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The Kansan - Newton, KS
  • Hesston senior signs with SEMS 

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  • HESSTON — The Hesston High School softball team will send one of its own off to the NCAA Division I ranks after senior Aubrey Denno signed a letter of intent Friday to play for Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Mo. “It’s a very beautiful campus,” Denno said. “It is a very high quality campus. Just the people I met there, even after just being there one day, were awesome. The coaches are just amazing. They believe in me and know I have a passion for softball.” “Aubrey adds the depth needed for our pitching staff to compete against the hitters in the OVC,” SEMS coach Lana Richmond said. “She locates her pitches well and does a good job of keeping hitters guessing. Aubrey has a great work ethic and her enthusiasm is contagious. She is a good leader.” Denno is a pitcher for the Swathers. She was 12-5 last season with a 2.94 earned-run-average, 137 strikeouts and 36 walks in 100 innings. She held opponents to a .206 batting average. She threw a no-hitter against Haven last season. She also had three one-hitters. She hit .455 with four runs scored and 18 RBIs. Denno is a two-time All-Central Kansas League selection. “One of my best memories was my first year here, my sophomore year, when I had a one-hitter against Smoky Valley and had 15 strikeouts,” Denno said. She said her biggest goal for this season is to go farther in regionals. She plays club softball for the Kansas Blue Sox. She led that team to the USSSA World Series in Kansas City, Mo. “She’ll do pretty well,” Blue Sox coach Megan Davison said. “She’s worked her tail off to get to this point. She’s going to have to fine-tune her skills pitching-wise. She’s an unbelieveable leader. Everybody is trying to get to where she is. They see what it takes to get there through her. On the field, she’s the leader of the team as a pitcher.” She chose SEMS over Missouri-Kansas City, Eastern New Mexico and Tabor. Southeast was 23-30 last season, 13-16 in the Ohio Valley Conference. Denno was one of five players named to the RedHawks recruiting class. “I’ll pitch for the most part,” Denno said. “I may have a chance to hit, if I work hard and produce. Hopefully I’ll get to start. ... I’m pretty well prepared for it training-wise. I’m going to have to get ready for better hitters.” “We are eager to see what these players bring to our program,” Richmond said. “This class is well-balanced, bringing a good mix of speed and power, while adding depth to the circle. Without question, each of these five individuals love being on the softball field and they are ready to contribute.”  

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