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MSSU softball hosts “Little Lions” camp

JOPLIN, Mo. – (WATCH) Missouri Southern softball hosts it’s annual “Little Lions” youth camp.

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MSSU soccer builds chemistry ahead of first season under coach Boswell

JOPLIN, Mo. – This offseason is an important time for Missouri Southern women’s soccer. The Lions are under new leadership and they’re focusing on building relationships and chemistry ahead of the fall season.

“I think once I have their trust and confidence, they’ll work harder for me and sacrifice for me and they’ll sacrifice for their teammates too,” says Missouri Southern head coach Sadè Boswell. “Building that relationship with them early, rather than once the preseason hits, is much better.”

This week, Missouri Southern is hosting a youth camp run by Boswell and a few players. It’s one of many offseason opportunities that the athletes and Boswell have to get to know one another.

“We had a camp last week and a few different players came out and we had lunch in between the day and we talked about things outside of soccer,” Boswell says. “We talked about their high school experience and just getting to know them and also them getting to know me. I think once they gauge my personality, they’ll get a better understanding of who I am as a person and understand that when I’m being hard on them, it’s for their benefit.”

“It was a bit of an adjustment period, but from there, it’s been pretty smooth sailing,” says sophomore Maya Greenquist. “We got a lot of work done this spring. We did a lot of community service and did some team bonding. We played with some puppies at the humane society and that was really fun.”

“I want to be perceived as someone who is structured, who actually pushes them and keeps them dedicated, while also having them understand that I care about them,” Boswell says. “I care about their enjoyment of the game and I care about their four years or however many years of experience they get playing at Missouri Southern. I want to build a team that knows how to work hard but also still has passion and loves the game.”

Boswell was hired in January of 2022, marking the beginning of a new chapter for Missouri Southern women’s soccer.

“She’s got big goals,” Greenquist says. “We’re ready for that. She wants us to play hard, do our best, work out some bad habits and go from there. In my view, I think this next year will be probably a really good year and then the years after that will just build on top. I see a pretty bright future for us.”

“There’s some tweaks to the way that they play and the mindset and the chemistry that can definitely help us be more successful going forward,” Boswell says. “They’re talented, they’re young, they’re hungry. They want to be better and it’s exciting to see that.”

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Former Joplin standout Alex Curry to transfer to MSSU

JOPLIN, Mo. – Former Joplin High School football standout, Alex Curry, has decided to return home to continue his college football career. Curry is committed to play for Atiba Bradley and the Missouri Southern Lions next season.

“I wanted to go to Southern really bad,” Curry says. “A couple other schools hit me up. I had a couple DI schools hit me up. It was too far from home. I think Southern is going to have a pretty explosive offense this year. Atiba and coach Rahl sounded really happy about the upcoming fall, so I’m going to keep my trust in those two because they’re great coaches. We’re going to get after it.”

Coming out of high school, Curry signed to division I Southeast Missouri State. He spent last fall (2021) at SEMO, but did not use a year of eligibility. He comes to Southern with four years of eligibility remaining.

“Southern has a really good quarterback,” Curry says. “They have a good running back. They’re building on the offensive line, and I feel like I can be the extra part to help push the run game because that’s what they preach is the run game. I can be a big, physical body up front. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Curry’s top priority, right now, is in the weight room.

“I have a lot of weight room goals,” Curry says. “I want to get better in the weight room and become stronger. I really struggled in the weight room at SEMO. I had a couple injuries that ended up plaguing me during spring ball. I think coming into the fall, I’ll be back to 100 percent. I have a bunch of people around me to help me get to where I want to be. Physically, I’ll be a much better player than I was.”

Before Southeast Missouri State, Curry was a monster for Joplin High School. He was a 2x 1st team all-state selection as an offensive lineman and helped the Eagles finish as the Missouri class 6 state runner-up as a junior in 2019. Curry will reunite with a handful of high school teammates at Southern.

“I really liked Missouri Southern just because I have a bunch of people that go there,” Curry says. “I know a lot of people there and I really just wanted to play for something that was more than me. I think it’ll be great. Me and Nathan Glades get to team up again. Go out on the offensive side of the ball. I always wanted to play with Glades and Simmons. We played with each other when we were kids. Third through 12th grade. I really enjoy playing with those guys. They’re good teammates, good bodies and hopefully we can do something great and bring back the winning tradition to Southern.”

