Softball Preseason Top Player Rankings: Abby Krzywiecki tops the list
Farmington Hills – Most often an athlete’s life changes dramatically when they go to college and are introduced not only to a different lifestyle but also an enhanced training schedule.
As committed to softball as Abby Krzywiecki was before she signed with South Alabama, her dedication to the sport has taken a step up since.
After dabbling in sports like golf, soccer, swimming and volleyball in grade school and junior high, Krzywiecki focused on softball when she entered her freshman year at Farmington Hills Mercy.
“I had way more fun with softball,” she said.
Krzywiecki made an immediate impact as a freshman as she hit nine home runs and batted .419. After the season she played travel softball and when she wasn’t playing she was practicing. As the oldest of four children, Krzywiecki embraced the leadership role, so often equated with the oldest. Goal-oriented and highly competitive, Krzywiecki thrives on hard work, on the field and in the classroom.
She sets the example for her teammates as well as for her siblings.
And she’s also set high standards for those throughout the state to match. Krzywiecki has been named State Champs’ No. 1 player in the preseason.
Krzywiecki was also recently named as one of the six finalists for the Detroit Athletic Club female athlete of the year award. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremonies on May 9 at the DAC. State Champs host Lorne Plant will be the master of ceremonies. State Champs will air a half-hour show of the event on FoxSports on May 14 at 12:30 p.m.
Even when Krzywiecki isn’t playing games she’s not getting cheated on her swings.
“I have a batting cage in my basement,” she said. “(I go through) at least a bucket a day. And I work out every day.”
Each season Krzywiecki has steadily improved. He sophomore season she hit .530 with seven home runs. Last season Krzywiecki batted .547 with 12 home runs. Though first base is her normal position, Krzywiecki has also shown to be a reliable pitcher. Entering her senior year she’s 39-4 with a 2.06 ERA.
After signing with South Alabama last fall Krzywiecki received a workout schedule from the school, one that included changing her diet.
“I eat a lot of raw vegetables and no processed foods,” Krzywiecki said. “I’ve taken more short runs and will take longer runs in better weather. And I’m lifting more.”
Within the first six weeks Krzywiecki said she lost 10 pounds.
“I feel quicker,” she said. “I’m faster, too. I feel my body. I feel clean.”
Krzywiecki gives a nod to her sister, Claire, a sophomore at Mercy, with aiding her in her quest to become a stronger and healthier person.
“She’s the cook,” Krzywiecki said. “We’re close. It helps when you have someone with you to eat these meals. She’s more disciplined than I.”
It seems Krzywiecki isn’t the only one in her family with leadership qualities.
2. Meghan Beaubien, Jr., P/1B, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central: A lefty, Beaubien is an honors student who committed to Michigan as a freshman. Coach John Morningstar said what he likes about Beaubien is her strength emotionally, mentally and physically. “She understands her responsibilities,” he said. “She recovers well when she throws a bad pitch.”
3. Hannah Carson, So., C/3B, Mount Pleasant: As the leadoff hitter last season Carson batted .565 with 14 doubles, 17 triples and five home runs in 138 at-bats. Carson’s main position is catcher but she plays third base on her travel team. Carson committed to Michigan.
4. Nikki Bauer, Sr. P/1B, Unionville-Sebewaing Area: A four-year starter, Bauer led USA to the Division 4 title last season. Her fastball tops out at 65 mph and she also throws a drop, change-up and a riser. In the 5-0 victory over Kalamazoo Christian in the state final Bauer allowed one hit, no walks and struck out 11. She has good power at the plate and batted .360 last season. Bauer signed with Stanford.
5. Sammie Gehrls, So., P/OF, Caledonia: Gehrls burst on the scene last season as she led Caledonia to the Division 1 final and 34-5 record. Gehrls, the ace of the staff with a 21-2 record, batted .540 with 15 home runs. “She’s a great kid to coach,” coach Tom Kaechele said. “She’s always positive.” Gehrls also plays basketball.
6. Madyson Cole, Jr., IF/OF, Portage Central: Cole started in the outfield last season and coach Tom Hamilton said he’ll move her to shortstop. Cole batted .400 as a freshman before an ankle injury slowed her progress last season when her average slipped to .320. Cole committed to Rutgers.
