Bigger Competition: Defending regional champion Jets have moved up to 2A

Hannah Taylor slides into home during Hauser’s regional victory over Indianapolis Lutheran Tuesday May 31, 2022, at Hauser. Greg Jones| For The Republic

The Republic file photo

Hauser had a big softball season last year, going 24-5-1 and reaching the semistate final. But after that final four appearance in Class A, the Jets have moved up to 2A this season.

Previews for Columbus North and Columbus East will appear on Tuesday and Wednesday. Here today is a look at Hauser and the other area softball teams:


The Jets ran the table in the Mid-Hoosier Conference, going 10-0 and will be heavy favorites to repeat with eight starters coming back.

“It’s a fantastic group to have back,” Hauser coach Andy Brunner said. “We’re lucky to have them back.”

Junior Paige McDaniel went 16-4 with a 2.39 ERA last season, but she is the only Jet back with much pitching experience. Senior Hannah Taylor and freshmen Lexie Hamilton and Reagan Mack could help McDaniel out this season.

“They’re trying to fill in and take some of the load off of (McDaniel),” Brunner said. “They haven’t done much pitching, but they’re truly team players for stepping up to help us.”

Taylor, an Eastern Illinois recruit who normally plays shortstop, batted .473 with seven home runs and 35 RBIs. She leads an explosive offense that includes sophomore second baseman Izzy Brunner (.474, 32 RBIs), senior third baseman Kyra Meister (.444, 21 RBIs), sophomore center fielder Lucie Asher (.566, two HR, 23 RBIs), senior catcher/left fielder Reagan Johnson (.545, 24 RBIs), sophomore catcher/left fielder Haylin Campbell (.423, 13 RBIs) and sophomore Maley Jordan (.418, 24 RBIs), who could move to from first base to right field.

Senior Kylie Mack, who was a starter as a sophomore, could step in at first base. Sophomore Madison Hollman saw action in the outfield last season.

Hamilton and Reagan Mack will be utility players, as will sophomore Bailey Riley, a move-in from Texas. Providing depth are freshman Allie Zapfie and Carlotta Ferarri, an exchange student from Italy.

Andy Brunner got a close look at his team during Thursday’s scrimmage against Scottsburg. He hopes that will hope prepare the team for a tougher schedule as it makes the jump from Class A to 2A.

“We’ve generally played higher classes,” Andy Brunner said. “We’ve revamped our schedule this year and picked up what we feel like is a very tough road, but it’s what these girls need to continue growing. As far as the postseason goes, I believe we’ll have as good a shot as we earn.”

Columbus Christian

The Crusaders will look to break into the win column after going 0-8 last season.

Four players return, inclduing sophomore Paige Benjamin-Harden, who did most of the pitching.

“We have a lot of new girls coming in this season,” Columbus Christian coach Savannah Spurgeon said. “I’m hoping to develop a few more pitchers so Paige doesn’t get as tired.”

Sophomore catcher Emma Sewell and sophomore outfielder Natalie Sanders also are back. Freshman Mara Nickerson played multiple positions.

Jennings County

The Panthers slipped to 9-19 last season, but return eight players who either were starters or who would have been starters, but were injured.

“We’re pretty young, still,” Jennings coach Bobby Willis said. “But we have eight freshmen, and it’s a really good class. They’re athletic. They’re learning very quickly.”

Junior Kenzie Matern did most of the pitching last season, but will get help this year from freshman Jilliann Brauer, along with sophomore Kassidy Beal and junior Brooke Moore. Junior Alexis Carson returns at catcher.

Sophomore Claire Hack, who tore her ACL in the seventh game last season, and at Brauer will be at first. Abby McDonald, who also will be the backup catcher, and freshman Riley Byford will play second, Matern and Byford will play short and Brauer and Hack will be at third.

Seniors Ashley Meade and Taylor Mowery return in the outfield. Junior Elizabeth Evans also is back and is battling for the other outfield spot with freshman Emma Clapp.

Freshman Marlee Elston could catch or play in infield, and freshman Allie Zamora could play in the infield or outfield.

Willis got a look at his team in Thursday’s scrimmage against Madison.

“We did some things well,” Willis said. “But There’s glaring things that we have to work on and be ready for the first game.”


After playing last season with only nine girls, the Lancers will have 15, including nine freshmen, to begin this year.

“The numbers are good,” Edinburgh coach Ben Taylor said. “We didn’t have a lot of losses, and we’ve brought along a ton of freshmen. Only having nine last year, it’s nice to have some numbers on the squad.”

Five starters return from a team that went 11-12, led by senior third baseman Gracie Crawhorn, who batted .655 with 15 homers and 33 RBIs and junior pitcher MacKenzie Bieker, who batted .571 with eight homers and 30 RBIs and went 10-5 with a 2.39 ERA. But the Lancers will miss junior catcher Kyah Streeval (.515, six HR and 23 RBIs), who tore an ACL at the beginning of basketball season.

Junior Alix Streeval can play second or short pitch. The other returner is sophomore outfielder Jasmine Hester.

