win season. They did not get outside until their annual spring road trip to the Dallas area where they lost their first four games, two of which they lost after leading going into the final innings. Once on track, they won 19 in a row and 23 of 25.

In finishing 13-9, the best conference record since a 26-10 mark in 2005, the Blue Devils won seven of nine conference series but three losses in four games to Cowley and a four-game split with Johnson County left them a game back of JCCC for second and three games back of first place Cowley, which won the East for the 13th time in the last 19 years – and the Region VI championship.