SOFTBALL: Meet the freshmen

Bianca Lopez

Riverside, California

Bats: Left


Lopez was named the MVP of the Note Vista High School softball team after hitting .403 with 11 RBI as a junior.

“She has good speed, she can hit, she can slap, she can bunt, so she will bring a lot of options,” head coach Stacy Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.

Dalyn Varela

Wildomar, California

Bats: Right

First and third base

Varela led her team and league with a .525 batting average including six home runs and 29 RBI’s as a senior at Elsinore High School.

“She is more of that power player,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.

Heidi Kidwell

Solon, Iowa

Bats: Left


Kidwell joins her older sister Kelsey on the team after being named to the elite all-state team in high school. She hit .612 and stole 31 bases.

“Just out of nowhere she will come and she will make a catch and she competes so well every day,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.

Lauren Kennewell

Flower Mound, Texas

Bats: Right


Kennewell got 100 strikeouts as a senior in high school to go along with her 1.51 ERA. She is currently out with a broken arm, however, and her status is unknown.

Emily Gilbert

Prairie City, Iowa

Bats: Right


Gilbert was named second team all-state as a senior in high school after hitting .481 and picking up 28 RBI.

“More of a power player. She has a great arm,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.

Anna Bortz

Chariton, Iowa

Bats: Right


Bortz was a four year letter winner and three year all-conference selection in high school. As a senior she was honorable mention for all-state.

“Works really really hard. She will probably be a pinch runner but she will see a lot of playing because we plan on getting a lot of people on base,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.

Katie Harms

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Bats: Right

Pitcher and first base

Harms was a three-year letter winner at Linn-Mar High School and was an all-state selection each of those years. In her career she had 149 RBI as a batter and 613 strikeouts as a pitcher.

“You will see her hitting a lot I would foresee,” Gemeinhardt-Cesler said.

Stacey Carabello

Leawood, Kansas

Bats: Right


Carabello earned four letters and hit .380 while helping Blue Valley to a state tournament birth in her senior year.