The Academy's Hanger among softball stat leaders returning in 2019

State softball The Academy generic

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

It's always fun to look back to a previous season and remember what was. But every once in a while there is just as much fun when looking forward at how a season might be shaping up.

Like many sports going into the 2019-20 school year, there are a number of returning softball players that had banner years last fall. Once play begins in August, these girls will look to build on what they did in 2018.

Batting average:

Cordelia Hanger, a senior from The Academy, proved to a nightmare for opposing pitchers in 2018. She had 66 at-bats last year and finished with an admirable .848 average. That was good enough to make her the state batting champion regardless of classification.

Westminster's Kori Rhoads led all Class 5A hitters with a .640 average and Brooklyn Horn hit .700 to lead 4A. Of her 49 hits on the year, 24 of them went for extra bases.

Home runs:

Sterling's Rylyn Nelson and Loveland's Laurin Krings had plenty of trips around the bases last year. They both hit 15 home runs in 2018, the most of any player coming back in 2019.

Silver Creek's Jetta Nannen led all players with 17 bombs, but graduated this spring.

The Middleton sisters, Mackenzie and Makayla, hit 11 and 10 home runs, respectively and head into the season as the 4A players with the most long balls from last year.

RBIs:

Eaton junior Jennifer Jarnigan drove in 65 runs a year ago which marks the most RBI's among all returning players.

Conifer senior Josey Nichols hit 50 last year to top returning 4A players while Krings leads all 5A players with 48.

Runs scored:

The 3A class is returning players who scored runs in bunches. Eaton's Remington Ross (61), University's Kyra McFarland (54) and Delaney Wieneke (51) all come back this fall and are the top three returning runs scorers regardless of classification.

Fossil Ridge's Jayden Mercado tops the 5A returners with 48 and Holy Family's Anna Martinez leads all returning 4A players with 46.

Earned run average:

State softball Laurin Krings Loveland

(Ryan Casey/CHSAANow.com)

It's no surprise that when it comes to pitching stats, Krings is at or near the top of most lists. Her 0.65 ERA in 2018 was the best in the state and she's in line to put up similar numbers this fall.

Pueblo East senior Nasya Madrid-Lafebre leads 4A returning pitchers with a 1.62 ERA and Delta's Hailee Ruble tops 3A at 1.32.

Strikeouts:

Krings also led the state in strikeouts as she fanned 392 hitters last year.

Cheyenne Mountain senior Katelyn Ralston was second overall in 4A last year, totaling 197 and leads all returning pitchers in 4A.

Peak to Peak junior Jamie Rader is hoping to build on her solid 2018 season where she struck out 139 opposing hitters. That edged Sterling's Kiersten Bohler by six strikeouts, and Rader did it while throwing 31 fewer innings.