By Noah Roberts
The Hesston College softball team has had an incredible regular season. They are led by Coach Sharp who is in his 11th and final season as Head Coach of the Larks. The Larks finished the regular season as KJCCC DII co-champions in their first year in the KJCCC. The Larks started the season 3-8 as they struggled to find their groove, but since then they have held a record of 31-3 including finishing the regular season on a 23 game winning streak.
The Larks have a number of contributors who are making national noise in different statistical categories. The Larks are led on the mound by Freshman Chelsea Smith out of Seattle, Washington. She is currently second in the nation in strikeouts with 232 and also impresses with a low ERA of just 2.12. On the offensive end, the Larks have a huge bat in the middle of the lineup with Freshman Amy Bretado, from Whittier, California. She is currently 1st in the nation in RBIs with 64, 3rd in home runs with 19, and 6th in Slugging percentage posting an impressive mark of .951. The Larks Shortstop, Freshman Jessie Miranda from Turlock, California is leading the nation in stolen bases with 46.
The Larks have players from all around the nation contributing in the small town of Hesston, Kansas. They have seven players from California, four from Kansas, and one each from various states around the country including Washington, Virginia, New Mexico, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. The wide variety of athletes originating from places scattered all the way across the country is shocking to some when thinking of a small town such as Hesston, Kansas. Although it seems out of the ordinary, this is something that is common among teams at Hesston College. There is a big emphasis on diversity and accepting athletes from all over the US along with other various countries.
The Larks will be traveling to Topeka, Kansas next weekend to make an appearance in Districts and attempt to earn a spot in the national tournament in Clinton, Mississippi. The Larks will be taking the field at 10 am in the quarterfinals against the winner of #7 seed Kansas City Kansas and #10 Cloud County. The Larks have already faced off against both teams already this season. Hesston took two from Cloud County in March while they split against Kansas City Kansas the week after.
It will be an exciting atmosphere in Topeka to see if the Larks can earn their first ever appearance in the National tournament in school history.