Lienhard’s combination of power at the plate and dominance inside the pitcher’s circle has helped make Crestwood a tough team to beat. She hit two home runs and was the winning pitcher Monday during a 3-2 win over New Hampton. Lienhard now has 11 home runs on the season and 29 of her 45 hits have gone for extra bases. She also owns an 11-2 pitching record with a sub-1.00 ERA. “The thing that makes Laken so special is her passion for softball,” Crestwood coach Doug Sickles noted. “Even when it isn’t high school softball season, she is playing softball. Another thing that drives Laken is her competitive spirit. She hates to lose and really pushes her teammates to work hard.” Lienhard also competes in basketball.
Durnin’s leadership in center field and on the pitcher’s mound has helped Dike-New Hartford climb to a 17-3 record and No. 6 ranking in Class 2A. The Wolverines’ senior owns a 4-0 record with a 1.08 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 32 innings. He also has three home runs and 11 RBIs on the season. “I’m not sure I’ve seen a better outfielder all year,” D-NH coach Sean Leonard said. “He’s a track star, so he just goes and chases down everything. He’s made a couple unbelievable plays this year. He’s pretty smooth out there and he’s got an extremely strong arm.” Durnin also competes in track, football and wrestling. He plans to play football at Iowa Central Community College.
Schultz has made an immediate impact for Class 2A’s No. 6 Columbus. The second baseman entered the week leading her team’s potent offense in batting average (.485) and on-base percentage (.534), while ranking second in slugging percentage (.667). She has also contributed in the pitching circle with a 4-0 record and a 2.96 ERA. “She showed up with lots of drive and energy and instantly proved herself,” Columbus coach Chris Olmstead noted. “Alivia gives us another weapon to utilize for our team as she is a well-rounded, gifted athlete. We are lucky to have her as part of our program.” Schultz also plans on participating in volleyball and basketball.
Hanks got on a hot streak at the plate last weekend against strong competition at the Jack North Tournament in Des Moines. The East senior finished the weekend 5-for-9 with a run scored and a run batted in. Hanks is batting .311 on the season with 15 RBIs. In addition to her success on offense, Hanks has played a variety positions in the field, including second base, third base, catcher and left field. “She steps up her game and she hits well against bigger teams,” East coach Gene Laughlin said. “The better the pitching, she seems to hit. She’s a kid who just comes and grinds every day.” Hanks plans to continue her softball career at Marshalltown Community College.
Destival has recorded hits in six of his last 12 at-bats while providing stability at catcher for a Waverly-Shell Rock program (14-3) that has climbed into the No. 8 spot in Class 3A and has now been ranked each of the past 10 years. The second-year starter and fourth-year letterwinner leads the Go-Hawks with 19 RBIs and ranks second on the ballclub with a .373 batting average. “He’s been driving in runs and runs have been at a premium lately,” W-SR coach Casey Klunder said. “Behind the plate, he’s had great leadership and really good energy. Our team feeds off him. He’s probably the most vocal of our seniors.” Destival is an honor student who plans to continue his baseball career at William Penn.