All-star night cut short for Wolken, Kansas team
The Mo-Kan All-Star Softball Series might have featured some of the class of 2011’s top area players, such as Tonganoxie High graduate Kaitlyn Wolken, but they couldn’t do anything about their curfew.
The best-of-three series, played June 13 at Shawnee Mission School District Softball Complex, was cut short early on in game three with the Missouri all-star team leading. It turns out, Wolken said, the complex had a deal with the neighborhood that stadium lights had to be turned off at 10 p.m.
So even though the Kansas team had split the first two games with Missouri, the girls from the “Show Me State” were awarded the series win because they led when it was time to turn out the lights.
Wolken said it was a frustrating end to a fun evening.
“I was kind of disappointed because I feel like we could’ve come back if we had the opportunity,” she said.
A third game wouldn’t have been possible without Wolken’s help. With game two tied at 10 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Wolken was put on first base as a courtesy runner. She ended up scoring the game-winning run when Olathe South product Emilee Vance drove her in with a hit.
“That’s a once in a lifetime thing,” Wolken said of crossing the plate to give the Kansas all-stars an 11-10 win after they lost the first game, 7-1.
The softball showcase was pretty relaxed until the games began, Wolken said. Though the players’ approaches weren’t “super serious,” she added.
“We all wanted to win but at the same time we all wanted to have a lot of fun,” the THS grad said.
The all-star series proved interesting for the former Chieftain because she played some in right field (which she hadn’t done in years) and spent some time at her more natural position, shortstop. Wolken said everyone on the team sat out equal amounts of time — about half a game. She was pleased to be a part of the series, which not everyone gets a chance to experience.
“It was an extreme honor,” Wolken said. “I got to play with some of the best girls in my class.”
The honors have been pouring in lately for Wolken, who also was a first-team selection on the All-Kaw Valley League and Lawrence Journal-World All-Area teams.
“It’s been amazing,” she said of the accolades. “It’s a great way to end my senior year. It brings everything together.”
This fall, Wolken will attend Butler Community College and join the school’s softball program.