Seniors Hodson and Kanski named to Jeffco All-Conference team
Coming one win short of its first regional berth for the second straight year could do nothing to take away the positives the Summit High School softball team collected during the regular season.
With a 9-9 overall record and a 4-5 league record, the Summit established itself as a team to be reckoned with in the Class 4A Jeffco League. The Tigers finished sixth out of 10 teams in their first year in the league.
“We learned a lot about our competition and the direction we need to go,” said Shelly Koehler, who completed her second year as Summit coach this season. “Next year, the girls will just have to put it all together.”
The Tigers will graduate only two players, but they are important players: pitcher Kelsey Hodson and catcher Heather Kanski.
Hodson was named to the First Team Jeffco All-Conference team, and Kanski was named to the Second Team.
“It’s a very prestigious award to become First Team All-Conference in this league,” Koehler said. “Even Second Team would have been First Team in the Metro League.”
Summit has players ready to replace the pair. This year’s third baseman, Caitlin Schmidt, will move to her natural position of pitcher as a junior next year, and Cissy Daniels will probably play catcher as a sophomore.
Koehler said Schmidt has the speed and talent to become one of the league’s best pitchers, she just needs to learn the intricacies of how to get batters out.
“When Caitlin is able to move the ball around like she wants to, she’ll be one of the most effective pitchers this league has seen in a while,” Koehler said.
The Tigers did not have enough players to field a junior varsity team, and that may stunt the growth of some of their younger players because they weren’t able to see game action this fall. Koehler hopes their participation on the summer club team will make up for that.
The season ended a week ago at the 4A, District 1 Tournament in Pueblo. Summit dominated its first game. Its hitting performance was one of its best of the year in the 10-0 win. Needing one more win to advance to regionals, and having two tries to do it, the Tigers fell 13-0 to Pueblo East and 5-1 to Sierra.
“The girls didn’t perform (against Pueblo East),” Koehler said. “Coming off that loss was really tough, and they just never got back into it. It didn’t look like they wanted it badly, and other teams wanted it more.”
Koehler will not coach the summer season like she has the past two years, but she plans to be back next August to lead the Tigers again.
Summit also had four All-Conference honorable mentions, but those names will not be released until Tuesday’s banquet.
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