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Gorillas, Lions prepare for DII outdoor national championships

The Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships begin on Thursday in Allendale, Michigan.

Pitt State has 30 athletes qualified to compete at nationals, while Missouri Southern is taking 20.

Click HERE for the full meet schedule.

PITT STATE PREVIEW, VIA PITT STATE ATHLETICS:

The Pittsburg State University men’s and women’s outdoor track & field teams will open competition in the 2022 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships Thursday (May 26). The meet, which is being hosted by Grand Valley State University, runs Thursday through Saturday (May 28).

The Pitt State men enter the meet ranked No. 4 in NCAA Division II in the most recent USTFCCCA national poll, while the Pitt State women are ranked No. 10.

Thirty Pitt State athletes – 15 men and 15 women – qualified for the national championships.

Several Gorillas will be in action on day one Thursday at the GVSU Track & Field Stadium.

Redshirt junior Trey Mooney will compete in the men’s decathlon at 9:30 a.m. (CDT). Mooney qualified 4th in the multi events with 7,195 points.

Freshman Blakelee Winn, senior Trace Mosby and freshman Mattie Flanagan will compete in the women’s heptathlon at 10 a.m. Winn enters the national meet ranked No. 2 (5518 pts).

Junior Konner Swenson will compete in the men’s hammer throw (13th, 61.31m) at 11:30 a.m.

On the track, both the men’s and women’s 400m relays will race in prelims Thursday with the men’s relay beginning at 3:50 p.m. and the women’s relay to follow at 4 p.m. The men’s relay of L.J. Kiner, Louis Rollins, Tevin Wright-Rose and Braylen Brewer is seed fifth (39.97).

Junior Mason Strader (8th, 3:42.55) and senior Connar Southard (16th, 3:44.57) will race in the prelims of the men’s 1,500 meters at 4:25 p.m., while Brewer will race in the prelims of the men’s 400 meters (3rd, 46.48) at 4:40 p.m. and Wright-Rose will race in the prelims of the men’s 100 meters (15th, 10.35) at 5:10 p.m.

Senior Bryce Grahn will run in the prelims of the men’s 3,000 meter steeplechase (11th, 8:54.57) at 5:40 p.m. and senior Madison Burt will race in the prelims of the women’s 400 meter hurdles (11th, 1:00.00) at 6:55 p.m. to close out the Gorillas’ day one action.

Links to Live Results and Live Web Stream are available.

Day Two Action • Friday, May 27
8:30 a.m. – Mooney, men’s decathlon
9:30 a.m. – Winn, Mosby (7th, 5114 pts), Flanagan (11th, 5006 pts), women’s heptathlon
1 p.m. – Swenson (19th, 53.03m), men’s discus
3:45 p.m. – Auna Childress (17th, 12.43m), women’s triple jump
4:45 p.m. – Christine Williams (2nd 23.33), women’s 200m, prelims
5:35 p.m. – Louis Rollins (2nd, 13.43), T.J. Caldwell (3rd, 13.84), men’s 110m hurdles, prelims
6:15 p.m. – Men’s Steeplechase, Finals
6:50 p.m. – Men’s 4x400m Relay, Prelims (Sam Tudor, Bailey Stone, Nizar Alarahshun, Brewer, 3rd, 3:09.48)
7:10 p.m. – Women’s 4x400m Relay, Prelims (Matti Price, Olivia Lowery, Burt, Williams, 14th, 3:45.09)

