Four Barton Community College softball players were recently named to the KJCCC Division I All-Conference Team. Sophomore Erica Harper led the selections earning the Most Valuable Player award with fellow sophomore Bailey Hensley and freshman Kylie Everill joining Harper on the first team while sophomore Briana Ward landed on the second team. The awards follow second-year Head Coach Marc Benjamin and the Lady Cougars’ Region VI Championship season falling just shy of a trip to nationals in the District E Championship finishing the 2014-15 campaign at 36-20.
In a record breaking season, Harper became an All-American nominee being named as the most valuable player and first team selection. The 5’5″ sophomore right fielder from Topeka, Kansas, rewrote the school single season record book in five categories batting .457 with 90 hits, scoring 71 runs, blasting 26 home runs, and driving in 94 runs. Leading the NJCAA in home runs and finishing second in runs batted in, Harper led Region VI in both categories, runs scored, total bases (181), and extra base hits (39) while finishing with a fifth best batting average. In addition to single season school records, Harper also left her mark atop the Barton career charts for batting average (.464), hits (156), home runs (35), doubles (34), and RBI (141) while finishing second behind Hensley in runs (107) and walks (30).
Hensley set the stage at the top of the Lady Cougars’ high octane lineup earning first team honors. Batting .378, Hensley also had a .459 on-base percentage including a team best 24 walks to end her Barton career on top of the school charts with 41. Ranking behind Harper on the region and school chart with 70 runs scored, Hensley’s 118 runs scored in her two years as a Lady Cougar will also etch her name at the top of the career chart. Getting 74 hits on the season bringing her career total fourth best 127 hits, the 5’3″ second baseman from Ellis, Kansas, also hit 7 home runs, 14 doubles, while driving in 49 runs. Hensley also led Barton with 4 triples and 7 hit-by-pitch which elevated her to the top of the career charts with 8 and 19 respectively.
Everill’s pivotal protection of Harper in the lineup coupled with her solid play at first base earned the red-shirt freshman first team conference honors. Batting .341 and driving in 60 runs behind Harper in the lineup, Everill belted 15 home runs tying for the third best single season long ball performance in Barton history while ranking second in runs driven home. Third on the team with 124 total bases, Everill tied Ward for second place with 30 extra base hits while slugging a team second best .670 percentage. A Cottonwood Heights, Utah, native, Everill manned first base when Holly Posegate was in the center circle fielding at a .965 clip in 227 chances. Everill also contributed from the center circle going 4-2 with 34 strikeouts in 37.1 innings of work with a 3.75 ERA.
The most improved player from freshman to sophomore season, Brianna Ward was recognized at the hot corner as a second team selection behind Butler Community College’s standout Monica Islava. Raising her batting average 130 points to a team second best .387 average, the Olathe, Kansas, native drove in 55 runs sandwiched between Hensley and Harper in the lineup. Ward also led the team with 18 doubles while ranking second with 133 total bases and 30 extra base hits in hitting a team third best .652 slugging percentage.
Complete list of KJCCC Division I All-Conference selections.