www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

KSU sits atop Big 12 -10/19/2014, 6:42 AM

Early mistakes sink Jayhawks -10/19/2014, 6:41 AM

Tigers nab 'W' at Emporia -10/19/2014, 8:21 PM

Knights secure district, playoff spot -10/19/2014, 6:34 AM

TMP claims MCL tourney title -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Monarchs take team to Class 4A state -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Area prep football roundup, Oct. 17 -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Indian volleyball second at WAC -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

HHS has high expectations for 4A golf finale -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

Buhler hands Hays High first loss in blowout -10/19/2014, 8:20 PM

FHSU men win eighth straight -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

FHSU Tiger Open XC results -10/18/2014, 8:21 PM

Tiger women record third consecutive shutout -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Tiger volleyball wins third straight match -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

Indians' Forinash goes 0-2 at 4A state -10/18/2014, 8:20 PM

TMP falls in district opener to Beloit -10/17/2014, 11:46 AM

HHS soccer falls to Bishop Carroll -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

FHSU men's soccer wins seventh straight -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Tigers look to climb back above .500 -10/17/2014, 10:38 AM

HHS fourth in WAC meet -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

TMP boys 2nd, girls 3rd at Lakeside -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

TMP volleyball goes 2-0 in first day at MCL -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Indians' Forinash in 4A state field -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Wichita State's Darius Carter shows off his jumper -10/17/2014, 10:27 AM

KVA prep volleyball rankings, Oct. 15 -10/16/2014, 10:31 AM

TMP drops close one to Liberal -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

TMP gets Beloit in district opener -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

K.C. headed to first World Series since 1985 -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Selden ready to step into bigger role -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Big district game for Hays High -10/16/2014, 10:31 AM

Area prep football district standings, Oct. 16 -10/16/2014, 10:11 AM

Royals sweep O's, headed to World Series -10/15/2014, 7:17 PM

Tigers fall in three -10/15/2014, 11:39 AM

Chiefs' Johnson sheds weight in hopes of return -10/15/2014, 10:13 AM

Giants win walk-off on throwing error in 10th -10/15/2014, 10:12 AM

Wildcat running backs looking to break out -10/15/2014, 10:12 AM

Royals one win from World Series -10/15/2014, 11:44 AM

Chiefs' Charles with eyes on the prize -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Parsons, Boxberger qualify in 3-2-1A golf -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Royals getting it done old school -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

KSU prepares for OU -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

HHS golf wins regional — TMP qualifies -10/13/2014, 6:11 PM

Rain postpones ALCS Game 3 -10/13/2014, 5:48 PM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Pitcher Hearld back for Hays High softball team

Published on -3/26/2014, 11:11 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

By AUSTIN COLBERT

acolbert@dailynews.net

Hannah Hearld's freshman season for the Hays High School softball team was nothing short of phenomenal. The ace pitcher was a dominant force on the mound right from the get-go, going 12-2 as a starter and leading the Indians to a 20-3 record and trip to the Class 5A state tournament.

Then, at the tail end of basketball season last year, Hearld tore her anterior cruciate ligament and was forced to miss her entire sophomore softball campaign.

"I was going up for a layup and a girl got into me and I felt it pop. I tried to get up and it gave out," Hearld said. "I had to stay tough about it and be there for my team and still support them. But it was really hard watching them, sitting on the sidelines."

Without Hearld, the Indians took a step back in 2013, going 12-9 and missing out on the state tournament for the first time in two years. On the plus side, it allowed other players, such as current sophomore Madison Prough and junior Jenna Luebbers, to gain invaluable experience filling in for Hearld on the mound.

"It was a little nerve racking at first, having to fill her big shoes. But after a while I kind of took it in and had to do the job," said Prough, who started 14 of the team's 21 games last season. "It gave me a lot more experience on varsity so that can carry over to this year, having to help Hannah if she needs the backup."

Hearld, now a junior, is back and fully recovered from her injury. She was cleared for physical activity in the fall and played winter ball in preparation for the 2014 season, which gets underway at 4 p.m. Thursday against Goodland at Bickle/Schmidt Sports Complex.

"Last year really hurt not having Hannah on the mound," said Abby Maska, Hays High's sixth-year head coach. "But I think in the long run it's really going to help this year having all those freshman get some experience. I think we will be a better team this year than we would have been."

While the Indians look to be strong on the mound with Hearld, Prough and Luebbers, the rest of the infield will have a much different look. Hays High will start a sophomore at each base and shortstop, led by third baseman Tessa Stickel. The only real experience in the infield will be fourth-year starter Haley Wells at catcher.

The outfield is also a question mark heading into the season, outside of senior center fielder Julie Balzer.

"It's nice where we need it right up the middle of the field to have juniors and seniors, people who are pretty experienced, to help lead the team," Maska said. "Even the sophomores this year seem so much more relaxed and more willing to take risks and go for the big plays instead of keeping it conservative and fearing messing up."

Among the improved sophomores is Stickel, who Maska said "always seemed really nervous" as a freshman last season. Not overly vocal on the field, Stickel still made her presence felt as a starter at second base a year ago. She was also an effective batter, hitting .313.

"I feel like earlier in games I was really nervous, but once the season got going I really felt comfortable," said Stickel, who Maska expects to be one of the Indians' best offensive weapons this season. "I feel a lot more confident because I think I know what I'm doing now."

Key to the Indians' success this season is replacing three important seniors from a year ago in Courtney Storer, Shea Briggs and Katelyn Schumacher, who is now playing softball for the University of Kansas.

But Maska believes the talent is there, it's just a matter of overcoming the youthful mistakes from a year ago. And having Hearld back on the mound helps, too.

"She's had a year of rehab and recovery and she's been working really hard. I think she's even better than we could have expected," Maska said. "We made a lot of errors that our program isn't accustomed to making. I just think errors on defense last year cost us in several doubleheaders. I think 12-9 last year was an underachievement for the level of skill I felt we had."

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos

AP Breaking News
AP Nation-World News

View this site in another language.