As the lone senior starter in his team’s lineup, Miller has provided plenty of stability for Class 1A’s No. 5 Don Bosco (11-0). The first baseman leads his team with a .645 batting average, four home runs and 24 RBIs. “He stepped right in and has been hitting the heck out of the ball, and plays a really good defensive first base for us,” Don Bosco coach Blaine Rhoads said. “He’s a guy we can depend on in the middle of the order to drive in runs. He’s been doing a great job of it so far.” Miller also competes in basketball and golf. He plans to continue his baseball career at Rochester Community College.
As the leader of her team’s pitching staff, Sproul has staked Waterloo Columbus to a 7-2 start and a No. 8 ranking in Class 2A. The sophomore hurler sports a 1.27 ERA in 44 innings of work with 27 strikeouts and only five walks. On offense, Sproul is batting .300 and leads her youthful team with 10 RBIs. “She is a model of consistency in the pitching circle,” Columbus head coach Chris Olmstead noted. “Kayla is smart, mixes her speeds well and has pinpoint precision at hitting her spots. She is masterful at keeping hitters guessing.” Sproul also participates in basketball and maintains a 3.83 GPA.
Meighan opened the season on fire with hits in eight of her first nine at bats. The Waterloo East sophomore outfielder is batting .471 with 10 RBIs. “She’s really become a clutch hitter,” East coach Gene Laughlin said of his second year varsity contributor. “She practices hard and gives you everything you’d want out of a kid. She’s still learning the game, but she’s improving every day. That’s all you look for as a coach.” Meighan also competes on East’s volleyball team.
Rankin played all over the field for Waterloo West’s soccer team this past season. The freshman newcomer led the Wahawks with five goals and also worked as a valuable defender for the squad. “She was tenacious with her defending,” West coach Ross Jones said. “She was on the field almost 100 percent of the time. She was like the energizer bunny, she just never quit. I think the rest of the team sees that and it picks them up and makes them play a little harder.”