7. Morgan Overaitis, So., IF/P, Salem: Morgan had 64 base hits in 123 at-bats for a .520 averaged. She scored 53 runs, had 14 doubles, seven home runs and 52 RBI. Morgan was 9-4 on the mound. “Morgan can win the game for you,” coach Bonnie Southerland said. “She has the ability to get the run in with base hits or out of the park. Morgan has both power and finesse.” Overatis committed to Michigan.
8. Kaylen Glenfield, Sr., SS, Garden City: A four-year starter, Glenfield helped the Cougars reach the Division 1 semifinals as a freshman. During the 2015 regular season she batted .578 with 55 runs, 14 doubles, 14 triples, seven home runs, 56 RBI and 12 stolen bases. Glenfield had a slugging percentage of 1.156. She signed with Western Michigan.
9. Haley Hoogenraad, Sr., OF/IF/P, Zeeland West: Hoogenraad started in the outfield last season but will switch to shortstop this season. A gap hitter, Hoogenraad will hit first, second or third in the lineup. She has a .560 career batting average with 44 doubles and 22 triples. Hoogenraad signed with Michigan.
10. Morgan Gardner, Sr., SS/2B, Romeo: Gardner will start at shortstop and hit third in the lineup. Last season she batted .480. Coach John Olley said Gardner puts the ball in play and plays like the school nickname – a bulldog. Gardner signed with Central Michigan.
11. Jenny Bressler, So., P/1B/2B, Plymouth: Bressler shared time on the mound last season. She’s the ace this season and will bat in the top of the order. Bressler committed to Texas-Arlington.
12. Renee Hoffman, So., P/1B/OF, Clinton: Hoffman is coming off of a fine freshman season. Hoffman was 15-4 with a 1.06 ERA. She struck out 139 batters and held her opponents to a .155 batting average. Hoffman committed to Michigan.
13. Maya Kipfmiller, Jr., P/1B, Midland: Kipfmiller is expected to be the starting pitch in all of Midland’s league games and she’ll play first base. She committed to Boston University
14. Kendahl Dunford, Jr., P, Macomb Dakota: Dunford is a power pitcher who bats fourth in the lineup. She was named Macomb Area Conference MVP as a sophomore. STATS… Dunford committed to Florida International.
15. Alexis Taube, Jr., SS, Mattawan: A tall (5-10) shortstop, Taube has great length and excellent range. She committed to Kent State.
16. Shaidan Knapp, Jr., SS, Vicksburg: The leadoff hitter, Knapp batted .546 last season with 18 stolen bases. She committed to Central Michigan.
17. Abby Skvarce, Sr., C, Clarkston: Skvarce bats cleanup and hit .450 last season. She has a quick release and is adept at picking off base runners. She signed with Michigan.
18. Sydney Jascoe, Sr., IF, Birmingham Marian: Jascoe has a strong arm and is versatile enough to play four or five positions. She signed with Akron.
19. Sammi Howell, Jr., P, Allen Park: A three-year varsity player, Howell was 12-2 last season but will be called on to be the starting pitcher in 80 percent of the games this season. She committed to Central Michigan.
20. Olivia Shinrock, Jr., 1B/OF, Saint Joseph: Shinrock was named to the Division 2 first team all-state last season. A tremendous power hitter, Shinrock led the Bears to a Division 2 regional title.
Other top seniors
Abby Niehaus, Grass Lake; Kate Buckland, Okemos; Summer Callahan, New Boston Huron; Alexa Cherney, North Farmington; Ariana Chretien, Walled Lake Northern; Genny Soltesz, Mattawan; Taylor Vanzytveld, Caledonia; Hannah McQueen, Portage Central; Rachel Zerona, Plymouth.
Other top juniors
Lauren Addy, Swan Valley; Joanna Bartz, Mattawan; Carlee Selle, Reese; Veronica Pezzoni, Howell; Madison French, Waterford Kettering; Lauren Holdsworth, Livonia Ladywood; Riley Hecklinski, Saline; Madison Jones, Romeo; Aliena Magiera, Auburn Hlls Oakland Christian; Danielle Nowak, Tecumseh; Emma St. John., Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett; Maddy Scarsella, Clarkston; Grace Stock, Vicksburg.