Martin, Wessel on all-state teams
First, second team selections in softball
Accolades keep rolling in for the Baldwin High School softball program. But this time it doesn't get any better Katie Martin was named first team all-state and Kristen Wessel was named to the second team.
The announcement was made Saturday by the Kansas Coaches Association. Martin, who just finished her sophomore year, was named to the first team in Class 4A and second team all-class. Wessel was second team in Class 4A.
The selection caught both girls by surprise.
"Wow, it's awesome," said Martin. "I know it's quite an honor. It's crazy. I think there was only one other sophomore, a pitcher. The rest were juniors and seniors."
Wessel, who graduated from BHS in May, was also caught off guard.
"It kind of surprised me," said Wessel. "After making all-league, I just kind of forgot about it. Then my mom called and told me. I said wow. I'm so happy for Katie. She works so hard."
BHS softball coach Ginny Honomichl was excited for her players and was pleased with what it means to the second-year program.
"I am quite honored that both Katie and Kristen were selected and it is an honor to our program as well, and all the players who surrounded them," said Honomichl. "Their statistics are worthy of their recognition.
"Congratulations to both of them and I'm sure glad they played Baldwin High School softball," she said.
Martin led the Bulldogs with a .541 batting average. She led the team in hits with 41 and runs batted in with 21 and also scored 28 runs. She also had a .582 on-base percentage while batting in the No. 3 spot.
But, it wasn't just Martin's offense that caught the other coaches' eyes.
"I'm sure she impressed some people with her outstanding catches in center field," said BHS coach Honomichl.
Martin wasn't sure what earned her the spot on the team.
"I don't know," she said. "I don't know what they saw."
Wessel, who hit .328 with 20 hits and 13 RBI, was better known for her defensive abilities behind the plate as a catcher.
"Let's just say there were only 10 successful stolen bases against us all season. We stole 68 bases. That's a big difference," said Honomichl. "She also threw out seven runners at second base and picked off seven runners at third base and a couple at first."
The selection topped off a story-book high school career for Wessel, whose mother, Peg, was instrumental in bringing softball to BHS.
"Yes, it really is," Wessel said of the final piece of the puzzle. "It seems like I left with everything a winning record, a great group of girls to play with, all-league and now all-state. It's frosting on the cake."
While Martin has two more years of playing time at BHS, Wessel will take her talents to Johnson County Community College where she signed a letter of intent to play.
"I'm excited. I'm really looking forward to it," she said of extending her playing career. "I'm doing conditioning right now and my coach is e-mailing me and comes to see me play. I'm looking forward to playing for him."
Both Martin and Wessel play for the Baldwin Skyhawks 18-and-under softball team in the summer. It is also coached by Honomichl and they will be in tournament action again this weekend.