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Kaiden Weisbrod headlines Jackson softball’s five all-state honorees

Senior right fielder Kaiden Weisbrod was one of Jackson softball’s three Class 5 All-State First Team picks. She broke the program’s single-season stolen base, runs, singles and walks records this fall. Photo by Nick McNeal

Even though the Jackson softball team fell one win shy of reaching the Class 5 state final four, the 33-win Indians were more than honored by the Missouri High School Fastpitch Coaches Association for this season.

Jackson had not one but five players named to the Class 5 All-State teams as two of them were named first team all-state, while the remaining landed spots on the second team.

One of the Indians two seniors earned first team all-state, which was none other than senior right fielder and Southwest Baptist verbal commit Kaiden Weisbrod. The other Jackson player to earn first team all-state honors was junior shortstop Miley Conklin.

Earning Class 5 All-State Second Team were senior first baseman Kam Tucker and sophomores pitcher Ashlyn Dawes and left fielder Maddie Stelling.

Despite missing the last two years with a torn labrum and rotator cuff, Weisbrod still managed to become Missouri’s all-time leader in stolen bases with 85.

Kaiden also broke the Indians single-season runs (54), singles (42) and walks (29) records in her first full season of varsity action with Jackson. Along with her broken records, Weisbrod finished with a .444 batting average and also had 48 hits and three triples.

“To be named first team all-state the only year I have been able to play a full varsity season is unimaginable,” Weisbrod said. “Despite injuries and adversity, it is reassuring to have my talents validated. I contribute having a record-breaking season to God and the tribe of people who helped me along the way.

“I have received so much support from my family, coaches, teammates, trainers and my school community through all the highs and lows. They were there for me through countless games, practices, lessons, injuries and recoveries.”

Along with having 33 wins, Jackson won its first district championship in 24 years with a 10-4 win over Lindbergh for the Class 5 District 1 title. The Indians also secured yet another SEMO Conference Championship.

“Our team broke several school and state records. This team is so full of talented players from different teams in the region,” Weisbrod said. “It is a credit to our community to have so many all-state players in the Southeast Missouri region.”

Weisbrod is one of the four Jackson seniors, along with fellow all-state pick Tucker, that will play college softball. While Kaiden has yet to sign with Southwest Baptist, Tucker (Mineral Area College), outfielder Ella Mangels (MAC) and second baseman Zoe Flath (Missouri Baptist) have already inked with their respective schools after a historic final season together.

“The thing I will remember the most about this year is the relationships I have gained throughout the season,” Weisbrod said. “I wouldn’t consider Lady Indians softball as a team, instead I would consider us to be family.”

Jackson’s other first team all-state honoree Conklin finished her junior campaign with a team-high .500 batting average. Miley also led Jackson in two other categories, which were hits (55) doubles (16) and triples (three). She recorded three home runs, 44 runs scored and 35 runs batted in.

As for Tucker, she had the third-best batting average for the Indians at .446 and tied for the third-most home runs with Conklin at three. Kam also finished with 50 hits, 46 RBIs and 24 runs.

Moving to the Jackson’s all-state underclassmen, Dawes had an outstanding year as the Indians ace pitcher, recording an overall record of 12-4 on the rubber. She struck out a total of 124 batters and finished with an earned run average of 1.63 while pitching 133 innings.

“It’s exciting, especially since I have two more years to keep improving,” Dawes said. “It’s exciting to get recognized for all my hard work over the past few years. And I know my teammates who also got all-state feel the same way. I have worked hard with my pitching coach Matt Schober with my mechanics, my spin and also my approach.”

Through this season, Dawes finished with five or more strikeouts in 17 games and produced a season-high 10 on two separate occasions. She also recorded six shutouts and allowed zero earned runs eight times, including in a 3-1 loss to eventual Class 5 State Champions Francis Howell in the quarterfinals.

Ashlyn also produced plenty at the plate as a sophomore, batting a .407 average with 46 hits, 14 doubles, two home runs, 41 RBIs and 26 runs scored.

“I am wanting to gain some more movement and spin on the ball, and it always helps to gain velocity,” Dawes said. “Hitting wise, I am going to get in lots of reps in the cage, so I can get on base as much as possible for my team next season.”

For Stelling to become a first-time all-state selection, she produced a .412 batting average. Maddie also finished with 42 hits, four home runs, 31 RBIs, 37 runs scores and paced Weisbrod in stolen bases with 21.

Nick McNeal covers high school sports, college sports and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Cape Girardeau County for the past five years. He can be reached at cbjsports@socket. net.

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