Five CHS state softball runnerup members All-State
Luetticke, Boley, Helton, Dunn first team, Pithan second by coaches’ group
By PAUL STURM, C-T Sports Editor
Five members of the CHS records-book-shredding Chillicothe High School state-runnerup softball Lady Hornets have been selected to the Missouri High School Fastpitch Coaches Association’s 2021 Class 3 All-State team, according to CHS head coach Lee Rucker.
While a full listing of the Class 3 team has not yet been posted on the association’s website, Rucker shared with local media in the aftermath of the selection meeting that senior Sophia Luetticke and juniors Kinlei Boley, Kirsten Dunn and Hope Helton have been chosen to the first team and junior Bre Pithan to the second team.
The latest honors for CHS players come after they produced a 30-5 record which included the program’s second second-place finish in state play. In a tight, well-played battle, Jefferson City: Blair Oaks nipped Chillicothe 3-2 in the championship game Oct. 30.
Luetticke, the team’s standout center fielder and leadoff batter, reset multiple team batting records – most of which she’d already established during her junior year.
She finished with an astounding .632 batting average and .656 on-base average, ripping 72 hits in 114 official at-bats. She scored 66 runs, drove in 27, and successfully stole 26 bases in 28 attempts. Of her 72 hits, 21 went for extra bases – including three home runs – as she added significant thump to her high-contact approach of her prior seasons.
Boley, also among the team’s best hitters, was honored at her pitching post after winning a team-record 22 times in 26 decisions and posting a 0.66 earned-run average. In 138 innings, she struck out 221 opponents while walking only 19 and hitting merely three. She surrendered only 67 hits and 20 total runs in her 31 pitching appearances.
Catcher Helton joined in the individual record breaking by driving in a team-most 47 runs, two more than Boley. That eclipsed by 11 the team record Boley had broken in 2020. Overall, from her No. 2 spot in the lineup behind Luetticke, Helton batted .464, smacking 52 hits – second to Luetticke’s record total. She also had three home runs as exactly one-fourth of her hits earned her extra bases.
In addition, the critical defensive role behind home plate, she had only seven passed balls in 145 innings caught and threw out four of 26 would-be basestealers.
Shortstop Dunn started a bit slowly with the bat, but got better and better as the season progressed. By year’s end, her batting average had soared to .470, third on the team behind Luetticke and Boley (.485). Her on-base rate was .528 and her four home runs second only to Boley’s five as the 2021 team tied the program record of 20 roundtrippers.
Seemingly at her best in state play, Dunn went six for 10 with four runs batted in during the three state-tournament contests, ripping a pair of home runs in the quarterfinals win at Holden and being two for three with a run-scoring double in the title contest. She also made the season’s highlight defensive play in the state-championship game, ranging far to her left to glove a third-inning ground ball and then spinning around fully to gun down the batter at first to short-circuit what might otherwise have become a multiple-runs inning.
CHS second baseman Pithan drew a second-team nod after batting .457 with three home runs and 15 extra-base hits among her 43 total hits. She also coaxed 12 bases on balls and was hit by a half-dozen pitches, giving her an on-base rate of .540, the squad’s third-best. Her 30 runs batted in were fourth-most on the team and her 36 runs scored tied for third.