Day Three Action • Saturday, May 28
9:30 a.m. – Caleb Calvin (6th, 66.94m), men’s javelin
11:30 a.m. – Isabelle Peters (7th, 4.13m), Kyla Davis (9th, 4.10m), Kinsey Laird 919th, 4.03m), women’s pole vault
11:45 a.m. – L.J. Kiner (1st, 16.36m), men’s triple jump
12:30 p.m. – Madison Reese (12th, 46.32m), women’s javelin
1 p.m. – Men’s 4x100m Relay, Finals
1:05 p.m. – Erica Schamel (6th, 1.73m), women’s high jump
1:10 p.m. – Women’s 4x100m Relay, Finals
1:25 p.m. – Men’s 1,500 Meters, Finals
1:45 p.m. – Men’s 110m Hurdles, Finals
2 p.m. – Swenson (15th, 17.95m), men’s shot put
2:05 p.m. – Men’s 400 Meters, Finals
2:25 p.m. – Men’s 100 Meters, Finals
3:20 p.m. – Women’s 400m Hurdles, Finals
3:50 p.m. – Women’s 200 Meters, Finals
4:50 p.m. – Men’s 4x400m Relay, Finals
5 p.m. – Women’s 4x400m Relay, Finals
5:15 p.m. – Team Awards

MISSOURI SOUTHERN PREVIEW, VIA MSSU ATHLETICS:

The nationally-ranked Missouri Southern men’s and women’s track and field programs will open upt he 2022 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships tomorrow afternoon as the meet gets underway at the Grand Valley State Track and Field Stadium.

The Lions have qualified 16 individuals for the championships. The 10th-ranked men have qualified 11 individuals, while the 21st ranked women have sent five.

Starting the meet off for the Green and Gold will be Peyton Barton and Josh Fulmer at 12:30 pm (ET) in the men’s hammer throw. Barton is seeded fifth in the hammer, while Fulmer is seeded eighth in the event.

Jonathan Watts will then compete in the men’s long jump at 2:30 pm (ET). Watts is seeded 19th in the event. Claire Luallen will then compete in the finals of the women’s long jump as she is seeded 12th. That event will start at 5:30 pm (ET). Chardae Overstreet runs in the prelims for the women’s 400m at 5:55 pm (ET). Overstreet is seeded 20th in the event. JP Rutledge then finishes off the opening day for the Lions as he competes in the men’s 10k at 8:10 pm (ET). Rutledge is seeded 19th in the event.

Day two starts with Barton and Fulmer again as the pair competes in the men’s discus at 2 pm (ET). Barton is seeded fourth in the event, while Fulmer is seeded 20th. Brendan Jewell will compete in the men’s high jump at 3:30 pm (ET) as he is seeded tenth in the event. Luallen, Kiara Smith and Precious Olatunji will finish off the day for the Lions as the trio competes in the prelims of the women’s 100m hurdles. Smith is seeded fourth in the event, while Luallen is 15th and Olatunji is 19th.

Day three starts bright and early for Southern as Rajheim CarbyNathan Kovis and Brendan Rozier open the day’s action in the men’s javelin at 10:30 am (ET). Carby is seeded third in that event, while Rozier is 14th and Kovis is 15th. Adrain Broadus and Taris Jackson compete in the men’s triple jump at 12:45 pm (ET). Broadus is eighth and Jackson is 13th. Elizabeth Pomatto will compete in the finals of the women’s javelin at 1:30 pm (ET). Pomatto is seeded second in the event.

The finals of the women’s 100m will be run at 2:55 pm (ET), while the finals for the women’s 400m will be run at 3:15 pm (ET). Ryan Riddle concludes the action for the Lions as he runs in the men’s 5k at 5 pm (ET). Riddle comes into the event seeded eighth.

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Maxson, Mendenhall shine; Pitt State erases eight-run deficit to beat Missouri Southern

WATCH: Pitt State rallies from a 13-5 deficit and scores 12 unanswered runs to stun Missouri Southern 17-13. Jordan Mendenhall pitches 4.2 scoreless innings and strikes out four batters. Jordan Maxson has a monster day at the plate, hitting three home runs including a grand slam and driving in a school record 9 runs.

PSU advances to the final four in Edmond, Oklahoma. The Gorillas will face Northeastern state on Thursday at 4pm.

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Hinton homers twice to drive Pitt State’s come back; Gorillas even series

WATCH: Pitt State rallies from a 4-0 deficit to top Missouri Southern 8-4 and even the series. Braeden Hinton plays a huge role in the win. He goes 3-4 at the plate with two home runs including a three-run shot to give PSU the late lead.

