North, SMNW softball players named All-Sunflower League
It was a city softball showdown of epic proportions when Shawnee Mission North edged rival Shawnee Mission Northwest in the bottom of the seventh inning of the Class 6A regional championship game.
The victory propelled North to a third-place finish in the state tournament and a 19-6 record.
Four Indians were recognized after the season by rival coaches as All-Sunflower League performers. All of them played key roles in the regional championship victory, as well as in the season as a whole.
Senior pitcher Mary Pat Specht — a longtime staple on the All-League squad and a four-year starter for North — was named to the first team. She pitched a complete game in the regional final, as well as all three games at the state tournament.
Her sister, sophomore Barbara Specht, was tapped to the second team for her reliable glove work in center field.
Junior first baseman Alyssa Lee — who stepped in to play catcher after an injury to regular starter Lauren Preator in the first inning of the regional final — was an honorable mention selection, as was junior Katey Cowan who hit the walk-off single that propelled SMN into the state tournament.
Northwest, which struggled mightily early in the season before rallying to finish with a 9-13 record, also had numerous players lauded by league coaches. Many of those recognized were faces that will make up the future of the program.
Senior outfielder Rachael Zdeb and senior infielder Loryn Goebel both were named to the All-SFL second team, but the other three Cougars recognized were freshmen. Cierra Carbajo was voted as a second-team catcher, and pitcher Katt Cooper and shortstop Emily Utech were honorable mention selections.
Olathe Northwest junior pitcher Jacinda Ramos was named the league’s Player of the Year and Lawrence Free State freshman Courtney Parker was the Newcomer of the Year.