A capsule look at the All-Nebraska prep softball first team members by World-Herald Correspondent Steve Beideck.
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Kaylan Jablonski, Junior, Omaha Skutt: Jablonski led the SkyHawks to a third-place finish at the Class B state tournament with another impressive year pitching and hitting. She was 23-5 and had 256 strikeouts in 163 innings. She was just as potent with the bat, hitting .654 with 13 home runs and 52 RBIs against a schedule that included many Class A teams. “She would have had more stolen bases and runs scored, but in tournaments we run for her,” Skutt coach Keith Engelkamp said. “When she hits the ball, it's like a missile.”
Jordan Johnson, Sophomore, Millard South: After watching Millard South win a state championship in 2011 as a freshman, Johnson emerged in the preseason as the Patriots' ace. She strengthened her grip on that title as the season wore on, finishing 22-5 with a 2.15 ERA and 114 strikeouts. Johnson allowed just seven runs in four games at the state tournament, including a shutout and a one-run performance in the four-inning win over Papillion-La Vista South in the title game.
Lindsey Telecky, Junior, Grand Island: Telecky is the first Islander to be on the All-Nebraska team. She posted a 26-5 record and hit .391 for Grand Island. At state, she batted .600. After the Islanders lost to Omaha Westside 3-1 in the second game of the district tournament, Telecky pitched 21 consecutive innings to get the Islanders to state on a cold, windy day. “Lindsey is truly a great person and a leader on our softball team,” Islanders coach K.C. Hehnke said.
Kat Woolman, Senior, Lincoln Pius X: Woolman, who changed her college commitment last week from Arkansas to Nebraska, was the driving force behind the Thunderbolts' run to the Class B state title. That run included a victory over Skutt and her good friend Jablonski, a win that Woolman said was “bittersweet” but necessary for the 'Bolts to accomplish their goal. Woolman hit .542 with 47 RBIs, finishing with a career average of .467.
Jennifer Daro, Senior, Omaha Skutt: Combine the 13 home runs hit by Jablonski with the 12 by Daro, and those two broke the Class B record for a team in a single season. Daro, who will play for Creighton next season, led the team in walks with 26 — many of them intentional against some of the SkyHawks' toughest opponents — and had another stellar defensive season at shortstop.
Vicky Kinney, Sophomore, Millard South: Kinney played her best softball in the final weeks after battling through a hand injury (suffered the second week of the season) and a bad shoulder. The shortstop hit .488 with six doubles, two triples, eight home runs, 35 RBIs and 28 runs scored. Her on-base percentage was .573 and she had an .884 slugging percentage hitting behind Unzicker. Kinney struck out five times in 105 at bats and made three errors in 99 total chances at short.
Nicole Warren, Senior, Papillion-La Vista South: After first committing to Creighton, Warren is headed to UNO. She was one of the many big sticks in the Titans' lineup, hitting seven home runs, nine doubles and four triples while drawing 30 walks and scoring 48 runs. She hit .424 with a .538 on-base percentage.
Gina Metzler, Junior, Papillion-La Vista: Metzler again was a dynamo both as Papio's leadoff hitter and running down nearly every ball in center field. It took three seasons, but the Nebraska recruit finally proved she's human by committing the first error of her career in center field. She hit .492, had 19 RBIs and stole 45 bases. “She's the player that kick-starts our offense,” Monarchs coach Todd Petersen said. “She is always her best at the state tournament.”
Courtney Schendt, Senior, Papillion-La Vista South: Schendt was the leader of Papio South's home-run parade, hitting 14 this season as the Titans set a Class A single-season record with 45 round-trippers. She finished the season hitting .495 with 15 doubles, three triples, 18 walks and 62 RBIs, a state record. Titans coach Dan Hogan said Schendt, a Bellevue University recruit, was voted the team's most valuable player.
Taylor Wachholtz, Senior, Papillion-La Vista: Wachholtz caught the attention of many coaches with her improved hitting and always-steady play in the Monarchs' outfield. She hit .492 with five doubles and 36 RBIs. “She had a great senior year offensively and was a huge part of our success this year,” Petersen said.
Paige Nekola, Junior, Papillion-La Vista South: Nekola led the Titans with a .514 batting average. She scored 46 runs and had 54 hits, including nine doubles. She showed off the speed used to run down fly balls in center field by also stealing 17 bases. “She has great potential and is a triple threat because she can bunt, slap and hit with power,” Hogan said.
Katie Klosterman, Senior, Millard West: In a lineup of talented hitters, her bat was the steadiest for the Wildcats. Klosterman hit .520 with three homers, 11 doubles and 40 RBIs. “She might be the fiercest competitor I have coached,” Wildcats coach Don Brummer said. “Nobody loves softball more than Katie.”