The Gorillas and Lions meet on Sunday at 1pm for a decisive game three.

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VanWey shines, Lions shut out Gorillas in MIAA tournament opener

PITTSBURG, Kan. – (WATCH) Missouri Southern tops Pitt State 6-0 in game one of their MIAA tournament opener Friday night.

Pitcher Logan VanWey throws 8 shutout innings for the Lions, racking up 10 strikeouts on 131 pitches.

The Lions and Gorillas will meet for game two of the series at 3 PM Saturday in Pittsburg.

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Pitt State, Missouri Southern prep for rivalry clash in first round of MIAA tournament

After three months and 50 games, it’s time for post season baseball. The MIAA tournament begins this weekend and everyone has something to prove.

“We’re ready to show that we’re one of the most dangerous teams in this conference and we can go as deep as anyone else,” says Missouri Southern outfielder Jordan Fitzpatrick.

Missouri Southern travels to Pittsburg State for the opening round and a best-of-three series.

“Everybody is excited,” says Pittsburg State head coach Bob Fornelli. “You show up in August and you have your first meeting and everybody is looking for this opportunity.”

These two teams are pretty similar. It’s two power hitting offenses, and both will look to their pitching staffs to give them the edge.

“We need to throw strikes, first of all, and we need to get some big outs from our bullpen. Hopefully, we’ve prepared our guys for that,” says Missouri Southern head coach Bryce Darnell. “They’re a really good offensive club. I feel like the winner of the series will be the team that can get the most out of their bullpen.”

“We really haven’t hit a bunch of home runs as of late, so we’ve kind of changed a little bit,” Fornelli says. “We’ve moved the baseball around a little bit and have been able to steal some bases lately, but they have a lot of juice in that lineup, so we’re going to have to pitch really well and we’re going to have to do all the little things really well to have a chance to win.”

Pitt state won the regular season series in February two games to one. Two months later, the matchup looks different.

“We know that we can catch fire whenever we feel good,” Fitzpatrick says. “I don’t think there’s a single guy on our offense that lacks any confidence at all. We’re always ready to go and we’re all ready to swing the bat.”

“Hopefully Tommy will be in there for all three games which adds a little dynamic to our offense that maybe we’ve lacked at times,” Darnell says. “He has a chance to hit the ball up against the fence or out of the park which not everybody does. We’ve got to limit our strikeouts and put pressure on them and score when we have a chance to do so because we know offensively they’re going to be hard to hold down as well.”

The Gorillas have won 6 of their last 7 games and it’s earned them home field advantage.

“We’re playing great team ball. It’s not 1-3 in the lineup it’s 1-9,” says Pittsburg State infielder Austin Bonnel. “Then it’s the guys out of the pen and it’s our starters doing a really good job of giving us a chance to win the game at the end of the game.”

First pitch for game one of the series is set for 6pm tomorrow night.

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Nine Lions named All-MIAA; VanWey unanimous 1st team selection

JOPLIN, Mo. – The MIAA released its all-conference awards on Thursday afternoon. Nine Missouri Southern Lions have earned All-MIAA recognition this spring, including starting pitcher Logan VanWey – who is a 1st team All-MIAA pick.

VanWey led the MIAA in strikeouts this season, racking up 113 in 75 innings pitched.

1st team All-MIAA

P Logan VanWey (Unanimous)

2nd team All-MIAA

C Tommy Stevenson

UT Matt Miller

3rd team All-MIAA

DH Ryan Doran

Honorable Mention All-MIAA

SP Cole Woods

2B Treghan Parker

SS Nate Mieszkowski

3B Henry Kusiak

OF Jordan Fitzpatrick

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Seven Lions, Six Gorillas earn All-MIAA softball honors

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The MIAA released its All-Conference softball awards on Wednesday afternoon. Seven Missouri Southern players and six Pittsburg State players made the list.

