MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America

Category: Kansas Softball

  • Possibly the best softball pitcher in Kansas history may not play the sport in college.

    Senior Sydnee Eck pitched Andale/Garden Plain (Andale, Kan.) to a 3-1 victory over DeSoto (Kan.) on Saturday for its third consecutive state championship. It marked the final game not only for her, but for coach Doris Hein, who is retiring. The Indians, who were seeded only fifth, finished the year with a 25-1 record.

    Photo by Kendall Shaw

    Sydnee Eck, Andale/Garden Plain

    Eck, who finished the year with 207 strikeouts and an earned run average under 1.00, had not planned to play softball in college, but she did tell the Hutchinson News, "It (the title) makes me want to play. But I haven't gotten any calls."

    Sounds like some smart college coaches need to jump on the phone today!

    Despite hindered by a heavily-taped right forearm from stress fractures, Eck won three games over the two-day Class 4A state finals. In the semifinals, she stopped previously unbeaten Labette County (Altamont, Kan.) 5-2. One day earlier she stifled Paola (Kan.) 2-0 on a two-hitter with 18 strikeouts and also slammed a sixth-inning home run to break up a scoreless game.

    *Switching to baseball, a pair of 15-inning thrillers were played in New Jersey.

    Sayreville (Parlin, N.J.) outlasted Phillipsburg (N.J.) 5-4 in 15 innings during the North Jersey Group 4 quarterfinals. The game was suspended by rain, tied at 4-4 in the 14th inning, and finished the following day. Vinnie Gambardella opened the final inning with a double and eventually scored the decisive run on a bloop hit just inside the left field line by No. 8 batter Anthony Ungano.

    The loss spoiled a superb effort by Phillipsburg's Anthony Ciavarella, who threw 161 pitches and struck out 18 in the first nine innings while also slamming a three-run homer.

    Livingston (N.J.) nipped Montclair (N.J.) 2-1 when Connor Kimmel tripled leading off the 15th and scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Haberman.
  • To say that Sydnee Eck was dominant would be a gross understatement.

    The standout Andale (Kan.) softball pitcher struck out the first 18 batters and 21 of the 22 she faced Monday during a 7-0 victory over Buhler (Kan.). The only batter to reach base against the Kansas All-State player received life when the catcher missed a third strike. One batter did hit the ball in the infield, but Eck threw her out easily.

    Oh, yes, she can hit, too, because she slammed two solo home runs in the game. Then she belted a two-run shot in the nightcap to help Andale sweep the twinbill.

    * Hamilton (N.Y.) freshman Becca Rogers pitched a one-hitter and struck out a career-high 19 during a 10-0 victory Monday against Waterville (N.Y.).

    However, the young perfectionist was not happy, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard,  because she walked two batters. She also was unhappy over a changeup that resulted in the only Waterville hit. An All-State pick as an eighth-grader, Rogers has struck out 54, allowed six hits and two runs while posting a 4-0 record, which includes three shutouts.

    * In baseball, senior righthander David Cherry pitched a no-hitter Monday as Pomperaug (Southbury, Conn.) blanked Immaculate (Danbury, Conn.) 8-0. Cherry, who was a JV pitcher last year, struck out eight of the first 10 batters he faced. As tensions grew in the final inning he struck out the first two batters, yielded his third walk, then struck out the final batter to finish the game with 15 strikeouts.