The Dodge City Red Demons softball team got some good news Friday as graduating senior Grace Ruehle and freshman Raemie Lopp picked up 6A All-State selections.
Lopp received a second-team selection as a utility player, while Ruehle finished her high school career with first-team honors as a catcher.
Head coach Ashley Podschun said it’s a big honor for Ruehle, and that she was very proud of Ruehle.
“She’s kind of our quarterback of the team,” Podschun said.
Ruehle caught every inning for the Red Demons this season, making few error and using her ability to see the entire field to limit how many runners tried to steal bases, Podschun said.
“I didn’t really have a whole lot of girls (attempt to steal) on me just because they knew that she was there and they knew they pry weren’t gonna have a chance,” Podschun said.
Throwing wasn’t Ruehle’s only strength this season.
“Her bat speaks for itself,” Podschun said.
Ruehle had 38 hits on 63 at-bats, good for a .603 batting average. She also hit six home runs this season. Both her batting average and home runs were school records.
Lopp largely pitched for the Red Demons this season, but was nominated and subsequently recognized as a utility player.
“She was a true utility for me, I mean she could play about any position,” Podschun said. “She played some shortstop for me, she DP’d when she wasn’t pitching and then she pitched.”
Her ERA was a little higher than some of the other pitchers across the state, Podschun said, which would have made it a harder for her to get selected at that position, so Podschun nominated her as a utility. Lopp had a 4.12 earned run average this season. Podschun said the combination of her work at multiple positions and her work as a hitter earned Lopp the Utility nomination. Ruehle and Lopp were the only two Podschun said she nominated.
Lopp batted .456, recording 31 hits on 68 at-bats. She batted in 19 runs and had one home run this season.
She didn’t just affect the team with her play on the field though, Podschun said.
“Not only was she excellent for me in the circle, she's actually great for me not even playing-purposes wise,” Podschun said. “She did a great job pushing her sister, brought the best out of her sister. I kind of give credit to her a little bit for making sure that her sister was pushed a little bit, but those two complement each other really well.”
The Red Demons softball team won the Western Athletic Conference and the Garden City Regional before falling to Olathe North, ending the season 17-6 overall.