1st team All-MIAA

1B Paxtyn Hayes (Pitt State)

2B Taylor Lambert (Pitt State)

OF Yazmin Vargas (MSSU)

UT Leighton Withers (MSSU)

2nd team All-MIAA

C Madison Szymanski (Pitt State)

SS Josie Tofpi (MSSU)

OF Kianna Pellegrino (Pitt State)

UT/P Kara Amos (MSSU) All-MIAA Gold Glove team

Honorable Mention

P Bailey Lacy (MSSU)

C Ashlynn Williams (MSSU)

OF Adrianna Young (MSSU)

SS Gabby Schultz (Pitt State)

OF Keelah Griffith (Pitt State)

FULL RELEASE FROM THE MIAA

The MIAA announced its Softball Postseason Awards and All-MIAA Teams for the 2022 season.

Headlining the 2022 group is Washburn’s Jaycee Ginter, the MIAA Player of the Year, and Rogers State’s Andrea Morales, named the MIAA Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season. Central Oklahoma’s Brighton Gilbert was voted the MIAA Defensive Player of the Year. Rogers State’s Abbey Rogers was selected as the MIAA Freshman of the Year. Washburn’s Head Coach Brenda Holaday was named the MIAA Coach of the Year by her peers.

Jaycee Ginter helped lead the Ichabods to the 2022 MIAA Regular Season Title and the No. 1 seed in the 2022 Championship Tournament with a league record of 24-2 and 42-11 overall. Ginter, a sophomore form Berryton, Kan., lead Washburn in the circle with a 1.61 ERA in a league-high 195.1 innings pitched. Her ERA ranks second in the MIAA while her 28 wins on the season leads the group. Ginter also posted the second-most strikes in the league with 256 total – 77 looking. Not only is Ginter one of the Association’s best pitchers but she also dominated at the plate. She ranked in the MIAA’s top-10 in seven offensive categories: batting average (.386), slugging percentage (.683), on-base percentage (.461), OPS (1.144), RBI (53), doubles (13) and triples (3). Her 53 runs batted in led the Ichabods and ranked second in the league. Ginter also earned First Team All-MIAA at utility/pitcher for the second consecutive season.

Andrea Morales earned back-to-back honors as the Association’s Pitcher of the Year. Morales, a senior from El Paso, Texas, led the Hillcats to their second consecutive MIAA tournament after finished 20-6 in the league and 43-9 overall. In 179.2 inning, Morales dominated the competition with a league-best 1.01 ERA, a .144 opposing batting average and 265 strikeouts – 79 looking. She also earned unanimous First Team All-MIAA pitcher honors for the second consecutive season.

Central Oklahoma’s Brighton Gilbert helped lead a league-best .983 fielding percentage. The senior shortstop from Chickasha, Okla. was responsible for 120 assists and 59 putouts while owning an impressive .978 fielding percentage. Offensively, she totaled 54 hits and 44 UCO runs scored with a .321 batting average. Gilbert was also a First Team All-MIAA shortstop selection.

Rogers State’s Abbey Rogers played a key role to the Hillcats offense and defense. The first year from Midwest City, Okla. was RSU’s starting catcher. Offensively, Rogers posted a .336 batting average in 113 at bats and drove in a team-high 45 runs to rank sixth in the MIAA in the discipline. Behind the plate, she was involved in 202 putouts and five assists with a flawless 1.000 fielding percentage. Rogers also earned First Team All-MIAA catcher honors for her performance this season.

In her sixth season leading the Ichabods, Head Coach Brenda Holaday led her team to the 2022 MIAA Regular Season Championship and the No. 1 seed in the tournament. It was Washburn’s second MIAA regular season title under her realm. Overall, the Ichabods posted a league-best 485 hits, ranked second with 339 total runs score and third with a .334 team batting average and .977 team fielding percentage. This is Coach Holaday’s second MIAA Coach of the Year honor.

Below is a complete list of the 2022 MIAA Softball Postseason Awards, All-MIAA teams and Gold Glove selections.

The 2022 MIAA Softball Championship begins Thursday, May 5 with four first round matchups at Central Oklahoma’s Gerry Pinkston Stadium in Edmond, Okla. For more information about the 2022 Tournament, visit the championship central page, found here.