Freshman Gracie Barrett steps in at catcher. Freshman Kenna Streeval will play second or short and can pitch. Freshmen Eloise Cox and Lillie Goff could see action at first, and sophomore Lexi Riley and freshman Jada Sanders will join Hester in the outfield.

“I think another year under our belt of some of the girls who have played, and with the freshman class, we gave up a lot of runs last year, but we’ll be able to resolve some of that this year,” Taylor said.

Brown County

The Eagles have a new coach in Jonathan Sanders, who was an assistant last season. He takes over a team that went 2-15 last year.

Senior Abigail Watson and sophomore Ava Sanders did most of the pitching last year, and freshman Chloe Poling also will see action in the circle. Senior catcher Savannah Oden was the team’s top hitter.

“Her numbers are great,” Jonathan Sanders said. “If we can get people on in front of her, we can use her big bat.”

Watson and Sanders will play first base when they aren’t pitching. Lindsey Summers will be at second, and uniors Lexie Austin and Ally Hash return at short and third.

Freshmen Aubrey Denton and Ava Stogsdill take over in left and center. Poling could play right or second when not pitching.

“We have some talent coming in this year that’s going to help us out a lot,” Jonathan Sanders said. “We didn’t really lose anyone, so we have some experience. We’re looking OK this year.”

South Decatur

The Cougars likely are in for a rebuilding year after losing several key players and all of their pitching from a 5-16 team.

“I’m looking at this as a rebuilding year because I lost a lot,” South Decatur coach Lisa Huff said. “But these girls are working hard. That’s all I can ask, and I have some kids stepping up. They have great attitudes. We’re not going to light up any scoreboards, but the attitude is there.”

Sophomore Daisy Martin, who played second last season, will be the primary pitcher. Senior Kassidy Haley returns in center field, and seniors Sami Storm and Kaitlyn Mikulec also are back in the outfield.

Junior Molly Eden moves from first to left field, junior Brooklyn Powers moves from designated player to first and sophomore Kyra Fields moves from third to short. Sophomore Piper Phelps steps in at second, and sophomore Lydia Witkemper takes over behind the plate.

Junior Paige Paton and freshman Abby Field could see action in the outfield, and sophomore Arey Brown could play first. Freshman Madlyn Shireman could play third or pitch, and freshman Samantha Cole will be a utility player.

Trinity Lutheran

The Cougars are coming off their first regional championship in school history. They finished 14-9 after falling to Hauser 4-1 in the semistate semifinals.

Sophomore pitcher Grace Lance was Trinity’s primary pitcher last season until then-senior Kamzi Gross returned from an injury. Junior catcher Olivia Cain, junior first baseman Dianna Munoz, senior shortstop Bailey Tabeling (.518) and sophomore third baseman Madison Keith (.400, two HR, 15 RBIs) also return.

Freshman Rowan Sharp will steps in at second. Senior Amanda Finke, who played right field last year, or senior Jasmine McCormick will be in left. Junior Morgan Brewer or freshman Maddy Adams will be in center, and freshman Marci Leinhart takes over in right.

“I think we’re going to be pretty solid in our infield,” Trinity coach Bob Tabeling said. ‘“Our outfield, we’re still adjusting and trying some different players. I think we’ll be very competitive. It just depends on how healthy we can stay. Our numbers aren’t where we want them to be. It’s always a concern when you have only one pitcher.”

The 2023 Hauser and Colubmus Christian softball schedules: 


March 27;at Jennings County;5:30 p.m.

March 28;Brownstown Central;5:30 p.m.

April 3;Rising Sun;6 p.m.

April 6;Seymour;5:30 p.m.

April 7;at Edinburgh;5 p.m.

April 10;Columbus East;5:30 p.m.

April 13;North Decatur;5:30 p.m.

April 14;at North Decatur;5:30 p.m.

April 17;at Eastern Hancock;5:30 p.m.

April 20;Waldron;5 p.m.

April 21;at Waldron;5 p.m.

April 22;Indianapolis Lutheran/Edinburgh;10 a.m.

April 24;Rushville;5:30 p.m.

April 26;Southwestern (Shelby);5 p.m.

April 27;at Southwestern (Shelby);5 p.m.

May 2;at Greensburg;5:30 p.m.

May 4;at Milan;5 p.m.

May 9;at Trinity Lutheran;5 p.m.

May 11;at South Decatur;5 p.m.

May 12;South Decatur;5 p.m.

May 14;at Franklin County Tournament;9 a.m.

May 15;Morristown;5;30 p.m.

May 16;at Morristown;5:30 p.m.

May 17;East Central;6 p.m.

May 18;at Columbus North;5 p.m.

Columbus Christian 

March 31;at South Decatur;5:30 p.m.

April 4;at Tindley;5:30 p.m.

April 6;Rock Creek Academy;5:30 p.m.

April 10;at Cannelton;5:30 p.m.

April 13;Horizon Christian;5:30 p.m.

April 20;at Dugger Union;5:30 p.m.

April 24;at Crothersville;5:30 p.m.

May 2;at Indiana Deaf;5:30 p.m.

May 5;at South Decatur;5:30 p.m.

May 9;Horizon Christian;5:30 p.m.