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2014 Softball Banquet was a success

Last night the Plano East softball program gathered at Reflections for the annual banquet and awards ceremony.

The coaches and players had a good send off for the four seniors, Nickie Champion, Destiny Garza, Kate Newman, and Haley Wisdom.

The awards were giving out and you miggt have seen the results and pictures live on Twitter. Photos will be posted in the photo section.


Newcomer of the Year - Grace Canny

1st team All District - Destiny Garza

2nd team All District - Ashley Maeder, Kate Newman, Mackenzie Stark, Haley Wisdom

Honorable Mention - Jena Konieczka, Madi Stark

All Academic team - Maddie Erickson, Ashley Interannte, Olivia Rosen, Kate Newman, Jena Konieczka, Nickie Champion


2014 MVP:
Varsity - Destiny Garza & Grace Canny
JV - Sharlane Thomas

2014 Big Stick - Ashley Maeder

2014 Golden Glove - Mackenzie Stark

2014 Heart award - Olivia Rosen & Ashley Interrante



Building blocks: East softball reaches area round of the playoffs with first-year pitcher, young roster

Plano Star Courier article by Ethan Grant
For the second straight season, Plano East’s softball season ended at the hands of Rockwall Friday night at Wylie East.

The Lady Yellowjackets (District 12-5A co-champions) had a pair of four-run innings at the plate and limited the Lady Panthers (10-5A No. 3 seed) to just seven hits in a 13-4 triumph.

“…I had a great scouting report on [Rockwall], but when they’re good hitters, they’re good hitters,” said Karen Kalhoefer, East head coach. “We tried to keep them off balance a little bit, but they’re very good at taking the pitch and doing what you’re supposed to with it.”

East’s season ends at 16-14, with a 5-5 record in 10-5A action and an appearance in the area round of the postseason.

It was the last hurrah for four seniors: Infielders Kate Newman and Destiny Garza and outfielders Nickie Champion and Haley Wisdom. The quartet had been on the varsity roster together since they were sophomores.

Garza ended her high school career with a bang against Rockwall, blasting a three-run home run to trim the Lady Panthers’ deficit in the third inning. Wisdom was on base twice, while Newman and Champion were steady defensive presences at first base and right field, respectively, all year long.

“Destiny had a great game hitting the ball, and that’s the way you want to go out,” Kalhoefer said. “She’s a gamer. They all four brought different aspects to the game, and I thanked them for working hard, their dedication; they’re going to be missed.”

Elsewhere, East will bring back a number of underclassmen contributors to next year’s roster.

Starting in the infield, shortstop MacKenzie Stark (junior), pitcher Grace Canny and catcher Ashley Maeder (both sophomores) will help stabilize any transition Kalhoefer will have to make on the corners due to the departure of Garza and Newman.

Sophomores Jena Konieczka, Maddie Erickson and Olivia Rosen are both options in the infield, while juniors Madi Stark, Ashley Interrante and freshman Malea Dickerson have all seen time in the outfield.

In short, Kalhoefer and the Lady Panthers won’t be coming back empty-handed.

With East joining District 6-6A next season, softball is among the many sports that will be hotly contested when district action begins. Kalhoefer will look for her battery of Canny and Maeder to take a leap with a full summer of club ball and practice as aids.

Canny, specifically, will enter the offseason as the Lady Panthers’ No. 1 pitcher for the first time, heightening her responsibility to return ready to face the likes of Flower Mound, Lewisville, and current 10-5A teams.

“[Grace] is a little disappointed (with the loss to Rockwall),” Kalhoefer said. “She’s upset, season’s over. From where she came last year to this year, she was on JV, pitching half the season, and just taking it on her shoulders and saying, ‘I’m going to be pitcher,’ she’s done great.

“I’ve got on to her a lot but the reason I did that is because I know the potential that she has. And that’s what I said to her, ‘I wouldn’t ride you if I didn’t think you could do it.’ I have the utmost confidence in her.”

Regardless of which players emerge as starters on next year’s squad, Kalhoefer expects the lot to return with a fearless attitude built on the shoulders of this season’s struggles, which include two players getting hit in the face in the infield and having only nine bodies for a game.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I guess, because we were battled and bruised and beat up,” she said. “Resiliency was pretty much our logo.”

The Lady Panthers carried that logo to the area round of the playoffs this season.

They’ll look to carry it further in 2015.

For continued coverage of the local sports scene, follow @DowntownEG on Twitter.


Softball Banquet Date change

Word is that the softball banquet has been changed to May 28


East falls 13-4 to Rockwall despite Senior Destiny Garza's effort

Senior Destiny Garza did her best to will East to a win with a three-hit game, but East dropped a 13-4 contest to Rockwall on Friday at Wyile East HS.

Three of East's runs were scored thanks to timely hitting by Destiny. She homered in the third inning and singled in the fifth and seventh innings.

Sophomore Grace Canny took the loss for East. She allowed 13 runs in seven innings, walked four and struck out three.

The game's last lead went to Rockwall thanks to a second inning rally that saw four runs cross the plate on an RBI double and two singles.

Three runs in the bottom of the third helped East close its deficit to 6-3. A three-run home run by Destiny sparked East's rally.

Rockwall tacked on another four runs in the sixth starting with a double,

One run in the bottom of the seventh helped East close its deficit to 13-4.

"Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved." 


Round and round we go: Area playoff preview for Plano ISD softball

Article in Plano Star Courier: by Ethan Grant

District 9-5A looked like a junior varsity softball collection compared to 10-5A in the bi-district round of the playoffs.

McKinney Boyd, Plano West, Plano East and Plano Senior dismantled their first-round opponents from 9-5A to the tune of a 48-6 combined run total. Three of the four games were over after a run rule went into effect.

On to the next one doesn’t even seem to be an apt description of the collective beat down .

But 10-5A won’t have much time to celebrate its four triumphs – the area round of the playoffs is set to commence this week, with Plano ISD once again afforded a chance to move all three of its varsity squads into the next round.

Plano East vs. Rockwall

(One-game playoff at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Wylie East)

Who’s Hot: Sophomore pitcher Grace Canny bounced back from the five stitches she needed under her chin after being struck in the face against Plano in style.

Canny yielded just six hits to Lake Highlands, which wound up being key after the Lady Wildcats stayed within striking distance through most of the game despite a 6-1 final. The Lady Panthers are dangerous when Canny is dealing.

Behind Enemy Lines: It won’t be hard for East to find motivation for this one – Rockwall eliminated head coach Karen Kalhoefer’s group in the same round last season.

The Lady Jackets won a coin flip with Mesquite Horn to earn 12-5A’s top seed after boasting seven victories of double digits and splitting the regular-season title with the Lady Jaguars. Rockwall has seven hitters batting above .400 and four with at least 30 RBIs.

X-Factor: It’s certainly cliché, but Canny looks like the most likely candidate to give East a leg-up. She showed no ill effects in her first start since the stitches, but will have a much fiercer test in the form of Rockwall.