2022 MIAA Softball Awards
Player of the Year: Jaycee Ginter, Utility/Pitcher – Washburn
Defensive Player of the Year: Brighton Gilbert, Shortstop – Central Oklahoma
Pitcher of the Year: Andrea Morales – Rogers State*
Freshman of the Year: Abbey Rogers, Catcher – Rogers State
Coach of the Year: Brenda Holaday – Washburn*

2022 All-MIAA Softball Teams
First-Team
Pitcher: Kylee Lynch – Central Oklahoma
Pitcher: Andrea Morales – Rogers State*
Catcher: Amelya Huggins – Central Oklahoma
First Base: Paxtyn Hayes – Pittsburg State
Second Base: Taylor Lambert – Pittsburg State
Shortstop: Brighton Gilbert – Central Oklahoma
Third Base: Marrit Mead – Washburn
Outfield: Jacee Minter – Central Oklahoma
Outfield: Yazmin Vargas – Missouri Southern
Outfield: Carlee Liesch – Nebraska Kearney
Designated Player: Ashton Friend – Washburn
Utility/Pitcher: Jaycee Ginter – Washburn*
Utility/Non-Pitcher: Leighton Withers – Missouri Southern

Second-Team
Pitcher: Sydney Rader – Missouri Western
Pitcher: M’Kayla Hillman – Rogers State
Catcher: Madison Szymanski – Pittsburg State
Catcher: Abbey Rogers – Rogers State
First Base: Elexis Watson – Rogers State
Second Base: Sydni Hawkins – Missouri Western
Shortstop: Josie Tofpi – Missouri Southern
Third Base: Shayla Harper – Central Oklahoma
Outfield: Lexy Dobson – Central Oklahoma
Outfield: Brittanie Shepherd – Emporia State
Outfield: Kianna Pellegrino – Pittsburg State
Outfield: Paige Robbins – Washburn
Designated Player: Maddy Broxterman – Emporia State
Designated Player: Bridgett Morales – Rogers State
Utility/Pitcher: Kara Amos – Missouri Southern
Utility/Non-Pitcher: Shayleigh Odom – Central Oklahoma

Gold Glove Team
Pitcher: Kara Amos – Missouri Southern
Catcher: Amelya Huggins – Central Oklahoma
First Base: Elexis Watson – Rogers State
Second Base: Tarin Dubler – Central Oklahoma
Shortstop: Brighton Gilbert – Central Oklahoma
Third Base: Marrit Mead – Washburn
Outfield: Peyton Corrigan – Central Missouri
Outfield: Jacee Minter – Central Oklahoma
Outfield: Lexy Dobson – Central Oklahoma

Honorable Mentions
Central Missouri: Kyleigh Lay – Pitcher, Makenzie McAtee – First Base; Aubrie McRoberts – Outfield; Peyton Corrigan – Outfield

Central Oklahoma: Mikayla Rutland – First Base, Tarin Dubler – Second Base; Korbyn Skipworth – Outfield

Emporia State: Sydney Righi – Pitcher, Lexi Williams – Outfield; Alexis Dial – Outfield; Josie Harrison – Utility/Pitcher

Fort Hays State: Sarah Tiffany – Outfield

Missouri Southern: Bailey Lacy – Pitcher, Ashlynn Williams – Catcher; Adrianna Young – Outfield

Missouri Western: Emma Hoffart – Catcher

Nebraska Kearney: Bri Healy – Outfield, Sydney Thomason – Utility/Pitcher

Newman: Lindsay Mayo – First Base, Gianna Navarro – Second Base; Laurie Cooke – Shortstop; Anissa Ramos – Third Base

Northeastern State: Savannah Evans – Pitcher, Gail Young – Pitcher; Addy Wolfe – Third Base; Rhomie Bradshaw – Outfield; Sydney Balderrama – Outfield; Chloe Bohuslavicky – Designated Player; Jaeden Rosenquist – Utility/Non-Pitcher

Northwest Missouri: Skylar Pieper – First Base, Abby Nolte – Second Base; Jacee Winn – Outfield; Olivia Daugherty – Designated Player

Pittsburg State: Gabby Schultz – Shortstop, Keelah Griffith – Outfield

Rogers State: Lana Gass – Outfield, Makayla Bowman – Outfield

Washburn: Hadley Kerschen – Second Base, Autymn Schreiner – Shortstop

*Indicates unanimous selection
^Includes ties in voting